On 7-8 December 2021, the Government of Japan will host the second Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit. N4G is a high-profile advocacy event that calls on governments, development partners, and the private sector to make public commitments to actions that will accelerate progress to the World Health Assembly 2025 Nutrition Targets and 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The event is strategically timed at the mid-point of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition and has taken on a new urgency with the COVID-19 pandemic threatening nutrition progress and prioritization.
The first N4G event was convened in 2013 by the United Kingdom and Brazil. More than 90 participants endorsed the Global N4G Compact and made commitments to be implemented by 2020 including $4.15 billion in financing.
The Global Nutrition Report (GNR) was launched in 2014 to serve as a N4G accountability mechanism. The GNR regularly reports on country-level progress towards nutrition targets and tracks national indicators for nutrition outcomes, intervention coverage, and enabling environments. However, GNR efforts to track individual financial, policy, and program commitments made at N4G 2013 through the Global Commitment Tracker faced some constraints. The GNR has launched a new commitment registration and monitoring mechanism, called the Nutrition Accountability Framework (NAF) for the 2021 N4G Summit. All N4G commitments will be registered on the publicly available NAF platform and stakeholders will report on annual progress towards meeting them.
N4G 2021 is an opportunity to elevate nutrition data as shared priority and secure data-focused commitments.
Strong nutrition data systems require strategic planning and sustained investment. However, DataDENT analyses of SUN movement costed plans and donor disbursements from the OCED CRS suggest that investments in nutrition data and information systems have not been prioritized to date.
In September 2021, DataDENT and other members of Nutrition Data Partners Group (NDPG) released a set of recommendations for N4G participants around how to formulate commitments for strengthening nutrition data value chains. Guiding principles for nutrition data commitments include:
• Allocate at least 5% of total nutrition funding to strengthening data and information systems
• Attend to all elements of the nutrition data value chain
• Facilitate data linkages across actors and sectors
• Ensure a robust internal system to track and report on N4G commitments
The NDPG recommendations draw heavily from the commitments of the Call to Action that emerged from the Together for Nutrition (T4N) West Africa Data Forum, an event that DataDENT co-sponsored in February 2020. (We recently completed 12-month follow-up assessment for T4N- read about it here).
A number of participants including DataDENT’s funding partner, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have shared their N4G 2021 commitments. We hope that the recommendations from the NDPG will be widely disseminated and help to ensure that incoming commitments reflect prioritization of strengthening nutrition data value chains.