Promoting civil society participation to improve the implementation of the Lao national nutrition strategy
In Lao PDR, 33 percent of children under 5 years old suffer from stunting. The Lao Government has recognized the severity of the problem and adopted a comprehensive, multi-sector National Nutrition Strategy 2015-25. Support is however needed for implementing further the strategy at village, district and provincial levels. Actions required include strengthening the nutrition data management system, strengthening capacities of local health staff for mother and child care and improving water and sanitation facilities for communities. Civil Society Organizations are key actors of malnutrition reduction and should be involved further in the implementation of the National Nutrition Strategy
The project aims to reduce malnutrition and stunting rates in 3 target provinces by promoting civil society participation to improve the implementation of the Lao National Nutrition Strategy
Result 1: Supporting LCSOs’ action for improved nutrition at community level
The project aims to strengthen LCSOs’ capacities to facilitate and support the empowerment of communities through nutrition-sensitive knowledge and skills, with a particular focus on female leadership.
ARMI and 9 supported LCSOs receive capacity building for improved organizational functioning and nutrition expertise. Under the supervision of ARMI, 4 selected LCSOs implement activities at community level, in coordination with village Mother Support Groups and Village Health Workers. The primary focus is on providing support to young mothers on good nutrition, growth monitoring and hygiene and sanitation practices. The distribution of water filters and the construction of household latrines and community water systems further promote sustainable change towards more resilient communities.
Result 2: Strengthening malnutrition data analysis and case management
The project also aims to strengthen the Nutrition Information Management and Supply Chain (NIMSC) in 3 provinces through improved nutrition data collection, direct reporting and coordination among actors. A key component of a strong NIMSC is the capacity of local health staff. Village Health Workers and Health Centres staff receive trainings on nutrition-specific topics, on identifying malnutrition cases, and on developing adequate case specific response and monitoring plans. By not only collecting data but also analysing and reporting it within the NIMSC system, Health Centre Staff and Village Health Workers can reach district, provincial and national authorities, who in turn plan and implement actions for improved nutrition where it is the most needed.
Result 3: Increased knowledge for good governance
Finally, the Action also supports knowledge sharing and capitalisation for good governance. Nutrition information meetings facilitate sharing of lessons learnt and good practices, thus contributing towards stronger multi-sector governance of nutrition, bringing policy dialogue and advocacy to higher levels, with the support of LCSOs. This will be done through annual provincial and interprovincial meetings, as well as coordination with National Nutrition Committee.
During May and June 2022 Caritas has distributed 1,905 water filters in 47 villages in the 3 target districts (1,787 households, 44 schools, 46 village offices, 5 health centres and 23 temples). Water filters play an important role in reducing waterborne diseases. They provide clean drinking water, avoid spending time on collecting fire wood to boil the water and they save money for households which would normally purchase their wood or charcoal.
The projects intends to provide sub-grants to 4 LCSOs to implement nutrition related activities in the communities. The four selected LCSOs are: the Association of People living with HIV/AIDS (APL+), the Community Association for Salvation and Environment (CASE), the Gender Development Association (GDA) and the Quality of Life Association (QLA).
The sub-grant will contribute to the reduction of malnutrition rates through the implementation of Social Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) activities in 37 target villages spread over 3 districts in 3 target provinces as follows: 10 villages in Thulakhom district (Vientiane Province); 17 villages in Xaychamphone district (Bolikhamxay Province) and 10 villages in Phaxay district (Xiengkhuang Province). About 28,109 people (14,197 women) will benefit from the activities through better information on nutrition and social behaviour change communication in cooking and dietary practices.
13 Technical Officers of Association for the Rural Mobilization and Improvement (ARMI) attended a course on monitoring-evaluation and reporting. The course as part of the Institutional Development and Organizational Strengthening (IDOS) took place from 5-8 April 2022 in Vientiane capital and was facilitated by a national consultant.
The main objective is to increase the technical skills of the ARMI Technical Officers in implementing nutrition related projects and other relevant projects.
Project key information:
Duration: 45 months, from July 2020 to March 2024
Partner: ARMI (Association for Rural Mobilisation and Improvement)
Target beneficiaries:- ARMI and 9 LCSOs; - Health Centres staff and Village Health Workers in 3 districts; - DHO and PHD of 3 provinces; - Population of 46 villages.
Target area: Bolikhamxay, Xiengkhouang and Vientiane Provinces
Project funded by:
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