Nourishing the SDGs
Partnerships tackling SDG2 and other development goals need to make deep commitments that are broad and target multiple wins. The “Nourishing the SDGs” session organized by The Netherlands Working Group on international Nutrition (NWGN) at the SDG conference in Wageningen delivered this recommendation and many more. The session hosted the two World Food Prize 2018 Laureates, Dr. Lawrence Haddad, Execute Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and Dr. David Nabarro, Director of 4SD, as well as the Director General for International Cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Reina Buijs.
The objectives of the session were to discuss lessons learned from innovative partnerships across the so-called “Dutch Diamond” to advance SDG2, as well as to identify synergies and trade-offs for progress in other development goals. The main take-aways are:
- Most countries make progress on undernutrition, but overnutrition is on the rise and the “Double burden” is becoming the new normal. Adequate implementation of so-called “nutrition-specific” programs can only achieve a 20% reduction in malnutrition, thus progress on complementary “nutrition-sensitive” approaches is required to fill the remaining 80%.
- SDGs need nutrition as 6 out of the 10 risk factors of mortality and disability are diet-related in both developing and developed countries.
- Partnerships tackling SDG2 and other development goals need to make deep commitments that are broad and target multiple wins. Commitments should be specific in delivering, incorporate synergies and tradeoff s in the plans.
- The agenda of the Dutch nutrition and food security policy takes into account the fact that malnutrition is on the rise due to fragility, instability and climate change and thus tackles the root causes of malnutrition. The Conflict and Hunger resolution, recently adopted by the UN Security Council, embeds food and nutrition security in the political agenda.
- The Dutch government strongly supports partnerships such as the SDG Partnership facility, CGIAR partnership and the Amsterdam Initiative on Malnutrition. These partnerships require an open mindset where new roles and responsibilities are developed, a learning attitude, and innovative ideas and finance systems.
The main conclusion of the session was: Effective partnerships need to have a common narrative to develop coherence and commitment and need to build in mutual accountability, so all partners will take responsibility. In addition, successful partnerships have due diligence from the start, partners that have complementary skills, design for big impact, and if you fail, fail fast.