Integrating Nutrition into Multi-Sectoral Programming in Somalia: Best Practices and Opportunities

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Kyallo, Florence, Abdullahi Leila, Farah Mohamed, Hussein Hassan, Rithaa Gilbert

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Published: 8 March 2021 | Article Type :


Background: According to the Somalia Demographic Health Survey 2020, 28% of children below five years are stunted, with regional disparity ranging from 12.3% in Somaliland to 38.9% in South West. The contributing factors to the high prevalence of acute malnutrition include high morbidity, low immunization, low vitamin-A supplementation, poor infant and childcare practices and food insecurity. To tackle the immediate and underlying determinants of malnutrition, it is fundamental to integrate nutrition interventions through multi-sectoral programming as opposed to single interventions. This study investigated the potential of integration of nutrition with health, agriculture, education, social protection, water sanitation and hygiene in Somalia. The objective of the study was to generate evidence on integration models, best practices, drivers, and opportunities for improvement to inform learning for multi-sectoral programming for integrated nutrition interventions in the Country.

Methods: Primary data was collected through Key Informant Interviews with selected respondents of various stakeholders in Somalia. The key informants were identified through a consultative process facilitated by the Office of the Prime Minister. Qualitative data from key informant interviews was analyzed into common themes, from which inferences were made and conclusions were drawn. 

Results: Nutrition interventions are well integrated with health, agriculture, education, water, sanitation and hygiene interventions in Somalia. However, most in Somalia were implemented with a humanitarian lens and not a nutrition lens. The main enablers of nutrition integration include political goodwill, conducive policy environment, readily available data, community participation and external support. However, there are barriers to integration such as lack of inter-sectoral coordination, inadequate technical and financial resources, short-term emergency projects, sociocultural practices hindering women empowerment and insecurity. 

Conclusions: The government should provide policy direction on nutrition integration into multi-sectoral programming with a keen focus on sustainable interventions. 

Keywords: nutrition, nutrition intervention, multi-sectoral programming, Somalia

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Kyallo, Florence, Abdullahi Leila, Farah Mohamed, Hussein Hassan, Rithaa Gilbert. (2021-03-08). "Integrating Nutrition into Multi-Sectoral Programming in Somalia: Best Practices and Opportunities." *Volume 5*, 1, 25-31