This briefing note summarises the findings of qualitative research on the governance and social contexts for nutrition interventions in Northern Nigeria. The research explores both national level factors as well as state level factors influencing nutrition in 4 states: Jigawa, Katsina, Kebbi, and Zamfara. At the national level research found several constraints to nutrition programmes including a lack of dedicated public funding for nutrition at the national level, making many nutrition programmes reliant on donor funding. The lack of nutrition funding also affects coordination efforts, impact the National Planning Commission’s capacity to coordinate intersectoral work. At the state level, under resourced health systems which are moving towards a new structure designed to bring health care under one roof are contributing to challenges in delivering nutrition interventions. However, at the state level there are some positive signs, including increased political commitment for nutrition programmes and revitalization of State Committees on Food and Nutrition which has led to some state level funding for nutrition. The research provides an evaluation ‘baseline’ for the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) programmes and will be completed again at mid-line and at the end of the programme (2018) to examine the impact of the WINNN programme on national and state level policies influencing nutrition.