New IT equipment from the European Union to help Lao PDR improve nutrition information systems across six provinces
Vientiane Province, 12 September 2023 – The European Union today handed over IT equipment to the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) in its latest efforts to help Lao PDR strengthen its nutrition data collection across six provinces and thus improve nutrition policies nationwide.
The IT equipment includes computers, speakers, printers and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) alongside other office supplies, which were provided under the National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN) programme implemented by the EU and UNICEF. The programme aims to build Lao PDR’s capacity to analyze nutrition data across different sectors and track nutrition investments to help inform better national policies around nutrition.
“We thank the EU and UNICEF for their support in equipping provincial authorities with the tools to gather more accurate data on nutrition deprivations that children face, all with the purpose of ensuring that our national policies are evidence-based and responsive to the needs of those children, ” said Mme. Sisomboun Ounavong, Director General of the Department for International Cooperation, MPI.
The handover of the equipment coincided with the provincial orientation on NIPN, where provincial Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) staff from Phongsaly, Oudomxay, Khammouane, Savannakhet, Saravanh, and Sekong provinces were introduced to NIPN and its objectives. The equipment provided to MPI will be distributed to DPI staff in these six provinces and will augment their capacity to track nutrition interventions and gather nutrition data in their respective provinces.
“The aim of the NIPN provincial orientation is to foster a shared vision of what we want to achieve with NIPN in Lao PDR. As such, it is our hope that the equipment provided will help provincial DPI staff in coordinating and implement this vision to further scale up NIPN in the country,” said Ms. Assunta Tessa, Attaché at the EU Delegation to Lao PDR.
“Good nutrition during the early years of a child’s life makes all the difference for their growth and development. To ensure that every child has the best start to life, we must ensure that our policies are responsive to their needs and data is key in this equation,” said Mr. Arturo Romboli, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Lao PDR. “UNICEF and the EU remains dedicated to improving nutrition outcomes in Lao PDR through the NIPN programme,” he added.
NIPN is an international initiative of the European Commission. It is implemented in nine countries, with Lao PDR being the sole country from Southeast Asia.