SUN Movement Pooled Fund success story in Nepal
Harnessing national reforms to advance nutrition: a SUN Movement Pooled Fund success story in Nepal As the fifth country to join the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has continuously shown its commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms…
Harnessing national reforms to advance nutrition:
a SUN Movement Pooled Fund success story in Nepal
As the fifth country to join the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal has continuously shown its commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms since May 2011. The South Asian Infant Feeding Research Network (SAIFRN-Nepal), one of the pillar organisations of the Nepalese Civil Society Alliance (CSA), is harnessing Nepal’s national administrative reforms to scale up nutrition in key regions of the country with support of the SUN Movement Pooled Fund. Nepal recently transformed from a centrally controlled unitary political and administrative system to a federal structure. This means that local governments have greater constitutional power to develop policies and generate their own resources through taxation and revenue systems.
With the new decentralized powers on policies and budgets in place, it became important to simultaneously strengthen local decision-maker’s capacity on nutrition issues.
With the support of the Pooled Fund grant, the SAIFRN team and its CSA partners are promoting engagement of all stakeholders in the implementation of the national Multi – Sector Nutrition Plan II, and strengthening the capacity of local governments in organizing context-specific nutrition activities with immediate results for the target communities. The project team is concentrating its efforts in Provinces 2 and 6 (Surket and Janakpur). The project team selected these two provinces for their unique development challenges and above-average stunting rates.
Besides the development of a number of tools to guide advocacy, nutrition situation analysis, and resource allocation at rural municipality level , SAIFRN is also organising trainings for local Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), to advise them on how to better integrate climate-based nutrition and food security, increase the coverage of nutrition-sensitive activities in Rural Municipalities, as well as support “Mothers Group Meetings”.
At one of these mothers group meetings in Bhattekari, a village in the Barahatal Rural Municipality in Surkhet, Liaison and Capacity Building Officer Sailendra Bista, noticed that most mothers favoured instant noodles as food for their children instead of more nutritious alternatives. After discussing the possibility to produce locally nutritious foods, Bista noticed deeper issues emerging, such as the water shortages that the village was experiencing.
Supported by SAIFRN, mothers groups were then able to discuss with local leaders more sustainable solutions for all segments of the community to access nutritious food. These solutions included irrigation facilities for kitchen gardens and vegetable farms.
SAIFRN’s Pooled Fund activities benefited Manju BK, a 25-year-old community health worker in the Surkhet province and mother of three children. Although she is a breastfeeding mother herself, Manju was not aware of the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding. After a lesson in a SAIFRN-supported Mother’s Group Meeting, Manju will now be able to integrate the new knowledge into her daily life and into her community. This is only one small achievement as Manju stated, “The struggle is still on!”
Thanks to SAIFRN and to support from the SUN Movement Pooled Fund, the Civil Society in Nepal is harnessing the country’s administrative reforms to advance the Nepal’s committed to achieving SDG2 and eliminating all forms of malnutrition by 2030.
If you would like to know more about the SUN Movement Pooled Fund and its projects, please follow this link.