Project Factsheet
Tools for » Scaling up nutrition by civil society in Bangladesh
Project ID:00084692Description:SUN 02/BGD/001 “Civil Society"
SUN Movement Fund
Start Date *: 7 Dec 2012
Country Catalytic Programmes
End Date*: 31 Dec 2015
Country: Bangladesh Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   WFP - World Food Programme

Scaling up nutrition by civil society in Bangladesh


  • Country: Bangladesh
  • Implementing Partner: Civil Society Alliance (CSA) for SUN BD -with BRAC serving as secretariat for the Alliance
  • Participating Organization: UN/REACH
  • Duration: 36 months –January 2013- December 2015
  • MPTF support: US$ 535.000
  • Main Contact: Dr Afsana Kaosar at


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Malnutrition in Bangladesh is among the highest in the world and remains a serious public health problem. According to the 2007 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS), approximately 9 million Bangladeshi children aged between six months and five years suffer from under-nutrition, with 43% of children stunted, 41% under-weight, and 17% wasted. Over one in three children are born with low birth weight (National low birth weight study of Bangladesh, 2003-2004), with high maternal under-nutrition at 30% (BDHS 2007). Bangladeshi children also suffer from high rates of micronutrient deficiencies, particularly vitamin A, iodine and zinc. Malnutrition has a cumulative negative effect on the health parameters and hence the economic development of the country. To overcome this situation, the government of Bangladesh has recently formulated the next five-year sector plan, entitled “Health, Population and Nutrition Sector Development Program (HPNSDP)”, wherein nutrition has been mainstreamed through a separate operational plan titled “National Nutrition Service (NNS)”. This is a major shift of the government’s previous strategy for combating malnutrition.


The proposal seeks to create a strong, coordinated and vibrant civil society constituency in support of the further development and wider implementation of a nutrition agenda that will result in the sustainable improvement in the nutrition status of the people of Bangladesh.

NGOs and Civil Society Organizations have been contributing to successful implementation of large-scale government interventions like Bangladesh Integrated Nutrition Project (BINP), National Nutrition Program (NNP) for more than 25 years. During this time, they have gathered experiences and learning. However, there are relatively few CSOs with focus or capacity regard to nutrition as a development sector. Further, CSOs do not have any formal platform to raise their voice in the nutrition policy arena, although some CSOs do participate in a network entitled the ‘Nutrition Working Group’ which is largely driven by government agencies, donors, bilateral partners, international NGOs and UN organizations and does not represent CSOs exclusively.  

The strategy proposed aims to create a strong, coordinated and vibrant civil society constituency in support of the further development and wider implementation of a nutrition agenda that will result in the sustainable improvement in the nutrition status of the people of Bangladesh. Using a multi-stakeholder platform including grassroots network, the CSA will work from national to sub-national level to raise awareness about malnutrition, influence policy, share evidence, coordinate in integrating inter-ministerial activities and enhance mutual accountability in order to contribute to improved nutritional status across all populations.


The project seeks to achieve the following 4 outcomes:

1)       A CSO Network in Bangladesh that is fully operational and successfully influencing nutrition policy making by 2013

2)       Enhanced sharing of evidence based information, research findings and resources among stakeholders to achieve effective implementation of nutrition programs

3)       Comprehensive, coherent and adequately financed national nutrition plan adopted by mid of 2013 and implemented by the Government by mid-2014.

4)       A joint tracking system established to monitor progress of NNS with the active support from CSA for SUN BD by mid-2013.

These outcomes will be achieved by: 

Outcome One:

  • A mapping exercise will be done to find out the number of civil society organizations working in nutrition specific and sensitive areas.
  • National level launching.
  • One national workshop at Dhaka and six divisional seminars will be conducted to enhance awareness of major stakeholders regarding malnutrition status in Bangladesh and engage them to address the situation by actively participating in 1000 days SUN movement
  • District workshops will be conducted in hard-to-reach and most nutritionally vulnerable districts of the country (at least 20) to raise awareness about 1000 days and engage them with local stakeholders to carry out the movement
  • Seven divisional and district committees of representative forum of CSOs on nutrition will be formed during the workshop for wider participation and expansion of network

Outcome Two:

  • Three general CSO meetings will be held conducted over three years, one in each year to  harmonize and coordinate SUN movement in Bangladesh sharing evidence and best practices
  • The CSOs will be encouraged to participate in different nutrition related meetings where evidence and lessons of 1000 days will be shared
  • A total of nine inter-ministerial dialogues with relevant ministries will be conducted to influence and assist them to work in a coordinated manner
  • One ‘Nutrition Champion Expo’ will be organized annually with the participation of government, CSOs and other relevant stakeholders
  • Bi-monthly e-newsletters will be developed and circulated to disseminate activities of SUN and other nutrition related activities in Bangladesh and beyond

Outcome Three:

  • Three policy roundtables will be carried out to present report and promote debate amongst key stakeholders to understand nutrition issues especially the significance of 1000 days and coordination of multisectoral platform.
  • Annual national seminar for sensitizing political leaders and standing committee members of different ministries will be organized.
  • Two national workshops will organize for media both electronic and print
  • 12 talk-shows will be aired on national television
  • A one-day national seminar organized with Upazila Parishad Chairmen (from hard-to-reach and most nutritionally vulnerable districts) to sensitize them on the importance of nutrition, need of CSO platform etc.
  • Nutrition week, World Food Day, World Breastfeeding Week will be observed at local and national level by organizing rally, postering, mobile messaging, seminar etc
  • Formal participation of CSOs in steering committee for nutrition implementation and other government relevant committees and forums will be carried out.

Outcome Four:

  • Three workshops will be organized to improve the capacity of monitoring and evaluation of government and other stakeholders to comprehend tracking performance in nutrition status
  • Five stakeholder consultation meetings will be organized to draft, pretest, and finalize the tracking mechanism of government programs in different ministries.
  • Quarterly tracking reports will be prepared, published and circulated.
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Bangladesh or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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