Piloting the District Assessment Tool for Anemia in Kapilvastu District, Nepal
SPRING’s District Assessment Tool for Anemia (DATA) increases awareness of anemia and helps districts take action on this prevalent problem. Increasingly, health officials are seeing DATA as a valuable district-level decision making tool.
Earlier in the year, SPRING’s Danya Sarkar and Denish Moorthy traveled to Kapilvastu District in Nepal and conducted a district-level workshop to assess how the tool could enhance district-level anemia reduction activities.
With support from their country partner, Helen Keller International (HKI), SPRING then organized a national orientation meeting in Kathmandu on behalf of the National Nutrition and Food Security Secretariat (NNFSS). The objective of the meeting was to discuss the application of DATA in the Nepal context, and specifically to orient national officials to DATA and present the plan to pilot DATA in Kapilvastu district. The workshop was attended by multi-sectoral partners including, the Nepal National Planning Commission (NPC), ministries of agriculture, education, health, and water and sanitation, representatives from UNICEF, USAID, and several other non-governmental organizations.
Following the national meeting, SPRING facilitated a two-day, district-level workshop, organized by the Kapilvastu District Nutrition and Food Security Coordination Committee (DNFSCC). This workshop was unique in that national-level representatives from UNICEF, NNFSS, and NPC also attended to observe how the tool works in the district setting. Participants from the district included officials from health, education, agriculture, women’s development, and water and sanitation sectors. SPRING introduced the role of DATA in reducing anemia and assisted the officials in navigating the various components of the tool. The officials simulated a decision making process on prioritization of anemia program action, using a combination of group work and consensus building.
The response to the use of DATA in Kapilvastu District was positive, and with the development of the Nepali language DATA materials, HKI will guide the government and non-governmental organizations to scale up use of DATA in other districts next year.