NIPN holds consultative workshop on Policy Question Formulation

NIPN holds consultative workshop on Policy Question Formulation


ADDIS ABABA - June 02/2023 (NIPN/EPHI) – The National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) held a stakeholders consultative workshop on Policy Question Formulation (PQF) on 01 June 2023. The PQF organizing team of NIPN said on the occasion that the consultative workshop was conducted with the objectives of reaching a consensus on the most urgent policy questions that need to be answered by NIPN, sharing information on the approach, and facilitating ways that help create common agreement on the identified questions.

Policy Analyst with NIPN, Meron Girma (PhD) told the communication section of NIPN that to articulate PQF, the organizing team of NIPN has designed four implementation steps that help identify nutrition policy demand. Identifying policy initial questions, formulating relevant questions, and refining or finalizing them and then validating the questions are the said implementation steps.

Meron said in her briefing that before articulating the PQF, the team had to single out key sectors that have influencing power and engage in nutrition in Ethiopia. Once the team identified 59 key influencers, the team communicated them to fill out an online survey. The survey was collected through interviews and communication methods, according to Meron.

Meron further said that the key influencers picked for the survey were drawn from food and nutrition strategy implementing sectors. Half of them were selected from ministries or government institutions; 30 percent were picked from research or academic institutions; and the rest were taken from UN agencies or NGOs. Based on surveys collected from stakeholders with influencing power, the team formulated the first draft of the initial list of questions, numbering about 18.

The day’s workshop scrutinized the entire initial list of policy questions, reshaped them, and reached a consensus on the suggestions, reformations, and reshaping ideas forwarded from participants. Workshop participants were made to discuss all lists of questions in detail individually and in groups before ideas were reflected back for further joint discussions.   

“Now the comments and suggestions that will improve or refine the draft PQF have been communicated, and we all reached a common agreement during the daylong discussion. The next step is to revise the PQF as per the agreed upon inputs and reshape them all. Once reformed and refined, the PQF will be forwarded to the Advisory Committee of NIPN,” Meron said.

Participants expressed views regarding the overall process of formulating the policy prioritization questions. Netsanet Worku (PhD) is one of the participants in the workshop, coming from the University of Gondar. He is the director of the Institute of Public Health section of the Medical Faculty of the University. While at the workshop, Netsanet led a group to present views on the draft PQF. He commented that the event has created an experience sharing and educational forum for many. “We have taught one another through the process. It was a good discussion held with multi-stakeholders,” Netsanet said.

He further commented that if the PQF is given one more round of scrutiny, it will become much stronger. “It needs further revision. Such things need close review in a bid to bring about a comprehensive outcome,” Netsanet said. He also said that had there been more participants from the agriculture and industry sectors, there could have been more constructive input.

Opening the workshop, NIPN Coordinator, Aregash Samuel (PhD) underscored the significance of having joint consultation for the common goal of producing viable data and policy relevant questions. Aregash also briefed about the general activities of NIPN.

A senior researcher from NIPN dealt with issues related to PQF. Anbissa Muleta (PhD) dwelled on the steps and progress of NIPN policy question formulation.

Tadesse Zerfu (PhD), a research fellow from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), was engaged in facilitating the daylong discussion on rapid initial individual and group assessment of the draft questions.

Researchers, nutritionists, academicians, and policy influencers numbering about 18 were in attendance at the daylong workshop held at the Kilole Hotel in Bishoftu Town of Oromia Regional State. (NIPN/EPHI).