Kenya’s SUN Civil Society Alliance (SUN CSA) was set up in October 2013 to ‘Mobilise Civil
Societies to Champion Scaling up Nutrition in Kenya’. The alliance primarily undertakes capacity building of civil society organizations
(CSOs) to scale up nutrition and advocacy at national and local levels. It aims at supporting the government and, in particular, the Ministry of Health to develop nutrition-related policy and communication documents. The SUN CSA was officially launched on the first ever SUN Global Day of Action on 9th
May 2014. The launch gave CSA a platform to discuss progress Kenya had made on nutrition since joining the movement in 2012.
In Kenya, SUN CSA has been very active in different ways. Its membership has grown to 33 national and international NGOs. The Alliance has conducted up to 11 nutrition and food security advocacy training for various members of the SUN networks, taken part in joint workshops, created valuable opportunities to advocate on nutrition at national and county levels and helped shape discussions on key nutrition issues in the country.
Members of CSA played an active role in the development and review of their County Development Plan and budgets, with a specific contribution to the health and nutrition sector. The alliance is supporting the SUN Government Focal Point, Nutrition Technical Forum and SUN networks to disseminate the National Nutrition Action Plan, develop County Nutrition Action Plan and a national Nutrition Advocacy, Communications and Social Mobilization Strategy. Further, SUN networks are at an advanced stage in the establishment of Kenya’s SUN Multistakeholder Platform which will bring together all networks in the country. SUN networks already established include the Government,
United Nations, Donor, Business and Civil Society.
SUN CSA has embarked on a budget analysis process which will be essential for accountability advocacy. Some efforts have been made to influence the review of County Integrated Development Plans, the Draft Kenya Health Policy 2014-2030 and the Health Bill 2014 with regard to nutrition policies.
The dawn of 2015 brought good news to SUN networks in Kenya as the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya H.E. Margaret Kenyatta accepted to be the country’s Nutrition Patron. With financial support from SUN Multipartner Trust Fund (MPTF), Population Reference Bureau (PRB), UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership’s and various CSA members, we are grateful that SUN CSA has made a significant impact in the country’s nutrition landscape within the last one and half years.
We all have a role to reverse the malnutrition trends in Kenya. Three issues are at stake: Elevation of the status of nutrition in government structures, increase of nutrition budgets and mainstreaming nutrition as a multi-sectoral development agenda.