Institutional Arrangements

Disclaimer: This How-To Guide provides at-a-glance information about concepts and strategies that connect different sectors. It is not intended to be comprehensive and is not officially endorsed by any organization. It is a “sign post” document that indicates key concepts and suggests where to look for further information. Read more

Nutrition is important to social protection because it supports human capital across generations. Social protection is important to nutrition because it provides delivery systems to reach nutritionally vulnerable people. 

Jump to: What to look for | How does it help | More information

What to Know & Look For

  • Typically led by governments, a social protection system is underpinned by a national vision, with actors coordinating to support strategies, policies and programs.
  • Where nutrition “sits” in government structure varies by country. Often it is a distinct department in the Ministry of Health; some countries have established cross-sectoral committees – often under the Prime Minister or President – that pull from each ministry.
  • Where nutrition sits will affect the opportunity and ease of cross-sectoral collaboration.
  • In addition to the government entity, over 50 countries are now aligned with the Scaling Up Nutrition Global Movement. Often these countries have established networks involving government stakeholders, NGOs, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the private sector.
  • Typically, there are many International Organizations (IOs), International Non-Governmental Organizations (INGOs), and local NGOs working in collaboration with government to deliver nutrition interventions.
  • Community Health Workers (CHWs) and other community leaders can be important resources, and may have already received nutrition training.

How does it help

  • Improve social protection coordination by establishing or identifying a coordinating ministry or agency.
  • Build policy coordination and strategic alignment between social protection and nutrition.
  • Identify ways to incorporate nutrition-sensitive principles to the social protection system, such as in the analysis that informs development of social protection, social protection objectives, program and monitoring frameworks.
  • Identify partners able to assist in implementation and delivery.
  • Build relationships with appropriate sectoral stakeholders.

More Information

This How-To Guide is intended to support those who design and implement nutrition-sensitive programs. It will be reviewed twice yearly by SecureNutrition staff at the World Bank and by individual technical partners. The last time the How-To Guide was updated was 1 April 2016. We welcome your suggestions: Contact us

We recommend that any project and/or program manager seeking to design or implement a nutrition-sensitive project seek the assistance of a nutrition specialist.



Access more nutrition-sensitive resources for Social Protection

Ask SecureNutriton
Email us

Case Studies

This summary presents the findings and implications from the three country studies jointly undertaken by the World Bank, IFPRI and the World Food...
This is one of 50 Harvesting Nutrition project case studies. Harvesting Nutrition was a contest held in 2012 and 2013 that showcased active projects...
This note summarizes evaluation results of the pilot project Shombhob, which ran in two rural areas and in the slums of Narayanganj City from April...


Multi-Sectoral Guide

This World Bank report provides operational guidance to maximize the impact of investments on nutrition outcomes for women and young children. The recommendations in this document build on...

Social Protection Guide

This guidance brief is a summary version of Module D of Improving Nutrition through...


What is malnutrition?
Poor nutritional status caused by nutritional deficiency or excess.

What is stunting?
Low height for age, when compared to a global sex-specific standard.

What is dietary diversity?
The number of food groups consumed over a given period of time that can be used as an indicator of household food security, or diet quality. 

What is 1000 Days?
The period from conception to the completion of the child’s second year of life in which nutritional requirements are substantial and damage from malnutrition is largely irreversible.