NIPN Transition Workshop in Lao PDR

“Sustaining the gains of NIPN phase 1 for maximum impact”

The Policy Analysis Unit (PAU) and Data Analysis Unit (DAU) of the National Information Platforms on Nutrition (NIPN) organized a two-day transitional workshop in Vangvieng, Vientiane Province from 31st May to 1st June 2022. The workshop sought to ensure a smooth transition between NIPN phase 1 and phase 2. It provided an opportunity for sharing of lessons learnt, and to initiate discussions with provinces in the north, central, and southern regions of Lao PDR on the scale-up and rollout of NIPN phase II at the sub-national level.

The workshop was jointly opened by Mme. Sisomboun Ounavong, Director General of the Department of International Cooperation, Ministry of Planning and Investment and Convener of NIPN Secretariate and, Mr. Vatthana Atanaphone, Program Manager of the Delegation of the EU to Lao PDR, and Ms. Maryam Abdu, Chief of Social Policy, UNICEF.

Attendees included high-level policymakers from the provinces and their staff, and team members of the PAU and DAU. Dr Ingo Neu of the Capacity 4 Nutrition was the lead facilitator for the two-day meeting.

“The NIPN initiative provides us with an excellent opportunity to strengthen institutional capacity on data generation, analysis, and using data to influence policy and decision-making in Lao PDR. Over the past four years, NIPN has achieved a lot in this regard” Maryam O. Abdu, UNICEF.

“As we reflect on the past in the next two days, may our shared experiences and lessons learnt guide us into the next phase of NIPN for greater results and impact” Mme. Sisomboun Ounavong, MPI.

Over the years, the NIPN process has been institutionalized using existing multi-sectoral nutrition coordination mechanisms in the country. Capacity of government staff and departments have been enhanced in data and policy analysis for nutrition as well as generating evidence for nutrition policy and programming. An interactive web-based platform was developed to track nutrition results and investments as well as provide reliable data for nutrition stakeholders.

The 2nd phase shall foster partnership with government institutions involved in evidence generation as well as academic institutions at both national and subnational levels. Strong linkages with existing projects and other EU-funded initiatives will be explored for synergy and complementarity. This will maximize outputs and ensure cohesion in nutrition advocacy and system strengthening in the country.

The PAU is hosted at the Socio-Economic Policy Research Institute (SPRI), the Lao Academy of Social and Economic Sciences (LASES).  The DAU is hosted at the Development Policy Research Institute (DRI), Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI).