Accountability Tools

Nutrition for Growth Accountability Tool

In 2012, the World Health Assembly endorsed global targets to improve maternal and child nutrition by 2025—an ambitious vision now reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals.

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The 2013 Nutrition for Growth (N4G) event — where donors pledged US$4.15 billion for nutrition-specific and $19 billion for nutrition-sensitive programs — was an essential step on the long-neglected road to support country-owned efforts to improve child nutrition.

ACTION’s accountability report and scorecard (click the image to download) tracks the ambition and delivery of N4G commitments by key government and philanthropic donors, and it points out what is needed to meet global goals for improved nutrition. Consistent and accessible reporting is essential for tracking to be accurate and meaningful. While these commitments are critical to meeting global targets, they are indicators for global progress rather than an exhaustive list of funding.

In 2016, a World Bank, Results for Development, and 1000 Days study estimated that it would cost an average annual investment of $7 billion over the next ten years to achieve four out of the six global targets, in addition to current levels of spending.1 This financial gap must be bridged by national governments, donors, and other stakeholders/mechanisms.

Overall, it’s clear that donors must meet existing commitments and also considerably increase nutrition investments to meet globally agreed targets.

Notes on Methodology

Donors

This scorecard includes a subset of N4G donors (country governments, philanthropic organizations, and multilaterals) relevant to ACTION markets as well as donors that have shown leadership in N4G. You can find a full list of donors and commitments made at the 2013 London Summit in the N4G Executive Summary.

We did not include additional funding, policy, and programmatic commitments from implementing and high-burden countries in this accountability scorecard, given the tracking nature of commitments since 2014. However, the authors acknowledge the important and critical leadership role these countries play and will endeavor to explore this in future iterations.

Data source

Pledges:

All N4G commitments quoted in the country profiles were taken directly from the N4G Executive Summary. Calculations of increased commitments above baseline levels are also from the Executive Summary, to form a total committed amount (baseline plus pledge) to monitor disbursement. Note that the timeframe for pledges vary.

Nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive definitions are also taken from this summary.

Disbursements:

N4G commitments are public obligations for a donor to provide a specific amount of funds, usually in a dedicated timeframe. Disbursements are funds that have been received by recipient and are publicly recorded.

  • Annual disbursements of the N4G commitments were tracked for five years (2013–2017); 2017 is the most recent disbursement data available.
  • Updated figures for all disbursement years were taken from Global Nutrition Report 2019 data, which accounts for any discrepancies compared to previous iterations of this scorecard.
  • GNR data is self-reported, collected via survey of donors — except for Italy and Japan, where reporting is drawn directly from the OECD Database, as they do not report to GNR.

The dataset will be available soon for download.

Commitment delivery

We ranked the overall commitment delivery as “on track” and “off track,” based on disbursements to-date, after calculating the remaining annual average disbursement required to deliver the full commitment as follows:

  1. Divide the commitment amount (increased contribution N4G pledge plus baseline) not yet disbursed by the number of years left in the pledge (e.g., a pledge until 2020 still has three more years of disbursement: 2018, 2019, and 2020).
  2. If this amount is more than 50% of the average annual disbursement to date (2013–2017), then the commitment delivery was deemed "off track."
  3. If this amount was less than 50% of the average annual disbursement to date (2013–2017), then the commitment delivery was deemed "on track."
  4. Unless conversations with donor markets reveal an alternative conclusion, then a footnote is included to explain.

On track 

Amount not yet disbursed is less than 50% of the average annual disbursement for 2013–2017 

Off track 

Amount not yet disbursed is more than 50% of the average annual disbursement for 2013–2017 or no new money was pledged

Delivered 

Pledge fully disbursed

Unknown 

Information on disbursement not available or financial pledge was not made

Ambition rating of N4G pledge

Ambition rating for pledge is taken from previous scorecards with ambition methodology described in the 2018 ACTION scorecard, Following the Funding: Nutrition for Growth Progress Report. Civil society organizations set the criteria for ambition and focused on financial multi-year commitments, including a nutrition specific commitment, and on it being an improvement over the baseline of nutrition funding already invested by that donor. Ambition ratings were given depending on how many of those criteria were met.

 

ACTION has updated the methodology for the Nutrition scorecard in 2019. Below is the methodology for prior scorecards.

Methodology (previous editions)

This report includes a subset of N4G donors and tracks some new donors who have shown leadership in the period since the London Summit. A full list of donors and commitments made in London in 2013 can be found in the N4G Executive Summary.

Nutrition for Growth Pledge: All N4G commitments, as well as calculations of increased commitments above baseline levels are from the N4G Executive Summary. Nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive definitions are also taken from this summary.

Ambition: Criteria considered in assessing ambition of individual N4G pledges included:

  • Did the donor include a pledge through 2020?
  • Did the pledge represent an increase above baseline?
  • Was a financial pledge of any kind included?
  • Did the pledge specifically mention an amount for nutrition-specific funding?

Ambition ratings were assigned using these criteria:

  • 0-1 criteria met: “Inadequate” rating
  • 2-3 criteria met: “Business as Usual” rating, if a pledge to 2020 is missing
  • 3-4 criteria met: “Ambitious” rating, if a pledge to 2020 is included

The one ambition rating not adhering to these criteria is the World Bank Group, where additional weight was given to the “financial pledge” criteria, given the large monetary value of their commitment.

Ambition ratings for new philanthropic donors are based on the following criteria:

  • Did the donor include a multi-year pledge?
  • Did the pledge represent an increase above baseline?
  • Was a financial pledge included?
  • Did the pledge specifically mention an amount for nutrition-specific funding?

Ambition ratings were assigned using these criteria:

  • 1 criteria met: “Inadequate” rating
  • 2 criteria met: “Business as Usual” rating, if a multi-year pledge is missing
  • 3-4 criteria met: “Ambitious” rating, if a multi-year pledge is included

2013 Pledge Delivery: Data on disbursements is taken from the 2015 Global Nutrition Report for donors who reported their own spending via this resource. Those not reported in the Global Nutrition Report are taken from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Query Wizard for International Development Statistics (IDS) and are represented in 2014 USD. This methodology is in line with the SUN Donor Network Methodology and Guidance Note to Track Global Investments in Nutrition. Pledge delivery analysis is based on an assumed constant annual rate of disbursement over each donor’s stated pledge period, with a 10 percent margin of error allowed in judging on-time delivery.

2014 Pledge Delivery: Data on disbursements is taken from the 2016 Global Nutrition Report for donors who reported their own spending. For the EU and for donors where self-reported data was unavailable, disbursement data is taken from the OECD Query Wizard for IDS and are represented in USD (except for Ireland, where the donor agency reported spending in EUR only) in constant 2013 prices. Similar to the 2013 analyses, pledge delivery is assessed based on an assumed constant rate of disbursement over each donor's stated pledge period, with a 10 percent margin of error allowed in judging on-time delivery.

2015 Pledge Delivery: Data on disbursements is taken from the 2017 Global Nutrition Report.

2016 Pledge Delivery: Data on disbursements are self-reported with the exception of Italy and Japan, where reporting is drawn directly from the OECD Database. Pledge delivery is assessed based on an assumed constant rate with a 10 percent margin of error.

Footnotes

1 Shekar M et al. (2016). Investing in Nutrition: The Foundation for Development. Retrieved from http://thousanddays.org/resource/investing-in-nutrition/