Nutrition and food

Namibia National Agenda for Children 2012-2016

Namibia's National Agenda for Children 2012-2016

The Namibia National Agenda for Children 2012-2016 is a call to action to put the constitutional mandate on the rights of children into implementable strategies. The Agenda is anchored on five pillars: health and nourishment; early childhood development and schooling; HIV prevention, treatment, care and support; adequate standard of living and legal identity; and protection against neglect and abuse.

The importance of Namibia developing its first-ever National Agenda for Children was highlighted through the publication of Children and Adolescents in Namibia 2010: A Situation Analysis, and through a review of the National Plan of Action for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (2006-2010). Two critical issues were identified through these processes: that Namibia needed to adopt a multi-sectoral approach to planning and implementation towards child-centred development, and that we needed to look more broadly at the concepts of vulnerability and inequity through the lens of a child’s life cycle.

Through a broad-based consultative process which involved government, NGOs, civil society organisations, children and development partners, the national commitments for children were identified, discussed and prioritised. While these five-year commitments have been integrated into current sector policies and plans to a large extent, the National Agenda for Children brings them together concisely, which will enable all stakeholders to plan, implement and monitor their actions for children in a coordinated manner. The Agenda also serves as a major contribution to overall national development planning processes.

While the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare has been assigned the task of facilitating the development of the national agenda for children, the primary responsibility for ensuring that is is implemented lies with the line ministries and their partners.

Maternal Infant Young Child Nutrition - Family Planning (MIYCN-FP) Integration Toolkit

Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition-Family Planning (MIYCN-FP) Integration Working Group was established by the Maternal and Child Integrated Program (MCHIP) and its partners. This working group brings together the Postpartum Family Planning Community of Practice, the Lactational Amenorrhea Method (LAM) Working Group and the Nutrition community."

Women have understood the connection between breastfeeding and regulating their fertility for centuries. LAM integrates postpartum family planning and nutrition because it promotes exclusive breastfeeding which reduces malnutrition and mortality in infants in their first six months and extends birth intervals which, in turn, promotes maternal and child survival. K4Health has a toolkit for LAM under family planning methods.

FP-MIYCN messages and supportive programmatic activities continue beyond six months when mothers transition to other family planning methods and their infants are introduced to other foods (fruits, veggies, cereals and animal proteinwhile continuing to breastfeed.

For the healthiest babies couples need to space out the next pregnancy at least 24 months. Young children 6-23 months of age should be fed foods of adequate quality and quantity to complement the nutrients in breast milk. In countries where adolescent pregnancies are high, efforts to delay marriage and pregnancies before at least 18 years of age also should be part of  the entire family planning and nutrition program.

Cash and food transfers in Swaziland: An evaluation of Save the Children's emergency drought response, 2007/08

Cash and food transfers in Swaziland: An evaluation of Save the Children's emergency drought response, 2007/08

The Emergency Drought Response (EDR) project introduced cash transfers as a response to the food crisis of 2007/08 in Swaziland. Some 6,200 households (close to 40,000 people) in two severely affected regions received a half ration of food (maize, beans and oil) and the equivalent in cash, every month for six months from November 2007 until the harvest of April 2008. A further 1,400 households in the same regions who were unable to open bank accounts (usually because they could not secure ID documents in time) received full food rations, and served as a ‘control group’ for comparing project impacts between cash transfer recipients and food aid recipients.

The project was well designed and well implemented. The humanitarian objective of ensuring access to food for drought-affected families was successfully achieved. Cash transfers were delivered on time and in full throughout the project period. The cash payment was fixed at a level intended to allow recipients to purchase a half-ration of food (maize, beans and oil) for each household member, to supplement the half-ration that was delivered in-kind. Food prices in local
markets were monitored monthly and averaged 21% higher than the cash transferred, but the impact was muted by a series of additional transfers paid by Save the Children: lump-sum grants in the first and final months to protect assets and promote livelihoods, monthly supplements for non-food necessities and transport to cash pay-points.

A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system generated useful data before and during the intervention. These included a market feasibility study and baseline survey (pre-implementation), and monthly monitoring of disbursements (cash and food), markets (prices and availability), and households (income, expenditure, assets and diets). A final evaluation survey was implemented in May 2008 (post-implementation). The sample of 1,784 households included 1,225 ‘cash plus food’ recipients, 491 ‘food only’ recipients’ and 68 child-headed households, who also received cash and food but were treated as a separate category (being minors they received their cash transfers directly, not through a Post Office or bank account).