Core principles and pre-conditions

One of the core principles of the NIPN approach is that it builds on existing structures, institutions and processes and adds value to existing initiatives by compiling existing information from multiple sectors and producing in-house data analysis in response to a country’s needs and demand.

When planning to set up a NIPN in a country, a number of pre-existing conditions are thus critical to consider, as they influence the longer-term sustainability of the platform.

These include:

  • Existing government and stakeholders’ dynamic around multisectoral approaches to nutrition, reflected by the existence of a multisectoral nutrition strategy, plan and coordination structure.
  • Demand for a strengthened information system, and better use of available data and information at (sub-)national level, even if currently underutilised (a first light assessment might be useful – additional guidance on how to conduct a data landscape exercise is provided in section 3.1).
  • Presence of other data initiatives in country in order to establish what the added value of a NIPN could be and to avoid duplication of efforts.

A scoping exercise can be useful for assessing the pre-existing conditions for a NIPN (see text box below).

How to assess country readiness for a NIPN
Pre-existing conditions can be initially assessed in a scoping mission through a combination of desk review, individual interviews with key stakeholders and focus group discussions.
  • Documents to be reviewed include: national development strategy and plan, sectoral strategy and policy documents and action plans, specific nutrition-relevant programme documents, stakeholder mappings and online data portals.
  • Key organisations to consult include: inter-ministerial coordination bodies for nutrition; ministries relevant to nutrition (e.g. health, agriculture, water and sanitation, education, planning and finance, social welfare and protection); the national statistics office, academic institutions and other institutions providing data analysis capacity to government departments; main donors, UN agencies and civil society organisations in country.
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