by Lorraine Anyango
The Kisumu Multi-Sectoral Nutrition (MSN) team has gone a step beyond Monitoring and Evaluation (M& E) to incorporate an online scorecard that can visually display the progress of an issue.
The MSN-score card brings a paradigm shift as it will enhance accountability and drives the action as far as nutrition is concerned, not just in the health department, but in the nutrition work carried out by other departments as well.
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.
With the introduction of an MSN-score card, departments such as Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries, Education, Social protection as well as civil societies can now track their progress from an open portal that can be easily accessed by decision-makers as well as donors in the field of nutrition.
Nutrition is a cross-cutting issue, which doesn’t not only concern the health department, other departments must play their role once every department takes account of nutrition in all efforts a lot more will be achieved.
It will borrow 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 a 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 from USAID, through Save the children international, currently implementing Advancing Nutrition Program, county staff as well as civil societies in Kisumu are currently undertaking training on the use the score cards.
The training has been done 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
ALMA 2030 score card, targets malaria elimination annually • It also supports countries in the development and use of country scorecard management tools (malaria, RMNCAH, NTDs, nutrition, and community), identifying and sharing lessons for effective implementation of national programmers and End Malaria Councils and End Malaria Funds.
The three days capacity building training seeks to Introduce the Nutrition and RMNCAH scorecards to Kisumu County Health team and their use in the web platform and scorecard hub.
The workshop seeks further to build the capacity of the county MSN team on scorecard utilization through hands-on analysis of the Kisumu County Nutrition and RMNCAH scorecards and generation of actions and the development of a road map to support the use of the Nutrition and RMNCAH scorecard in Kisumu County.
With the scorecards in place, MSN teams will also be able 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.
The Chief officer for Agriculture and Livestock, Dr. Paul Omanga who opened the workshop officially thanked Save the Children for the work they have carried out in Kisumu since the inception of the Advancing Nutrition program.
The CEC member for Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries Mr. Gilchrist Okuom while giving his remarks later, said that the county places high importance on the Mult- Sectoral Nutrition work currently being undertaken in Kisumu County.
“You found us in silos, now we are a family working together to address matters of nutrition within our county.” Mr. Okuom said.
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.