To turn a commitment to scale up nutrition into reality, we need high-quality actionable data – in the right places at the right times. Without this, we are at best myopic, and at worst, flying blind. Data are needed to characterize different types of nutrition problems, to highlight magnitude, distribution, and variability, over time and space; to understand what’s driving the problem; to design, deliver and monitor appropriately targeted interventions and determine their effectiveness; to track national and global levels and trends, and to hold responsible actors accountable for progress (or lack thereof) toward goals they have signed up to.
In this paper, we argue that a value chain approach is key for progress. We start by reviewing recommendations on a package of high-impact nutrition-specific interventions. The “best bet” recommendations from the 2013 Lancet Maternal and Child Nutrition series were combined with current WHO global guidance to generate a list of 24 high-impact interventions. We then proposed a list of indicators to capture their coverage, and assess the extent to which this is done or feasible using available data sets. Three case studies are presented to highlight the kind of innovations that are feasible, using published literature and empirical data from large-scale initiatives.
This paper is part of a series from the Countdown to 2030 initiative that aims to address the challenges in measurement and monitoring women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health in the context of the sustainable development goals. The series includes improved ways to measure and monitor inequalities, drivers of women’s, children’s and adolescents’ health especially governance, early childhood development, reproductive maternal and child health in conflict settings, nutrition intervention coverage and effective coverage of interventions.
What’s needed to advance the nutrition intervention coverage measurement agenda?
More broadly, we argue that to accelerate progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals we need the following:
Stuart Gillespie leads A4NH's research flagship on Supporting Policies, Programs, and Enabling Action through Research (SPEAR). He is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute. This blog originally appeared on the Transform Nutrition West Africa website.
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