Improved nutrition situation analysis can increase the understanding of the likely magnitude and main causes of the nutrient gap among a particular target group, e.g. children aged 6-23 months or pregnant and lactating women, for a particular context. WFP, with technical input from key research institutes (University of California Davis, IFPRI, Epicentre) and UNICEF, developed a framework for strengthened nutrition situation analysis and decision-making, now called “Fill the Nutrient Gap” tool, which aims to support identification of strategies to improve nutrient intake.The objective of this paper is to demonstrate the use of the approach used by the Fill the Nutrient Gap process, which is intended to facilitate multi-stakeholder discussion, joint analysis of the situation and identification of context-specific policy and programme packages. Additionally, the objective of this paper is to compare the process conducted in the three pilot countries: Madagascar, Ghana and El Salvador.
The Fill the Nutrient Gap tool is an over-arching tool that helps to consolidate secondary data at country level, including information provided by other tools such the Cost of the Diet, DHS, ProPAN, and national standard of living surveys. Through the secondary data compilation process stakeholders from different sectors can be engaged in the identification of useful data sources, as well as in the analysis. Linear Programming is also used to model potential intervention options to help improve access to nutrients.
Through joint analysis of existing secondary data a better collective understanding can be achieved of the nutrition situation to ensure that policy and programme packages are well-adapted to the context. The operationalisation of the process varied in each of the pilot countries, but in each country the government and key stakeholders (including UN agencies, Academia and NGOs) played a pivotal role.
The Fill the Nutrient Gap process can help to bring together stakeholders to help design country-specific programmes and policies to address nutrient intake issues in vulnerable groups.