Ghana GMP services
Photo Credit: Kamal Deen Djabaku

The sudden onset of COVID-19 in 2020 delivered blows to many international, national, and subnational structures that supported good nutrition. To respond to global challenges exacerbated by COVID-19, 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 to collaborate on key products related to nutrition data collection. The newly-formed ACT-NM Group collected key information on effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on nutrition systems.

In 2022, with support of USAID Advancing Nutrition, ACT-NM successfully produced an Analytical Framework on the pathways of the impact of COVID-19 on nutrition outcomes in various populations. This framework supports an integrated, systems approach to understanding nutrition in the context of COVID-19 and future pandemics/crises. The Analytical Framework and country case-studies built using its pathways were also referenced in the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) 2022 report. For policymakers and program staff, this tool is a powerful and adaptable means to strengthen nutrition programs in the wake of COVID-19 and future shocks. The framework also includes links to the Data Mapping Tool that identifies country-specific and regional and global data sets that contain information relevant to specific elements of the framework. Finally, the framework includes a link to the Technical Note which fully describes the framework, the methodology used to develop it and provides examples of specific pathways.

USAID Advancing Nutrition continues to facilitate and provide administrative support to the ACT-NM and its work assessing how other global crises might affect nutrition outcomes. The ACT-NM will continue to support use of the framework by policy makers, analysts and program implementers who want to understand how the mitigation measures related to any crisis, not just COVID-19, can impact nutrition outcomes for women and children. The group also serves as a platform for sharing nutrition-related data among member agencies.

In celebration of its 25th anniversary, this year’s theme for the conference was “Transforming the Global Health Landscape."
USAID Advancing Nutrition supported the development of the data collection tools that informed the Global Diet Quality Project’s first global report on findings from more than 40 countries.
Recent research support by USAID Advancing Nutrition indicates at least 1.6 billion preschool children and non-pregnant women have one or more deficiencies; however, the total is likely much higher.