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Embedding the MAC in existing multisectoral nutrition structures

In most countries, particularly those that have signed up to join the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, multisectoral coordination mechanisms for nutrition are in place and functional. These are typically structures with membership from all nutrition-relevant ministries such as health, agriculture, gender, water, and planning among others. In certain countries this structure falls under the highest political level such as the President’s or Vice President’s Office and in others the coordination falls under a particular ministry.

In most countries these coordination structures are established at national level. In some countries they are also being established at sub-national level. If coordination at the sub-national level is in place, a MAC can also be established at the sub-national level (see the Guatemala case study in this section, page 9).

Embedding a MAC in existing structures facilitates strategic influencing of policy decisions, fosters ownership, avoids duplication of efforts, and ensures institutionalization and sustainability of the MAC.

Each country has its unique multisectoral nutrition coordination structure and the NIPN MAC should be anchored in this existing structure. In countries where a national multisectoral nutrition coordination structure is not yet existent or functional, it is still important to establish a MAC, linking NIPN to the relevant line ministries which are responsible for nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.

Taking into consideration the diversity of the national contexts, the following scenarios can be found:

  • Scenario 1: Countries that have functioning national multisectoral coordination structures in place which meet the MAC’s purposes and role.
  • Scenario 2: Countries that have functioning national multisectoral coordination structures in place which do NOT meet the MAC’s purposes and role.
  • Scenario 3: Countries that do not yet have a national multisectoral coordination structure officially in place.

Each country set-up will be linked to a different scenario, influencing how the MAC can be established and how to best anchor it to multisectoral coordination structures.