experts drawn from 11 counties are meeting in Nairobi this week for the
Cross-County Learning Forum, an initiative by Nutrition International.
The forum will provide key stakeholders, county leadership and the national government with the opportunity to jointly reflect on progress, review performance, challenges, and achievement of set targets and draw lessons to inform planning of priorities for the following years.
The agenda will be driven by county governments covering both retrospective and prospective aspects based on results, lessons, most significant changes, contextual changes, and perceived benefits to inform recommendations for course correction.
As the economic status of Kenya moves to a middle-income country, there is an associated reduction in donor funding. The challenging fiscal environment means that prospects for increased resource allocation to nutrition are limited and that domestic resources need to be mobilized for significant achievements in reducing undernutrition.
during the technical meeting, Dr. Bashir Isaak, Head, of the Department of
Family Health, Ministry of Health, said that partners like Nutrition
International are critical for the Government in achieving key the
implementation of key nutrition strategies like the Kenya Nutrition Action Plan
(KNAP) 2018–2022. This is an evidence-based five-year strategic action plan
that seeks to address malnutrition in Kenya in all its forms and for all
population groups. He noted that finances pose a great challenge for both the
national and county governments in implementing strategic nutrition plans and
“I am happy to learn that since 2019, Nutrition International in partnership with government ministries and county governments have been developing a novel financing model dedicated to delivering more money and better nutrition outcomes at scale at the county level where service delivery happens. The counties represented here today are among the forerunners for this catalytic matched funding mechanism for nutrition to accelerate progress towards delivery of nutrition targets and impact on broader health, nutrition, and economic development outcomes. I take note that the co-funding facility has resulted in prioritization and investment in high-impact nutrition interventions,” said Dr. Bashir Isaak.
Martha Nyagaya, County Director, of Nutrition International, stated that Nutrition International will continue to work in close partnership with the county and national governments in supporting them in making faster progress on nutritional requirements both at the county and national levels.
“Nutrition International (NI), is a key partner of the Government of Kenya and works closely with the government in its efforts to deliver low-cost, high-impact, nutrition interventions to people in need. Our partnership has included providing technical and financial assistance. While NI’s direct support for nutrition at the county level is one of the largest, it can only cover a small percentage of required interventions for the entire population,” said Martha Nyagaya.
In 2013, Kenya transitioned to the devolved system of governance, giving considerable budgetary autonomy to the 47 counties in determining how they plan, budget, allocate and spend funding from national government transfers as well as locally raised revenue. County governments are also responsible for translating national nutrition and health policies and strategies into county priorities and plans.
Since 2019, Nutrition International has been developing the first-ever financing vehicle dedicated to delivering more money and better nutrition outcomes at scale in County or Sub-national levels where services are delivered. We have introduced a catalytic matched funding mechanism for nutrition to accelerate progress towards delivery of nutrition targets and impact on broader health, nutrition, and economic development outcomes in 11 counties.
In 2013, Kenya transitioned to a devolved system of governance, giving considerable budgetary autonomy to the 47 counties in determining how they plan, budget, allocate, and spend funding from national government transfers as well as locally raised revenue. County governments are also responsible for translating national nutrition, health policies, and strategies into county priorities and plans.
Kenya is losing Ksh. 374 billion each year due to malnutrition; 45% of preventable childhood deaths are linked to malnutrition as an underlying cause. Feeding is a major risk factor contributing to increased micronutrient deficiencies, morbidity, and mortality among women and children in Kenya.
Makueni, Vihiga, Nandi, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kajiado, Embu, Bomet, Murang’a, Kiambu, Busia, and Nakuru are among the 11 counties benefitting from this cross-county learning program. Out of the 11 counties, four counties are in the third year of program implementation, while seven counties are in the second fiscal year based on the government calendar year.