Strengthening Nutrition Information Systems in Fragile & Conflict Affected Contexts


Nutrition Information Systems



N4D worked with the Centre for Humanitarian Change in a study, funded by UNICEF, reviewing the strengths and weaknesses of Nutrition Information Systems (NIS) in fragile and conflict affected contexts (FCAS) and the factors enabling and hindering good practice. The analysis included a review of the international NIS ecosystem (e.g. Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) protocols, SMART surveys, WASH severity index etc) and its effectiveness in supporting good NIS practices in these contexts. The study provided recommendations on how NIS in FCAS and the global NIS support ecosystem can be strengthened to better inform programming. The study was overseen by a Steering Group consisting of key national and global stakeholders in Nutrition Information Systems.


Carmel Dolan

Carmel Dolan

The N4D Approach

N4D worked closely with the Centre for Humanitarian Change in both the design and implementation of the study, including literature review, key informant interviews, analysis and drafting of reports. As with all of our projects we aim to ensure that lessons learnt from current practices are shared and inform the strengthening of policies, guidance and ultimately implementation, adapted to different contexts.


The diagnostic study concluded that to understand nutrition vulnerability, we must adopt a more holistic systems approach, one that uses data from water and sanitation, health, protection, and food systems, as well as more consideration of conflict and social networks. This requires additional capacity and adapted analytical frameworks for analysis not currently found in the NIS ecosystem. To make this possible, we need a new architecture that facilitates data sharing and analysis, while bringing together multi-disciplinary expertise to better track nutrition vulnerabilities and the risk of famine.

The study resulted in a joint initiative co-led by UNICEF and WFP on Nutrition Vulnerabilities Assessment in Crisis (NuVAC). The main purpose of the NuVAC is in the long term to be a source of recognized consensual nutrition analysis and a mechanism to facilitate more coordinated anticipatory actions to prevent and respond to any deterioration of nutritional context.