Lessons Learned from the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) project: A Government Perspective

Dr Chris Osa is the Head of the Nutrition Division at the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria. In this video, he discusses the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) project from the perspective of the Nigerian Government. According to Dr Osa, WINNN has had a significant impact on nutrition in Northern Nigeria and there are a number of lessons to be learned as the project moves forward.

While the programme has had a largely positive impact in Northern Nigeria, there is room for improvement, and the Nigerian Government is hopeful that a phase of the programme would make improvements. Dr Osa discusses the importance of increased government involvement (at the federal and state level) to ensure ownership and sustainability and that the success of the programme in Northern Nigeria can be replicated in other parts of the country. Further, he highlights WINNN’s use of “theory of change”, where theory is used to catalyse action in other areas.

For Dr Osa, WINNN 2 needs to reflect government priorities around national strategic development plans and also to be based on evidence. He suggests prioritising maternal nutrition and infant and young child feeding (IYCF) and integrating IYCF into community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) in order to take a holistic approach to nutrition. The Nigerian Government would also like to see an emphasis on the use of multiple micronutrient powders (MMPs) to address the micronutrient situation.

Dr Osa discusses the importance of strengthening the capacity of government to be able to deliver the WINNN 2 package. The Nigerian Government would like to scale up the programme around the country, but this will require building the capacity of the Government to implement both at the administrative level and at the service delivery point, to use evidence-based advocacy in order to inform the collection and release of funds, and to ensure accountability in the system.

Finally, Dr Osa calls for a strengthening of the evidence base and improving accessibility to data to inform policy and programming decisions. He suggests that the (independent) work ORIE has been doing can be used as a starting point to build a national nutrition and surveillance system.

To learn more about the WINN project, click here to watch the HEART Talk, Ibrahim Oloriegbe on the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) project.

To learn more about plans for the future of WINNN, click here to watch the HEART Talk, Introducing WINNN 2: Andrew Tomkins on the future of the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) project.

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