The N4D podcast delivers a series of constructively challenging conversations with country and global decision makers who share their learning on what works, the challenges they face and the support they need to drive political change to end malnutrition.
Episode 7: The N4D Team
Country Led – rhetoric or reality? Mini series Introduction
Making international support more effective
From KIPPRA: Eldah Onsomu, Isabella Kiplagat, Mohamednur Duba plus from KNBS: Mr. James Gatungu and Samuel Kipruto
Understanding NIPN. Conversations with Country Actors, Kenya
In this podcast:
In this podcast we hear from Eldah Onsomu, Isabella Kiplagat and Mohamednur Duba in the Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA) and James Gatungu and Samuel Kipruto from the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) about the Kenya NIPFN platform. The positioning of NIPFN within these institutions, both which sit in the State Department for Planning, appears to be a pretty perfect fit. KIPPRA is mandated to provide policy guidance across all of Kenya’s ministries and to take policy research to impact whilst KNBS is mandated to generate and host quality data and its analysis.
In a short period of time, not helped by the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya NIPFN has made massive strides in country including its visually impressive dashboard, several influential policy briefs and the elaboration of a harmonised nutrition indicator framework to monitor progress of the Kenya Nutrition Action Plan (KNAP).
The vision for NIPFN Kenya is even more impressive with plans to devolve NIPFN to 47 counties, and to produce county policy briefs which will feed into new County Nutrition Action Plans. There are also efforts being made to get the Treasury to include a nutrition code to help track government and development partner spend on nutrition and for these data to be used to update a finance study conducted a few years ago. We also get to hear a growing confidence within the NIPFN Team that the platform can be sustained should international development partner financing reduce or cease.
NIPFN Kenya Publications
Director Economic Management Unit
Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA).
Isabella Kiplagat, PhD
Senior Policy Analyst Kenya Institute of Public Policy Research and Analysis.
Mohamednur Abdi Duba
Communications Officer. Corporate Communication and Media Department. Kenya Institute for Public Policy Research and Analysis (KIPPRA)
NIPFN Project Manager (since commencement in Kenya in 2019). Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Senior Economist/Statistician and Senior Analyst/Advisor to NIPFN. Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
Episode 6, Part 2:
Mohamed Ag Bendech, Mahamane Issiak Balarabé, Mababou Kebe and Aregash Samuel Hafebo
Understanding NIPN. Conversations with Country Actors, Niger & Ethiopia
In this episode (No. 6, part 2), N4D interview several country actors, about the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN). N4D have been working closely with global and country actors over the past year as part of an evaluation of NIPN commissioned by GIZ-C4N. This innovative and highly successful programme which is currently implemented in 9 countries, is gathering momentum with the prospect of being adapted and adopted in other country contexts.
In this podcast:
Niger: Balarabe, Mohamed and Mababou discuss how proud they are of the hard won achievements with implementing NIPN in Niger. Key amongst these has been the systematic collation and cleaning of complex data sets, the analysis of this data based on priority policy focussed questions including nutrition and climate change, gender disparities and food systems considerations. They also discuss the tough decisions they have had to take and enormous amount of collective effort to get NIPN to where it is now….as central to Niger’s efforts to monitor progress with tackling malnutrition.
Ethiopia: Dr Aregash Samuel Hafebo from EPHI in Ethiopia explains why this Public Health Institute under the MoH is such a good fit for NIPN in terms of its role vis is a vis the National Food and Nutrition Strategy and the monitoring of this strategy’s implementation. She also describes the areas NIPN Ethiopia are excelling in like the posting of meta data sets on the NIPN dashboard in a country where the data sharing culture is weak as well as how NIPN plans to devolve to 6 regions where EPHI currently have offices.
Mohamed Ag Bendech – NIPN Niger
Analyst with NIPN Niger on Food Systems and Nutrition. Previously in Mali with Helen Keller International, UNICEF and FAO as a nutrition specialist.
Mababou Kebe – NIPN Niger
A socio-demographer with extensive experience in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of statistical development projects and programmes.
Mahamane Issiak Balarabé – NIPN Niger
Coordinator of NIPN in Niger. Extensive experience in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of statistical development projects and programmes.
Aregash Samuel Hafebo – NIPN Ethiopia
A nutritionist, senior researcher in the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI). She serves as the coordinator for the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) project since 2019.
Episode 6, Part 1:
Christoph Langenkamp and Rebecca Heidkamp
Understanding NIPN. Conversations with Global Actors
In this episode (No. 6, part 1), N4D interview two global actors, Christoph Langenkamp and Rebecca Heidkamp, about the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN). N4D have been working closely with global and country actors over the past year as part of an evaluation of NIPN commissioned by GIZ-C4N. This innovative and highly successful programme which is currently implemented in 9 countries, is gathering momentum with the prospect of being adapted and adopted in other country contexts.
In the podcast Christoph describes how the original vision and focus for NIPN moved from a programme largely about harnessing existing nutrition data in country to a programme focussing on multi-sector nutrition data and it’s role in informing policy development and multisector nutrition planning.
