WINNN partners the Media and CSOs for Improved Nutrition Response

Thursday 2 February 2017

By Wemimo Onikan, Knowledge Management Assistant, Nutrition

Over the years, Media and Civil Society engagement has proved to be an effective way to influence policies by the Government, and increase awareness among the populace on right behaviours and practices. Since 2014, the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) programme has been engaging with the media in different ways including Roundtable meetings, Field Visits, Workshops, press briefings/media chats etc. The programme has also been engaging with Civil Society Organizations in the 5 states where it is implemented (Katsina Kebbi, Zamfara, Jigawa and Yobe), building their capacity on Voice and Accountability for Nutrition.

To further build on this, WINNN held a Nutrition sensitization meeting and field visit for Media Executives and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) to its implementing sites in Katsina state from 14th – 16th December 2016. The visit was aimed at sensitizing the key “News gatekeepers” and other CSOs on the current issues on Nutrition and the need for increased advocacy, working with partners to sustain the gains / achievements made so far. Participants were drawn from the 5 WINNN implementing states and the National level and included Editors, Producers, News Managers and their deputies and some reporters from Africa Independent Television (AIT), Television Continental (TVC), Voice of America (VOA) Hausa Service, Daily Trust Newspaper, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) among others. Other participants include CSOs such as the Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition in Nigeria (CS-SUNN), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) and CSO Nutrition Platforms from all 5 states.

The participants were taken through various capacity building sessions and visited an Outpatient Therapeutic Programme (OTP) site in Bugaje Community, Jibia Local Government Area (LGA), where children are treated for malnutrition. They also visited Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Support Groups in Tartangariya Community, Bugaje Ward, Jibia LGA. A Media and CSO parley was held afterwards with representatives of the Katsina State Government, where the participants had the opportunity to learn what the Government is doing to address malnutrition in the state.

The outing was interesting and it was an eye opener for me as a person. It showed the picture of how things really are” – Chairman, Katsina State Nutrition CSO Platform

“I am impressed with how WINNN has made the people see the programme as theirs. Teaching the women how to make meals for their children with what they have available is good. Even if the programme ends, they will continue these things” – Mohammed Salisu Rabiu, VOA Hausa Service

As a result of the capacity building sessions and field visit, participants committed to more advocacy to the Governments at their various levels for increased attention to nutrition.