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Photo of members of the SCFN of Sokoto state discussing the action plan at the close of the capacity assessment in Sokoto State.
Photo Credit: Israel Odiba/USAID Advancing Nutrition Nigeria

In Nigeria, State Committees for Food and Nutrition (SCFNs) oversee and coordinate multi-sectoral activities that impact food and nutrition issues across their states. SCFNs also support the state planning ministries, which serve as the state-level secretariat, to plan, budget, implement, monitor, and advocate for various food and nutrition activities.

USAID Advancing Nutrition Nigeria conducted a capacity assessment of the SCFNs’ oversight functions for nutrition activities in three states where the project works (Bauchi, Kebbi, and Sokoto). The project also assessed SCFNs in six capacity areas: institutional context; structure and functions; gender equality and social inclusion; finance and operations; monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL); and state and local government authority (LGA) offices.

The assessment findings revealed that SCFNs have minimal capacity to perform the functions mandated in the National Policy on Food and Nutrition effectively. Areas for improvement include establishing and supporting functional committees at the LGA level, improving resource mobilization to the SCFNs to better meet their needs, and establishing/improving monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems to better track progress of food and nutrition activities and outcomes. USAID Advancing Nutrition Nigeria and the SCFNs identified key actions to address these areas of improvement. They include advocacy to the government and development of a resource mobilization plan for improving funding, reactivation of the Local Government Committee for Food and Nutrition, and development of MEL systems for the SCFNs.

Following the capacity assessment and analysis, the project led SCFN members through a participatory process to select priority capacity areas to inform the capacity strengthening action plan. The Sokoto SCFN committed to developing a MEL plan and to further ensure that the Local Government Committees for Food and Nutrition are well established. Similarly, the SCFN in Kebbi State committed to advocate for improved state nutrition funding and release. Lastly, the Bauchi SCFN pledged to redesign financial and budgetary processes or structures that will respond to budget changes, government policies, donor funding levels, and priorities for transparency. The Bauchi SCFNalso resolved to develop an advocacy agenda to solicit funds to ease the availability of resources for more efficient and effective functioning of the entire committee, especially the M&E unit.

The Permanent Secretary of the Sokoto State Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, who is also Sokoto’s SCFN chairperson, Usman Arzika Bodinga, thanked USAID Advancing Nutrition for taking the lead in identifying capacity gaps within the SCFNs in Sokoto, Kebbi, and Bauchi. “USAID Advancing Nutrition has done well in conducting this capacity assessment for us”, he noted. “On our part, we will ensure that the action plan is implemented to the letter to ensure we achieve better nutrition outcomes in the coming years,” he added.


From 2021-2023, USAID Advancing Nutrition supported the Government of Uganda in advancing the country’s food fortification program.