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Tools for » SUN 02/GHA/002 “Civil Society"
Project ID:00085325Description:SUN 02/GHA/002 “Civil Society"
SUN Movement Fund
Start Date *: 25 Jan 2013
Country Catalytic Programmes
End Date*: 31 Dec 2015
Country: Ghana Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   WFP - World Food Programme

Formation of Coalition of Civil society organizations (CSO’s) to support Scale up Nutrition in Ghana


  • Country: Ghana
  • Implementing Partner: Ghana Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition (HAG)
  • Participating Organization: UN/WFP
  • Duration: 36 months –January 2013- December 2015
  • MPTF support: US$ 374.500
  • Main Contact: Nana Ayim Poakwah at


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Like many other countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, Ghana has frequently taken early steps in making commitments to address her food security and nutrition problems. The country is signatory to a number of international declarations asserting the right of its citizen’s to adequate food and nutrition security. This international zeal has been demonstrated locally as evidenced by the number of nutrition policies and programs often championed, at least at the initial stage, by high level policy-makers including the national breastfeeding policy (1995), Infant and Young child feeding strategy (2007), the Vitamin A Policy (1998), and the Food and Drugs Law and Amendments on universal Salt iodization (1995). In fact, the Constitution of Ghana recognizes the unalienable rights of Ghanaians to adequate food in consonance with article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Ghana is a signatory.

Despite these positive political and strategic steps already taken, Ghana experiences high food insecurity and high rates of maternal and child undernutrition including moderate to severe micronutrient deficiencies. About 10% of Ghanaians are born with a low birth weight and close to 30% of children under five are stunted. The 2008 Lancet series on maternal and child malnutrition categorized Ghana among the 36 countries with a highest burden (prevalence>20%) of global stunting. Further, more than 60% of children under five and women in reproductive age are anemic (GSS et. al., 2009). These aggregate estimates also hide wide inter-regional disparities as the three northern regions carry an unequally greater burden of childhood and maternal malnutrition.

Recent studies (World Bank and WHO) identified key barriers to scaling up effective nutrition interventions to levels that will address the problems indicated above in Ghana including: 

  • Although Nutrition remains a recognized development challenge, and proven interventions exist, it remains low priority on the national policy agenda. Typically, Nutrition has been framed as an ancillary to health care interventions.
  • Currently existing policies and strategies are not integrated into budgets of agencies involved in developing and implementing nutrition interventions. Funding and investment in nutrition is thus mainly donor-driven limiting sustainability beyond the project lifetime (Brantuo et al, 2009).
  • There is inadequate cross-sectoral coordination and collaboration at the National and sub-national levels. This deficiency has been recognized by the drafters of the draft Nutrition policy. The draft policy has proposed an inter-ministerial body to coordinate nutrition actions across Ministries and agencies.
  • Inadequate human resource numbers, quality, and distribution, especially at the sub-national levels limit effective implementation of nutrition interventions.
  • Inadequate Civil Society participation in nutrition advocacy, policy formulation, implementation creates a situation where there is no body to play a ‘watchdog’ role in holding relevant public and private institutions accountable for their role in addressing malnutrition in Ghana.

The current proposal in addition to building CSOs network and capacity to address the above listed challenges will also support the implementation of the nutrition policy in Ghana.


The purpose of the current project is to initiate and facilitate active and sustained CSO engagement in nutrition issues in Ghana that will ultimately result in improved nutrition outcomes in the country.  The grant seeks to do this through the framework of a coalition. Currently, there are many CSOs implementing a variety of nutrition activities in Ghana. The CSO coalition is expected to harmonize and coalesce the different shades of CSO advocacy activities to ensure coherence and unity in achieving optimal outcomes in nutrition

The proposal seeks to establish a solid CSO platform; to ensure this space is used a basis for common messaging and national awareness raising campaign to support the SUN movement and the 1000 days campaign eventually leading to; nutrition is recognized as both a health and a developmental issue secured through the adoption and implementation of a strong National Nutrition Policy supported through appropriate budgetary allocation by the government and other stakeholders.


To attain the purpose of raising the priority level of nutrition and to support scale up effective nutrition interventions in Ghana, the following activities with their associated outcomes and outputs are envisaged.

OUTCOME1: Independent and sustainable multi-sectoral coalition of civil society organizations involved/with interest in agriculture, nutrition, health, and media, etc that seeks to advocate for making nutrition a high priority development issue in Ghana.

The following activities will be carried out to achieve such an outcome

1.1. Nation-wide mapping of CSOs involved in nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programming, policy and advocacy.

1.2. Member ship drive to attract CSOs, and other partners with interest in food and nutrition interventions (listed above) to join the coalition

1.3. Draw up objectives, operating procedures and guiding principles for the operation of the coalition

1.4. Set up an Executive Council and other three Sub-Committees from among the coalition membership to coordinate the affairs and activities of the coalition

1.5. Launch the Coalition as part of a high-visibility media event that will involve development of a unique logo and brand name.

1.6. Establish a Secretariat within HAG with the Secretary of the Executive Council and the head of HAG coordinating the day-to-day activities of the Coalition

1.7. Create and maintain a Website as part of strategies for collective coalition communication, advocacy and visibility

1.8. Set up mechanisms and strategies to leverage funds and ensure sustainability beyond the project period

1.9. Develop a Newsletter on coalition member activities and achievements to disseminate best practices and facilitate information sharing.

1.10. Foster collaboration with existing networks and non-CSO partners with relevance for advancing nutrition in Ghana

OUTCOME 2 Popular demand for the scale up of nutrition interventions in Ghana promoted through a national awareness raising campaign to support the SUN movement and the 1000 days campaign.

The following activities will contribute to achieve such an outcome:

2.1. Support the efforts of the national nutrition champion

2.2. Identify and empower nutrition celebrity(s) to promote awareness about nutrition among the general populace

2.3. Contribute to the development of media messages to be disseminated through music, radio jingles, drama, TV infomercials, fliers, posters, etc

2.4. Develop advocacy strategy document for use by CSOs, nutrition champions, etc

2.5. Organize an annual ‘1000  Days’ concert to institutionalize recognition of the importance of nutrition during the first 1000 days of life

2.6. Set up a communication bureau that will communicate coalition position on issues of relevance in nutrition

2.7. Establish and build research capacity that eventually leads to a think tank on nutrition policy and programming in Ghana

2.8. Build the capacity of media to enhance interest and sustain awareness of nutrition issues

OUTCOME 3 Nutrition is recognized as both a health and a developmental issue secured through the adoption and implementation of a strong National Nutrition Policy which is supported through appropriate budgetary allocation by the government and other stakeholders by 2013

Main activities to realize such an outcome will include:

3.1. Organize Parliamentary and ministerial dialogues on making nutrition a priority issue in development discourse

3.2. Lobbying for enhanced budgetary investment in nutrition with both government (national and sub-national levels) and development partners as targets

3.3. Establish advocacy Round-table(s) that will provide feedback to policy makers and implementers and relevant stakeholders in nutrition in Ghana  including the national  sun multi-stakeholder forum

3.4. Publish annual strategic policy feedback document outlining achievement of targets (watchdog role), and identify gaps to be filled. The publication will be launched and copies made available to relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

3.5. Support the drafting, consensus-building, finalization, dissemination, implementation and subsequent reviews of the national  nutrition policy currently under development

3.6. Create opportunity for discourse on nutrition as part of annual health summits by the Ministry of Health and its agencies.


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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Ghana or the lead agency for the programme. The MPTF Office Portfolio Manager (or Country Director with Delegation of Authority) for this programme:

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