Assessment of Barangay Nutrition Action Plan (BNAP) Implementation in Selected Municipalities in Ifugao, Bulacan and Siquijor: Barangay Nutrition Scholars’ Perspectives

Ma. Socorro Endrina-Ignacio

Department of Nutrition, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila

Introduction. The Barangay Nutrition Action Plan (BNAP) is the local version of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN), the country's directional framework for nutrition improvement. The Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) spearhead the BNAP implementation.

Objective. To assess the implementation of BNAP in selected municipalities with high and low prevalence of undernutrition in the province if Ifugao, Bulacan, and Siquijor.

Materials and Methods. Qualitative method of data collection was employed to assess the BNAP formulation and implementation. A total of 57 BNS consented to participate in a focus group discussion.

Results. This paper presents the BNS perspectives on how BNAP is formulated and implemented in their barangays. While program elements that distinguish the low and high prevalence municipalities were observed, unique program elements, which may explain the program impact in terms of children's nutritional status, cannot be isolated. BNS' perception of the program inputs that contributed to the positive outcome of the BNAP implementation are as follows: political support, functional barangay nutrition committees, support and guidance from their supervisors, and their high credibility in the community as source of nutrition information that serves as their inspiration and motivation. The perceived program processes that contributed to improving the nutritional status of children in the community, are as follows: the presence of inter-agency collaboration, collective formulation of the BNAP, BNS' resourcefulness and innovativeness in soliciting support from other BNC member agencies.

Discussion and Recommendations. Across all municipalities, the BNS shared similar program inputs and processes that hey perceived can contribute to improved BNAP implementation. They shared similar recommendations ranging from increased budgetary support for nutrition activities, more incentives for BNS (both monetary and non-monetary), security of tenure as BNS and cooperation from the community beneficiaries in their barangays. In high prevalence municipalities, BNS hope that the NNC will take notice of their problems particularly those that relate to BNAP implementation. Majority hopes that their appointment be apolitical to ensure their security of tenure. Some proposed that their Barangay Chairs be oriented on BNAP, BNC, BNS and their important foles in BNAP implementation. Recommendations to improve BNAP implementation included: political support to ensure funding of BNAP, functional BNC, continuous guidance from their supervisors, continuous BNS capacity building to enhance their program management skills and to enable them to effectively promote inter-agency collaboration and sustained advocacy at the national level for the passage of the Magna Carta for BNS that will increase their allowance and provide them with opportunities to upgrade technical capability to efficiently plan and manage local nutrition programs.

Key Words: Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, Barangay Nutrition Action Plan, Barangay Nutrition Scholars, Barangay Nutrition Committee, localization of PPAN