Country updates

REACH continues to play a catalytic role in nutrition governance processes, including multi-sectoral nutrition planning
28 February 2016

Building on the momentum of Niger's new national nutrition policy, REACH continued to support the High Commission of the 3N Initiative (les Nigériens nourrissent les Nigériens) in galvanizing country actors for the development of the new multi-sectoral action plan. The plan seeks to operationalize the new nutrition policy, and ultimately, spearhead action towards the country's nutrition targets. To this end, REACH facilitators have worked steadfastly with the focal points from UN partner agencies (FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO), to harmonize UN contributions and leverage the technical expertise of the respective UN agencies, enriching the process.

The facilitators carried out a range of functions, including support with the organization of a three-day workshop in February 2016, where multiple stakeholders gathered to start drafting the multi-sectoral action plan. Given the multidimensional causes of malnutrition, it was important to have the full range of sectors actively engaged, and furthermore, to foster a dialogue where they had equal voices. The support of neutral REACH facilitators in moderating those discussions was well-received. In addition to this facilitation role, REACH has provided support to comprehensive analyses such as the mapping exercise, which generates aggregate data on intervention coverage. Findings from these analyses, have, in turn, informed nutrition planning processes at both national and decentralized levels, promoting data-driven discussions.

REACH efforts are catalytic in the development of the new nutrition policy in Niger
8 December 2015
Sparked by the REACH-supported Nutrition Overview, Niger's Multisectoral Steering Committee on Nutrition decided in February to revise the National Nutrition Policy in order to better reflect the multi-sectoral dimensions of nutrition, identifying the High Commission of the 3N Initiative (les Nigériens nourrissent les Nigériens) to lead the process. The commission, in turn, mobilized a Government-REACH-UNICEF team to provide technical assistance. The President of the Republic, who oversees the "3N," has manifested notable interest in the review, and has requested regular updates from all of the ministries engaged in the policy review on their respective contributions. While the participative process was launched in the capital city of Niamey among the ministries and four UN agencies (FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO), a series of consultative workshops were held at both national and regional levels to obtain further inputs, thereby securing buy-in from the country's top executive powers to municipalities. The consultations engaged actors from a range of stakeholder groups across sectors, and have fed into ongoing efforts to formulate a new multi-sectoral nutrition action plan.

Thanks to EU funding, REACH has provided pivotal support to the nutrition policy review and nutrition action plan formulation, both financing related activities and helping to bring actors together. The REACH International Facilitator worked with a leading nutrition expert to facilitate the multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral dialogue at the national and sub-national levels. REACH facilitators based in the seven regions of Niger were key for the organization of the regional workshops. In addition, findings from REACH analytical exercises (including the comprehensive nutrition overview, policy overview and mapping) were leveraged to help focus the consultations on the "real" issues. A road map for the new nutrition plan was adopted in November 2015, which has galvanized further momentum. The draft nutrition policy has since been presented to partners and will be submitted to the Steering Committee in mid-December. Whereas the policy is anticipated to take effect in early 2016, the new nutrition action plan will likely be finalized in March 2016.

Niger pursues innovative approaches for bolstering decentralised multi-sectoral collaboration
21 November 2013
Niger's commemoration of the Africa Day for Food and Nutrition Security (ADFNS), held on 30th October, attracted 70-plus individuals from various stakeholder groups, including high-level figures such as the nation's Prime Minister, the UN Resident Coordinator and the AU Commissioner for Industry and Trade. REACH facilitator, Souleymane Diallo, moderated the plenary sessions, as part of greater efforts to foster multi-sectoral dialogue and collaboration between stakeholders on nutrition through the REACH platform.
REACH Niger gives particular emphasis to decentralised, multi-sectoral coordination, recognising that decentralised capacity to analyse, plan, implement and track progress across sectors is imperative to achieving meaningful nutrition gains. The engagement continues to infuse innovation into how ‘functional capacities' for multi-sectoral nutrition governance are developed, leveraging existing resources. In July 2013, REACH trained over 250 new university graduates on multi-sectoral nutrition governance and coordination, who were later deployed to communes to support a range of development functions for their mandatory civic service. These decentralised efforts gained further momentum last month when eight regional REACH facilitators were recruited to catalyse action at the sub-national level. While REACH has a decentralised facilitator in Ghana, Niger is the first country to recruit multiple facilitators at the sub-national level.


© WFP 2012