With support from USAID Advancing Nutrition, 17 districts in Ghana have formed District Nutrition Coordination Committees (DNCCs)—a significant step toward strengthening leadership, coordination, and multi-sectoral collaboration that can improve the districts’ response to malnutrition. Like Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) and other coordination platforms at the national level, DNCCs will enable nutrition stakeholders in the districts to share information, build consensus, and ensure coordination to address malnutrition.
As they inaugurated the committees, leadership across the 17 districts and the four Regional Coordinating Councils emphasized the importance of functional committees in helping to address malnutrition. “Many committees go to sleep after inauguration. This must not be one of such committees. We will do all within our reach to ensure the functionality of this committee. See your work as service to the people and play your roles as required, so that the next time we meet, we would have success stories to share,” said the Honorable Emmanuel Asore Avoka, District Chief Executive for Garu. Among many critical functions, DNCCs will provide technical guidance in planning and budgeting for nutrition activities; ensure collaboration and coordination; mobilize resources to support nutrition activities; and support monitoring and reporting.
The Chief of Party for USAID Advancing Nutrition in Ghana, Mr. Yunus Abdulai, urged all districts to make their DNCC a priority. “Having a platform like this would help you advocate to get nutrition integrated into your plans and funding provided; 2021 is a planning year and so we have a golden opportunity to put nutrition on the agenda,” he said, during the inauguration of the DNCC in the Nadowli-Kaleo District of the Upper West Region.
A number of key strategies will ensure the sustainability of the DNCCs. They include integrating DNCCs into the District Assembly structure and formalizing its work; developing annual plans for DNCCs and ensuring that budgetary provisions are made for DNCC activities as part of District Assemblies’ annual composite budgets and plans; and seeking support and collaboration with donors, the private sector, and others interested in nutrition.