Creating Momentum for Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture: Experiences and Lessons from the Australian Aid Program

Global efforts to improve malnutrition have regained considerable momentum. Enhancing cross-sectoral and multilevel coordination for accelerating progress in reaching global nutrition goals has been a key focus. These efforts have recast how the international development community plans for and implements agriculture policy and programming.

While creating and maintaining political momentum for improved nutrition in high-burden countries must be a priority, building the institutional capacity of donor countries to orient investments for enhancing nutrition outcomes is key to this overall vision.

From 2013 to 2015, the Australian aid program made significant progress in aligning its agriculture policy and programming to be more nutrition-sensitive. During this period, multiple influences converged to create the conditions for change. This paper takes a retrospective analysis of the shifts that transpired over this period, and the broader policy environment, which made these possible.
The important role played by the Food Systems Innovation (FSI) initiative, a partnership between three Australian research and development players in driving this process, is highlighted.

The lessons shared here are offered in the spirit of supporting other donors and organizations working in international agriculture development to undertake similar organizational-level action towards greater nutrition-sensitivity. In doing so, agriculture development programs will be better aligned to meet Sustainable Development Goal 2, which seeks to improve nutrition and sustainable agriculture globally. The paper concludes by highlighting the key priorities for sustaining momentum and converting this to results at the ground level.

Vol. 15 No. 2, December 2018

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