SUN Movement delivering in Kenya
Interview with Lucy Murage – Regional Advisor for Adolescents’ and Women’s health & Nutrition for Nutrition International
What is the added value of the SUN Movement in your work?
For example, Kenya has adopted a multi-stakeholder approach to nutrition. This has been made possible by the SUN Movement. There are several advantages of being a member of the SUN Movement. First, it gives nutrition more weight, so to speak. Since the Focal Point sits within the government; it places the responsibility of delivering health and nutrition within the government. Then, having SUN processes has also ensured partners are better coordinated. It helped the country come up with a multi-stakeholder action plan where all areas are reflected. Thanks to SUN, all partners strived to agree on a Common Result Framework to work with. The plan is costed, and a monitoring system has been put in place. Regular meetings are held to ensure we are all working towards the realisation of SUN’s vision.
What results can be attributed to this approach, according to you?
Kenya is now making progress towards meeting World Health Assembly (WHA) targets: the country’s breastfeeding rate is increasing, there is some reduction in stunting and we are working towards reducing anemia levels in adolescent girls and women of reproductive age. This wouldn’t have been possible without the kind of coordination that the SUN Movement brings. Coordination brings about efficiency, ensures that resources are distributed and used in efficient ways and that donors know where to focus their attention. Otherwise, oftentimes, development partners come with their own agenda and contribute to the fragmentation of resources. The it becomes chaotic. But having the coordination mechanism sitting within government, it ensures that when development partners come on board, they must be able to design and implement their programs in accordance with the Common Results Framework and that they are contributing to the overall objective.
Another ripple effect of this approach is that is has helped empower civil society. In Africa, there are many competing priorities, and it is somewhat easy for governments to get by with underachieved commitments and targets… Having civil society at the table helps hold governments accountable.