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10 March 2016

SMART action on nutrition – translating commitments to happening

Together with a variety of stakeholders, including top researchers in the field of nutrition, the Global Nutrition Report brings forth a number of recommendations and tips on how to improve nutrition policy at a country level.

The SMART guide is meant to equip policy makers and development actors for the translation of commitments to action. The guide also offers advice on how to provide for better accountability and transparency to measure such actions, as well as some advice for data collection.

 The abbreviation SMART stands for interventions that are Specific, Measurable, Assignable, Realistic and Time bound. SMART is meant to increase efficiency of donor support and make aid better targeted as well as to better use the information available as a foundation for policy.

In order to get a running start there are several recommendations that can be followed, like having a multi-stakeholder process to develop goals and policies that interlink not only on a national level but also to regional and global initiatives. The set up goals should then follow the SMART-guidelines to clearly identify who shall be doing what, by when, and what relevance they have for solving national problems of malnutrition.

The latest global nutrition report has a clear message: there are clear pathways to follow for those countries and leaders who are serious about tackling hunger and malnutrition under the Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) work plan. As all of the SDGs are related, solving malnutrition also would have positive effects on other areas like, for example, education, health, poverty reduction and economic growth.

However, even if these synergies exist they don’t get sufficient official recognition in the other goals -direct references to nutrition is limited: out of the 169 targets that make up the 17 development goals, nutrition is only mentioned once. On a related note, insufficient attention is paid to the fact that malnutrition can take many forms, for example obesity. This must be better reflected in the actions and work plans, so action are not limited to only one type or directed to only one target group.

Get your copy of the guidelines here

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