Program Update | SENEGAL

Commune of Saraya stakeholders don “Nutrition Lens” to explore ways for improving community health

The Commune of Saraya CLM Workshop brought together a wide spectrum of actors involved in developing the Local Development Plan (PDC) to discuss how to better integrate and include key aspects of Senegal’s national nutrition policy in local governance planning. Photo Credit/Africa Lead

During a recent three-day workshop in the Kedougou Region of Senegal, local governance planning stakeholders donned what was figuratively called a “nutrition lens” to look for new ways to make sure that nutrition issues are more fully addressed in its Local Development Plan (PDC). The workshop, entitled “Leadership Capacity- Building for Territorial Actors in the Various Dimensions of Nutrition and in the Planning Process,” was held July 10-12, 2019 in the Commune of Saraya, located in Senegal’s southeastern Kedougou Region. 

The workshop brought together 57 participants representing a wide spectrum of the key stakeholders involved in developing the PDC, among them local and territorial government representatives, women’s associations, and young people. The workshop was conducted in Mandingue, the local language spoken by the participants. The workshop was organized by the Unit in the Fight Against Malnutrition (CLM) with the support of the Feed the Future Senegal Program for Increasing Investment in Agriculture in Africa, implemented by Africa Lead. It was the third in an on-going series of nutrition workshop organized by CLM with the support of Africa Lead.  

CLM is the government division responsible for overseeing implementation of the national nutrition policy. Senegal’s Multi-sector Strategic Nutrition Plan (Plan Strategique Multisectoriel de Nutriton)-“PSMN” is the operational document of the country’s National Nutrition Development Policy (Politique Nationale de Développement de la Nutrition – “PNDN”) which mandates that nutrition issues are taken into account at all levels of government, including in the local development plans. The policy is aimed at reducing malnutrition and undernourishment in the country, particularly among children under five years of age and pregnant mothers. Given that the Commune of Saraya already completed and validated its PDC for the period covering 2017-2022, this workshop gave the participants the opportunity to review their document. It also provided them with tools to allow them to better address nutrition when developing the PDC for 2023-2028.

Using a “nutrition lens”, workshop participants reviewed the current Commune of Saraya Local Development Plan (PDC) 2017-2022 to identify how well it addresses nutrition concerns. They discussed ways to better integrate pertinent aspects of the Senegal’s nutrition policy in future PDC development. Photo Credit/Africa Lead

Looking at the Commune’s current PDC through the prism of the “nutrition lens,” stakeholders were able to take a closer look at how well it addressed nutrition concerns and integrated key aspects of the national nutrition policy. They also conducted a mid-term review of the current PDC and discussed how they were faring in implementing the priorities identified in it.  As a result of these discussions they were also able to identify various resources and key actors to target to help them with implementing activities.

One of the Commune of Saraya’s strengths is that it has a dynamic group of young people, called “Facilitateurs Communautaires (“FCs”), who have been trained to facilitate community development activities and help promote understanding of local development issues at the grassroots level. As a result of this workshop the participants from the Commune of Saraya mastered the key concepts for integrating pertinent aspects of the national nutrition policy into their local development plans (PDCs). They now have the skills necessary to be able to, with the support of the local facilitators, better address this issue in future PDC development.

Africa Lead is continuing to support CLM’s efforts to expand nutrition programs in the various regions in Senegal and in providing capacity building that will enable local communities to better understand and more fully integrate key aspects of the national nutrition policy in the local governance development plans. A final workshop is scheduled to be held in September in the Commune of Maka Yop, located in the Kaffrine Region.   

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