The South Sudan SUN Civil Society Alliance (CSA) was launched in 2017 with support from the Pooled Fund.
The main aim of the Pooled Fund’s support was to recruit more Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and strengthen their capacity in nutrition-sensitive and nutrition-specific interventions – such as nutrition advocacy, gender-sensitive programming, reporting, accountability and sustainability – in order to build a multi-sectoral platform for nutrition.
The Pooled Fund enabled the CSA to develop a governance and accountability structure, terms of reference and a 2018–2020 strategic plan for its membership. The CSA included nutrition-sensitive approaches, long-term capacity-building, awareness-raising, advocacy and research activities in both its governance and its strategies.
The CSA rapidly grew to 51 members – mostly national NGOs. A stronger membership base meant the CSA could collaborate more effectively with the national government and extend the CSA’s strategic plan to the sub-national and grassroots levels.
The CSA also became an active participant in the process of developing a national multi-sectoral nutrition action plan. In took less than two years for parliamentarians to commit to creating a budget line for national nutrition.
This achievement was partly attributed to the 33 parliamentarians from the committees on health, agriculture and food security who underwent training in nutrition advocacy. Four influential figures from academia, the nutrition sector and medicine acted as nutrition champions, promoting South Sudan’s nutrition objectives.
The CSA worked closely with local authorities to translate political commitments into action to combat malnutrition in all its forms. Local buy-in through community ambassadors was critical for sustainable and reliable nutrition activities.
The CSA established a solid base for the future and developed its second strategic plan, for 2020–2023. Its future plans include focusing on its donor relationships and on the goal of raising USD 1 million to implement South Sudan’s nutrition objectives.
At the grassroots level, the CSA worked with mothers’ groups, teaching them how to use the mid-upper-arm circumference method (MUAC) to detect malnutrition. The training also taught participants about core nutrition policies and how to monitor private-sector compliance.
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