Rebecca Heidkamp provides a context for NIPN in relation to other global nutrition data initiatives describing what is unique about the NIPN approach but also cautioning how governments need to prioritise budgets for national nutrition information platforms within their nutrition action plans.
Programme Director ‘Knowledge for Nutrition’ (K4N)
Associate Research Professor,
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
The N4D Team
Reflections on the podcast series so far
In Episode 5, the N4D team reflects on what we have heard so far during our first three conversations and identifies key lessons learnt and emerging issues. We know what needs to be done to end malnutrition, but we do not have the political will. In the words of Shawn Baker, nutrition must become a political non-negotiable. We heard how we already have very good internationally agreed principles to guide the way that aid is provided but the aid system urgently needs reforming to ensure that those principles are translated into reality. More sustainable progress is possible even in countries affected by protracted fragility and conflict if there is a more nuanced understanding of local political and economic contexts, longer term, more integrated approaches and greater trust in local actors and systems.
However, reform requires engagement with politicians in donor countries to raise awareness that the political risks of maintaining the status quo are greater than doing things differently.
Please join the debate!
Shawn K. Baker
Malnutrition is a political choice
In this episode, the N4D team discuss with Shawn Baker. Shawn is the Chief Program Officer with Helen Keller Intl and was formerly head of nutrition for USAID and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has also occupied senior leadership roles in international multistakeholder initiatives including the Scaling up Nutrition (SUN) Movement and the Global Nutrition Report. Shawn talks about his life journey from rural northwest Pennsylvania and studying marine biology to a lifelong career in public health nutrition. He highlights success stories from countries that have reduced malnutrition, the ingredients of success as well as challenges that are hindering progress around the world. He highlights the qualities needed by nutrition leaders at national and international levels. For background information on issues discussed, please see the episode notes below. Please share your comments, ideas and experiences.
Please join the debate!
- For multiple micronutrient supplements: Home – Healthy Mothers Healthy Babies (hmhbconsortium.org)
- For small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements: Small-Quantity Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements (ucdavis.edu) and Nutrition leaders urge scale-up of new intervention to prevent child malnutrition and mortality – Helen Keller Intl
- For updated guidelines on wasting: Guideline WHO guideline on the prevention and management of wasting and nutritional oedema (acute malnutrition) in infants and children under 5 years (magicapp.org)
Shawn K. Baker
Chief Program Officer, Helen Keller Intl. Shawn leads Helen Keller’s efforts to support our world’s most vulnerable communities through strengthening food and health systems using scientifically proven solutions that are feasible, scalable, and equitable
Sustainable solutions to malnutrition in Yemen
In this episode, Carmel, Chris and Jeremy discuss the politics of adopting more sustainable solutions to malnutrition in Yemen with Karima Al-Hada´a. Karima is the Planning & Liaison Specialist in the Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN) Secretariat in Yemen, Assistant National Food Systems Convenor and a member of the global SUN Movement Executive Committee. The SUN Yemen Secretariat, within the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MOPIC), is the lead national entity responsible for coordinating all investments and actions for nutrition across sectors, throughout the country. Karima discusses the opportunities and challenges of scaling up development actions to prevent malnutrition and strengthening public systems, alongside humanitarian assistance. For background information on issues discussed, please see the episode notes below. Please share your comments, ideas and experiences.
Please join the debate!
- You can find information and analysis on the political situation in Yemen here:
- Crisis Group Org
- Find out more about N4D´s work in Yemen
- You can also find a link to the Yemen Multisectoral Nutrition Action Plan on that page.
- We recommend reading the Chatham House paper, on aid strategies in ‘politically estranged´ settings, mentioned by Chris at the end of the podcast.
Mr. Habib Ur Rehman Mayar:
Trusting local actors and solutions in conflict affected countries
In this episode, Carmel, Chris and Jeremy discuss the politics of aid in fragile states with Habib Ur Rehman Mayar, Deputy General Secretary of the g7+ Secretariat and Executive Director of g7+ Foundation. The g7+ is an intergovernmental organisation made up of conflict-affected countries, providing a platform to collectively voice the need for national dialogue and reconciliation; advocate for effective development cooperation founded on the principles of country ownership, transparency and mutual accountability; and facilitate sharing of first-hand experience and good development practices. In this conversation, Habib advocates for reforms to the international aid system to support country led, sustainable development and solutions to conflict.
- Read about the G7+ here
- Learn about the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States and the International Dialogue on Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (IDPS)
- Find out more about N4D´s work in Yemen
The N4d Team
Discuss paving the way for challenging conversations on driving political change for nutrition and development.
In this first episode of ¨The Politics of Ending Malnutrition¨, the N4D Directors, Carmel, Chris and Jeremy, discuss the purpose of the Podcast and how it relates to N4D´s country focussed strategy. They explain how the series of exciting and challenging conversations with decision makers will explore the way in which political and economic issues enable and hinder the scale up of evidence-based solutions to end malnutrition around the world.
For the definition of political economy quoted by Chris and a guide to understanding political economy analysis and thinking and working politically, learn more here
For information on the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus
To read background on CMAM – the Community Based Management of Acute Malnutrition and the barriers to scale up and how they might be overcome
Available on all major podcast platforms