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المنتدى العالمي المعني بالأمن الغذائي والتغذية

Re: Call for experiences and good practices in the use and application of the Voluntary Guidelines for the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security

Mansura Kassim Kassim
Mansura Kassim KassimMinistry of Agriculture, Livestock and EnvironmentUnited Republic of Tanzania

Title of the experience   

Promotion of good nutrition in the first 1000 days of child development through participatory mechanisms – MWANZO BORA “GOOD START” NUTRITION PROGRAM  

Geographical coverage

(E.g. national, or regional if several countries of the same region, or global if several countries in more than one region)

National: the intervention is implemented in three districts of Zanzibar namely Micheweni, Chake Chake and North A 

Country(ies)/Region(s) covered by the experience

(E.g. Kenya, Tanzania and Malawi)

Zanzibar, the United Republic of Tanzania

Your affiliation

(Please indicate government, UN organization, civil society/NGO, private sector, academia, donor or others)

Department of Food Security and Nutrition (DFSN), Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Livestock and Fisheries (MANRLF), a public institution of the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. 

How have the VGRtF been used in your context? Which specific guidelines of the VGRtF was most relevant to your experience?

(E.g. VGRtF have been used to develop legislative framework on the Right to Food, with specific reference to Guideline 7)

VGRtF have been used in promoting good nutrition during the first 1000 days of child development.  Specifically, Guidelines 10.3, 10.5, 10.9, 11.1, 11.5 and 13.3 have been applied.

Brief description of the experience

The MWANZO BORA NUTRITION PROGRAM designed to improve maternal and child health care practises in the United Republic of Tanzania in the area of antenatal nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding.  The overall goal of the program is to improve the nutritional status of under-five children, pregnant women and lactating mothers with specific focus on reducing maternal anaemia and childhood stunting in three districts of Mainland Tanzania and three districts of Zanzibar namely Micheweni, Chake Chake and North A.  The program is working to raise awareness of undernutrition during the first 1000 days of child development and its impact on society while strengthening the capacity of local institution in addressing the underlying causes of food insecurity.   

Who was involved in the experience?

(Please indicate as many as relevant e.g. government, UN organization, civil society/NGO, private sector, academia, donor or others)

This program is funded by USAID through Feed the Future and the US Government Global Health Initiative, implemented by Africare in partnership with the DFSN of the MANRLF – Zanzibar.  Other partners involved in the programme implementation are District Management Teams and voluntary community-based institutions. 

How were those most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition involved?

(E.g. participation of CSOs representing food insecure and malnourished segments of the population in all training)

  • Programme implemented in districts most vulnerable to food insecurity: higher level of malnutrition, anaemia, poverty and food insecurity levels are among criteria considered in the selection of participating districts;
  • Poor households with pregnant women, lactating mother or under-five children were prime beneficiaries of program interventions;

Main activities

(E.g. training of CSOs, lawyers, parliamentarians, government)

  1. Support to the establishment of Shehia Food Security and Nutrition Committee as called for in Food Security and Nutrition Act no 5 of 2011 which contains clear Right to Food provisions.  These are community level institutions, trained and facilitated to form a network of volunteers, and assume a responsibility of conveying key nutrition messages and provision of one-on-one counselling to the target beneficiaries and also facilitate community nutrition mass campaigns, under the leadership of Community Health Workers. 
  2. Support to home gardening and small livestock keeping for home consumption targeting poor household;
  3. Trainings on dietary diversification and healthy diet using locally available food commodities;
  4. Establishment of peer support groups (father-to-father and mother-to-mother groups): members work together to share good health practices and health and nutrition related concerns facing their communities;
  5. Training of health workers from Reproductive Child Health facilities;
  6. Introduction of Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) Kits to address specific pro-nutrition behaviour during 1000 days of child development 

Timeframe

2012 - 2018

Results obtained/expected in the short term, with quantitative aspects where feasible (estimate of the number of people that have been or will be affected)

(Please indicate the number of people that have been directly involved in activities, e.g. 6 training sessions involving 250 people)

  • i. 105 Shehia Food Security and Nutrition Committees containing 1,575 members have been established, trained and voluntarily promote the adoption of essential nutrition behaviour in their communities through house-to-house visiting. About 32,700 households were reached (183,120 household members benefited);
  1. 2765 poor households (with 15,484 members) have been trained on agricultural practices and assisted in establishing vegetable gardens and small livestock keeping for household consumption;
  2. 525 Community Owned Resource Person trained, provided with Social Behaviour Change Communication Kit and working peer support groups to improve nutrition behaviour and practises of caretakers, families and community at large;
  3. 1287 peer support groups (with 12,870 community members) were formed and trained.

Results obtained/expected in the medium to long term, with quantitative aspects where feasible (estimate the number of people that have been or will be affected)

(Please indicate the number of people that have been or are expected to be indirectly affected by activities e.g. training leading to drafting legislative framework that was adopted by parliament and has potential impact on entire population of about 5 million people)

This program raise awareness on the importance of good nutrition during the first 1000 days of child development and promote adoption of essential nutrition behaviour, as such has potential to impact on entire population of about 343,063 people residing in the program implementation area.

Results obtained – most significant changes to capture

(Please indicate any significant change that resulted from the activities, e.g. change in the behavior of local authorities regarding the inclusion of civil society stakeholders in decision making, or the participation of vulnerable groups in the implementation of some programs, or a national ombudsperson/human rights institutions that started to include the Right to Food in their reporting, or changes in the access to justice, conflict resolution or administrative processes)

  1. Increased knowledge of health, nutrition and child caring practices among pregnant and lactating women and women of reproductive age, thus expected to contribute to a healthy family;
  2. Increase knowledge of dietary diversification and of low cost healthy diets from locally available foods;
  3. Strengthened grass root level institutions that actively participate in promoting the adoption of essential nutrition behaviour and the monitoring of the food security and nutrition situation in their locality.

What are the key catalysts that influenced the results?

  • i. Community engagement and participation;
  1. Establishment and empowerment of local institutions;
  2. Build on local knowledge;
  3. Group training and community mobilisation sessions 

What are the major constraints/challenges for achieving the Right to Food?

  1. Limited resources to support effective implementation of food security related policies and programs;
  2. Delayed implementation of the decentralisation policy which makes it difficult for the districts unable to implement their plans in addressing underlying causes of food and nutrition insecurity.

What mechanisms have been developed to monitor the Right to Food?

  1. Training to community members in monitoring;
  2. Involvement of Shehia Food Security and Nutrition Committees in monitoring food security and nutrition situation in their locality 
  3. Integrated Food Security Phase Classification ;
  4. Food Security and Nutrition and Early Warning System

What good practices would you recommend for successful results?

  1. Capacity building and building on existing local knowledge are key to the acceptance and implementation of behavioural practices that lead to improved intakes of essential nutrients;
  2. Nutrition and health are best addressed by fully engaging and empowering communities as an approach to build trust and create better communication; 
  3. Community-based programs offer important mechanisms for community mobilisation to improve nutrition.