Special Collection;

Reflections on the Role of Donors in Scaling Up Nutrition in Zambia from 2010 to 2013: Successes, Challenges and Lessons Learnt

Published on 23 September 2014

In Zambia, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement has provided an unprecedented opportunity to situate nutrition high on the agenda. Since Zambia joined SUN, nutrition has acquired an increasingly important political profile. However, this has yet to translate into improved implementation of nutrition interventions.

Applying the key SUN principles, donors have played a pivotal role by aligning resources behind one evidencebased
national multisectoral nutrition plan. This article reviews donors’ roles in: (1) coordination of assistance for
policy development, programme design and implementation; (2) advocacy and strategic lobbying for political
commitment; and (3) mobilising resources and support. It examines key successes such as the launch of the First 1000 Most Critical Days Programme; challenges such as seeking acceptance of politically unpalatable evidence on stunting, and handling misconceptions among senior officials; and the need to resolve donors’ own neglect of nutrition, and responsive funding processes. Finally, it reflects on lessons learnt from the HIV response.

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