In an effort to eradicate malnutrition and reduce levels of under-nourishment in the country, Senegal’s government has adopted the Multi-sector Strategic Plan (Plan Strategique Mulitsectoriel de Nutrition) –PSMN – requiring that the issue of nutrition is addressed at all levels of government. The PSMN serves as the operational document of its National Nutrition Development Policy (Politique Nationale de Développement de la Nutrition) – “PNDN.”
The Feed the Future Program for Increasing Investment in Agriculture in Senegal, implemented by Africa Lead, recently supported its partner, CLM (The Unit for the fight against Malnutrition/Cellule de Lutte contre la Malnutrition) to organize two training workshops. CLM, housed in the Office of the Prime Minister, is the government division responsible for overseeing implementation of the national nutrition policy.
The workshops were aimed at increasing awareness about the importance of the PSMN and with strengthening the capacities of those charged with overseeing the implementation of the national nutrition policy at the government level, and those charged with ensuring that nutrition is addressed in local government planning and integrated into Local Development Plans (Plan de Développement Communitaire) – “PDCs,” to be able to better fulfill their roles.
The first workshop was a Training of Trainers (TOT) organized for selected government regional staff. It was held May 27-31, 2019 in Kolda. It brought together 24 participants from four targeted CLM regions (Kolda, Kedougou, Tambacounda and Sedhiou) with the objective of training a small cadre of regional government staff who will serve as lead facilitators responsible for providing training to local governments on how to integrate nutrition in their local development plans (PDCs). Specifically, they will support CLM in implementing its strategy for expanding nutrition programs to 27 of the 40 Communes in the Kolda Region and in all 19 Communes in the Kedougou Region.
The TOT workshop sessions were based on techniques of Adult Learning Principles and Facilitation. The newly trained facilitators will be able to conduct sessions in French as well as Malinke, Pulaar, Wolof and other local languages spoken in these regions.
During the second workshop, held June 13-16, 2019, two Kolda TOT participants were able to put their newly acquired skills to work. They served as lead facilitators at a workshop organized in the rural Commune of Médina Chérif in the Kolda Region.
The workshop targeted stakeholders at the local level whose voices are essential for an inclusive development of the PDC. The workshop, which had 59 participants, marked the first time that such a wide spectrum of local stakeholders were brought one together. Among them were representatives from the local village government of Médina Chérif, national Ministry district technical services, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), women’s associations, and youth groups. The CLM TOT facilitators were assisted by three local residents who were given a two-day crash course on the workshop subject in order to provide translation into Pulaar, the language most spoken by the workshop participants.
This second workshop, which featured a lively exchange of ideas and debating, helped participants better understand the national nutrition policy, the PDC, local government management, the importance of integrating nutrition into local governing planning, and the role that each of them plays in ensuring this is done. This workshop gave participants the opportunity to discuss common concerns, propose solutions, and discover new ways of working in a more cohesive way. Africa Lead will continue to support the CLM in its efforts implement the nutrition strategy.