The National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN) is an international initiative of the European Commission with support from the United Kingdom Department for International Development and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This initiative is an integral part of the government’s nutrition programme, which is implemented jointly by the European Union Delegation and UNICEF in the context of their Partnership for Improved Nutrition in support of the National Nutrition Strategy (2016-2025) and Plan of Action (2016-2020).
The overall objective of the NIPN initiative is to contribute to the global reduction of stunting (chronic under-nutrition) in alignment with the World Health Assembly targets (2025). Specifically, NIPN aims at building institutional capacity at both national and sub-national levels to manage and analyze nutrition data from multiple sectors to track progress and nutrition investments in the country. Information generated are expected to guide nutrition policy discussions in the country for evidence-based decisions and policy formulation.
NIPN Governance in Lao PDR
NIPN has been institutionalized using existing nutrition coordination mechanisms in the country. At the heart of NIPN’s governance structure is the Policy Advisory Committee that is chaired by the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI). The committee comprise senior management of key ministries and government departments that are contributing directly or indirectly to the nutrition agenda in the country. The Department of International Cooperation of MPI serves as the Secretariate of the Policy Advisory Committee and they meet twice a year. The Policy Advisory Committee has oversight on the Data and Policy Analysis Units of NIPN. It reports to the National Nutrition Committee that is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister of the country.
The NIPN Data Analysis Unit is hosted by the Development Research Institute, MPI. It is responsible for building capacity of government on data management, analysis and utilization. They also manage the NIPN dashboard and data repository.
The Policy Analysis Unit is hosted by a government “Policy think tank” – the Socio-Economic and Policy Research Institute, Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences. They support government policy and decision making with research findings and data. The Policy Analysis Unit is contributing to capacity building of decentralized departments on policy related research activities, reporting and dissemination.
- Development Research Institute, Ministry of Planning and Investment
- Socio-Economic and Policy Research Institute, Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences
- Department of Social Statistics, Lao Statistics Bureau
- Department of Data Services, Lao Statistics Bureau
- Center for statistics, Department of Planning, Ministry of Education and Sports
- Center for statistics, Department of Planning and Cooperation, Ministry of Health
- Center for Statistics, Department of Planning and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
- Center of Nutrition, Ministry of Health