Turning Advocacy Targets into Champions
Throughout the campaign, the NNCC engaged in continuous dialogue and advocacy with key decision-makers in target districts. The NNCC held meetings with district parliamentarians and conducted district-level public discussions to facilitate public discourse about stunting, increase awareness and urge leaders to support stunting reduction policies and programs.
The NNCC also assisted district leaders to develop district-level plans and to advocate for the use of village funds to reduce and prevent stunting. These plans involve a wide variety district level government officials, representing commitment from many stakeholders. Once established, these plans are then signed off as a mayoral decree, committing district budgets—a huge accomplishment that means plans to reduce stunting are backed by committed funding.
Through this approach, the NNCC turned influential government counterparts from being the advocacy target group to becoming advocates for stunting reduction. For example, the head of Landak district has become well-versed in discussing stunting and its implications and has worked to move stunting to the top of the district’s health agenda. Moreover, in Landak and Kapuas, the district governments are in the process of issuing regulatory frameworks to accelerate stunting reduction, a major achievement for the NNCC effort. Through these efforts, we learned that government counterparts at all levels were happy with our help as this is a difficult process that requires planning and technical assistance.
Targeting Faith-Based Organizations in Advocacy Interventions
In Indonesia, FBOs have a vast membership across national and community levels, giving them a strong, influential position to advocate for supportive government policy and resource allocation to combat stunting. Through the NNCC, IMA worked to leverage the wide networks of FBOs to communicate stunting reduction messages and build capacity of their members.
Ensuring FBO leaders were equipped with accurate information was a critical first step. The NNCC created an Interfaith Discussion Forum to provide a platform for numerous FBOs to meet, communicate and network for stunting prevention initiatives. Members of the forum include representatives from Fatayat, Nahdlatul Ulama, Muhammadiyah, Nasyiatul Aisyiyah, Pemuda Muhammadiyah, Pelkesi and the Salvation Army (Evangelical Christian and Protestant), Perdhaki and Konferensi Waligereja Indonesia (Catholic), Yayasan Buddha Tzu Chi and Perwakilan Umat Buddha di Indonesia (Buddhist), Parisada Hindu Dharma Indonesia (Hindu) and Majelis Tinggi Agama Khonghucu Indonesia (Confucian). These organizations agree that stunting is an important and relevant issue both for their members and their organizations and remain committed to advocate for stunting. As the mandate of the Interfaith Discussion Forum, FBO leadership agreed to strengthen and maintain the interfaith network to act as an advocacy group.
To further leverage the reach of FBOs, the NNCC developed media resources that were tailored to appeal to the different characteristics of each faith in terms of language and imagery. NNCC worked closely with two of the largest FBOs in Indonesia—Nahdlatul Ulama and Aisyiyah—to reach target audiences through TV programming through their endorsement of key maternal and child nutrition and sanitation and hygiene messages.