Dr. Kendra Siekmans, a Nutrition International technical assistance provider, participated in a regional capacity development workshop for Food and Nutrition Security (FNS) Knowledge Management, organized by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat in collaboration with NEPAD. Attended by two senior nutrition, health and food security government personnel from each of the SADC member states, the workshop sought to strengthen country capacity on the concept of knowledge management and development of specific tools for sharing information for improved food and nutrition security, including policy briefs, infographics and best practices documents.

On behalf of the SUN Movement Secretariat, Dr. Siekmans presented the progress to date on the SUN Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability and Learning (MEAL) system, highlighting some key examples of knowledge management products for nutrition. This included an overview of the development of the SUN MEAL country dashboards. An example of a subnational dashboard for Madagascar was also presented and shared.

One government participant asked “What can we do to improve our country’s performance?”

The MEAL dashboard provided a simple and effective tool for discussing where her country needed to take action to improve the enabling environment for nutrition and also to determine how best to fill the gaps in data for several key indicators.

The MEAL dashboards were a much-welcomed product since they are already developed for most African countries and can be used to provide a snapshot of each country’s progress in a standardized way.

Dr. Siekmans noted that “It is striking to see how a simple summary of country performance across a range of key indicators can be so much appreciated by a wide range of stakeholders.”

Overall, the feedback was very positive from both member state and SADC/NEPAD representatives, who inquired as to the possibility of utilizing the country dashboards within their FNS knowledge portal.