Cross Learning on Nutrition Advocacy moves from Nigeria to Kenya!!!
CS-SUNN is currently providing technical assistance to Scaling Up Nutrition Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) in Kenya on nutrition advocacy for improved nutrition outcomes in the country. Kenya, a beneficiary of CS-SUNN’s success strategies in nutrition advocacy is ‘on course’ to meet four targets for Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition (MIYCN) according to the 2021 Global Nutrition Report, but not on course towards achieving the target of reducing anaemia among women of reproductive age (28.7% of women aged 15 to 49 years are affected- GNR 2021). This intervention in Kenya by CS-SUNN, comes on the heels of the remarkable achievements recorded from the Partnership for Improving Nigerian Nutrition Systems (PINNS 1.0) project and approval by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) to replicate gains from PINNS 1.0 and cross-learn experiences with CSAs in Kenya for better nutrition outcomes.
The PINNS 2.0 project, one of CS-SUNN’s current projects, is a three years investment supported by the BMGF; designed to strengthen existing nutrition multi structures and systems to be more Result-oriented, Effective, Serviceable, Efficient, and Transparent. The intervention area four of the project focuses on strengthening the capacity of CSAs in Nigeria and some African countries like Kenya to engage and hold government accountable for improved nutrition sustainably.
The Inaugural Meeting:
CS-SUNN from 25th-30th July 2022 built the capacity of 20 select CSOs under the SUN CSA in Hurlingham, Kenya on Nutrition Advocacy. The five-day training focused on budget and policy advocacy and jointly identified likely areas of support that will contribute to stronger CSAs in both countries. It captured theory and practical sessions cutting across Nutrition Basics, Advocacy skills, Leadership Basics for advocacy, Translation of Research to Action, Budget Advocacy basics, Change agency, Resource mobilization and Proposal writing. A key cross-learning session focused on comparison of nutrition coordination systems and structures based on policy and plans in both countries and experience sharing and learning from Nigeria for a stronger advocacy engagement in Kenya. Key outcome from these engagements is a stronger Kenya CSA with strategies in place for effective policy and budget advocacy. CS-SUNN’s Steering Committee Co-Chair, Sodangi Chindo, Executive Secretary, Mr. Sunday Okoronkwo and Project Assistant, Kunle Ishola who facilitated the sessions further held strategic meetings with the SUN Focal Point, Chair SUN CSA Board, Isiolo Country Chapter and others based on identified gaps and to move the nutrition agenda in Kenya forward.
Testimonials from Kenyans:
Beneficiaries in Kenya have garnered knowledge, understood the strategies for influencing the Kenyan decision-making space for nutrition policy and funding, designed social actions among others towards stronger CSA movement for improved nutrition in Kenya. Maureen Muketha from GAIN in Kenya says “the Budget advocacy session is a great eye opener for us even as we are charged to dig deep into the nutrition budget in Kenya and its analysis for advocacy engagement with our stakeholders”.
“From the resource mobilization session, I do understand now that I have to study donors’ cycle so as to know the appropriate time for preparation and engagement with them for funding”, added Lynette Ouma of Organization of African Youth, Kenya.
The SUN CSA National Coordinator in Kenya, Edgar Okoth Onyago says “This particular workshop is coming so handy for the SUN CSA as we would be having the country’s elections in few days after which we can effectively put to practice what we learnt as SUN CSA in Kenya. Going forward, we shall cascade this training to other county members of the SUN CSA for better engagement with the stakeholders at the county levels”.
The Technical Assistance provided by CS-SUNN from the initial engagement through experiential, practical and technical knowledge sharing has led to some best practices which the Kenya SUN CSA have adopted for their growth and sustainability and recorded the following achievements:
- Institutional growth and strengthening;
Initiation of some best practices that would aid institutional growth of the alliance; for example, opening of an the Kenyan CSA account, putting in place some internal controls, updating their website – http://www.suncsakenya,org/ and are in the process of reviewing their constitution for better coordination of the alliance, using CS-SUNN’s constitution and governing manual as reference for the review. Creation of a coordination platform for quarterly all SUN network meetings where priorities are set and Kenya SUN CSA performance reviewed .
- Expansion and recruitment of new SUN CSA members
Following CS-SUNN’s TA, more counties are getting to be aware of the existence of the SUN movement in Kenya and its positioning for evidence-based advocacy engagements even from the counties and sub-counties. Infact, the spread of the SUN movement in Kenya moved from 74 to 108 with additional 34 new members, a growth that occurred in 6 months.
- Better Funding for Nutrition in Kenya: Due to the national CSA’s engagement and support to In Isiolo county chapter, there was an increase in allocation for nutrition from 36million KSH to 90 million KSH for year 2022/2023.
CS-SUNN supported the SUN CSA in Kenya to develop an operational one-year work plan and would continue to monitor implementation, evaluate successes on a quarterly basis and follow up on the identified gaps within the coordination structure towards a change in nutrition narratives for Kenya through Technical Assistance and support.
The Kenya SUN CSA works to empower the youth and women at community level on demand for nutritious foods. The CSA has a membership of 108 civil society organizations and a youth chapter of 38 youth groups with 1,054 members