The Civil Society Organization Nutrition Alliance (CSONA), Malawi, which launched in 2013 as a coalition of international and local NGOs, now represents the Civil Society Alliance (CSA) of Malawi as a whole.
The CSA identified ways in which support from the Pooled Fund could boost members’ and stakeholders’ participation in strengthening nutrition governance at national and local level. It was awarded a Pooled Fund grant to support the CSA and the multi-stakeholder platform in maternal and child nutrition activities, and knowledge-sharing.
The CSA, which has served as civil society’s main representative on nutrition since its launch, comprises 140 members, based in 15 of the country’s 28 districts.
With Pooled Fund support, and as a result of collaboration between the multi-stakeholder platform and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, the sub-national nutrition coordination unit assigned 4 nutritionists to each of these districts.
In total, 16 parliamentarians (9 men and 7 women) signed up as nutrition champions to promote nutrition during key policy and budgetary discussions in parliament.
The CSA was also involved in efforts to establish a SUN Business Network in Malawi in collaboration with the World Food Programme and the national government.
At national level, the CSA partnered with Save the Children and the Civil Society Agriculture Network to push for the finalization and publication of the Malawi Nutrition Policy.
The CSA also successfully lobbied the government to launch a review of the Adolescent Nutrition Strategy and the Nutrition Education and Communication Strategy, with the result that adolescent nutrition will be incorporated as a baseline for future nutrition programmes.
The CSA has also been involved in budget analysis. On completion of the 2019–2020 budget analysis on nutrition, the CSA presented its findings to donors and government leaders on the nutrition technical working group. This exercise led to great collaboration between donors and government representatives.
In line with its focus on partnership development, the CSA successfully raised over USD 98,700 from the Graca Machel Trust and Save the Children, among others. Together, they covered financial gaps for local-level activities. These funds are being used to sustain sub-national engagement in nutrition.
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