13.2  Objectives of the NIS in Ethiopia

A major objective of the NIS is to use nutrition data to support timely warnings for short-term prevention, preparedness and response. One aim is to increase the use of data generated from routine community based nutrition interventions, and link these data to an early warning system (EWS) at woreda and regional levels for early warning purposes.

The following are additional key objectives of the NIS in Ethiopia:

  • To support timely warnings of possible household food insecurity
  • To provide accurate and reliable information on trends
  • To provide inputs into management decisions, planning and monitoring of nutrition programmes.

Activity 13.1  The importance of routine service generated data

As you have read, generating accurate data and communicating this in a timely way is an important part of your job. Read the questions below and think carefully about your responses before reading the answer that follows.

  • a.What kind of information from the routine data can be used to show household food insecurity?
  • b.Why is accurate and reliable information important?
  • c.How can information inform the planning of nutrition programs?


  • a.The percentage of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in a community is a good example of data that can be used to detect household food insecurity and indicate the severity of the situation. According to the national emergency nutrition intervention guideline, if there is more than 5% of children under five with in a community, there is a need to initiate different interventions to address this problem.

  • b.Information is therefore needed for effective decision making. To enable you and your manager to make effective decisions, the information you collect needs to be accurate, relevant and communicated in a timely way.

  • c.Reliable information generated from the routine services can also help you to plan essential interventions at the community level. For example; using information about your community’s needs to access important supplies including vitamin A capsules, de-worming tablets and bed nets.

13.1  Nutrition information system (NIS)

13.3  Why Ethiopia has an NIS