The SUN Civil Society Alliance (CSA) in Zambia – the Zambia Civil Society Scaling up Nutrition Alliance (CSO-SUN Alliance) – was founded in 2012 and has engaged 75 members of local and international Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) since it was established.

The CSO-SUN Alliance sought support from the Pooled Fund in order to advocate for increased nutrition financing. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CSA continued to lobby for a systems-based approach to response and recovery. With the Pooled Fund grant, the CSA helped achieve food security for vulnerable people and improved their access to other essential services.


  • 22 new members joined the CSA
  • the CSA lobbied for gender inclusivity in 26 sub-national nutrition plans
  • the CSA set up a platform for young people to discuss food-related issues

Key results and impact

The Pooled Fund enabled the CSA to target and develop strategies to expand membership and improve the quality of its engagement. With Pooled Fund support, the CSO-SUN Alliance added another 22 member organizations. The membership consists of 68% national NGOs and 32% international NGOs operating at both national and sub-national level.

The CSA played a catalytic role in the development of the 2017–2021 National Food and Nutrition Strategy Plan (NFNSP) by ensuring a high level of participation throughout the process. The CSA worked with parliamentarians, policy-makers and key government sectors, including agriculture, health, education and finance. In addition, the CSA contributed to the National Financing Guide by lobbying for gender inclusivity in 26 sub-national nutrition plans.

The CSA also played a key role in resource mobilization, working with the government to advocate for USD 10 million for national nutrition actions, and by bringing together donors from DFID and USAID. The CSA was actively engaged in initiatives aimed at making nutrition a political priority through its social mobilization, advocacy and communications activities.

Recognizing that there will be no sustainable improvements in nutrition unless women and girls are empowered as agents of change, the CSA focused on gender mainstreaming in the media and in its advocacy work.

The CSO-SUN Alliance, in partnership with Global Citizen and ActionAid, created a platform for young people to express themselves on the issues they face related to food and their role in the food system. The platform has resulted in the creation of a national youth network on SDGs, which aims to advance nutrition-related matters.

The CSA made extensive use of COVID-19 response opportunities to launch a national media campaign on the importance of good nutrition in recovering from the illness.