The strength of NIPN

The strength of the National Information Platforms for Nutrition lies in their ability to:

  1. answer nutrition policy-relevant questions for which the starting point is the demand from policy makers.
  2. make better use of existing national and sub-national quantitative data (depending on availability/accessibility/quality of data), for a better understanding of:
  • progress and regional disparities in nutrition targets and determinants;
  • coverage of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions and programmes;
  • investments in these programmes.

The added value of the NIPN operational cycle is the creation of a continuous dialogue between policy experts and data analysts to decide on the priority policy-relevant questions, the type of analysis and how the results from the analysis will be communicated to policy makers as actionable recommendations for policy decisions. This differs from the usual approach in which data analysts, analyse data, prepare a report, and share the report with policy makers, without much interaction with them.

  • Because the strength of NIPN lies in answering nutrition policy-relevant questions and making better use of existing data, the data analyses carried out by NIPN needs to follow specific principles.
  • Because of these principles, and because of the nature of the data typically used by NIPN, some data analysis methods are better suited to providing actionable answers than others.

This guidance note clarifies these two points from a “data perspective”. It should be used in full coherence with the guidance note on the formulation of policy questions (see section 2).

The objectives of this guidance note are:

  • To support the data teams in identifying or choosing the appropriate data analysis method, pertinent to the nutrition policy questions and data quality;
  • To discuss the strengths and limitations of the platforms for different types of data analysis, illustrated by concrete examples and methodological argumentation;
  • To identify analysis tools and methods that are particularly suited to leading to actionable recommendations to inform nutrition policy, programme and budget decisions.

A short technical note summarising this section is available and can be used for:

  • Creating a common understanding amongst the data and policy units and with members of the Multisectoral Advisory Committee, on what NIPN can and cannot do in terms of data analysis,.
  • Supporting the NIPN teams in communicating what the information platform can and cannot do in terms of data analysis to other stakeholders (including policy decision makers, sectoral technical experts, donors, FAO-FIRST policy officers or partners active in SUN networks).
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Which types of data are typically used by a NIPN?