The SUN Civil Society Alliance in Myanmar (SUN CSA Myanmar) launched in 2015 with support from Save the Children. Its stated aim is to bring about sustained public, political and financial commitment and action to effectively address undernutrition in Myanmar.
The CSA brings together a diverse range of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to ensure a common voice is given to small, independent, regional and national organizations that further the strategic objectives of the SUN Movement.
With support from the Pooled Fund, the CSA strengthened its members’ capacities, enabling them to contribute to the development of a National Plan of Action on Nutrition at both national and sub-national levels. As these sub-national nutrition plans and strategies were developed, it was important to engage with local communities and CSOs.
Save the Children, which hosts the SUN CSA secretariat, increased its efforts – with Pooled Fund support – to strengthen CSOs’ capacities, enabling them to take part in advocacy, policy and programmatic discussions. They were also better able to take part in national and sub-national forums by engaging with decision-makers and the media.
Limited media coverage on nutrition had been identified as a barrier to ensuring that nutrition was treated as a development priority. Specifically, with regard to breastfeeding, there was a lack of monitoring and enforcement of national legislation on the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and maternity protection legislation. The Pooled Fund grant enabled Save the Children to strengthen its advocacy work to protect and promote breastfeeding. The funded project also addressed other nutrition-related advocacy priorities identified by the CSA.
The CSA addressed gaps by engaging with national-level decision-makers, developing and mentoring a network of champions, and building the capacity of grassroots organizations and community members to speak up about nutrition issues.
As a result of the CSA’s stakeholder engagement, the National Nutrition Centre invited the CSA’s secretariat team to join the secretariat team of the Myanmar Nutrition Technical Network.
With Pooled Fund support, the CSA worked with the Myanmar Journalism Institute to organize a workshop on nutrition and food security advocacy for 18 journalists (14 men and 4 women) from across the country. The attendees learned how to write nutrition-focused articles, paving the way for future engagement with the media on nutrition issues.
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