In February 2020, DataDENT in collaboration Transform Nutrition West Africa (led by International Food Policy Research Institute), UNICEF, Countdown to 2030, CDC, WHO, WAHO, and NIPN co-convened Together for Nutrition: West African Data Forum. The convening had the following objectives:
1. Share national and regional achievements and challenges in operationalizing the data value chain for nutrition
2. Strengthen connectivity, coordination, and collaboration on data-driven nutrition action
3. Formulate a call to action to strengthen the data value chain for nutrition at country and regional level
4. Identify stakeholder groups to take up and support the call to action.
Over 90 stakeholders representing national and regional institutions across West Africa, government staff and policymakers, donors, and international agencies participated in the forum. The forum was an opportunity to share and learn about country and regional experiences at each step of the nutrition data value chain. DataDENT presented shared work coordinating new indicators to the DHS-8 core questionnaire, analyzing existing global data visualization tools, and led training on how to effectively visualize nutrition data based on key messages. The full meeting report is available here.
As a result of the forum, Together for Nutrition participants and partners launched a Call to Action aiming to strengthen the data value chain for nutrition in West Africa. The Call to Action outlines recommendations to create a nutrition data ecosystem characterized by strong leadership, consensus on data priorities, and capacity to generate, analyze and use data for decision making. We encourage you to review, adapt, and use the Call to Action for your country and/or institutional context. There are many potential ways to do so and we would love to hear back from you when you have taken such steps. As part of this adaptation and sharing process you can:
• Consider identifying more specific stakeholders in your context (e.g. ministry departments) for each element of the call and set deadlines for action that fit your context.
• Refer to the CTA when you are developing strategic documents and funding proposals as justification for why investments and actions around nutrition data are needed.
• Share the regional CTA via relevant list servs, WhatsApp groups, twitter feeds and ask for response for how to make it relevant in and more specific to your context.