Inspiring action on malnutrition
Malnutrition can take many forms and affects most of the global population irrespective of location, age, wealth or gender. Across the world it is unacceptably high, and progress to tackle it is unacceptably slow. It is responsible for more ill health than any other cause. Children under five years of age face multiple burdens: 149.2 million are stunted, 45.4 million are wasted and 38.9 million are overweight. Meanwhile 20 million babies are born of low birth weight each year. Overweight and obesity among adults are at record levels – with over 40% of adults overweight or obese and increasing among adolescents. Women have a higher burden than men when it comes to certain forms of malnutrition: one third of all women of reproductive age have anaemia and women have a higher prevalence of obesity than men.
The purpose of our work
In 2018, Development Initiatives began hosting the Global Nutrition Report (GNR), the world’s foremost independent publication on the status of malnutrition. The GNR informs, shapes and inspires action through data, evidence and greater accountability on nutrition policy, practice, and financing to advance progress in tackling poor diets and malnutrition globally. Its purpose is to inspire governments, civil society, businesses and others to act to end malnutrition in all its forms. It also provides data on progress in improving nutrition outcomes for every country in the world through online interactive Country Nutrition Profiles and its Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Commitment Tracker, which tracks and records past N4G commitments made at the 2013 and 2017 summits. New commitments made in 2021 and later will be recorded, tracked, and publicly shared through the Nutrition Accountability Framework, which is the worlds first independent and comprehensive global accountability framework for nutrition.
Our role as host means we work with an Independent Expert Group and Stakeholder Group to collect and analyse data and write and produce the report, as well as nutrition profiles for every country globally, and to track delivery against N4G commitments. We also lead on all engagement and promotion of the report and its messages, and strengthening its digital presence, ensuring content is optimised for users.
The 2021 Global Nutrition Report: The state of global nutrition provides a concise, data-focused update on the status of diets and nutrition around the world. This year’s report lays bare the unsustainability of the status quo and how we continue to face a global nutrition crisis. It finds that, despite some progress, diets are not getting healthier and make increasing demands on the environment, while unacceptable levels of malnutrition persist. The high human, environmental and economic costs of continuing our current trajectory are so significant that we will pay a far higher price if we fail to act. Covid-19 is exacerbating the problem but the report shows that it is just one part of a much bigger picture.
"The Global Nutrition Report indicates that no country is free from malnutrition,which calls for a period of partnerships amongst us;we can achieve more united than separated”First Lady of Ethiopia, Zinash Tayachew, in her opening address to the International Food Policy Research Institute’s Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition conference in in Bangkok, 2018
In 2021, we reached more people than ever before with vital data and evidence on malnutrition to drive advocacy efforts and better-informed decision-making. Our communications efforts resulted in over 300 pieces of media coverage in 65 countries, reaching every continent. We also successfully shifted the narrative on malnutrition, which is often seen to be impossible to solve, by focusing greater attention on where progress has been made and what should be done next. Our messaging helped ensure the issues were positioned as a truly universal, not just something relevant to developing countries. This was a key outcome in ensuring the report inspires action on malnutrition in all its forms, everywhere.
“My closing ask is that you take all the evidence and analysis in this excellent report and use it to galvanise the leaders of your own organisations."UK Minister of State at the Department for International Development, Alistair Burt, at the Food Thinkers Seminar Series by City, University of London, 2018
Since 2014, the GNR has been collecting and analysing the most comprehensive data on nutrition and tracking commitments made as part of the 2013 and 2017 N4G summits. Through its role as an independent, credible and respected global resource, the GNR is building on existing tools and expertise and drawing on elements from other accountability framework to create an independent and comprehensive global accountability framework that will better serve decision-makers and the nutrition community. The Nutrition Accountability Framework will facilitate reporting on actions taken, identify gaps in action, measure impact, determine the most impactful actions and allocate resources where they are needed the most.
A key priority for the GNR moving forward is to continue to provide an independent, credible and data-driven perspective on both the progress made and action that needs to be taken to achieve the global target to end malnutrition in all its forms.