Previous Nutrition Technical Assistance Mechanism (NTEAM) updates have highlighted how the County Nutrition Action Plan (CNAP) process, supported by our technical assistance in 2019, had engaged county authorities in the implementation of the Kenya Nutrition Action Plan (KNAP), and helped to mobilize financial support for nutrition through a matching funding approach. Now, a 2021 external progress assessment of NTEAM’s technical assistance in Kenya has provided further evidence that the CNAP process helped engage a greater number of government sectors and development partners, locally, in planning and implementing nutrition actions, while empowering local authorities to improve coordination and alignment.

The technical assistance drove local acceptance and adoption of CNAPs by engaging key stakeholders early on in their development, with progress assessment respondents highlighting the involvement of representatives of the Ministry of Finance, of the line ministries of Agriculture, Education, WASH, and Social Protection, and in some counties of the Ministry of Sports, Youth and Gender. Now that the CNAPs have been finalized, there are early signs these are helping to coordinate and scale up their actions.

During quarterly coordination meetings between the health sector and other sectors and partners, CNAPs and their common results frameworks are a common reference point. These meetings review achievements, coordinate nutrition service delivery across multiple sectors and stakeholders to avoid partners duplicating efforts, identify resource gaps to inform mobilization efforts, and help sectors understand how their actions impact nutrition. The report notes that in these meetings, county officials, empowered by the CNAPs, have been able to request greater focus of development partner funding and alignment with county priorities as per the CNAPs, “a shift from previously where a partner could just come and say that I want to do a, b, c, d.”

The progress assessment also generated concrete evidence that CNAPs are spurring greater government and partner nutrition action. Several counties have begun expanding their workforce for nutrition, having recognized the role of nutritionists. The report states that while developing its CNAP, one county recruited six nutritionists, who “were then distributed to other sub-counties that had no nutritionist.” In addition, a greater number of service providers have been mobilized to deliver nutrition actions, and development partners have started including additional CNAP activities in their routine programming.

Going forward, these hard-won gains from the design and launch phase of the CNAPs need to be consolidated to ensure effective implementation. In the words of one respondent “we need to maybe coordinate more with various stakeholders and other departments so that when they are doing activities, they ensure that they involve other departments.” Nutrition International encourages local authorities and their partners to continue building on the success of CNAPs, and to use them to inform funding, policy and programming decisions, as well as to guide the monitoring of, and learning from, their implementation.

For more on Nutrition International’s support for the development of CNAPs, please also refer to the following articles:

Through NTEAM, Nutrition International shares its expertise globally to support the scale-up of nutrition for the most vulnerable. Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) is a project within NTEAM funded with UK aid from the UK government.