REACH plays a pivotal role in the government-led Nutrition Stock-Taking exercise and the UN Network for SUN in Myanmar

REACH plays a pivotal role in the government-led Nutrition Stock-Taking exercise and the UN Network for SUN in Myanmar

Country stakeholders are celebrating the completion of a massive Nutrition Stock-Taking exercise that engaged a multitude of nutrition actors in the country from August 2016 to May 2017. The exercise is nothing short of a milestone for nutrition in Myanmar.  Spearheaded by the National Nutrition Committee (NNC), anchored within the Ministry of Health and Sports, the exercise utilized a suite of REACH analytical tools to help paint a comprehensive picture of the nutrition situation in-country. However, the value of the exercise, including the ensuing outputs, goes well beyond the tools.

Myanmar Summary Stocktaking Graphic

The participatory process undertaken was equally paramount. The UN Network for SUN (UNN), through REACH, supported the NNC to bring together representatives from five ministries (Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation; Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement; Education; Planning and Finance; as well as Health and Sports) to develop the stock-taking package. Similarly, the REACH facilitator also helped the NCC engage the SUN Civil Society Alliance in these efforts. A Multi-sectoral Nutrition Team was officially established, which served as a working group for the exercise. 

Ultimately, the Nutrition Stock-taking is comprised of three components: (1) Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Overview; (2) Policy and Plan Overview; and (3) Stakeholder and Nutrition Action Mapping. The work entailed a desk review of surveys and sectoral reports to compile and repackage secondary data into graphs, maps, dashboards and other visuals. This helped to translate complex numbers into simple messages that attract the attention of policymakers and donors, and galvanize support for nutrition action. In addition, the outputs have helped to inform a range of nutrition governance processes to ensure that they are context-specific. Country actors now a greater appreciation of the importance of employing a multi-sectoral approach to nutrition. The exercise has also shown that coordination among diverse groups, while challenging, is possible when there is willingness and drive to work towards a common deliverable.