By Abdoulaye Ndiaye, Project Director, PINKK
On December 12, I had the pleasure of attending the launch of an MI project, which is particularly dear to me: the Integrated Nutrition Project for the regions of Kolda and Kedougou (PINKK). The initiative, which is funded by the Government of Canada, will improve nutrition, food security and the health of women and young children of Kolda and Kedougou, two regions heavily affected by malnutrition.
What makes PINKK so unique compared to other nutrition projects is above all its multisectoral approach. This approach depends on a win-win partnership between organizations with an expertise that is both unique and complementary (World Vision Sénégal and World Vision Canada, Développement international Desjardins (DID) and Cellule de Lutte contre la Malnutrition) and the various sectors working directly or indirectly on nutrition (health, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, community development, early childhood, etc.)
The reason why MI gathered such an array of partners from various sectors is simple: malnutrition is often a reflection of failures that persist throughout entire life cycles. To combat and eradicate it, different factors identified in the conceptual framework on the causes of malnutrition developed by UNICEF in 1990 need to be addressed. A multisectoral approach is the best way to do this.
PINKK intends to demonstrate the added value of pooling together various sectors in order to combat malnutrition. Indeed, PINKK will work with various sectors to implement its activities — including health, community development, microfinancing, agriculture, livestock, and family — all likely to have an impact on its main objective: to improve the nutrition and health of 165,000 women and children among the most vulnerable in the regions of Kolda and Kedougou.
Thus, the project will increase the availability of micronutrient-rich foods by helping households ― in particular women ― produce, preserve and transform local produce intended primarily for consumption, including its enrichment with micronutrients. It will support good health and nutrition practices by strengthening the capacity of workers and local health volunteers supporting community health to promote these practices and improve them; it will also strengthen the capacity of local government structures to manage and plan the nutrition programmes.
We are convinced that joining together all these sectors is a sure way to optimize PINKK’s long-term results and ensure its sustainability.
Each implementation partner will have a key role to play:
- World Vision Senegal will provide training and mentoring to women and households;
- DID will facilitate access to services, financial and non-financial, to women and women’s groups to improve their access to quality inputs for the production of micronutrient-rich foods;
- CLM will be responsible for the integration of nutrition in the plans and programmes of local communities and a better coordination of multi-sector interventions in the field of nutrition.
There are many examples of success stories with the multisectoral approach to nutrition. The benefits of this approach have been repeatedly proven by the IM programme implementing the iodization of salt in Senegal, which aims at increasing from 56% to 90% the number of Senegalese households consuming iodized salt.
In 2014, the project resulted in the production of a sufficient quantity of adequately iodized salt to satisfy the needs of 9 million people in Senegal and neighbouring countries, through a multisectoral approach involving technical and financial partners ― including MI, UNICEF, WFP, FAO, WHO, GAIN, and USAID ― as well as several ministries of the Government of Senegal and local communities.
MI was able to learn valuable lessons about the mutisectoral approach, which became points of reference during PINKK’s development.
The collaboration and support received from partners thus far reinforce the hope that, working together, intelligently, we can have a long-term impact on the lives of the most vulnerable women and children of Kedougou and Kolda ― that greatly exceeds nutritional aspects, so that they may completely realize their full potential.