In response to the question at hand:
What are the key institutional and governance challenges to the delivery of cross-sectoral and comprehensive social protection policies that protect and promote nutrition of the most vulnerable?
Today, in the country, the Civil Society fraternity focusing on Food and Nutrition Security and poverty for the Vulnerable has grown larger and stronger. The private sector is also in the pipeline and it is synergically playing its role together with the CSOs and government as compared to a decade ago.
With the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan that was lauched in 2011, it would be ideal that Food and Nutrition security efforts take a better direction. The plan, under objective 3, indicates outstanding interventions based on the strategy of Promoting social protection to improve nutrition for the vulnerable. These and more in this plan are ultimately the directions to take to strengthen a muti-sector and multi-institutional collaboration towards a common goal.
However, the UNAP has not taken course due to the uncoordinated institutional structures among the key players inclusive of ministries and the private sector wing. For example, the Council could not operate without the Bill! This precisely is one of the reasons as to why Nutrition is been given less priority by the government. However it is important to acknowledge its efforts to reduce poverty levels under the National Development Plan which addresses food insecurity for all citiznes.
With the joining of the SUN movement (http://scalingupnutrition.org/), it is indicated in the final Uganda Summary report that stakeholders have been seen to tremendously reconsider to undertake their roles under the UNAP and other national obligations.
I think therefore that there has to be institutions specifically meant to spearhead the coordination, planning and implementation of the relevant Nutrition interventions as well as actively involving the government/line ministries for all countries. The effort of the CSOs can't go unnoticed. I strongly support it.
Whether the Nutrition department is under Health sector or Agriculure, Nutrition and Food Security social protection systems should be emphasised and given priority with specific resource allocations. An outstanding case in point is in Nepal where the Multi‐Sectoral Nutrition Plan that was endorsed by the Cabinet with a common results framework where all ministries have agreed on a set of essential nutrition-‐specific and nutrition sensitive interventions.
Thank you once again for this opportunity. I hope that the above is part of what will inform the next course of action.
Nutritionist and Head of Research Department
Hunger Fighters Uganda
Links and resources:
Concept note on social protection and nutrition
Social Protection for Food Security HLPE Report
Improving Nutrition through multisectoral Approaches – Social Protection
Talking points on social protection and nutrition, Centre for Social Protection
Post-2015 Development Agenda - Joint Chairs and co-Leads Synthesis Report
TST Issues Brief: Food Security and Nutrition
Lancet article on maternal and child nutrition