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A nurse wearing a head covering is tying a face mask.
Photo Credit: Andri Ginting/USAID

The COVID-19 pandemic and other global shocks threaten to derail progress made towards achieving the maternal, infant, and young child nutrition targets endorsed by the World Health Assembly–particularly the targets for stunting, wasting, exclusive breastfeeding, and anemia in women of reproductive age. To provide a collective voice on monitoring the impact of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition and collaborate on nutrition-related data collection, representatives from USAID, UNICEF, WHO, and USAID Advancing Nutrition formed the Agile Core Team for Nutrition Monitoring (ACT-NM) in the early days of the pandemic.

In July 2022, the group launched the COVID-19 and Nutrition Analytical Framework, an interactive tool illustrating the pathways connecting the secondary impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition outcomes in both children and adults. Linking food, health, social protection, education, water, and sanitation to the outcomes and impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition, the Analytical Framework Visualizer’s applicability to understand the potential impact of future disasters is unmatched. For policymakers and program staff, this tool is a powerful and adaptable way to strengthen nutrition programs in the wake of COVID-19 and in preparation for future shocks.

During this webinar, members of the ACT-NM–

  • discussed how the COVID-19 and Nutrition Analytical Framework was developed and how it can be used to explore pathways in different contexts
  • demonstrated how the framework supports an integrated, systems approach to nutrition challenges caused, increased, or intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic and future pandemics/crises.

This event was made available in English, French, Spanish, and Arabic interpretation

 

Speakers

  • Vrinda Mehra (moderator) is a physician and public health professional with expertise in data, analysis and monitoring of child nutrition. As a statistics specialist within the Division of Data, Analytics, Planning and Monitoring at UNICEF, Vrinda has led the development, expansion and maintenance of UNICEF’s global databases on Infant and Young Child Feeding and contributed to methodological work in this area including the updated guidance on IYCF indicators. Before UNICEF, Vrinda has worked with academic universities where she supported the evaluation of maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition projects and published several papers.
  • Chika Hayashi is a senior advisor in monitoring and statistics, and chief of the Nutrition Data Unit in the Data Analytics Section at UNICEF. She has spent over 20 years at the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Bank working across various types of monitoring and evaluation activities and across many countries and regions. She has developed numerous global reports, global monitoring frameworks, and indicator data collection and estimation guidelines; modeled intervention scenarios and performed cost-effectiveness analyses; and created and implemented tools for target-setting, data system reviews, and program and impact evaluations. 
  • Maggie Holmesheoran is a nutrition advisor at USAID's Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), covering a global portfolio of protracted crises including Syria, Nigeria, Burma and Sri Lanka. She serves as BHA's focal person for nutrition metrics, monitoring and evaluation and cash and vouchers for nutrition. Her primary research interests are the intersection of mental health and nutritional caregiving, improving the nutritional value of humanitarian food assistance, increasing involvement of fathers in nurturing care, and improved efficiencies in CMAM programming. 
  • Giovanna Gatica-Domínguez is a nutritionist and technical officer in the Monitoring Nutritional Status and Food Safety Events Unit, in the Nutrition and Food Safety Department of WHO. Giovanna was previously a postdoctoral researcher at the International Center for Equity in Health and the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil where she was responsible for the analysis of nutritional indicators in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) using national survey data, and produced scientific articles on inequalities in maternal and child nutritional indicators in LMIC. In 2020, she joined WHO and has since contributed to work on child malnutrition and low birth weight indicators and monitoring, COVID-19 and nutrition as part of the ACT-NM group, and global reports including the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, among others.