Formally created in 2017, the SUN Civil Society Alliance (CSA) Philippines, or SUNCSAPH, is run by the Philippine Coalition of Advocates for Nutrition Security (PHILCAN). As the steering body, PHILCAN coordinates efforts by civil society actors to improve nutrition programmes and policies in the country.
While nutrition-specific programmes are run through the health ministry, nutrition-sensitive programmes lag behind in agencies that are not focused on health. It became apparent that these agencies lacked the knowledge and/or capacity to design and implement a truly multi-sectoral nutrition plan. The system of decentralized government also hampered the adoption of nutrition programming at local level.
The SUNCSAPH and PHILCAN nutrition network brought food security and nutrition organizations together and the Pooled Fund project provided a range of benefits, such as the availability of sufficient resources, the identification of areas of convergence and mechanisms to support engagement with the government.
The CSA provided technical assistance on nutrition-sensitive community food production to the agriculture ministry’s community vegetable gardening programme. The project aims to increase food security in urban and rural areas through improved local sources of quality and affordable food. The project’s target group is nutritionally vulnerable community members, such as pregnant and lactating women, children under five and the elderly.
The CSA also provided technical assistance during the drafting of various policies, including the education ministry’s guidelines on an integrated school nutrition model, the joint memorandum circular on the implementation of the national dietary supplementation programme with nutrition-sensitive actions, and a technical guide on food production in child development centres.
A total of 1,154 women and 62 men received training in either nutrition, kitchen gardening, food production or household financial management, thanks to a group of CSA member organizations. The CSA members also advocated for nutrition-sensitive activities, such as community food gardens and nutrition education.
The CSA is represented on the Technical Working Group on Nutrition-sensitive Programs. It provides guidance and feedback, and steers various government agencies to invest and integrate nutrition into their plans. At sub-national level, CSA members are actively involved in the regional nutrition committees, where implementation plans are designed and agreed upon.
The CSA also considered potential partnerships with SUN-supporting UN agencies – for example, UNICEF and the World Food Programme – and private sector partners.
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