Zambian civil society organisations engage the media to increase nutrition advocacy coverage
The media are critical in influencing the well-being of communities. Advocacy campaigns and visibility, are vital to engage the media in educating the public and raising awareness on the importance of nutrition, as well as its long-term effects. The media can use its collective power to lead and mobilize social actions for nutrition. Media engagement has been key to the successful advocacy work the Civil Society Organisation Scaling up Nutrition Zambia (CSO SUN) has been doing.
“The media has the power to influence decision. The media sparks issues that get politicians attention. The more attention the topic gets, the higher it gets the attention of authorities,” – Mathews Mhuru, Country Head CSO-SUN, Zambia
CSO-SUN has been working with HIVOS (a development aid organisation), Nutrition Association in Zambia and the National Food and Nutrition Commission to conduct bi-annual media training sessions focusing on increased and accurate reporting on nutrition specific issues. Training sessions to date include:
- The Nutrition situation in Zambia
- Nutrition and National Development
- Actions needed by government and other stakeholders. The role of the Media in Nutrition Advocacy and Media Action Plans.
The trainings gather representatives from radio, TV and print. The sessions present a platform for networking, building media friendly advocacy campaigns, and capacity and skills development. The impact is a shift in thinking about nutrition. SUN CSOs are becoming a trusted source of information for journalists and this is a window of opportunity to educate communities and drive regional and global nutrition targets towards #ZeroHunger.