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Strategic Roadmap for the SUN Business Network in Asia

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In 2010, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement was launched to support national leadership and collective action to scale up nutrition. As of October 2021, a total of 65 countries and four Indian States had signed up to the SUN Movement. The SUN Business Network (SBN) that grew out of the Movement is one of the four global networks that supports SUN countries (along with the UN, Civil Society and Donor Networks). The SBN is co-convened by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP). It is further supported by a global secretariat based in London.

The SBN aims to reduce malnutrition in all its forms through engaging and mobilizing businesses to act, invest and innovate in responsible and sustainable actions and operations to improve nutrition. The SBN provides a neutral platform to broker partnerships and collaboration between businesses and all actors on nutrition via the SUN Movement at a national, regional and global level. Since its inception, the SBN has helped small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya’s food system improve their positions across the agri-value chain, launched an urban food system innovation challenge in Bangladesh, and supported the food industry in addressing gender-based inequality in Nigeria, among many other successes.

Over the past six years, 13 national SBNs have evolved in the Asia region to harness the power of business to improve nutrition, and four additional countries are assessing the potential to establish a Network. Within this region, the private sector is the engine behind many fast-growing national economies.

In December 2020, the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Strategy 3.0 (2021-2025) was approved by the SUN Movement Lead Group and is currently being operationalized by SUN countries at a national level . An SBN 3.0 Strategy has been also developed; this Roadmap is aligned to the Strategy.

The purpose of this document is to provide a Strategic Roadmap to support the advancement of SUN Business Networks in the Asia region, with the overall aim of increasing engagement of the private sector in nutrition .
The Roadmap articulates the way forward to engage the private sector and grow SBNs in Asia at country and regional levels, including through the establishment of a regional platform/ coordination mechanism to support national SBNs and identify opportunities with key regional players. It outlines how nutrition trends and evolving markets create opportunities for more effective engagement with the private sector, through SBN, in the region.

This document provides a brief overview of key findings obtained during extensive consultations with various SBN coordinators and members, including insights on the challenges and opportunities SBNs face and potential actions that can support their growth and deepen their engagement with the private sector. It also describes additional opportunities for private sector engagement at the regional level, including strategic alignment with existing private sector-led coalitions and consortia such as the UN Global Compact . Although national SBNs are autonomous networks with agendas driven by national nutrition priorities, this document recommends the establishment of a regional platform to help facilitate implementation of the Roadmap and support national SBNs more effectively