Today, RESULTS UK and CITAM+ are launching a new report in Lusaka, Zambia. “Nutrition Advocacy in Zambia: challenges and opportunities” examines the nutrition advocacy space in the country, primarily looking at the experience of civil society organizations working on nutrition advocacy. It identifies some of the obstacles to conducting nutrition advocacy, as well as opportunities to strengthen it through different channels.
Despite its efforts, Zambia’s Nutrition state is classified as “alarming” by the Global Hunger Index. It has one of the highest rates of stunting in the world (prevalence at 40%) and rates of micronutrient deficiencies. The report demonstrates how tackling the problem of malnutrition, advocating for policy change, can have long term positive effects on many other aspects such as education, and economic growth.
The report then gives an overview of how nutrition advocacy is currently being addressed in Zambia, looking at different solutions to overcome challenges. It also also suggests existing channels through which civil society organizations can introduce or strengthen their nutrition advocacy efforts. For example, Zambian civil society organizations could engage with traditional leaders, such as the Ministry of Chiefs, to adopt nutrition in their mandate. This could have the potential elevate the issue and have impact both at the grassroots community and decision-maker level.
Findings in the report are based on discussions with Zambia based civil society organizations during November 2013 and desk- based research. We interviewed civil society organizations in Lusaka and held focus groups discussions. We believe that a participatory approach will facilitate cooperation and action within different key actors, and contribute to strengthening nutrition advocacy efforts.
With the participation of civil society organizations and key members of parliament, the report acts as a catalyst to gain momentum and initiate further discussions on nutrition advocacy. Together with our partners, and the participants at the launch, we aim to find the best solutions to strengthen nutrition advocacy in Zambia.