Capacity building for the media puts nutrition onto the news agenda in Ethiopia

ECSC-SUN’s efforts to raise media awareness were inspired by SUN CSN’s learning exchange programme. Last year, they were one of nine civil society alliances (CSAs) that participated in the Africa Learning Route exchange visit to Rwanda, which took place in November 2016.

One of the examples of best practice showcased during the Rwanda visit was a powerful example of the effectiveness of behaviour change communications and use of the media to channel key nutrition messages. At the end of the learning route, all participating CSAs developed Innovation Plans based on their learning and reflection on approaches could be replicated in their own countries. Inspired by their Rwanda experience, ECSC-SUN decided to focus its Innovation Plan on nutrition-related training for media professionals.


Performance contracts piloted in Tanzania

As a result of the project, the accountability and capacity of the DNSC has been increased and nutrition has been integrated into the regional development plan.

In the Kisumba ward, this had led to a nutrition framework and plan being established and 21 key stakeholders have signed resolutions to implement the plan within a short timeframe. These commitments bind the Ward Development Committee, District Council and Community Economic Empowerment and Legal Support and set out which of the three has to fulfil the agreed obligations. These resolutions are the first step to agreeing legally binding performance contracts – and the regional government has agreed that they are needed and will be established.

National buy-in for performance contracts

At a national level, PANITA hope that the Vice President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Her Excellency Samia Suluhu, will sign the performance contract covering all nutrition interventions and activities with all regional commissioners during the National Summit on Food Fortification. At the time of writing, the President’s Office Regional Administrative and Local government are finalising the contracts.


‘Eat what you grow’ changes nutrition beliefs and behaviour in Sierra Leone

Inspired by participation in SUN CSN’s Learning Route in Rwanda, SUNI-CSP Sierra Leone has changed beliefs and behaviour on nutrition in one rural community.

Vulnerable farmers in a community in northern Sierra Leone are starting to consume some of their own produce and change key nutrition habits as a result of a project inspired by SUN CSN’s learning exchange programme.

In November 2016, Sierra Leone’s Scaling Up Nutrition and Immunisation – Civil Society Platform (SUNI-CSP) was one of nine national civil society alliances (CSAs) that participated in the week-long Africa Learning Route exchange visit to Rwanda.


Eat what you grow – innovation plan Sierra Leone SUNICSP-SL

Awarded by the SUN CS Innovation Plan competition SUNI CSP-SL is implementing the “Eat What You Grow” project.

Through effective multi-stakeholder collaboration among local CSOs, authorities, farmers, religious leaders etc, SUNI CSP-SL is tackling the specific causes of malnutrition in the district, and undertake awareness, social mobilisation and communication activities to promote a behavioural change of the population. Training selected “champions” and “master farmers” is also be part of the strategy, in order to ensure sustainability and set the basis for scaling up the activities to other districts.

Following an initial assessment which involved all local stakeholders (gov, ngo, community), SUNI CSP-SL identified the specific causes, dynamics and dimension of the problem and agreed on key targeted population, type of mobilization/activities needed.

Food taboos have been also discussed during the assessment to have a complete understanding of the nutrition behavioural habits (decision are not taken only based on food accessibility).

The project tackled some of the food taboos identified, for example:
• Pregnant women should not eat plantain for fear that the penis of the male child will be large
• Lactating mothers in the first forty days after childbirth should not eat vegetables, palm oil,
fish, meat etc. ( because it is not good for the baby)
• Children should not eat banana, fish, egg or meat

Excellent mobilization and training has been conducted (video documentary here), to mainstream correct health and nutrition practices and to foster local champions who will propagate and continue advocating for the correct practices, addressing taboos, habits and interfacing with local stakeholders.

Expected result: Targeted vulnerable groups in Koinadugu district will change their dietary habits and increase their consumption of nutritious, locally-produced foods. The changes will result in an improvement in their nutritional status. Targeted beneficiaries: approximately 2,000 people in Koinadugu, Northern District of Sierra Leone.

Link to external content

External content

Zimbabwe – radio interview – invest in nutrition

A brief radio interview to the Zimbabwe SUN Civil Society Alliance. In which they discuss gaps and opportunities to make the country healthier and wealthier by investing in nutrition.