Malnutrition represents one of the most formidable challenges of the 21st century. Over 45 percent of child deaths under age 5 globally can be attributed to malnutrition. And those children who are malnourished but survive face limited life opportunities, a higher chance of living in poverty and higher risks of giving birth to malnourished children, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle. In contrast, good nutritional status is linked to improved school completion rates, higher household income and, ultimately, a greater chance at escaping the cycle of poverty and boosting inter-generational equity and prosperity.
Commitments and momentum to address malnutrition have been growing steadily over the past decade. The challenge now to maintain and increase this momentum by translating commitments into actions and actions into results. High-impact nutrition interventions offer some of the highest returns on investment in the development field, with benefits across a range of sectors from education to broad economic development; but investments are still lagging behind what is needed.
As we seek more money for nutrition in the immediate term, the nutrition community must also pursue “more nutrition for the money.” Maximizing the returns on investments requires better use of the fragmented global and local knowledge about how to effectively deliver nutrition programs at scale. It also requires careful planning and engagement across different sectors to address the underlying causes of malnutrition. Creative and innovative approaches are needed to increase value for money and to find solutions to stubborn challenges that persist in implementation and behavior change.
R4D offers a suite of approaches to support global and country partners across a broad range of areas, including:
- Smart financing scenarios, costing analysis and resource tracking to support resource mobilization efforts and improve allocation decisions.
- Structured learning approaches to generate, share and translate knowledge into action.
- Strong multisectoral approaches and accountability mechanisms to ensure a coordinated response between sectors.
- Systemic approaches to generate, disseminate and translate innovations.
- Market shaping to enable and incentivize responsible businesses to invest in the safe, affordable nutritious food value chain and critical commodities for addressing malnutrition.
Key examples of our work include:
- Making the case for greater investments in nutrition by developing, in partnership with the World Bank and 1,000 Days, the first-ever Global Investment Framework for Nutrition, which outlined costs and financing scenarios that donors and governments can follow to achieve the World Health Assembly Global Nutrition Targets over the next 10 years.
- Working with the African Development Bank to develop a multisectoral plan of action for nutrition to operationalize AfDB President Adesina’s ambitious vision for improving Africa’s “grey matter infrastructure.”
- Providing direct support — in the form of costing, budgeting and other financing and strategic advice — in countries that have particularly high malnutrition rates, such as India and Ethiopia.
- Seeking new solutions for emerging problems, including supporting the LAUNCH Food network as it seeks to identify best practices to support and scale innovative ideas to enable people to make healthy food choices.
Photo ©Maggie Hallahan/Sumitomo Chemical
Multi-Sectoral Approaches to Nutrition
R4D supports the design and execution of multi-sectoral responses to the complex causes of malnutrition.
R4D conducts finance and resource tracking for nutrition at the global and country levels.
Collaborative and Adaptive Learning in Nutrition
R4D leverages collaborative and adaptive learning to advance nutrition goals at the country-level.