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Editorial

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In November 2019, over one hundred countries came together in Katmandu, Nepal as part of the SUN Movement Global Gathering (GG) to share experiences and learnings in tackling malnutrition. We were actively involved in the build-up and during the Gathering, ENN had responsibility for Knowledge Management and capture of the key discussion and moments. In discussion with the SUN Movement Secretariat, we committed to dedicating this issue of Nutrition Exchange to SUN Movement country stories and related SUN developments. Some of you will have met with us during the SUN GG as we started to explore your stories and to work with you to shape the articles contained in this issue of NEX. The SUN Movement is very diverse and as such, we wanted to reflect this in the breadth of content and in the countries we have worked with. We also wanted to ensure that the government voice was at the forefront of these articles and so, we have worked with SUN Focal Points, other government representatives as well as their development partners in the process of producing this issue of NEX.

We start this issue of NEX with a very thoughtful piece by Gerda Verburg, Coordinator of the SUN Movement, on her reflections of the Gathering where she highlights the Movement’s next steps as it plans for SUN Phase 3 and the associated Road Map, as well as the critical importance of major events in 2020 including the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) summit. An ENN synthesis of all 25 workshops from the conference and the headlines from these fascinating session follows this. From our perspective, the 2019 GG felt different; it was more challenging, more reflective and country-driven, and we were priviledged to be a part of it.

We have organised the 11 country articles by region and fittingly, we start with Asia and with Nepal, the very generous host country for the GG. The Nepal article describes their continued and impressive efforts to reach the 2025 World Health Assembly global nutrition targets, along with the government’s key takeaways from the SUN GG. Authors from Afghanistan, a country dealing with significant conflict and fragility as well as high levels of malnutrition, describe an initiative to better link humanitarian and development policies and programmes to help increase people’s nutrition resilience. Many of you will be aware from discussions at the GG that linking very different programming approaches is both complex and vital to maximise impact in countries facing protracted crises. This is followed by a piece from the Philippines which explores sub-national multi- sector nutrition programming, an ENN focus area for the past few years - see the resources section (pages 30-31) for more country case studies on this critical subject area.

We then move to West Africa and two very different articles from Burkina Faso and Benin. In Burkino Faso, they describe their efforts in securing innovative financing for scaling up nutrition programmes and highlight advocacy to mobilise domestic resources, whilst the Benin article describes their work in harnessing sub-national and community platforms to create more awareness and engagement in nutrition activities. We have three articles from East Africa, the first is from Zambia and this describes in a Q&A format how the SUN Business and Civil Society Networks have found common ground through which to tackle malnutrition. In Ethiopia, the work underway to bring adolescent and youth concerns into the mainstream nutrition policies and programmes is profiled. The SUN GG workshop at which many countries shared their experiences alongside SUN youth leaders was a memorable one. What is so startling in Ethiopia are the levels of malnutrition in these previously neglected age groups. We heard a lot at the GG about the need for more and better data and the article from Kenya describes their efforts to do just this in a decentralised context.

We’re delighted to have our first article from Papua New Guinea in the Oceana region. Here they describe how they used the SUN Pooled Fund to drive advocacy to get malnutrition higher up the government agenda. This is a country in in the early stages of scale up and the determination to change their nutrition landscape comes through in this article. Finally, we move to Latin America. An article from El Salvador shines a spotlight on department- level programming to tackle a double burden of malnutrition (undernutrition and overweight/obesity). In a first NEX article from Honduras, we learn about efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change on food and nutrition security in the communities most vulnerable to drought.

Our avid readers will know that ENN has been a Knowledge Management and Learning (KML) partner for the SUN Movement (under the DFID-funded TAN programme) these past four years, and that NEX has been a key conduit for this work - for a summary and links to all the SUN KM project outputs, do visit the resources section (pages 30-31).

As we share this issue of NEX, we are closing KML work under TAN and will be working towards the vision of Nutrition Exchange as more regionally-owned and driven, and offer a more dynamic, decentralised platform in support of scale-up. Indeed, we have already made strides in this direction with a second NEX South Asia to be published in June 2020, focussed on improving the diets of young children.

Finally, we wish to thank all the authors for sharing your nutrition experiences, for being patient as we go back and forth with more questions and points for clarification. We do this with the intention of shining the best light possible on your considerable efforts whilst also drawing out the complexities and challenges of reducing malnutrition. We truly hope this issue of NEX provides you with food for thought, with useful insights and a reminder of the rich four days we spent together in Nepal. It has been an honour to pull together this issue of Nutrition Exchange on your behalf. We wish everyone continued success and we look forward to hearing from you with your thoughts on this and future publications of NEX. Do be in touch with us and happy reading!

 

Carmel Dolan, Co-editor, NEX

Judith Hodge, Co-editor, NEX

Natalie Sessions, Global KM co-ordinator

Charulatha Banerjee, (RKMS Asia)

Jeremy Shoham, ENN Technical Director

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Editorial. Nutrition Exchange 13, March 2020. p2. www.ennonline.net/nex/13/editorial

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