SUN Progress in Ethiopia
Chair of the National Coordinating Body, Ferew Lemma discusses progress and opportunities for the future of his country through Scaling Up Nutrition
In September 2010, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia joined the SUN Movement. At the time, Ethiopia had set up a high-level multi-stakeholder platform for nutrition comprising seven ministries. It included country representatives from United Nations agencies, bilateral donors as well as technical and research institutions. There was also a National Nutrition Programme, which provided the framework for strategic objectives and interventions to improve nutrition across relevant sectors including health, agriculture, education, water, labor and social affairs and women, children and youth affairs.
Strategic Processes for Scaling Up Nutrition
- Bringing people together
- Coherent policy and legal framework
- Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework
- Financial tracking and resource mobilization
The National Nutrition Coordination Body (NNCB) convenes nine Ministers from relevant sectors 3-monthly. It includes country representatives from UN agencies, bilateral donors and academia. It has a National Nutrition Technical Committee (NNTC). The Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (Ministry of Agriculture) convenes partners delivering emergency nutrition interventions. The National Nutrition Coordination Body is planning to expand membership and regional coordination platforms will be put in place soon.
The Nutrition Development Partner Group involves UN agencies, donors and civil society, and meets monthly. DFID and UNICEF act as donor conveners.
CSOs participate in the Nutrition Development Partner Group and engage in other relevant sector-specific platforms that relate to nutrition. On June 24 2013, the establishment of the Ethiopian Civil Society Coalition (ECSC) for Scaling Up Nutrition was heralded, in a view to galvanise efforts to alleviate the burden of malnutrition in the country. The “Health Development Army”, made up of 3 million women, is fully engaged in combating child mortality and malnutrition. The business community has its own platform through the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce. There is also a Multi-stakeholder Food Fortification Working Group that has been instrumental in setting quality standards for salt iodization and flour and oil fortification.
Ethiopia has a National Nutrition Strategy (2008). Its National Nutrition Program has recently been revised and endorsed by multiple stakeholder. A number of specific policies relating to promotion of good nutritional practices; micronutrient supplementation; nutrition support for people living with HIV/AIDS; and treatment of severe and moderate acute malnutrition are in place. The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes is in the final stage of adoption into Law. The maternity protection law foresees 90 days of maternity leave. Legislation on flour and oil fortification is in progress. An advocacy plan for scaling up nutrition is in place. Social Mobilisation and Advocacy & Communication Strategies exist and are aligned with national nutrition plans.
The Government of Ethiopia is committed to reducing the prevalence of stunting to 20% and underweight to 15% by 2020 by building on existing multi-sectoral coordination systems to accelerate the scaling up of proven nutrition interventions and monitoring progress at all levels.
There is a need to strengthen an accountability framework. The revised National Nutrition Program (NNP) provides the framework for strategic objectives and interventions across relevant sectors including health, agriculture, education, water, labour and social affairs, and women, children and youth affairs. It is a costed plan that details interventions in key sectors (food security and agriculture, water, education and social protection) and includes a logframe of activities, a CRF, a disaster risk management and a government coordination component. The M&E framework includes key indicators from relevant sectors and yearly targets for progress. Ethiopia is also advancing on the development of a capacity building framework and of sectoral scorecards.
Efforts are underway to ensure that programs in these key sectors are nutrition-sensitive and aligned but there is a need to strengthen links at the community level. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture is a pillar of the CAADP Implementation Plan and the Food Security Program derived from the National Agriculture Plan which includes social protection and focuses on 1,000 days.
Implementing the National Nutrition Plan requires budgeting and mapping of contributions from partners and by sectors as well as tracking expenditure. The country has advanced in the development of a sustainable financial tracking system which allows an estimation of the contribution of main donors to key interventions of the plan and to mobilise new partners. Financial information is available for other sectoral programs but it is not accounted for against the NNP. The challenge is to improve harmonization of financial information to ensure tracking of financial expenditures across sectors. The Government has committed to allocate additional domestic financing of USD 15 million per year to nutrition until 2020.
Last updated: September 2014