Poster Topical Area: Community and Public Health Nutrition
Poster Board Number: 114
The USAID-funded SPRING project developed the District Assessment Tool for Anemia (DATA) to encourage district-level program managers to collate available data related to anemia and anemia programs, and use the data to prioritize anemia interventions. We describe the implementation of DATA in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda, and summarize the lessons we learned in the implementation of the tool.
DATA is an Excel-based tool used in a two-day facilitated workshop where district-level stakeholders from multiple sectors input available local data into an interface that is translated into information on DATA's dashboards to aid decision-making on anemia. DATA was field tested in one district in Ghana. A revised tool was implemented in one district in Nepal and three districts in Uganda. After a two-day Training of Trainers workshop in Ghana and Nepal for field workers, it was scaled up to seven districts in Ghana and it is being integrated into the implementation of Nepal's multisectoral nutrition plan (MSNP).
In Ghana, the implementation of DATA involved only district-level officials and enabled participants from different sectors to realize that they can work together by identifying opportunities for integration of activities (e.g., the health and agriculture sectors working together for malaria control by eliminating standing water in agriculture fields) and sharing monitoring data to assess progress. In Uganda and Nepal, national-level officials participated in the district-level implementation, and this indicator of political commitment helped the district participants take ownership of actions to address anemia. In Nepal, DATA was also used for planning and it will be incorporated in a suite of monitoring and evaluation tools to assess the effectiveness of implementing MSNP in the districts. In all three countries, tool also allowed the users to identify gaps in data availability and quality.
Our experience with DATA in Ghana, Nepal, and Uganda shows that the tool is flexible to be adapted to any country context. All three countries signalled their agreement on the need for a multisectoral effort on anemia by convening teams from health, agriculture, education, and other sectors at DATA workshops. This finding validates the need for a tool like DATA.
Team Lead and Technical Advisor, Anemia
USAID-funded SPRING Project at John Snow Inc.
Washington, District of Columbia