The First Quarterly MER-SC Workshop in 2021 Held in Adama

The National Nutrition Program Monitoring Evaluation and Research Steering Committee (MER-SC) was established to provide technical support and direction to generate evidence, monitor progress and inform timely decision making for the successful implementation of the National Nutrition Program (NNP). The MER-SC consists multiple sectors involved in the NNP with representatives from various institutions (including state and non-state actors and academia) and is chaired by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI).

The first quarterly meeting in 2021 of MER-SC was held 30-31 March in Adama. This meeting was organized with both physical attendance (with necessary COVID-19 precautionary measures taken) and in virtual format for those who could not attend physically. The meeting was opened by Dr. Masresha Tessema, Acting Director of FSNRD, who reminded participants the objectives of the MER-SC. He noted its role in identifying gaps and opportunities to address nutrition problems, provide technical support to M&E of the NNP and, also ensure that research findings are translated into practical interventions which address bottlenecks during program implementation.

The meeting was organized around key agenda topics and included:

  • ·The Ethiopian Food and Nutrition Strategy overview and the baseline survey status update
  • ·Update on the UN Food Systems Summit
  • ·Status of the EIAR research strategy
  • ·Status of the Nutrition Information System project
  • ·Multisectoral scorecard implementation level and six-month sectors performance update
  • ·NNP multisectoral coordination governance: the way forward (group work)
  • ·Egg powder: Consumer research findings in Ethiopia
  • ·National Nutrition Information Platform (NIPN): Status update
  • ·Nutrition Data Mapping for Ethiopia: Assessment of the Availability and Accessibility of Nutrition-Related Data

Lively discussion sessions followed the presentations. Two general discussion sessions were facilitated to delve into challenges related to multisectoral coordination, the MER SC members’ participation, and commitment, and into proposals for improvement of the MER SC functionality. For instance, it was agreed that one or two sectoral representatives should be assigned to participate regularly in the meetings (to ensure continuity and institutional memory), for the members to revise the MER SC Terms of Reference, and for it to embrace the role of universities not only in conducting research but also their involvement in programmatic areas.

The meeting was attended by 30 MER SC members from different sectors working on nutrition. The presentations of the meeting can be accessed using the hyperlink below. 

Combined_Slide-deck_MERSC_30,31_March2021_Adama

Strategy for the Ethiopia Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR), Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate