On March 6, 2018, Growth through Nutrition brought together representatives from five new and continuing Local NGO (LNGO) partners for a kick-off meeting. The LNGOs included the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church-Development Association, Fayyaa Integrated Development Organization, Ethiopian Muslims Relief and Development Association, Common Vision for Development Association, and Mums for Mums Ethiopia.
The role of the invited LNGOs is to implement the Enhanced Community Conversation (ECC) component of the project. Project leaders and regional managers from Save the Children and LNGO counterparts came to the meeting with the objective of building the capacity of local implementing partners on program policies and implementation.
In his opening speech, Mr. Daniel Abbott, Growth through Nutrition Chief of Party, remarked that the LNGOs’ work with us is the backbone of the project given that the Behavioral Change component is cross cutting in many ways. He added that the LNGOs’ input is critical for the success of the entire project, as it is not possible to change nutritional status of households without changing their behaviors first.
During the day and a half-long meeting, participants were familiarized with Growth through Nutrition approaches including gender strategy, SBCC, roles and responsibilities, and child safeguarding policies. Additionally, continuing LNGO partners presented updates on implementation progress and challenges to-date.
The meeting concluded with major takeaways about the need for coordination between LNGOs and project Field Offices, and a cohesive partnership in working towards a common objective of the project.
A Social Behavior Change Communication (SBCC) approach is used by the project to improve the community’s knowledge and attitude on key WASH, adolescent, and maternal and child nutrition practices. ECCs are conducted at the community level with peer groups of pregnant/lactating women and grandmothers and fathers, meeting separately to focus on knowledge and skills relevant to their gender and family roles.
By Yared Lemma, Knowledge Manager