Report of Workshop on Maternal and Child Nutrition: Sharing Experiences, Best Practices and Lessons Learnt, 8 - 10 September 2015 Lake Naivasha Simba Lodge, Naivasha



This report is divided into seven sections namely; the executive summary, background information, methodology, summary of workshop contents, analysis of the workshop contents, conclusions and recommendations. Attached to this report are annexes giving detailed accounts of the presentations by the various speakers, the workshop programme and the list of workshop participants.


A two day workshop was organized by the European Union (EU) in Naivasha to provide a platform for knowledge and information sharing by maternal and child health projects that are funded by the EU. The workshop was attended by 64 participants including representatives of NGOs and partners implementing EU funded Maternal and Child Health (MCH) and nutrition projects, Ministry of Health (MOH), UNICEF, FAO, UNFPA, DFID, GIZ, WHO and the First Lady’s Beyond Zero Campaign.

The Naivasha workshop focused on issues aimed at enhancing the impact of nutrition intervention in the EU funded projects in Kenya with the following objectives:

  1. Explore ways of effectively integrating nutrition with MCH interventions.

  2. Brainstorm on the best ways of enhancing nutrition sensitive interventions in MCH actions.

  3. Discuss logical frameworks, baselines and SMART indicators in line with the EU result framework.

  4. Share best practices on nutrition interventions and lessons learnt.

  5. Enhance networking among the non-state actors.

It was pointed out that nutrition sensitive programming entails addressing the underlying determinants of foetal and childhood malnutrition and incorporating nutrition goals and specific activities in project design. Ensuring that MCH projects are nutrition sensitive therefore entails incorporating nutrition specific interventions that deal with the immediate determinants of nutrition while establishing linkages with other nutrition sensitive programmes that deal with other underlying causes of malnutrition. Enhancing the Nutrition-sensitivity of MCH Interventions will also entail strengthening multi-sectoral linkages across relevant sectors for coordinated programming as well as incorporating nutrition objectives, actions and indicators in MCH’s program design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation.

There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that the MCH projects are incorporating nutrition specific interventions within their programmes across the board. What is not clear is the extent of this incorporation in each of the MCH projects in different geographical areas.

There is likelihood that some MCH projects are integrating more or less nutrition specific interventions than others. The general feeling in the workshop was that a number of MCH projects have not sufficiently and effectively integrated nutrition.

In consideration of the multiple determinants of nutrition, linkages among the relevant interventions by different players are critical. It was particularly noted during the workshop that promotion of Income Generating Activities (IGA) for women is a central element in improving the health outcomes of households, nutrition included. In overall terms, the MCH programmes seem to be weak in this advocacy agenda.

The following are some of the best practices that emerged from the discussions:

• Considerable momentum by donors and actors towards multi-sectoral programming across sectors.

• Scaling up the role of Social Behaviour Change (SBC) in influencing nutrition outcomes.

• Integrating nutrition in county integrated development plans.

• Conducting nutrition causal analyses to inform and guide programming.

• Some on-going studies to understand the dynamics at play during the budgeting processes at county level.

There was recognition from the discussions that delivering results at scale requires a combination of system resources from different players. Other lessons learnt include the false assumption that nutrition knowledge and information alone is sufficient to affect behavior change beside the fact that sustainable development cannot be realized without innovative ways to engage the private sector.
With regard to increasing nutrition sensitivity of programmes, there is low understanding of modalities of establishing relevant linkages that are a pre-requisite to this kind of programming. Multi-sectoral platforms both at national and county level are required to promote nutrition sensitivity in programming.

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement is supporting this through:

• Support for establishment of multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder platforms at national and county level.

• More effective communication and advocacy.

The key recommendations from the workshop hinged on:

• Increasing nutrition sensitivity of MCH programmes.

• Strengthening documentation and experience sharing.

• Investing more in research, advocacy and accountability.

• Increasing awareness and understanding on nutrition sensitive interventions.

• Working with the county governments by bringing on board the relevant accounting officers to facilitate transparency and accountability.

• Engaging the private sector through the Corporate Social Responsibility and PublicPrivate Partnership (CSR/PPP) arrangements