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The Ethiopian Public Health Institute’s (EPHI) National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) in collaboration with IFPRI, organized a two day’s workshop on the Capacity Need Assessment of the NIPN stakeholders, focusing on the members of the National Nutrition Program (NNP) Monitoring, Evaluation & Research Steering Committee (MER SC) members.

cnaThe workshop was held on Oct,15 & 16 at Bin international Hotel in Bishotfu town with the objectives to initiative the capacity needs assessment of the NIPN, to agree on the current architecture for nutrition related policy processes, monitoring and evaluation, and to define a framework which will guide the general approach of defining the NIPN Capacity Strengthening Strategy.
Giving an opening remark, Ato Solomon Eshetu, Acting Director of the Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate welcomed all participants and stressed the importance of the NIPN to support the NNP.

cna1National and international experts brought a total of six presentations on various topics, which were all followed by constructive discussions. The second day of the workshop, the plenary sessions and group discussions were chaired by Dr. Suresh Babu, Senior Research Fellow and Head of Capacity Strengthening Program at IFPRI.
Dr. Suresh highlighted that in order to develop Ethiopia’s capacity to manage and maintain NIPN objectives, it will be important to identify existing capacities as well as any additional capacities needed to establish a sustainable NIPN approach in the country. Considering that NIPN works under the umbrella of the NNP, this requires a Capacity Needs Assessment (CNA) which will explore capacity gaps and needs related to evidence based policy making and the monitoring, evaluation and research (MER) agenda of the NNP. This CNA will subsequently lead to the development of a Capacity Strengthening Strategy.
Dr. Suresh took ample time to explain a model which provides a practical analytical framework for understanding policy reform process and allows to identify the principal actors within a particular policy arena, and to understand the influences on and actions of policy makers.
After two days of intensive deliberations, agreements were made on the next steps and approximate timelines. The Capacity Strengthening Strategy will be defined through a participatory process which will incorporate workshops, interviews with key informants, organizational and individual questionnaires. Ultimately, the strategy will include the needs assessment, and will identify short, medium- and long-term support. In addition, the strategy will inform us how NIPN can effectively be used as a catalytic activity for the work MER and evidence-based policy, and how it can reinforce what is already ongoing/done.
During the two days’ workshop the multi sectorial participation was successful with over 34 participants from government (representing the ministries of health, agricultures, industry and communication, as well as ENCU/NRMDC and EIAR), many researchers from different directorates of EPHI (Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate, National Data Management Center, the Policy Translation Unit), nutrition stakeholders of NGO and development partners.

The National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) is part of a global initiative launched by the European Commission to support countries with a large burden of undernutrition with the aim to promote evidence informed nutrition policies and programs. NIPN is hosted by the EPHI, financed by the EU and implemented with support of IFPRI.