Investing in the Data Value Chain for nutrition in West Africa: a Call To Action

by Roos Verstraeten (TNWA/IFPRI), Rebecca Heidkamp (DataDENT) and Barbara Baille (UNICEF)The Together for Nutrition: West African Data Forum was convened in Saly, Senegal in February 2020 to discuss best practices for nutrition improvement in the region. The group was led by Transform Nutrition West Africa, an initiative of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and also included participants such as Countdown to 2030, UNICEF, DataDENT, Alive & Thrive, USAID, WHO, WAHO, and NIPN.

The forum brought together 93 participants from key national and regional institutions across West Africa that generate and/or use nutrition-related data. The objectives of the forum were to:

i) share national and regional achievements and challenges in operationalizing the data value chain for nutrition;
ii) strengthen connectivity, coordination, and collaboration on data-driven nutrition action;
iii) formulate a call to action to strengthen the data value chain for nutrition at country and regional level; and
iv) identify stakeholder groups to take up and support the call to action.

As a result, participants from 15 ECOWAS countries, developed a common Call To Action for strengthening nutrition data value chains directed to national and regional governments, donors, UN agencies, implementing partners, and researchers. This Call To Action has undergone a thorough review process and reflects the priorities of individuals and institutions working with and for nutrition data across West Africa.