By Lorraine Anyango
Members of the Kisumu Multi-Sectoral Nutrition (MSN) coordinating platform met to review the quarter 111 nutrition scorecard and the financial tracking tool.
During the meeting, the team aligned its annual work plan 2023/24 with the nutrition priorities in chapter four of the CIDP-III.
The annual work plan identifies gaps in nutrition and food security and recommends specific interventions outlining the target number of households to be reached and a budget to meet the recommendation as well as who bears the financial responsibility for the intervention.
Under Agriculture, the joint MSN plan has prioritized interventions towards post-harvest loss and farm losses through pests and diseases, which include the establishment of post-harvest infrastructure such as cold storage, solar driers, and procurement of aflatoxin test kits.
The above intervention will lead to increased shelf life for agricultural products as well as increased food available at the household level.
Under education, the team seeks to address the gaps in inadequate support for school feeding programs as well as the provision of diversified diets for the learners, with a proposed strategy of mobilizing funds from the government as well as partners.
The expected outcome is improving health and nutrition in the number of schools with feeding programs.
The workshop was graced by Mrs Mildred Irungu from USAID Kenya who was accompanied by Mr. Kennedy Onchuru from USAID East Africa and Ms. Joyce Nyaboga of USAID’s Advancing Nutrition Capacity Strengthening Advisor.
The team called on the MSN stakeholder departments to ensure that their targets are achievable, specific, and realistic.
The MSN scorecard is a step beyond Monitoring and Evaluation (M& E) to incorporate an online template that can visually display the progress on nutrition indicators.
The MSN-score card brings a paradigm shift as it enhances accountability and drives the action as far as nutrition is concerned, in the incorporated MSN stakeholders.
The scorecard is a threshold for standardization and its color codes make performance interpretation easier as well as tracking of previous performance. In the recent past, it’s only the health department that has had several scorecards in place.
The MSN scorecard is an open portal that can be easily accessed by decision-makers as well as donors in the field of nutrition.
It borrows a lot from the existing health scorecards that include Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health (RMNCAH), NVIP which is specific to immunization, community, and malaria.
The RMNCH is a management tool that is web-based customizable, dynamic management tool for the Ministry of Health. The online tool captures information and automatically produces reports for accountability and action The reports are captured in terms of calendar year quarters.
With funding USAID Advancing Nutrition, members of the MSN had undertaken training on the use the score cards in partnership with African Malaria Alliance (ALMA) which has been involved in keeping malaria high on policy and political agenda and promoting collective action on policy priorities
The scorecards have enabled the MSN teams to hold data review meetings, track implementation progress, and access evidence-based advocacy tools as well as ease the development of facility information corners and present best practices whenever called upon.
Globally nutrition scorecards have been defined as an accountability tool for tracking the progress of growth commitments made by nations to see who has delivered on their promises to prevent malnutrition and save lives (Global Nutrition Report 2015).
The Kenya nutrition scorecard was developed in 2019 and launched in 2020. It comprises 13 national indicators and 17 subnational indicators across 6 categories largely nutrition-specific.
So far, it has been decentralized to 32 counties, some of which have developed county action plans to enhance scorecard use. Even so, implementation has not been optimal.