Vietnam Launches the Civil Society Alliance for Scaling Up Nutrition



Vietnam Launches the Civil Society Alliance for Scaling Up Nutrition

On 9 October 2019, the Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) Vietnam launched in Hanoi. The inauguration event brought together 25 participants from civil society organizations, the Government Committee for Ethnic Minority Affairs, Ministry of Health, National Institute of Nutrition, Women’s Union, and other stakeholder agencies.

The Government of Vietnam joined the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement in 2014, demonstrating high-level ownership and commitment to delivering effective and sustainable solutions for the country’s persistently high rates of malnutrition. Sixty-one countries have joined the SUN Movement, launched in 2010 to end all forms of malnutrition by bringing people together from different sectors, including civil society organizations, the Government, United Nations, researchers, donors, and businesses.

SUN CSA Vietnam is a subset of the SUN movement, a coalition of civil society organizations with a shared vision of improving nutrition in Vietnam.  There are currently eight civil society member organizations, including Save the Children International, HealthBridge, Plan International, World Vision, Alive & Thrive/FHI 360, ChildFund, Helen Keller International, and the Centre for Community Health Promotion.

The goal of SUN CSA Vietnam is to mobilize civil society organizations and work with the Government and other stakeholders to amplify nutrition as a development priority and sustain commitment and increased budget allocations while aligning with national priorities to effectively tackle all forms of malnutrition in Vietnam. The alliance also presents an opportunity to bring civil society organizations together and support them to participate in key nutrition policy processes and engagement with policymakers at national and subnational levels toward improving nutrition outcomes for all Vietnamese people, especially for women and children. 

Associate Professor Tr??ng Tuy?t Mai, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Nutrition, gave an opening address highlighting the role of SUN CSA Vietnam in scaling up nutrition. “SUN CSA Vietnam will help enhance the role and voice of social organizations in the development and implementation of policies and advocacy for increasing the allocation of state budget towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2030, especially tackling poverty, improving nutrition and food security, and promoting sustainable agriculture,” she said.

During the event, participants explored the role of the SUN Movement in Vietnam and key nutrition issues in Vietnam. The SUN CSA Vietnam’s vision and objectives, including strategic plan development and collaboration with other SUN networks and working groups in Vietnam, membership engagement and plans for inviting new members were introduced. A session on capacity assessment was included to explore areas for improvement of the members. Participants were also updated about the recent regional SUN CSA meeting where SUN CSA Vietnam representatives actively engaged with other CSAs to learn more about best practices and development opportunities.  

At the end of the event, Save the Children – the SUN CSA VIETNAM Chair provided closing remarks and focused on the importance of collaboration between CSOs to improve nutrition among the most vulnerable populations in Vietnam.

"As Civil Society Organizations working on nutrition, we commit to continue supporting and closely collaborating with Government agencies, the United Nations, donors, businesses, and researchers to together scale up effective nutrition programs and contribute to eliminating all forms of malnutrition in Vietnam and the world. By working together as a movement, we can have an even greater impact on the lives of every child," said Sharon Hauser, Director of Program Development, Quality and Advocacy, Save the Children International in Vietnam.