Who we are

A brief insight on the Agency

The National Nutrition Agency (NaNA) was established in 2000 (an amalgamation of the Nutrition Unit Ministry of Health and the Office of the Nutrition Component Coordinator of the World Bank supported Participatory Health Population and Nutrition Project). The Agency became a legal entity in 2005 by an Act of the National Assembly (Food Act 2005). It is charged with the responsibility of coordinating all nutrition and nutrition related activities in the country. The Agency is a semi-autonomous government institution answerable to the Office of the Vice President through an Agency Board. NaNA was strategically placed under the Office of the Vice President to remove/avoid sectoral bias, and to attract a wider funding base for nutrition in order to ensure better coordination of nutrition interventions across the sectors as nutrition is cross-cutting. It serves as the Secretariat to the National Nutrition Council (an inter-Ministerial body) and the Scaling up of Nutrition (SUN) Movement.

The overall mission of the Agency is to improve the nutritional status of Gambians, thus reducing malnutrition, morbidity and mortality among the general population, especially the most vulnerable groups; pregnant and lactating women and children under five years of age, thereby contributing to the productivity of The Gambian population and the socio-economic development of the country, and to transform the Agency into a viable and sustainable Centre of Excellence in the area of nutrition policy formulation, research, capacity building, public health nutrition planning and programming in the West African sub-region.

Vision: ‘‘a Gambia free of malnutrition that assures a healthy and sustainable livelihood’’.

Goal: To improve the Gambian population’s nutritional status especially that of the most vulnerable groups.

For the Agency to attain its vision and goal as enshrined in the policy, NaNA works with all stakeholders including communities and community based organizations involved in nutrition and nutrition related areas as well as mainstream nutrition into other sector policies, programmes and strategies to improve the coordination of nutrition interventions in the country. Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) plays a major role towards achieving the Agency’s mission.

 

Sir. Modou Cheyassin Phall

The Executive Director is the overall Head of the Agency who oversees, monitors and guides its day-to-day operations and is answerable to the Agency’s Board. He sets out and assigns duties as and when required.

The Deputy Executive Director deputize in the absence of the Executive Director and advises the Executive Director in the day-to-day operations of NaNA. He is answerable to the Executive Director and the Agency Board. He sets out and assigns duties as and when required and is himself responsible for the following schedule of duties:

  1. Coordination of the implementation of the Nutrition IEC/advocacy programme
  2. Responsibility for the Policy Analysis, Planning and Research Unit of NaNA
  3. Management and analysis of data and report writing
  4. Preparation of work plan, proposals, requests and budgets
  5. Provision of support assistance to junior staff
  6. Participation in the planning, organization and conduction of training activities
  7. Involvement and participation in nutrition research carried out by the Agency
  8. Supervision and monitoring of staff
  9. Attendance and participation in meetings, workshops and conferences
  10. Collaboration with other partners and stakeholders
  11. Review of proposals, documents and reports
  12. Participate on the day-to-day administration of the Agency
  13. Any other duties assigned by the Executive Director

They are responsible for the Financial and Administrative Management of the Agency and the Head reports directly to the Executive Director

The Unit's responsibility also include:

  1. Co-coordinating the negotiation, evaluation and settlement of accounts
  2. Provision of briefs for Contractors, Consultants and all Contracts for the Agency
  3. Coordinate and keep in proper order all assets belonging to the Agency including the management of its estate
  4. Being responsible for the Agency’s annual Budget preparation and monitoring and its annual report
  5. Being the custodian of the Agency’s Common Seal
  6. Contributing to the preparation of the yearly report to the National Assembly on the activities of the Agency.

Its core duties include; Resource mobilisation, Monitoring and Evaluation, Research and Documentation and reports to the Deputy Executive Director.

The Unit is responsible for the following functions:

  1. Develop a framework and guidelines for the mainstreaming of nutrition in development sectoral planning, for use by development planners in the appraisal of sectoral policies for their nutrition content
  2. Assess the potential impact of Government policies (planned or existing) on nutrition outcome and enable NaNA to recommend how vulnerable groups can be cushioned or protected against any adverse effects, in a timely manner
  3. Undertake an inventory of all nutrition relevant policies and identify opportunities and mechanisms for harmonizing these policies with the nutrition policy and, for enhancing Nutrition Policy and programme implementation.
  4. Identify gaps and weaknesses in the Nutrition Policy and suggest how they could be strengthened
  5. Conduct research, studies and surveys on nutrition and related issues
  6. Collect, analyses and interpret all statistical data on nutrition and related areas for policy formulation and informed decision making
  7. Coordinate the mobilization of resources for investing in nutrition

They are responsible for advocacy and the Head reports to the Deputy Executive Director

The functions of the Unit include:

  1. Develop mechanism for the coordination of all nutrition related SBCC activities
  2. Promote nutrition and nutrition-related activities using formal and informal media intervention
  3. Facilitate community participation in nutrition programming

They are responsible for implementation of nutrition programmes and the Head report s to the Deputy Executive Director

The NPIU is responsible for the following:

  1. Coordinate the development of annual plans for nutrition programming in line with priorities set in the policy document
  2. Coordination of the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) Programme and Maternal Nutrition plans
  3. Coordination of the implementation of micronutrient deficiency control programme
  4. Define standard norms and guidelines for effective nutrition programme and service delivery for use by implementing agencies
  5. Provide technical and material support for nutrition programme activities within stakeholder institutions as the need arises.

