The National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN) is a four-year project of the Government of Uganda supported by the European Union. NIPN facilitates multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder dialogue on nutrition and supports the use of existing information and data to develop or refine policies and programmes to address malnutrition. Implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) in partnership with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) and with technical support from UNICEF, NIPN contributes to strengthening national capacity of ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to manage and analyse nutrition information and data from all sectors for evidence-informed decision making. This project is engaged in the establishment of a central nutrition data repository and dashboard within the OPM. The project ensures that nutrition data and information is used to inform the strategic decisions and policies to address malnutrition and its consequences.
NIPN aims at creating a platform to bring together and analyse existing nutrition information and data from all sectors. This is in a bid to support the development of evidence-based policies and programmes to improve human nutrition. The NIPN project began in January 2018 with the signing of the contractual agreement between EU and OPM and was launched in February 2018 by the Prime Minister of Uganda, Rt. Hon Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda during the National Nutrition Forum.
The NIPN initiative globally seeks to achieve the under listed objectives;
i. Create capacity within national institutions to operate and maintain a National Information Platform for Nutrition;
ii. Strengthen capacity to track progress in meeting national objectives to prevent under-nutrition and monitor nutrition investments;
iii. Build the capacity of national policy makers and programme planners to make better use of evidence in designing and implementing nutrition-related policies.
The approach undertaken by the NIPN project in Uganda seeks to;
i. Maximise the analysis and interpretation of existing information and data on nutrition to improve understanding of the factors that influence it, both nationally and locally;
ii. Identify gaps in information that need to be filled and problems with the consistency and quality of data;
iii. Build plausible arguments about the effectiveness of interventions, programmes, approaches and investments to prevent malnutrition;
iv. Contribute to monitoring national and sub-national (local governments) progress in preventing malnutrition;
v. Strengthening the accountability of governments and donors to meet their commitments to prevent malnutrition.
The analyses undertaken by NIPN are based on the evidence gained from both international and national experiences about what interventions or a combination of interventions have the most impact, depending on context and what factors influence their effectiveness. This is meant to enable the government of Uganda to prioritise and scale-up interventions and approaches that will contribute to the reduction of under-nutrition and further support the development of better policies and programmes to improve human nutrition and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
The expected outputs from the NIPN project are:
i. Existing information and data from all sectors and from all levels of government is gathered to create a repository that acts as a resource of information for analysis;
ii. The NIPN provides information and analysis driven by the questions of government and stakeholders to inform their policies and programmes;
iii. Regular reports, policy briefs and tailored documents are produced and disseminated, meeting the needs and technical understanding of different audiences;
iv. Summary statistics are provided to data dashboards and government information systems.
To achieve and sustain the above outputs, the NIPN project in Uganda is implemented within the UNAP framework and the auspices of the scaling up nutrition (SUN) movement.