The SUN Civil Society Alliance (CSA) of Kenya was officially launched in 2014. The CSA comprises 63 members and is present in 38 of Kenya’s 47 counties.
Good internal coordination and strong relationships with other stakeholders – including government ministries, regional economic blocs and UNICEF – are key to the CSA’s successful decentralization of the nutrition strategy and coordination.
There was a strong need for advocacy and lobbying because of the increased availability of public funding for nutrition programmes, as well as for a long-term malnutrition-prevention strategy.
Since the launch of the Pooled Fund project, the CSA and the SUN Business Network in Kenya have improved their collaboration. They have jointly implemented advocacy initiatives and capacity-building exercises for civil society and private business alike.
With Pooled Fund support, the CSA established a youth chapter comprising 38 youth groups from across Kenya. The CSA was also setting up a resource-mobilization sub-committee.
In addition, the CSA selected six of Kenya’s most vulnerable counties to pilot sub-national nutrition activities and the CSA provided technical and financial support to develop six County Nutrition Action Plans (CNAPs).
The CSA carried out extensive advocacy through 15 nutrition champions at both national and county level, engaging with two county assemblies and the first ladies of six counties. This resulted in significant progress. Ten counties managed to secure financial commitments totalling USD 3.52 million over three years. Finally, two target counties were involved in negotiations to secure up to USD 100,000 each for nutrition.
The CSA was invited to work with the government on accountability efforts to monitor regional and national commitments to scale up nutrition in Kenya. At sub-national level, the CSA worked with the government on institutional accountability by developing specific monitoring and evaluation tools and finance- and resource-tracking tools.
The implementation of the CNAPs generated disaggregated data, which was used to monitor key national health and nutrition indicators and to inform the development of specific county-level integrated development plans.
Thanks partly to the CSA’s presence in the community, stakeholders have improved the local coordination of national priorities, such as community health services, breastfeeding in the workplace and nutrition action plans.
The CSA responded to the Pooled Fund’s focus on gender mainstreaming and creating equal opportunities for women, with the result that 71% of CSA members are women. Women have been actively engaged in advocacy, as well as in providing input and feedback to the government about gender issues in the development of nutrition plan documents.
The CSA also used the Pooled Fund grant to better include organizations and associations for people with disabilities and youth organizations.
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