Voice from the ground: what is the value added by the SUN Movement?
Interview with Faniry Hantarinivo, Manager of the Advocacy Department at Action Against Hunger, and National Vice-President of the Madagascar civil society platform for the SUN Movement, Hina
What is the role of the civil society platform for the SUN Movement in Madagascar?
The missionof Hina, Madagascar’s civil society platform for the SUN Movement, is to channel the voice of civil society in Madagascar through advocacy activities with direct or indirect impacts on nutrition; to coordinate and support action on nutrition by civil society organisations; to facilitate the use of reliable, up-to-date information on nutrition through research work; and to develop multi-level and multi-sectoral partnerships.
For development of the new multi-sectoral National Nutrition Action Plan, Hina conducted an analysis of phase 2 of the government’s national action plan, to identify the gaps and bottlenecks that prevented effective implementation of the plan, particularly in terms of integration of the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and nutrition sectors, and of multi-sectoral coordination. We have been working on a position paper for the new policy and the new national action plan. The three main focus areas proposed are: the core package of specific interventions, integration of WASH, and strengthening of coordination and governance. During the process, we have communicated our views, and those of our members, to the drafting committee. This has taken nearly a year and we have had to attend all the meetings and workshops to ensure these points are incorporated. We finally succeeded in securing a whole section on WASH in the National Nutrition Action Plan!
On the other hand, integration of nutrition into the WASH sectoral plan is proving more difficult. We have had to fight to get some mention of nutrition into the strategic plan. We are following up on this to push for our recommendations. This is doubtless due to the WASH sector being fragmented from the start. There is no dedicated ministry; it is covered by the Ministry of Water, Energy and Hydrocarbons, so WASH is just a small part of their work. Those working on WASH are not necessarily aware of this gap.
What is the value added by the SUN Movement in these negotiations?
The value added is that we have been able to take advantage of the five major platforms in the SUN Movement: private sector, researchers, funders/donors, government and civil society. We have held regular meetings to address this advocacy work together.
With respect to civil society, the SUN Movement has been able to build recognition of its role, enabling it to challenge and participate in the various forums for reflection, negotiation and discussion. We hope this will continue under the new government!
Lastly, we are also lobbying the private sector to provide funding for health and nutrition, in order to improve nutritional security.