The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and East, Central, and Southern African-Health Communities (ECSA-HC), with support from USAID Advancing Nutrition, held a technical workshop from February 21-23, 2023—the second in a series of quarterly sessions convened by the Learning Network on Nutrition Surveillance (LeNNS). The theme of the second LeNNS technical workshop was “Innovations in Food and Nutrition Surveillance: Global and Regional Perspectives” and discussions focused on exchanging information among participants to address the ways in which food and nutrition data is collected, analyzed, and disseminated.
Over 120 participants from Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia, and Djibouti joined the workshop. Representatives from development partners such as the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF-East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) contributed to discussions on creating and advocating for effective nutrition policy. Speaking on the support of IGAD to the LeNNS, Ambassador Dr. Fatuma Adan, the IGAD Head of Mission to Kenya, stated, “...as a developmental organization, IGAD and its member governments are cognizant of the need for the generation and the use of data for decision-making in development and emergency response.”
Participants learned about innovative and sustainable methods to promote dietary and nutritional surveillance in East and Central Africa. Three Technical Working Groups (TWGs) held discussions on early warning, routine data, and micronutrients. In breakout sessions, group members and guests presented to the larger TWG. The TWGs aim to continue these discussions and find ways to translate evidence into policy. In his closing remarks, Director General of the ECSA-HC Professor Yoswa Ndambisa noted, “...we are prepared to support regional initiatives in data generation and analysis to support decisions in the region and to work with all development partners on this front.”