Director, Nutrition in Humanitarian Contexts USAID Advancing Nutrition Project, NCBA CLUSA Washington, District of Columbia
A holistic continuum of care is critical to successfully address high rates of acute malnutrition in DRC, which is characterized by weak health systems, limited infrastructure, and recurrent localized shocks. Implementation of CMAM and facility-based services, including effective treatment with micronutrient dense foods, requires coordination between multiple actors at different levels. We designed a facilitated learning activity to assist stakeholders to better understand the necessity and opportunities for collaboration.
The learning activity included background research on actors and collaboration approaches, and key informant interviews with USAID implementing partners (NGOs, UNICEF, WFP). This led to a national level workshop with government, UNICEF, WFP, and other actors. The learning facilitation will extend to provincial and health zone coordination platforms, and feedback loops will promote information exchange, gather solutions and share insights across projects and programs.
Recommendations have been developed to support ongoing coordination efforts and technical issues, including treatment with micronutrient-rich food products. The learning activity will increase understanding and capacity to manage a dynamic learning model across multiple coordination platforms. Organizations will have an increased understanding of the importance of coordination and collaboration and in mechanisms to strengthen actions for improved impact.
Initial learning findings include:
Coordination through co-location must include highly localized information sharing. Integrating with multiple coordination platforms may be more effective than a single platform. Capacity strengthening is a continual process. Complex humanitarian environments require a hybrid of standard emergency and development approaches to planning, programming and coordination.