What Is the Role of Civil Society in Multisectoral Nutrition Governance Systems? A Multicountry Review. uri icon


  • All studies described government agencies involved with multisectoral nutrition governance systems, at national and subnational levels; however, there was limited evidence of subnational platforms for CSO engagement. Although countries increased investments in public institutions for nutrition, it was unclear whether nutrition service quality improved and none reported corresponding investments in civil society.
  • Background:
  • Conclusion:
  • Methods:
  • Objectives:
  • Our characterization identifies strategies to engage CSOs in multisectoral nutrition governance at multiple ecological levels. We hope future adaptation and application of this characterization will increase community ownership and diverse representation in nutrition governance systems. Both of these are key to enabling national and international entities to address malnutrition's underlying determinants in ways that align with local contexts, values, and systems change processes.
  • Results:
  • Solutions to create enabling nutrition environments must come from within communities and involve multiple sectors. As vital actors in community mobilization, rights-based advocacy, and accountable public institutions, civil society organizations (CSOs) can help ensure nutrition programs and policies represent and reach all community members to achieve impact.
  • To review attributes of civic engagement in multisectoral nutrition governance systems and to provide recommendations to increase CSO participation.
  • We reviewed 7 national case studies of Civil Society Networks involved with the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and characterized 6 functional attributes of CSOs in multisectoral nutrition governance: identify needs of all community members, mobilize and build civic capacity, advocate for political commitments, inform program design and evaluation, ensure accountability mechanisms in public institutions, and report challenges and successes using broad media campaigns.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020