© FAO / Sia Kambou
© FAO / Sia Kambou

UNN Outcomes

The UN [Nutrition] Network strategy includes a results framework, outlining five outcomes for measuring its support and functionality.

Outcome 1
Outcome 1

Increased awareness of the causes of malnutrition and potential solutions

The UN [Nutrition] Network leverages the UN’s technical clout and convening power to bring into focus nutrition challenges at the country level and place nutrition on the political agenda. To this end, it  consolidates knowledge – data, expertise and experience – across the UN System to promote a holistic understanding of the nutrition situation, including inequities. This entails working with the government to galvanize and sensitize actors from various institutions and sectors on their respective roles and responsibilities in nutrition. 

UN Network (UNN) analytics serve as key ingredients for establishing a common language for nutrition dialogue at the country level. They can also be channeled into nutrition advocacy and communications and help to attract increased investment in nutrition. Where UNN-REACH facilitators are present, their neutral facilitation and knowledge brokering skills can be tapped to bridge diverse work streams and to energize and enhance efforts for achieving Outcome 1.

Outcome 2
Outcome 2

Strengthened and increasingly resourced national policies and programmes

Capitalizing on the UN’s technical expertise and convening power, the UN [Nutrition] Network works with an array of actors to 'hardwire' nutrition into a country’s policy and planning frameworks. These measures pave the way for effective, context-specific programmes that reach those most in need, including nutritionally vulnerable groups such as women, children and adolescent girls.

How? The UN Network draws upon diagnostic tools to guide these efforts and foster a common dialogue among nutrition stakeholders at the country level. Not only does this help align the UN’s support from policy to programming, it also helps bring greater coherence to the national nutrition agenda by instilling ownership in nutrition across sectors and institutions for shared results. Where the country UN Network includes the presence of UNN-REACH facilitators, it can leverage their neutral facilitation and knowledge brokering skills to bridge diverse work streams, accelerating progress towards achieving Outcome 2.

Outcome 3
Outcome 3

Increased human and institutional capacity to support the scaling up of nutrition actions at all levels

The UN [Nutrition] Network (UNN) works closely with national nutrition authorities, including SUN Government Focal Points, and other stakeholders to support the development of functional and technical capacities for nutrition across three dimensions - the enabling environment, institutions and individuals. Where possible, these efforts are grounded in a comprehensive nutrition assessment to guide the strengthening of multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder processes and partnerships at the national and sub-national levels. Not only does this bring greater coherence to the United Nations capacity development activities, it also enhances a country’s ability to coordinate actions across the complex nutrition landscape.

Outcome 4
Outcome 4

Increased efficiency and accountability of national efforts

The multiple and interconnected causes of malnutrition call for a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder approach in order to holistically address the problem. However, this complexity poses challenges for efficiency, underscoring the need for effective coordination. The UN [Nutrition] Network (UNN) supports countries with the elaboration of a common results framework (CRF) as part of the development of the multi-sectoral nutrition action plan. In addition, UN Network tools help nutrition authorities at the country level compile information across sectors and institutions and generate valuable inputs for CRFs. This, in turn, gives authorities the ‘full picture’ to guide decision-making. It also fosters transparency and accountability among the multitude of nutrition actors in countries.

Increasingly, UNN analytics are being embedded into governance processes so that countries are better equipped to monitor national nutrition plans and programmes in pursuit of shared nutrition results. In addition, UNN-REACH facilitators have been recognised for their unique ability to bring actors together and facilitate dynamic, multi-sectoral, nutrition processes, creating fertile ground for inclusive, action-oriented dialogue and mutual accountability.

Outcome 5
Outcome 5

Harmonized and coordinated UN nutrition efforts

Outcome 5 embraces the notion that the impact of individual efforts can be maximized when UN agencies act collectively. This is particularly important within the context of nutrition where there are multiple interconnected determinants at play. That means that the impact of a specific technical assistance project/intervention can be impeded if measures to address other factors that contribute to malnutrition are inadequate or not taken. Essentially, we are all in this together.  

The UN [Nutrition] Network (UNN) serves to strengthen the harmonization, coordination and effectiveness of UN activities in support of country efforts to end all forms of malnutrition by 2030, as enshrined in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It provides a forum through which UN agencies outline joint and individual responsibilities, targets and share data and experiences to better coordinate their actions, both nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive. UNN analytics such as the UN Nutrition Inventory facilitate efforts to increase the coherence, coordination and convergence of nutrition actions across the UN System at the country level. Increasingly, country UN Networks are engaging the UN Resident Coordinator to reinforce and empower collective UN action on nutrition.

Results

Progress towards the UN Network (UNN) outcomes is monitored in various ways, including through a formal reporting exercise, which culminates in the UNN annual report and UNN country stories. The reporting exercise measures the performance of the UN Network and helps to identify areas for improvement. It is also a mechanism for fostering mutual responsibility within the SUN community and feeds into annual SUN Movement progress reports as well as SUN MEAL dashboards. Together, these efforts give visibility to the valuable work and achievements of UNN, particularly at the country level.