They are responsible for providing general support such as messengers, transport and cleansing services.

Our Core Responsibilities

  • Coordination of all nutrition and related activities in The Gambia
  • Coordination of inter-sectoral action towards the implementation of the National Nutrition Policy.
  • Coordination of the review, up-dating, strengthening, harmonising and development of legislation relevant to nutrition
  • Undertake policy analysis and review to anticipate opportunities or potentially adverse nutrition outcome of development policies, and recommend appropriate protective mechanisms and strategies
  • Define and develop norms, principles, guidelines and protocols for effective nutrition programme and service delivery, for use by relevant implementing partners
  • Develop and strengthen the capacities of stakeholders to enable them fulfil their role and mandate in nutrition policy and related programmes and intervention
  • Increase national awareness on nutrition issues in general, and the nutrition policy and plan of action, in particular, and the strategies and activities for its implementation, through an advocacy and social and behaviour change communication strategy
  • Be a national centre of excellence on nutrition issues in The Gambia
  • Mobilise technical, material, and financial resources to support a coordinated response to The Gambia’s nutrition problems, and co- ordinate donor support and private sector investment for nutrition activities in The Gambia
  • Support stakeholders in the integration of nutrition objectives into their development strategies and plans
  • Monitor and evaluate nutrition policy and programme implementation and advise the Council, periodically
  • Promote the respect for the right to adequate nutrition and the protection, development and attainment of nutrition security
  • Monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning adequate nutrition including:
  • (i) monitoring and evaluating policies and practices of organs of State, statutory corporations, civil society, private companies and businesses, and other stakeholders as they relate to nutrition
    (ii) Evaluating Acts of the National Assembly, customary laws or any other law relating to, or affecting nutrition
    (iii) Recommending to the Vice President the adoption of new legislation that would promote the right to food and nutrition security
    (iv) Investigating any other nutrition–related issues.
  • Enlist services of non-state actors including traditional leaders, non-governmental organisations, women’s groups, consumer associations and the youth in disseminating information, and in the conduct of any other activities connected with the programmes on nutrition
  • Develop and pilot intervention strategies before their adoption for implementation
  • Implement nutrition intervention programmes
  • Participate in activities relating to standards and technical regulations for nutrition at national, regional and international levels
  • Promotion of food fortification
  • Development of guidelines for food fornication
  • Capacity building and research.

Our Achievements

  • Acquisition of a headquarter building
  • Establishment of the multi-sectoral National Nutrition Council (NNC) with the Vice President as the Chairperson
  • Development, implementation/coordination of a National Nutrition Policy that had been updated twice to reflect current realities
  • Coordination of the Drafting and enactment of the Food Act (2005)
  • Establishment of National Alliance for Food Fortification (NAFF) and its coordination
  • Establishment of the Nutrition Technical Advisory Committee (NTAC)
  • Coordination of the multi-sectoral Technical Working Group (TWG)
  • Launched the Cost of Hunger in Africa (COHA) Study Report (2018) The Gambia
  • Baby Friendly Community Initiative (BFCI) expanded to 1,032 communities by 2019
  • Exclusive breastfeeding rates increased from 36% in 2000 to 45% in 2005 and now it stands at 52% (2018)
  • Facilitated the enactment of the Food Fortification and Salt Iodization Regulation (2006)
  • Facilitated the formation of the National Association of Salt Producers and Traders (NaSPAT)
  • Household consumption of iodised salt increased from 9% in 1999 to 13.3% in 2004 and 74% in 2018
  • Facilitated the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of BMS and making it into the Breastfeeding Promotion Regulation (2006)
  • Pilot tested the Vitamin A Supplementation of children and later adopted it as a national programme that is incorporated into the RCH/EPI services as a routine programme
  • Vitamin A supplementation integrated into National Immunisation Days (NIDs)
  • Coordination of 2 successful UNICEF supported SMART Surveys
  • Stunting, wasting and underweight (indicators of malnutrition) has consistently decreased over the years to 15.7%, 5.8% and 10.6%, respectively in 2018
  • Development of Teaching and Learning Materials on Nutrition Education in Lower Basic Schools
  • Successfully conducted a National Micronutrient Survey twice – first in 1999 and then in 2018
  • Development of Social and Behaviour Change Communication (SBCC) and Community Mobilisation (CM) Strategies with accompanying tools
  • Facilitated and coordinated the development of the Food Safety and Quality Act 2011 and subsequently the establishment of the Authority
  • Development of Schemes of Service and Staff Service Rules for efficient and effective human resource management
  • All the 4 Units of the Agency have now been established and being staffed as per the Schemes of Service
  • Mobilisation of Resource from the World Bank (Non-Lending Technical Assistance project (NLTA), Rapid Response Nutrition Security Improvement Project (RRNSIP), Maternal Nutrition and Health Results Project (MCHNRP), Gambia Social Safety Net Project (GSSNP), from the European Union (BReST), and from the FAO (TCP on Nutrition Education in Lower Basic Schools and a TCP on Food Fortification)).