At CSO-SUN we are exploring how political parties can effectively contribute to nutrition development. We know that each political party is a government in waiting. Thus, the level of attention a political party pays to nutrition during their campaign is an indicator of how nutrition will be positioned when they form government. In another way, nutrition progress at the time of governing the country depends on the position for nutrition in a party manifesto. , CSO-SUN therefore is of the view that political parties provide fertile ground for nutrition development and continuity in the implementation of nutrition interventions.
As Zambia goes for general elections in August this year, it is important to strategically position nutrition advocacy efforts to ensure that nutrition remains high on the agenda. As nutrition stakeholders, we all have a key role to play in guaranteeing that this happens. To do so, it is critical that we speak with one voice, highlighting the same key messages, to ensure that priorities are clear and avoid confusion among both political candidates and the population at large.
In the previous election, CSO-SUN launched the Vote Nutrition Campaign which focussed on getting political candidates to highlight their plans regarding nutrition development in Zambia. This initiative was successful, as it kick started the conversation on nutrition among political candidates. In this upcoming election, we plan to continue to engage the political parties to keep nutrition high on the agenda.
However, we also recognize that we cannot do this alone—that we need everyone working within the nutrition space, from Government, to implementers, to donors, to add their voices to the call for increased attention to this important issue, and that we do so in a coordinated manner that supports national nutrition priorities and contributes to improving nutrition for the Zambian people.
Given the above CSO-SUN is organising a half day workshop to agree on key nutrition messages to be conveyed as the country heads for elections in August. This event will take place on March 4th 2016 (venue to be communicated). We look forward to you joining us for this important event.