The mission

The mission of the NWGN is to increase the nutrition impact of Dutch stakeholders targeting the SDGs in low and middle-income countries.

NWGN is a network of professionals based in the Netherlands working in the field of international nutrition. NWGN aims to increase the nutrition impact of Dutch stakeholders by exchanging knowledge and influencing and supporting them in how to better include nutrition in their policies and their work. The implementation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions include all interventions which have to do with all forms of malnutrition (including undernutrition and obesity). For these nutrition interventions it should be recognized that they are part of a wider food system; improvements in nutrition do not happen in isolation. NWGN stimulates using a sustainable food system perspective towards improvement on nutrition through healthy diets. Progress made on the implementation of nutrition interventions will be monitored per stakeholder group, which will also help to guide NWGN’s direction. NWGN focuses on Dutch stakeholders who are active in low-and middle-income countries, and they can be categorised in the following stakeholder groups: the government, businesses, NGOs, knowledge institutes (and foundations). These Dutch stakeholder groups are partly represented by the NWGN members. The work of the NWGN focuses on SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), specifically on 2.1 (By 2030, end hunger and ensure access by all people, in particular the poor and people in vulnerable situations, including infants, to safe, nutritious and sufficient food all year round) and 2.2 (By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under 5 years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons). NWGN believes that improving nutrition contributes to the achievement of many SDGs, while vice versa the achievement of most SDGs contributes to improving nutrition as they all relate in one way or another to food system transformation.

Our values and way of working:

NWGN emphasizes that nutrition policies and strategies should have a strong evidence base. In order to meet the goals on reducing hunger and malnutrition within environmental limits, nutrition should be an integral part of, and consistent with, food-, trade-, agriculture-, environment and other policies as an integrated approach to transform food systems towards healthy and sustainable diets. Also more coherence and synergies between projects and programs should be promoted, striving towards region- and context specific dietary shifts, taking into account the supply, demand and enabling environment of the food system. Thereto collaboration between stakeholders and actors in the entire food system is necessary.

More specifically the NWGN recommends to:

Make agriculture more responsive to dietary diversity needs and more sustainable (in terms of inclusion, biodiversity and climate)

Agriculture programs should respond to the dietary diversity needs and support access to and consumption of high-quality, diverse, safe, adequate and sustainable local diets. These programs should be designed taking the specific context into account. Assessing results of such programs should focus on dietary shifts, rather than measuring stunting and obesity outcomes.

Develop triple duty integrated nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions

Integrated nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions are most powerful to prevent malnutrition in all its forms. Nutrition-sensitive interventions usually need to be supported with a behaviour change communication (BCC) component (which falls under nutrition-specific interventions) to realise and enhance the impact on nutrition.

The 2015 Global Nutrition Report first used the term double-duty actions to describe programmes and policies that could potentially reduce the burden of both undernutrition and NCDs related to overweight, obesity, or diet at the same time. Examples of double-duty actions provided in the Global Nutrition Report included actions to promote breastfeeding in workplaces, urban planning for healthy food outlets and discouraging outlets for unhealthy food, ready access to clean water, and universal health care. The 2017 Global Nutrition Report proposed that triple-duty actions could yield multiple benefits across the SDGs20: addressing a double-duty action plus another SDG.

Learn from the experience of the Dutch Diamond approach in Food and Nutrition Security

The IOB Review of Dutch food security policy 2012-2016 [1] provided 11 concrete recommendations that NWGN endorses. In addition, we recommend to:

  • Ensure a better integration of knowledge institutions in policy development and program design, for instance in the design of policy instruments such as the SDGP[2] facility, or other Public Private Partnership (PPP) constructions.
  • Put more emphasis on the role of Dutch embassies and NGOs to tailor these policy instruments to the local realities (e.g. barriers to consumption of healthy diets) and 1) advocate for supportive regulatory and policy frameworks that protect society and environment from adverse impact of unsustainable economic growth and to tailor these policy instruments to the local realities (e.g. barriers to consumption of healthy diets)  2) galvanise action on healthy diets and stimulate and scale up existing initiatives
  • Reflect on the experiences of a decade of working with the private sector, and take into account external knowledge about effective public private partnerships. This recommendation led to the NWGN commissioned report Lessons learned from Dutch PPPs on ’Food and Nutrition Security[1], in 2021.
Our vision

Improving nutrition is complex and requires multi-sectoral and multistakeholder collaboration and context-specific solutions

It leads to better physical work capacity, cognitive development, school performance, and  reduces disease and mortality.

Improving nutrition represents

both a maker and a marker

of sustainable development

We believe that improving nutrition contributes to the achievement of all SDGs in a direct or indirect way, while vice versa the achievement of many of the SDGs contributes to improving nutrition.

Improving nutrition is a

complex problem that requires

multi-sectoral collaboration

and context-specific solutions

Undernutrition, overweight and obesity are found side-by-side within countries and even within households. We therefore believe that malnutrition needs to be addressed by a comprehensive and coherent approach which equires collaboration between knowledge institutes, civil society organisations, governments and the private sector: e.g. household food security, food quality and healthy diets, safe drinking water and sanitation, education, communication, caring practices and quality of health services, etc.

The platform

Our member organisations

The NWGN is a platform of civil society organizations, knowledge institutes, the private sector and the government, based in the Netherlands and working in the field of international nutrition.

The NWGN member organizations each select one or two representatives who participate in the NWGN executive committee.

Our management team