You might have heard about it already, SNRD Africa has established a new working group. Members of the sector network who directly or indirectly deal with Food Security, Nutrition and Resilience have formed an interdisciplinary collaboration of experts — officially launched recently at the conference in Pretoria. The decision to give these topics their due attention had already been taken at an SNRD Strategy Meeting in August 2016.
Nutrition as a game changer
A good nutritional status is both an outcome and a key enabler of sustainable development, including strengthened resilience. All forms of malnutrition – whether insufficient calorie intake, micronutrient deficiencies or overweight – have an impact not only on the health but also on the economic performance of individuals and even of entire nations. Yet, good nutrition cannot be achieved by efforts within any single sector itself – only if we join forces across sectors, levels and stakeholders and systematically apply a ‘nutrition lens’ to our development work in general, can we successfully break the vicious cycle of malnutrition and poverty. The global Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) movement, the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals and also BMZ’s special initiative SEWOH – One World-No Hunger have all stood up to this challenge and have put the work on nutrition and resilience at the centre of their efforts.
Key performance areas
The new workgroup has four workstreams with one or two ‘ambassadors’ for each one. The workstream Nutrition in Agriculture looks at nutrition sensitive planning of agriculture programmes, nutrition sensitive value chains and discusses the topic of mycotoxins. Sharing of good practices on home gardening is a main activity. The workstream Nutrition in Fragile Contexts focuses on how to prevent hunger and famine and how to best link nutrition and resilience. They also elaborate how to work multisectorally, linking nutrition, resilience and social safety nets. The Behaviour Change workstream looks at messaging and sheds a light on the theory of behaviour change communications. How do we best measure the impacts? Continuous sharing of experiences with different modes of message transmission is planned. The Advocacy workstream looks at how to best advocate for nutrition at high and communal levels, through development plans that include budgets for nutrition-related action.
‘Ambassadors’ for crosscutting topics such as M&E, ICT and knowledge management. support all workstreams as needed.
Working group members share knowledge and experiences, promoting promising best practices. They aim to cross-pollinate within the network and GIZ as a whole. Food security, nutrition and resilience are linked inseparably. By identifying leverages and conceptualising a holistic approach, the working group strives towards equipping planners and implementers, practitioners and policy advisors with the indispensable skills and tools to successfully work along those linkages.
All workstreams have already taken up their activities and are in constant exchange. To ease the flow of information and create an enabling environment, different collaboration tools have been chosen and will be introduced to the members. Based on the workstreams’ activities and the overall management of the group, we are currently fine-tuning the work plan. By the end of this year, several products will be ready for dissemination.
A first virtual meeting will take place in August, more will follow at quarterly intervals. A physical get-together is planned for the first half of 2018. Exchanging on food security, nutrition and resilience is in high demand, not only in support of rural development in Africa. The working group invites all interested colleagues from other sectors or regions to actively engage with us.