The 5th project Research and Learning Working group that was held on July 12 at KZ hotel brought together more than 20 research and learning focal persons from different projects to attend the presentation and participate in the discussion of Seqota Declaration success, challenges and lesson learned. In addition, a complementary study by Tufts University on assessing the effectiveness of multisectoral coordination bodies for policy effectiveness was presented and discussed during the event.
The meeting started with Rahel Gizaw, Tufts Senior Learning Advisor on the Growth through Nutrition Activity, introducing the program agenda and the presenters including herself. Following the introduction, Dr. Sisay Sinamo, Senior Program Manager, Seqota Declaration, Federal program Delivery Unit at FMoH, took the stage to deliver a presentation on Seqota Declaration. On his presentation, Dr. Sisay highlighted “Seqota Declaration is not a separate program or a project, but an innovative commitment of the Government of Ethiopia, which build and accelerate NNP II implementation to end stunting among children under age of two by 2030. Dr. Sisay continued his presentation by explaining Seqota declaration 15 years’ road map with its defined six innovations implemented in three phases (Innovation/learning by doing, expansion and national scale-up) by health, agriculture and six other sectors. On his presentation, Dr. Sisay highlighted some of the barriers and potential solutions based on the lesson learns from the innovation phase of program imp mentation. Some of the barriers include inadequate integration of health and agriculture workers at the household level, poor cross-sector communication, high turnover of leaders at different levels mainly woreda level, poor financial accountability, and resource gaps. Some of these barriers could be addressed by defining sectoral mandate, assigning woreda coordinators to maintain the transfer of knowledge during transition between leaders during turnover, increasing community participation in problem identification and proposing solution, tracking nutrition resource investments, improving resource mobilization capacities at different level, improving evaluation and feedback mechanism of multisectoral coordination bodies. The new satellite-based reporting mechanism was also mentioned as a promising innovative solution to improve data revolution (one of the six innovation). Dr. Sisay ended his presentation by acknowledging all stakeholders and partners supporting the implementation of the Seqota declaration.
The 2nd presentation delivered by Rahel Gizaw, on accessing multisectoral for policy effectiveness reinforced most of the findings and recommendation from the presentation on SD mainly the importance of leadership commitment from all implementing sectors, filling resource gaps and building capacity of leaders at woreda level as crucial elements for effective implementation of multisectoral coordination bodies at woreda level. Both presentations were followed by proactive Q & A session which helped to clarify some of the findings and recommendation shared presented during the presentation.