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Transcript_CRF Niger: Dr Nassirou Ousmane

Transcript of interview with Dr Nassirou Ousmane (NO), Niger SUN FP on the Common Results Framework

NO: My name is Dr Nassirou Ousmane, I'm the Director of Nutrition at the Ministry of Public Health in Niger. I'm really delighted that you are here to conduct this interview on the multi-sectoral plan for Niger.

Q1. One of the main processes in the approach of the SUN Movement is developing a common results framework - a plan or series of plans that describe the work required and the objectives for reducing malnutrition in a country. Could you tell us about the current plan in Niger and what the objectives are.

NO: Thank you. I'll just begin by slightly correcting or extending the introduction. In fact, I am also the focal point for the SUN movement in Niger. And as such, as you have said, we will talk about the multi-sectoral plan for Niger which comes within the common results framework in Niger. So in Niger we have developed a multi-sectoral strategic plan for nutrition over three (3) years from 2016 to 2020. This plan results from the National Nutrition Security Policy that we developed. The objective of this plan is to reduce the prevalence of all forms of malnutrition, whether that be acute malnutrition, chronic malnutrition or stunting, or even micronutrient deficiency or even overnutrition as well. Because overnutrition is also found to be emerging especially in the big cities. And specifically, in terms of figures, the different objectives of this plan are to reduce stunting is 30%, it was 45.5% in 2014, 42.2% in 2016, to reduce global acute malnutrition below 10%, 10% being the critical threshold determined by the WHO, to reduce the prevalence of insufficient weight to 25%, from 34.8% to 25%, to reduce anaemia among pregnant women and women of childbearing age to 45.8% to 30%, to reduce the prevalence of anaemia in children to 50%, this anaemia being 73.4%. In terms of figures these are the objectives of the multi-sectoral strategic plan that Niger is developing, because we are at the point of the budgeting stage of this plan.

Q2. Who has participated in the development of the current plan? Who are the different stakeholders that have been involved in the development of this plan and what role did they play?

NO: Different stakeholders have been involved, as I said this is a multi-sectoral plan. All the stakeholders involved in nutrition have been involved within the framework of developing this plan. Across all the sectors, I mean within the government all the stakeholders here at this level are brought together at the level of the 3N Initiative High Commission, so the different sectors like livestock, water and sanitation, communication, education, health, finance, employment, social protection. In addition to the government side we also have the technical and financial partners who support us within the framework for the the fight against malnutrition in Niger. These partners include the United Nations agencies, the donors, the NGOs, civil society, then there is also the government at a regional level and at a departmental level. The different roles: the government side has the role of leadership in the development of this plan, now the other partners have supported us technically, financially to result in the development of this plan

Q3. Could you tell us about the process of developing this plan and how long the process of development and planning has taken?

NO: Yes, the process, as I said just now, this is a plan that has developed out of the National Nutrition Security Policy. And the development of this policy began in 2015. From 2015 to now, 2017, is 2 years. This National Nutrition Security Policy was developed under the multi-sectoral framework of the fight against malnutrition. We used to think that the problem of nutrition was only for the Minister of Health, now we understand that the problem of nutrition is multi-sectoral. It goes beyond, far beyond the Ministry of Public Health. So all the other sectors  need to contribute in the fight against malnutrition, for good nutrition within the country. So this Nutrition Security Policy was written under the 3N Initiative High Commission and now, the national multi-sectoral plan that has been developed as a result of this multi-sectoral policy. In fact we are at the point of the budgeting stage for this plan and it is expected that on the 2nd of March (2017) the latest draft of the plan will be ready. And this plan, as I said, affects all sectors: agriculture, water and sanitation, livestock, communication. Everyone has a line and a commitment at the level of the National Nutrition Security Policy and each of these commitments created a plan. This really is a plan that encompasses all sectors, with the technical and financial partners.

Q4. How did you go about setting objectives during the planning stage? How did you identify priority programs and communities in the plan?

NO: Yes, as I said earlier, we set quantified objectives. These objectives were developed based on the WHO global targets for 2025 as well as the situation we currently have here. We applied the WHO target that allows us to reduce, for example, if I take an example, to reduce the number of children with stunted growth by 40%. This 40% reduction has been applied to what we have (the rate of chronic malnutrition in Niger) and we found 30% between now and 2025 (action plan target), but our action plan lasts 3 years. So for all other objectives (of the action plan), we used the WHO targets for 2025 and applied them to our situation in terms of nutrition. And there is common sense too, because it's true that we have fixed goals we want to achieve, but also a real-life situation, so common sense has enabled us to adjust certain objectives so they reflect the reality.

Q5. Did you have access to the data and information required at this stage during the planning?

NO: Yes, as I have just said, to set the targets we have all the data from all sectors of course and this data was taken into account when we set the targets. Specifically data from the Department of Nutrition of the Ministry of Public Health, so this is the data we used and we also applied the WHO targets to achieve the objectives of this multi-sectoral plan. Now data has been used in other sectors, too, to define some of the objectives and plan certain activities to help reduce malnutrition.

Q6: What mechanism has been put in place to monitor the plan's objectives and what are the challenges of this monitoring?

NO: The monitoring mechanism for this plan is a highly placed body: the 3N Initiative Inter-ministerial Steering Committee (IOC), which is chaired by the President of the Republic himself meets once a month. Every month, the President of the Republic calls a committee meeting to put forward various situations, monitor the plan and see whether or not we are working towards achieving the targets that have been set. The challenge lies in the coordination, various meetings and the technical aspect, because we must first prepare the documents and prepare for the meeting chaired by Mr. President of the Republic, His Excellency Issoufou Mahamadou, before it is convened.

Q7. What role do development partners (NGOs, UN, etc.) play in supporting the development and planning of the CRF in Niger? What support have they provided?

NO: Yes, they have assisted us in two ways: technical support, since, as I have told you, we are in the process of budgeting for the plan, and partners have helped us to recruit various human resources, consultants, who have used multiple software applications to complete the budgeting for this plan. So that's technical support and partners have also provided us with financial support. Whether it is UNICEF, FAO or WHO, all these partners are providing technical support thanks to technicians as well as from a financial point of view to help develop this plan.

Q8: In 2015, nutrition stakeholders in Niger were interviewed and stated that there was extensive consultation at district level on the development of the action plan. Has this had an impact in terms of the awareness and involvement of district-level stakeholders in the plan? Is the plan well-understood by the people who work at this level?

NO: Yes, of course. As I told you, we started the process back in 2015 with the development of the National Nutrition Security Policy, which is multi-sectoral and inclusive. This process was inclusive. We were in the regions and involved departments, municipalities and the local community so that we could explain the development of this nutritional security policy. We criss-crossed every region and gathered all stakeholders around various governors and this methodology allowed us to have.

Q9: Can you tell us a little about the 3N initiative and its role in developing the Common Results Framework for nutrition?

NO: The 3N initiative is the Nigerians feed Nigerians (3N) initiative within the coordination framework of the 3N initiative High Commission is a structure of the Presidency of the Republic. This structure brings together all the sectors I mentioned earlier within the context of food security, nutrition and rural development in general, and this initiative has five key areas, including nutrition, which is number 4. There is a strategic program that governs each of these 5 areas, including the 5th, which is the coordination of the 3N initiative High Commission, while the other 4 areas are much more technical and each of these areas has a strategic program. The implementation of these programs will help us to reduce various forms of malnutrition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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