Strengthening Government’s Capacity For Better Use Of Data For Nutrition

(KPL) As part of the National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN) initiative, the European Union (EU) and UNICEF are building the capacity of Government staff to make better use of evidence and data to design and implement nutrition related policies and programmes through a workshop in Vientiane on April 3.

The workshop titled Support to the implementation of the NIPN operational cycle: formulation of policy-relevant questions and analyses of existing data seeks to build the capacity of the team to operationalize the initiative, provide guidance and discuss priorities in the action plan for the next sixth months.

The NIPN initiative is strengthening capacities in the Lao PDR to monitor progress towards under nutrition reduction, contributing to implement more cost-effective and evidence-based policies. This training will greatly contribute to build institutional capacity for evidence-based policy formulation and nutrition programming in the Lao PDR, said Dr. Kikeo Chantaboury, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment.

The Global Support Facility (GSF) which provides technical support to NIPN implementing countries globally will facilitate a workshop for the Lao NIPN Country Team and Data and Policy Analysis Units, including members of the NIPN Secretariat.

It is our hope that strengthening institutional capacity will result in strategic advocacy using evidence generated from data analysis and research for increased public financing for nutrition as well as in improvements in tracking nutrition investments in the Lao PDR, stated Mr. Leo Faber, European Union Ambassador.

According to the Lao Social Indicator Survey (LSIS-II, 2017), stunting has decreased from 44 per cent in LSIS-I to 33 per cent. Despite this positive downward trend, significant disparities remain across the 18 provinces, among rural and urban dwellers as well as the wealth quintiles.

Secondary analysis of LSIS-II shows that stunted children suffer more Multiple and Overlapping Deprivations in the Lao PDR. Stunted children are twice more likely (31.8%) to be deprived in three dimensions of sanitation, nutrition and housing as compared to non-stunted children (17.1%).

NIPN focuses on a system to maximize the analysis and interpretation of existing information and data on nutrition. Bringing representatives together from relevant sectors and line ministries to discuss the implementation of the NIPN Operational Cycle is key to build synergies and increase efficiency and effectiveness of the programme. We are at a crucial stage where information collected through NIPN will feed into the preparations of the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan, concluded Dr. Octavian Bivol, UNICEF Representative.

The National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) is an international initiative of the

European Commission with support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This initiative is an integral part of the Government’s nutrition programme, which is supported jointly by EU Delegation and UNICEF in the context of their Partnership for Improved Nutrition in the Lao PDR.

Source: Lao News Agnecy