Development partners in the Nutrition Programme in Malawi established the Donor Nutrition Security Group (DONUTS) provides a platform to dialogue, coordination and cooperation as a common approach among Development Partners on issues of Nutrition following the principles of the Development Assistance Strategy (DAS) and commitment of the Government of Malawi (GOM) and development partners to the Paris Declaration, the Accra agenda for Action, Busan Principles and the five ones principle of the Nutrition response of Malawi.   The DONUTS reports to the Government – Development Partners Committee


Members of the Donor Nutrition Security Group include representatives from development partners supporting implementation of programmes and projects in nutrition security.  These include the following:

  • Department for International Development
  • European Union
  • GIZ
  • Irish AID
  • USAID,
  • Canadian International Development Agency
  • World Bank,
  • UN Agencies (UNICEF, FAO, WFP, WHO). 

Scope of work

The DONUTS is responsible for:

  • Deepening dialogue, coordination and cooperation and to develop a common approach among Development Partners on issues of Nutrition security.
  • Advocating with Government on nutrition issues, with a view to strengthening the quality of partnership and effectively supporting the implementation of the National Nutrition Policy and Strategic plan
  • To reflect nutrition issues for nutrition action within Health SWAp, Agriculture SWAp, National Environment Strategic Plan, HIV and AIDS and related strategic plans
  • Supporting the Government of Malawi to implement national district level plans to Scale Up Nutrition (SUN) in line with the SUN movement
  • Prioritizing and harmonizing investments and reporting, where possible, progress on  Government of Malawi plans and priorities using country systems where possible
  • Sharing information, experiences and concerns in respect of Development Partners support to Nutrition security, the rollout of the SUN in Malawi and the G8 New Alliance Initiative’s Malawi Cooperation Framework.
  • Supporting the Government of Malawi to develop, monitor and evaluate a results framework for the nutrition sector.
  • Identifying opportunities for advancing joint cooperation coordination (especially mission planning, monitoring and evaluation) and co-funding between development partners in nutrition.
  • Jointly considering and agreeing issues of emerging policy significance and presenting a coherent voice to GoM in respect to these issues.
  • Contributing to improving the quality and regularity of dialogue between Development partners supporting nutrition programmes, including the advancement of discussions on the Code of Conduct, Memorandum of Understanding, Joint Financing Arrangements among others
  • Working with the DNHA in supporting the National Nutrition Committee in addition to planning for effective participation in other Sector Working Group meetings such as Health, Gender, Agriculture and Education
  • Identifying issues for regular consultative discussions with the Principal Secretary for DNHA other GOM sectors as appropriate, Civil Society Organizations and the Private Sector Representatives
  • Providing regular updates on important issues to the Heads of Cooperation and Heads of Mission groups and GOM sectors as appropriate

Operational modalities

The DONUTS will be guided by the following operational modalities:

  • The DONUTS will meet once a month and on an exceptional basis when required. 
  • A troika arrangement (Chair, Co-Chair and Outgoing Chair) will be in place for a period of one year.  The Co-chair will assume the Chair position to ensure continuity. The DONUTS will endeavour to ensure representation from a bilateral donor and multilateral organization in the positions of Chair and Co-Chair
  • The planning, execution and follow up of meetings will be organized by the Chair supported by the facilitator.
  • Appointed DONUTS members will attend on other Donor Sector Groups (Health, HIV and AIDS, Gender, Agriculture and Education) for information sharing and coordination.
  • Ad hoc sub committees (comprising members of DONUTS) can be constituted on a temporary basis to advance issues of importance to the group.
  • The Chair and/or Co-Chair are nominated to speak on behalf of DONUTS at key meetings with Government of Malawi and Head of Missions groups.
  • A regularly updated list of contact telephone numbers and email addresses of DONUTS members will be maintained.
  • Following each meeting, the minutes, including action points for follow up, will be drafted and draft circulated.
  • The DONUTS Terms of Reference will be reviewed on an annual basis and as agreed by the Committee.


The Chair and Co-Chair will assume leadership of the Troika structure governing the DONUTS.  Considerable, dedicated and qualified resources shall be expected by the selected Chair.  At the request of the Government for one coordinating agency and continuity of the same, the Chair and Co-Chair are mandated to represent the development partners in policy dialogue and consultative mechanisms with the DNHA and Government of Malawi Ministries responsible for nutrition programming.

Together the Chair and Co-Chair are responsible for;

  • Meeting with DNHA and other ministry representatives as requested/need arises
  • Maintaining an accurate database and contact list of DONUTS members (mapping of nutrition programming in Malawi)
  • Chairing meetings, preparing and circulating the agenda and minutes
  • Sharing information of wider interest to the DONUTS as necessary
  • Informing the group of important news and events
  • Seeking and summarizing the views and responding to requests from the DNHA and other nutrition stakeholders
  • Coordinating members views and responding to requests from the DNHA and other nutrition stakeholders
  • Coordinating members’ views and responding to requests from the Common Approach to Budgetary Support/Heads of Corporation/Head of Mission and other coordinating platforms
  • Ensuring and coordinating Development Partners representation in nutrition Technical Working Groups and other sector working groups;
  • Representing members at meetings with relevant Sector Working Group contact points and Government of Malawi representatives on sector policy review related activities
  • Establishing and maintaining networking contact with other regional sector institutions, and
  • Assisting the Government of Malawi where possible in mobilizing resources for nutrition programming and the roll out of the SUN in Malawi and implementing of the G8 New Alliance’s Malawi Cooperation Framework.

Accountability and reporting

The Chair of the DONUTS will submit reports to Government-Development Partners Nutrition Committee.  It is expected that each member of the DONUTS will submit and present detailed reports to his/her agency. 

Links to other coordinating structures

The DONUTS will establish and maintain relationships with the coordination structures/committees:

  • National Nutrition Committees
  • MGDS Review
  • Sector Working Group (health, Gender, Agriculture and Education)
  • HIV/AIDS Donor group
  • Heads of Missions
  • Heads of Cooperation
  • SUN Task Force
  • National Fortification alliance
  • G8 New Alliance on Food Security and Nutrition monitoring task force
  • International Non-Governmental Organisations
  • Private Sector
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Other coordination structures