SUN Progress in TanzaniaDirector, Department of Coordination of Government Business in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mr. Obey Assery-Nkya, discusses progress made and opportunities for the future of his country through scaling up nutrition.
On 5 June 2011, the United Republic of Tanzania joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from HE Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the Prime Minister. At the time, Tanzania had established the High-Level Steering Committee for Nutrition. It is convened in the Prime Minister’s Office and involves multiple ministries and stakeholders. Tanzania has also established the Parliamentarian Group on Nutrition who had an action plan for advocating for nutrition in their parliamentary activities. Tanzania had also joined the UN REACH Partnership Initiative.
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
There is high-level political attention to nutrition in Tanzania. President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete participates in the SUN Movement Lead Group. A High Level Steering Committee on Nutrition (HLSCN), convened by the Prime Minister’s Office, brings together permanent secretaries from nine relevant sectors, development partners, UN agencies, CSOs, university and business. A multi-sector Nutrition Technical Working Group (NTWG) chaired by the director of the Tanzanian Food and Nutrition Centre (TFNC) supports the HLSCN. Development partners, UN agencies and Civil Society are fully engaged in scaling up nutrition efforts, participate in the multi-stakeholder platform (MSP) and have established their own coordination mechanisms. The business community engages in the SUN Movement through the National Food Fortification Alliance and has recently explored opportunities for improved contribution to nutrition through engagement in different sectors.
Dialogue with Parliament has recently been initiated aiming to include nutrition in the programmes of political parties. The Prime Minister is regularly updated on the ongoing activities of the MSP and uses to include nutrition issues in his speeches in the Parliament. Formal nutrition governance structures are in place and membership is clear. The HLSCN meets at least twice a year, while the NTWG does it every month.. A feedback mechanism between national and sub-national nutrition processes exists through the articulation of the Prime Minister’s Office, regional administrations and local governments.
Tanzania is in the final process of review of its National Food and Nutrition Policy. The National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) and Plan is also being updated. Nutrition is mainstreamed in several sector policies, strategies and programmes (i.e. the Tanzania Agricultural Investment Plan, the Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF’s) or the Productive Social Safety Net, etc.). However, advocacy needs to continue to ensure incorporation into all nutrition sensitive policies, strategies, plans and legal frameworks, discuss their coherence in the MSP and broaden political support. More needs to be done especially in the nine sector Ministries that make part of the High Level Steering Committee as well as with the policies and programmes of the MSP network members.
Legislation on Breastmilk Substitutes, maternity leave, salt iodation and food fortification are in place. Policy dissemination should go hand in hand with advocacy to ensure operationalization and currently does not reach the public adequately and audiences would need to be broadened.
The country is on track in aligning programs to national nutrition-relevant policies but efforts need to be sustained as new programmes are developed. The National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) has been disseminated with UN support and district level alignment has started. There is a draft Common Results Framework/NNS-IP and implementation agreement which is reflected in Government programmes, but needs to be better understood and used by SUN MSP networks. It is being used within government at the district council level but again it is not fully known by the MSP networks. The Government is starting to organize the implementation of the CRF, but task allocation and coordination of implementation needs to be further developed. Some NGOs are using the NNS-IP as their M&E framework. Guidance of implementation is starting from within the Tanzanian Food and Nutrition Centre. Efforts are underway to measuring coverage of nutrition interventions.
Tanzania is making progress in assessing financial feasibility. A Nutrition Public Expenditure Review (PER) was conducted last year and showed that although a nutrition budget code was established, budget allocation is low and not always used for nutrition activities. The PER has been useful to identify coverage and map funding gaps. Donors and NGOs have codes to track expenditures within their own organizations. The process of tracking,reporting and sharing has not occurred yet. However, the Government has put in place a robust and transparent mechanism to trace finances for all sectors at all levels, in which nutrition is mainstreamed. There is an overall increase in nutrition funding, most coming from donors. Health, agriculture and other sector budgets that contribute to nutrition are increasing. Nutrition is part of the national budget. This process is still on going as there are still many gaps.
Last updated: September 2014