The focus: The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Strategy 2021–2025 (SUN 3.0) prioritizes country leadership and focuses on supporting systemic change at the country level. The aim is to capture the ambitions of the SUN countries and to steer the work of all actors at all levels – national and subnational, regional and global – in order to leave concerted measures behind and to react to jointly agreed national priorities, which are set out by Governments in SUN countries. As part of these efforts, SUN 3.0 is intended to help achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

SUN 3.0 is committed to fundamental, non-negotiable aspects of effective nutrition, including justice and the principle of leaving no one behind. In its third phase, the SUN movement will promote gender equality and anchor youth leadership throughout the movement.

SUN 3.0 will strengthen partnerships to make greater dietary impacts through food systems, health systems, social protection systems, action by the private sector and humanitarian and development actors, as well as through education, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and adaptation to climate change.

Even before COVID-19, very few countries were on track to meet the World Health Assembly (WHA) nutritional goals and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). The pandemic is likely to reverse many years of progress, especially in low and middle income countries, as strategies to reduce virus transmission disrupt food and health systems and overload social protection systems, with serious socio-economic repercussions.

The combined effects of COVID-19 itself, as well as the corresponding mitigation measures, have shown the need for large-scale coordinated measures and institutional reforms.

Investing in nutrition remains a key element in building human capital and is vital to achieving the SDGs and promoting resilience to future pandemics. The challenges are greatest in conflict-affected and fragile contexts and require a stronger link between humanitarian and development efforts to reduce humanitarian needs through inclusive risk-informed development programs. Urgent, coordinated response and increased investment from governments, donors, the private sector, United Nations agencies and civil society (international, national and local) are now crucial. The pandemic has made it clear that SUN 3.0 is needed now more than ever to keep nutrition on the global agenda, protect the most vulnerable, prioritize evidence-based action, and advocate investing in nutrition.

SUN 3.0 is intended to lead this call for action by everyone working on the SDGs. This third phase of the strategy will be considered a success if the actors in the movement can demonstrate that their individual and collective efforts are clearly contributing to accelerating nutritional outcomes through systemic change at national and subnational levels, saving lives and resilience in those affected Countries Increase Fragility and Conflict (FCAS).

Success indicators are described in more detail in Section 8.

Main priorities: SUN 3.0 emphasizes the nutrition implications at the country level and the country’s leadership in tackling all forms of malnutrition. This includes supporting nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive measures through strengthened food, health and social protection systems and with an emphasis on gender and economic justice.

The SUN movement urges everyone involved to adopt, own, and implement jointly developed strategic goals as immediate priorities. All parts of the movement – the member governments, the four SUN networks, the SUN movement coordinator, the SUN movement secretariat, the SUN movement executive committee and the SUN movement leadership group – are expected to reinforce it equally and their efforts to accelerate the delivery of large-scale nutrition outcomes and collaboration to align and focus those efforts on priorities within countries. Opportunities such as the Nutrition for Growth (N4G) Summit offer countries and donors an important opportunity to renew their commitment to expanding nutritional policies and resources.

The SUN 3.0 strategy contains four strategic goals, which are reflected in the SUN 3.0 strategy framework (theory of change):

1) Strengthening and maintaining a strong policy and advocacy environment at subnational, national, regional and global levels to position nutrition outcomes as key makers and markers for sustainable development.

2) Developing and aligning common countries’ priorities for action.

3) Building and strengthening the country’s capacity to develop, prioritize, finance, implement and track country measures through increased technical assistance and knowledge management.

4) Ensure the governance of SUN, which promotes the leadership of the country and the responsibilities of the government, aligns the resources of all actors of the movement behind the priorities of the country, the mutual accountability between actors of the movement and those most at risk of malnutrition are, strengthens and provides robust mechanisms to promote and ensure such promotion, alignment and mutual accountability is realized.

In Fragile and Conflicted States (FCAS) where the government may not be willing or able to lead,
The SUN partners work with humanitarian actors and involve them in all multi-stakeholder platforms.

From the outset, the Movement sought an empowered and improved position and structure of food coordination led by the government and supported by a multi-stakeholder team in each country. In this strategy, the term “country coordinator” refers to the responsibility and function of the nutritional coordination in the SUN member countries as well as to the institutional arrangements to ensure an authorized and adequate support. Countries may decide to accept this title or to keep the title of the priority.

However, for the purposes of this strategy, the position is commonly referred to as the country coordinator. SUN 3.0 encourages the flexibility of the countries in determining the appropriate form and terminology that these roles and agreements assume in different country contexts.

The strategy sets out funding needs for countries to expand their operations, accompanied by a call to improve the efficiency of current spending, and highlights the need to draw on additional resources from domestic budgets, donor partners, private investors and innovative sources (ie “more money for food” and “more food for money”).

The strategy also details the proposed governance approach and the need for clear accountability mechanisms. These are developed in the operational planning phase together with revised task areas to support the transition from SUN 2.0 to SUN 3.0 and to deal with potential conflicts of interest between all duty bearers and interest groups, including national and sub-national governments, global partners and networks (civil society, United Nations, corporations, donors and possibly academics), the lead group, the SUN coordinator, the executive committee, and the SUN secretariat