Through collaborations with the World Health Organization, UNICEF, National Institutes of Health, and other global and national organizations, USAID Advancing Nutrition and the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning team are contributing to discussions on individual, national, and global nutrition data collection and monitoring, as well as the tracking of funding and resources directed toward global nutrition programming. In the context of COVID-19, we are also working to bolster data collection and messaging strategies related to nutrition, particularly for women and children.
Key collaborations and convenings
Agile Core Team for Nutrition Monitoring
Representatives from USAID, UNICEF, WHO, and USAID Advancing Nutrition formed the Agile Core Team for Nutrition Monitoring to collaborate on key products related to nutrition data collection during COVID-19. The group also serves as a platform for sharing nutrition-related data among member agencies.
COVID-19 and Infant Feeding Working Group
USAID Advancing Nutrition, under the MEL team, has supported the COVID-19 and Infant Feeding Working Group (CIF-WG) since June 2020. USAID Advancing Nutrition led the development and dissemination of Key Messages Related to Evidence on Transmission of COVID in Breastmilk for the working group in September 2020. The related CIF-Research Interest Group (CIF-RIG) convenes an informal multidisciplinary group of experts around the world who meet monthly to discuss emerging research about infant feeding practices during the pandemic and identify research gaps. The CIF-RIG meetings are a venue for sharing, learning, and engaging with participating members, agencies, organizations, academics, and civil society. This group has discussed the pandemic’s consequences on milk banking globally and on child feeding in clinical and community settings, and has developed COVID-19 Vaccine Guidelines for Breastfeeding Women and Human Milk Banking During the Pandemic.
Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Donor Network
USAID Advancing Nutrition supports the SUN Donor Network to strengthen donor resource tracking by monitoring the application of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) nutrition policy marker (NPM). The NPM allows donors to track specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound nutrition commitments. Because the NPM is reported to the publicly available OECD Creditor Reporting System, third-party organizations can analyze the data to identify trends, progress, and gaps in financing. USAID AN provides annual data reviews and recommendations on the quantification and interpretation of NPM.
The OECD NPM monitors how nutrition objectives are integrated in development activities differently than how the SUN Donor Network Methodology monitors that integration. This marker has a scoring system to distinguish between activities that have nutrition as the principal objective (score 2) and those that have nutrition as a significant (but secondary) objective (score 1) across various sectors including agriculture, WASH, and humanitarian assistance. Further adjustments in terms of quantification will streamline tracking of multi-sectoral nutrition investments by all donors and help them decide how to plan interventions and strategies more efficiently to countries that need them most. It will also enable donors to take a deeper look at the level of integration of nutrition in their wider program portfolio. However, the approach to quantification is not straightforward and presents challenges.
- The COVID-19 Infant Feeding Research Interest Group and Working Group Fact Sheet (USAID Advancing Nutrition)
- Infant and Young Child Feeding Recommendations When COVID-19 is Suspected or Confirmed (USAID Advancing Nutrition)
- Aligning best practices and addressing misinformation for optimal infant feeding during the COVID-19 pandemic (Path)
- COVID-19 vaccines and breastfeeding based on WHO SAGE interim recommendations: FAQ (unicef)