Multisectoral nutrition programming: FANTA achievements and lessons learned
This report (PDF) by the Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) discusses the broad scope and range of FANTA’s multisectoral nutrition programming activities in developing countries. Multisectoral nutrition programming enables to address the multifactorial causes of national nutrition challenges by linking and integrating program design, delivery, and evaluation across disciplines and sectors. The report includes the tools and methods the project developed to promote country-led, evidence-based, scalable multisectoral approaches to improved nutrition. Lessons learned include that advocacy efforts aiming to increase multisectoral attention to nutrition are more effective when they identify benefits for non-nutrition sectors rather than just try to persuade other sectors to adopt nutrition goals. Additionally, well-facilitated, high-level multisectoral and multi-stakeholder steering committees can serve as forums for strengthening national collaboration and coordination on multisectoral nutrition programming. Multisectoral plans, policies, and guidelines are key to ensuring that various sectors know what actions are expected of them to help achieve their country’s nutrition objectives. Learning to work across sectors can require learning new terminologies, ways of thinking, and approaches, and may require nutrition capacity building. Lastly, while evidence presented in the 2013 Lancet series on maternal and child nutrition clarifies the need for a multisectoral approach to addressing nutrition problems, the best ways to combine and apply multisectoral interventions are less clear. Programmatic experience and implementation research are still needed to fill gaps.