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Activity A: Mapping the key opportunities for influencing policy, programming and investment decisions

The mapping addresses the following questions:

  • What upcoming priority decisions are expected to be made in nutrition?
  • To which specific policy, programme or plan will they relate?
  • Who will make the decisions?
  • When will the decisions be made?
  • What evidence and information are likely to be needed?
  • Which administrative level is the focus of the decision (e.g. central or sub-national)?
    This information is gathered by the NIPN country team through a desk review of existing literature (see box below).
Examples of documents to review
  • Government resources such as: national policy, plans and programmes for nutrition (multisectoral and sector-specific with nutrition objectives).
  • Non-governmental resources such as:
    • Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement UN Network online country reports and SUN country Joint Annual Assessments.
    • REACH supported documents: policy review, stakeholder and action mapping, common narrative or situation analysis overview and nutrition barometer.
    • Specific NIPN policy review

The information should be verified and amended through stakeholder discussions with key government sectors, donors, UN and civil society groups, facilitated by the NIPN country team. The SUN platform may offer a good opportunity for these stakeholder discussions. The discussions may be in the form of focus groups or bilateral discussions and are particularly helpful in identifying the key opportunities to influence decision making.

The mapping aims to achieve the following:

  • Identify at which stage the MPPA is or sector-specific nutrition policy and plans are;
  • Assess coherence between the MPPA and sector-specific policies and plans (see country case study at the bottom of the page);
  • Identify upcoming opportunities to influence decision making (next 12 months up to the platform’s duration);
  • Depending on the above, confirm which policy, plan or programme the NIPN cycle of ‘questions-analysis-findings’ will focus on;
  • Identify what types of information or findings are likely to be considered for these upcoming decision-making opportunities, and by when;
  • Ensure that the NIPN operational cycle will provide answers and recommendations in line with the decision-making calendar;
  • Define the target audience for the last step of the NIPN operational cycle regarding communication and dissemination of the answers to the policy questions.
What are some examples of a “policy priority” that an NIPN operational cycle of ‘question-analysis-findings’ could inform?
  • a policy or plan under development, revision or implementation
  • an annual or mid-term policy review process
  • a budget prioritisation exercise
  • an annual planning exercise

For policies and plans, be mindful of which stage they are at: stakeholders’ priorities and interests will differ depending on the stage (evaluation, formulation or implementation), influencing the type of demand and information needs they may have.