In order to increase the motivation of local governments and academic partners related to stunting reduction efforts at the district / city level, SEAMEO RECFON and National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) awarded the implementation of the Early Childhood Care, Nutrition, and Education (ECCNE) through the ECCNE Awards 2023 to 3 selected districts, namely Brebes, Bangka, and East Lombok.

The three districts were selected after eliminating 13 other districts that participated in the selection process, namely East Aceh, North Bengkulu, Bolaang Mongondow, Kediri, North Konawe, Luwu, West Manggarai, Maros, Ogan Ilir, Pekalongan, Sambas, Sampang, and Solok.

The stages of the selection process consisted of the selection of report files and video documentation of the implementation of the ECCNE Program and the promotion of local food-based balanced nutrition guidelines (PGS-PL) to determine the six finalists. The six finalists consisting of Bangka, Brebes, Kediri, East Lombok, Maros, and Solok Districts, followed the final stage of selection through a closed presentation held on September 16, 2023. The finalist presentations featured judges from representatives of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Ministry of Health (MOH), Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology (MOECRT), SEAMEO RECFON, and non-governmental institutions represented by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN).

Dr. Umi Fahmida, as the ECCNE Program Coordinator, delivered a brief introduction to the achievements of the ECCNE Program in Indonesia and the ECCNE Awards 2023 selection process. In her presentation, Dr. Umi Fahmida also conveyed the 16 focus locations of the ECCNE Program in Indonesia and the Southeast Asia region.

The event continued with the announcement of the winners of ECCNE Awards virtually by representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology, National Population and Family Planning Agency, and SEAMEO RECFON.

The 3rd winner was awarded to East Lombok District with best practices in the form of commitment from the District Government to the village level and conduct program innovations, namely Canting Mas (Cegah Stunting bersama Masyarakat/Prevent Stunting with the Community) and Cupak Gerantang (Cepat Upayakan Asupan gizi Keluarga melalui Gerakan Bersama Tangani Stunting/Quickly Strive for Family Nutrition Intake through the Joint Movement to Tackle Stunting).

Bangka District came in the 2nd winner with best practices in coordination with a hexa-helix approach, integration of BKB, Posyandu, and PAUD activities, as well as the innovation of the Pos Penting (Stunting Prevention) Sehat Mapan Program.

Meanwhile, Brebes District was awarded as the 1st winner with best practices in the commitment of the District Government and cross-sectors, the involvement of religious organizations, and several program innovations such as GASPOL (Gerakan Atasi Stunting Donasi Telor/Movement to Overcomg Stunting by Donating Eggs), Rias Canting (Perias Cegah Stunting/Makeup Artists Pevent Stunting), and BAAS (Bapak Asuh Anak Stunting/Father Fostering a Stunted Child).

The awarding session was attended by representatives from the Government of Brebres District and Semarang Health Polytechnic (academic partner), Government of Bangka District and Pangkal Pinang Health Polytechnic (academic partner), and Government of East Lombok District.

The awards session was ended with congratulations and wishes to the winners and finalists of the 2023 ECCNE Awards.

BKKBN, as the national coordinator of the Stunting Reduction Acceleration Task Force Team (TPPS), represented by Irma Ardiana, MD, MAPS as Director of Infant and Child Family Development, hopes that the program can be implemented sustainably and has leverage on stunting reduction.

“We really appreciate the efforts and innovations made by the district government that are integrated with existing programs and we hope that the program will be implemented in a sustainable manner and have a positive impact on accelerating stunting reduction,” said Mrs. Irma.

The similar thing was also conveyed by Dr. Mary Chong as Governing Board Member Singapore, as a representative of the Governing Board Member, who hopes that the program can be implemented in a sustainable manner.

“To the winners, we hope that good practices related to the ECCNE Program can be implemented sustainably, especially related to the promotion of balanced nutrition guidelines based on local food (PGS-PL) to achieve optimal early childhood development in Indonesia,” said Dr. Mary.

In closing the award ceremony, Dr. Zainun Misbah, as Acting Director of SEAMEO RECFON, gave appreciation and hope to all finalists and winners of the ECCNE Awards. In line with Mrs. Irma and Dr. Mary, Dr. Zainun also hopes that the ECCNE Awards finalists can implement the ECCNE Program in a sustainable manner.

“We hope that all program initiatives and innovations can reach a wider target at the district level. We also hope that the program can be implemented sustainably and can be adopted by other districts according to the local context,” concluded Dr. Zainun.

The ECCNE program is a multisectoral community-based intervention program that aims to provide a model for the implementation of holistic integrative early childhood development (HI ECD) and its supporting components (care, education, health, nutrition, and environment) to optimize child growth and development.

The awarding of the 3 winning districts was carried out during the awarding ceremony of ECCNE Awards along with the opening of SEAMEO RECFON’s 13th Governing Board Meeting (GBM) on September 19, 2023. The event was attended by Governing Board (GB) Members from official representatives from 11 countries in Southeast Asia, and opened by the Acting Director of SEAMEO RECFON, Representatives from SEAMEO Secretariat, Secretary of the University of Indonesia, as well as Acting Secretary of the Directorate General of Higher Education, Research and Technology, Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology.