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Bringing voices from South Sudan and Uganda to a global audience

This year’s Micronutrient Forum (MNF) offered an opportunity for Right2Grow to invite two of our partners to present research and advocacy work to a global audience. Taking place between 16-24 October, the MNF brought together researchers, advocates, policy makers, and private sector entrepreneurs to exchange and learn about nutrition – and many intersecting priorities.

We welcomed two of our partners to share their experiences from Right2Grow: Samuel Chor Alier, from Child Rights Coalition in South Sudan, and Nixon Ochatre, from Amani Initiative and MCLD in Uganda. Samuel and Nixon were part of a session that Right2Grow hosted together with the WeAreAble! Alliance, another strategic partnership under the Power of Voices funding subsidy. The session was sponsored by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Bridging Gaps: Empowering Communities Through Budget Advocacy in South Sudan and Gender-Sensitive Solutions in Uganda

Samuel shared his experiences with Budget Monitoring and Expenditure Tracking (BMET) in South Sudan. Under Right2Grow, local civil society organizations and communities have gained a stronger grasp on BMET, learning how to track, analyze, report on and advocate for budget allocation that aligns with community priorities on nutrition and WASH. The partners in South Sudan have made strong inroads in their advocacy, ultimately reaching several Parliamentarians and relevant Ministries in South Sudan with their efforts. Through their BMET advocacy, Child Rights Coalition and other South Sudanese CSOs are able to influence re-allocations of the national budget, helping to address inefficiencies and misalignment with local needs.

Nixon conducted research in Uganda on gender-informed nutrition and WASH at community level. He presented the outcomes of the research, as well as outlining the innovative trio fantastico model that Right2Grow uses to balance research teams. Nixon explained the value of having a diverse research team, including an expert on nutrition and WASH, an expert on and from the community, and an expert on L&A – helping to ensure the research is relevant and useful for the Uganda team’s advocacy.

The research showed the current discrepancies in nutrition and access to WASH between genders in Uganda. It highlighted barriers in access and use of nutrition and WASH services, balancing both the perspectives of women and girls, and those of men – who are also crucial partners in alleviating gender imbalances. Nixon provided strong feedback and recommendations to participants in the session.

Networking and exploring partnerships

After the MNF, Nixon and Samuel participated in Right2Grow’s networking event on Breaking the Silos. There, in dialogue with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs and representatives from other Dutch NGOs and strategic partners, Nixon and Samuel made the case for exploring partnerships between civil society organizations, ensuring that these partnerships help to shift power and resources appropriately to local communities, and to enable locally-led advocacy to address critical issues like undernutrition and lack of access to WASH services.

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