BUILDING ALLIANCES TO ACHIEVE SCALE AND IMPACT
GAIN achieves scale and impact by building alliances with stakeholders and representatives from every major sector in development. We work with diverse partners in several countries, including national governments, civil society, academic institutions, international bodies such as the United Nations, donors, foundations, consumer groups, and local and international private sector companies. By bringing key partners together around a common purpose — to improve nutrition — we combine our own capabilities with the individual expertise of each partner.
The Stanford Social Innovation Review has recognized our pioneering multi-stakeholder model ‘Collective Impact’ as a collaboration that achieves large-scale progress in the face of urgent and complex problems. While no single organization can tackle an issue as complex as malnutrition by itself, GAIN has been described as a ‘backbone organization’, playing multiple roles to achieve impact and to channel the expertise and resources of our partner organizations.
ALLIANCES WITH CIVIL SOCIETY
Non governmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations play a crucial role in supporting the design and delivery of nutrition interventions and programs. Providing expert local knowledge, these groups help us connect to individuals and deliver significantly more impact than we would alone. GAIN helped to establish and is an active partner of the 1,000 days partnership of NGOs, which encourages new investment and action to improve nutrition during the critical 1,000 days between the start of a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. We also support the Zero Hunger Challenge, a campaign of the UN Secretary General to help build a world where everyone enjoys the right to adequate food.
ALLIANCES WITH GOVERNMENT
GAIN partners with governments from around the world to ensure nutrition remains at the forefront of global and national policies and programs. We support and assist governments of countries in the development and implementation of national nutrition strategies to improve the availability and affordability of nutritious foods.
By helping to develop supportive environments, often through multi-stakeholder platforms such as National Fortification Alliances (NFAs), GAIN strives to align national policies with public and private investment to deliver nutritional impact. NFAs and similar coalitions work together to strengthen policy, legislation and regulation around fortification, as well as provide strategic guidance for national fortification programs. Today, we partner with more than 20 governments from Bangladesh to South Africa, and Indonesia to Nigeria.
ALLIANCES WITH ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS
Learning is one of GAIN’s core values. Our research and learning agenda focuses on generating and using evidence to inform program design and ensure that programs are adapted to local contextual needs. Our portfolio of process and impact evaluations focus on the timely identification and resolution of implementation challenges and measuring impact. We use implementation research to generate evidence on innovative ways to improve program delivery and increase potential for impact. In all of our research and evaluation efforts, we seek to build partnerships with local in-country partners and seek to build collaborations with international experts with the dual objective of improving capacity and ensuring high quality.
ALLIANCES WITH BUSINESS
Making markets work for the poor has been a central focus for GAIN since our inception in 2002. Food is produced, manufactured and distributed via markets. Through a portfolio of business and hybrid multisector models, we have developed a core understanding of how markets work, which delivery models are most sustainable, and which provide the most significant benefits to malnourished people, particularly mothers and children.
We are looking for ways to encourage businesses to do more to address malnutrition, including actively reducing practices that harm good nutrition. Our partnership with the Ministry of Health in Indonesia aims to educate and encourage mothers to make healthier choices for their children, while recognizing the impact of the local snack food industry on their diet.
We lead a number of key platforms including the SUN Business Network together with the World Food Programme, the Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM) and the GAIN Nordic Partnership. We also set up the Access to Nutrition Foundation, which in 2013 published the Access to Nutrition Index. The Index showed that large food companies must do much more to increase access to nutritious products.
ALLIANCES WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
GAIN works closely with agencies in the UN System to help implement and scale up nutrition programs. Partners range from specialists addressing the needs of children to those working in food security and agriculture. We work with and are in official relations with the World Health Organization, which sets global health policies.
The World Food Programme (WFP) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are key GAIN partners. GAIN works with WFP’s network of country offices to support nutrition activities, so that nutritious foods — in the form of fortified foods or supplements — reach people who need them most. UNICEF is GAIN’s partner in the Universal Salt Iodization program in 16 countries around the world.
ALLIANCES WITH INNOVATIVE FINANCE
A significant increase in investment is needed to improve the nutrition of populations globally. GAIN is committed to developing new means of attracting investment capital to the nutrition sector. We partner with a range of financial institutions, including social venture capital funds, to establish financing structures that encourage local businesses to develop new projects, distribution channels and marketing approaches. Examples include partnerships with the International Finance Corporation to support programs that focus on improving nutrition for infants and young children and with Root Capital and LGT Venture Philanthropy to invest in a broad range of nutrition initiatives.