Background: Nepal has a long tradition of designing good multisectoral nutrition policy. However, success of policy implementation has varied. More evidence on how to successfully carry out multisector nutrition policy is needed.
Objective: We tracked the influence of Nepal’s multisectoral nutrition plan (MSNP) on the process of priority setting and budgeting from 2014 to 2016.
Methods: This study used a mixed-method longitudinal design to track qualitative and budgetary changes related to MSNP processes nationally as well as in 3 districts. Qualitative changes in each study area were assessed through interviews, observation, news content, and meeting notes. Changes in allocations and expenditures were calculated based on budget documents, work plans, and validation interviews.
Results: Improved understanding of the MSNP was documented nationally and in study districts but not in VDCs. Human resources, ownership, bottom-up planning, coordination, advocacy, and sustainable structures all emerged as important factors within the enabling environment. Evidence suggests the MSNP influenced improvements in the last 3 factors. We also found notable increases in activities and financing for nutrition—allocations increased steadily between FY 2013–2014 and FY 2015–2016, and 28% of total nutrition allocations in the final year came from new or expanded MSNP-affiliated activities. Data from 3 districts highlight challenges linking local planning and budgeting to central-level structures.
Conclusions: The MSNP appears to have strengthened the nutrition system in Nepal and increased priority and funding for nutrition. Next steps include strengthening linkages to the districts and below. Other countries can learn from the MSNP’s success in increasing investment for nutrition.