The Clean, Fed & Nurtured Coalition (CF&N) is a combination of two previous groups: The BabyWASH Coalition and the CF&N Community of Practice. The merger became official in April 2018 and the two groups have been operating as one since then to encourage multi-sectoral action in the early years.
The CF&N Community of Practice began in May 2013 with an initial meeting that brought together 48 practitioners, researchers, and academics to begin creating linkages across the disciplines of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH); nutrition; and early childhood development (ECD), hence the Clean, Fed & Nurtured moniker.
At the time, there was growing consensus of the critical importance of WASH/nutrition integration for child growth and emerging program guidance and evidence. The same was equally true for nutrition and ECD integration. However, instances of WASH, nutrition, and ECD integration were very few. This meeting and the development of CF&N was born out of an interest in exploring the integration of thinking and resources of all three sectors to promote child growth and development.
The BabyWASH Coalition began when World Vision and WaterAid hosted an exploratory meeting with other NGOs, academic institutions and funding organisations to discuss the BabyWASH concept on December 10th, 2015. The conversation centered around the development of a coalition to bring together key sectors for the improvement of health and nutrition of children from conception up until the age of 2 by building on current and emerging evidence for the role of sanitation and hygiene in child growth and development.
After a process of stakeholder engagement and deciding on Coalition objectives, the BabyWASH Coalition made a commitment to the Every Woman Every Child movement and officially launched at the UN General Assembly in September 2016.
Both groups had success hosting discussions at conferences and creating multi-sectoral guidance. The two groups realized they had well aligned objectives and so merged to improve collaboration and prevent duplication of effort.
As a Coalition, we welcome anyone who would like to engage with the topic of improving multi-sectoral collaboration in the early years to join us.