Global Nutrition Landscape Comprised of Many Actors, Spread Thinly

A large set of different roles needs to be filled in any sector or across any sectors, and the nutrition and food security areas are no exception (Table 6-1). Owing to historical and other factors, there is persistent confusion and sometimes conflict around which institutions play which roles and how they do that together.

One role could be characterized as that of setting norms. In this area, the World Health Organization undertakes work, and the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition also acts as a forum for UN agencies to discuss topics on this subject.

Research activity is principally being undertaken by academic institutions and in specialized research institutions. Generally, research is quite widely disseminated but often without a defined role to play in policy and programmatic decisions.

TABLE 6-1 Illustrative Organizations Active in International Nutrition



Key Role(s) Related to Nutrition

Multilateral Agencies





Program implementation focused on maternal and child health, norms, and standard setting. Focus is on nutrition security, micronutrients, breast-feeding, and emergency response.


United Nations Standing Committee on Nutrition

Network of food and nutrition professionals. Promotes cooperation among UN agencies and partner organizations, including NGOs, in support of community, national, regional, and international efforts to end malnutrition.


The World Bank

Project and sector financing to countries with loans on near commercial and soft terms. Supports government implementation of projects and policy reforms with technical assistance from The World Bank staff and consultants.


World Food Programme (WFP)

Implementation of emergency response and food aid. Provides logistics and support through development programs. Operates school feeding programs.

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement