Why is this important for MSPs?
Analysis of existing nutrition networks and coordination mechanisms should be conducted during the initial planning stages for a new or revitalised MSP, alongside your situation analysis and stakeholder mapping.
It is likely that some coordination mechanisms for nutrition between various stakeholders already exist. These may take the form of regular stakeholder meetings, committees, task forces, or NGO led initiatives for example. Before planning to create a new multi-stakeholder platform for nutrition (or to undertake significant work revitalising a dormant one), it is advisable to first scope the current landscape and identify any existing networks or platforms and assess whether these can be shaped or adapted to form an effective MSP.
There are a number of coordination mechanisms and/or platforms which seek to promote integrated nutrition action, with more than one operating in a given country in some cases. These include: UN REACH, a Nutrition Cluster, Alliances Against Hunger and Malnutrition, Government led coordination structures, and NGO alliances for example. It is advisable to identify which are operating in your country and to connect with the co-ordinators for each to discuss potential overlap or integration with the proposed MSP.
How does this work in practice?
The Kyrgyzstan MSP was set up as part of the country’s objective on joining the SUN Movement in 2011, to create an enabling environment/structural support to improve nutrition. When an analysis of existing networks was conducted it was seen that there were already some well-functioning structures in place such as the Development Partners Coordination Council (DPCC) which brought together actors from development partners, donors and the UN around nutrition. It was agreed that rather than re-invent a new parallel structure and risk fragmentation, it would be more beneficial and effective to integrate this network into the new MSP and act as the UN/donor SUN network. To ensure smooth integration, TORs to facilitate this were developed under the Food Security and Nutrition Plan (2018-2022).