Role of communication and advocacy in scaling up nutrition: lessons and plans from the Zambian experience
In the Republic of Zambia, children under five years of age have high levels of stunting (40%) and wasting (6%), and high levels of micronutrient malnutrition. Over the years, there has also been an increase in overweight/obesity, affecting an estimated 23% of women.
Zambia joined the SUN Movement in 2010 and the government is determined to address malnutrition from a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder perspective. The SUN framework in Zambia is designed so that the National Food and Nutrition Commission, the statutory body charged with responsibility to coordinate action on nutrition in Zambia under the Ministry of Health, is at the centre of efforts to scale up nutrition. This houses the SUN Focal Point (SUN FP). The SUN FP coordinates action across other SUN networks, including academia, UN and business and civil society networks. As a result, for the first time, the government, civil society, the private sector and cooperating partners are all collectively engaged in fighting malnutrition. This article provides an overview of the role of communication and advocacy contributions of the Civil Society SUN (CS-SUN) Alliance in Zambia.
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The Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) and support to the SUN Movement
ENN is a UK registered charity which was set up to improve practice and strengthen the institutional memory of agencies involved in the emergency food and nutrition sectors. ENN focuses on communities in crisis, typically humanitarian emergencies. ENN enables nutrition networking and learning to build the evidence base for nutrition programming in three ways:
- Field Exchange (FEX), an online and print publication on nutrition and food security in emergencies and high burden contexts. Field Exchange is printed three times per year.
- Nutrition Exchange (NEX), is an online publication of short, easy to read articles on nutrition programme experiences and learning. Nutrition is summarised information from the flagship publication, Field Exchange.
- en-net, a free and open resource that helps practitioners access technical advice for operational challenges through the online forum. A specific area for SUN en-net was launched in 2015. Visit SUN en-net ►
ENN is part of the DFID funded Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) programme under which ENN is providing knowledge management services to the SUN Movement in Phase Two (2016-2020). ENN is focused on capturing, curating and disseminating knowledge and learning about nutrition scale up with a focus on high burden and fragile and conflict affected states. Three regional specialists and a Knowledge Management Coordinator are working with country level SUN actors (government, UN, donors, civil society, business and academia) to capture what is being learnt about the scale up of nutrition specific and sensitive activities.