Creating momentum for nutrition-sensitive agriculture: Experiences and lessons from the Australian aid program
This paper in the Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development takes a retrospective analysis of the shifts in the Australian aid program that made significant progress in aligning its agriculture policy and programming to be more nutrition-sensitive, and the broader policy environment which made these shifts possible. Global efforts to improve malnutrition have regained considerable momentum. Building the institutional capacity of donor countries to orient investments for enhancing nutrition outcomes is key to this overall vision. The lessons shared aim to support other donors and organizations to undertake similar organizational-level action towards greater nutrition-sensitivity. The Enabling Environment Framework (EEF) guided progress on the complex development agenda and identifies additional considerations for creating sufficient momentum for action. The frameworks consists of three pillars: 1) Knowledge and Evidence; 2) Politics and Governance; 3) Capacity and Resources. The three pillars provide a useful tool to guide thinking around the criteria essential to trigger institutional change. While the EEF outlines key pillars pivotal to creating and sustaining political momentum, lessons to inform how the pillars interact to enable (or hamper) progress to be made are yet to emerge. The processes that enable change will differ among countries and policy environments, which suggests that there may be additional mechanisms and actions required to create momentum. A readiness to learn and adapt accordingly enabled the Australian aid program to orient agricultural investments to improve nutrition outcomes. While the Australian aid program has been successful thus far in creating momentum, further work will be required to convert momentum into results.