The goal to achieve a free malnutrition county by 2025 must be supported by well thought strategies. The Kenya Nutrition Advocacy, Communication, and Social Mobilization (ACSM) Strategy 2016-2020 achieved some results, the current one, 2022- 2027, seeks to address gaps of the former. To get a grip on this goal, Kisumu County is customizing the document.
By Lorraine Anyango.
A multi-sectoral approach to solving the malnutrition problem is increasingly becoming a force now, as officers from Kisumu County were held up in a two-day writing workshop, they penned the Kisumu County Nutrition ACSM 2022- 2027.
The team was gleaning from the review of the former Nutrition ACSM strategy which is informing the current document having identified gaps in data collection and recommended a way to collect data and information on Nutrition ACSM to support monitoring and evaluation of strategy performance.
Once done, the Kisumu MSN will use this document to push for an increase in financial allocation to support nutrition interventions in the country, pushing for a nutrition vote head across MSN sectors to aid in allocating finances for nutrition and increasing human resources to support nutrition activities.
This document will be used to anchor nutrition in all government sectors working plans, support the development of the M& E framework for nutrition advocacy, support the development of advocacy information data collecting told, and support capacity building on nutrition advocacy .
The strategy being customized includes proper communication and dissemination plans for the strategy so that users are aware of it as well as clear direction and guidance on communication and messaging
The former National ACSM lacked a dedicated nutrition feedback system, unclear messaging for a different audience, lack of clarity, or dedicated actions to build on resilience programming and advocacy.
Gaps in nutrition financial tracking tools and capacity-building efforts yet to reach a vast majority of nutrition workers were also identified with the previous ACSM.
“This new document also ensures that the Nutrition ACSM will harness the power of private sector engagement to sustain gains made by the existing MSN coordination platforms.” Ms. Njeri Kimere, Nutrition Specific Advisor, USAID Advancing Nutrition.
The workshop was supported by USAID Advancing Nutrition Program .
The strategy being customized has four major objectives which include strengthening effective and responsive leadership and governance for nutrition at all sectors and levels.
The second is strengthening institutions and systems to provide quality and responsive nutrition services across sectors. The third is to empower communities to demand, adopt and utilize desired nutrition behaviors and quality services.
And the last objective is to increase nutrition budgetary allocation, financial accountability, and management across sectors at national and county levels.
The strategy aims at catalyzing the adoption and implementation of the country’s nutrition legal frameworks and guidelines as well as proposes actions, tools, and channels to be used by the different sectors and stakeholders towards synergizing their efforts.
The purpose of the strategy also is to present coordination mechanisms between the second levels of governance and other stakeholders including the Nutrition Inter-Agency Coordination Committee (NICC), Nutrition Advocacy and Coordination Technical Working Group, and SUN networks Nutrition Advocacy and Communication Thematic group
The team is customizing the Kenya Nutrition ACSM 2022- 2027 scheduled to be launched during an upcoming nutrition conference in Nairobi next month.
Once drafting is done, a validation exercise will be carried out, then alignment to capture comments after validation, Proofreading and editing will follow then designing and approvals of the document will be done.
Printing will be the next step then launching after which the document will be disseminated for adoption.
Members participating in this writing workshop are drawn from Health, Education, Agriculture, and social protection department.