District Nutrition Committees

District Nutrition Committees

Governance stands as a cornerstone in the effective development and implementation of policies and programs across various sectors. This principle holds particular significance in the realm of nutrition, a multi-dimensional problem requiring coordination between diverse stakeholders, sectors, and administrative levels. 

The new nutrition policy guidelines called the Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 released by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MoWCD), Government of India highlights the importance of institutionalizing governance mechanisms like the District Nutrition Committee (DNC) in advancing the nutrition agenda at the grassroots. The District Nutrition Committees, now mandated in all districts, are expected to serve as multisectoral platforms providing a space for periodic monitoring of nutrition service delivery, tracking progress on nutrition-related indicators, fostering intersectoral convergence, and overseeing the administration of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program in the district. As per the guidelines, District Magistrates (DMs) have been made the nodal point in the district for overall monitoring nutrition programs. They are also expected to convene the meetings of the District Nutrition Committees (DNC) with participation of members and experts.

how nutrition-related indicators are monitored at the district level via District Nutrition Committees
What are the nutrition-related parameters monitored by the District Nutrition Committees

Uttar Pradesh’s Commitment to Nutrition Governance

Uttar Pradesh has demonstrated a strong commitment to nutrition governance by establishing and operationalizing District Nutrition Committees (DNCs) in all districts. To enhance the efficiency of these committees, the ICDS Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh (GoUP) introduced a standardized DNC template in February 2023. 

To promote evidence-based strengthening of nutrition governance in Uttar Pradesh, Anuvaad collaborated with the ICDS Department, GoUP, to conduct a Programmatic Assessment of the District Nutrition Committees (DNCs). Spanning across 18 divisions of the state, this assessment involved qualitative interviews with key stakeholders and in person observations of the DNC meetings to qualitatively assess the committees’ overall functioning and effectiveness.The study findings underscored the importance of streamlining the DNC template, utilizing the leadership of DMs and CDOs, recording actions from previous DNC minutes, ensuring accountability during meetings, and enhancing capacity-building for field-level functionaries to manage data effectively. The assessment also highlighted the need to explore opportunities for increased convergence with the Health Department.

This programmatic assessment exemplifies how real-time feedback and evidence from the field were utilized by the ICDS Department, GoUP, to inform programmatic changes in the DNC platform. With the support of Development Partners, the ICDS Department, GoUP has taken proactive steps to strengthen nutrition governance. These include streamlining the DNC template, institutionalization of a format for reporting action taken during the DNCs, improving convergence with line departments and capacity-building initiatives targeting DPOs to optimize data utilization. Additionally, efforts have been directed towards sensitizing DMs and CDOs regarding their respective mandate in DNCs. Moreover, a new template has been released for divisional level review of the ICDS program. This study has also provided momentum for future initiatives, such as conducting a skill gap assessment for Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) to enhance data collection and entry processes.

The full report on the programmatic assessment can be accessed here

District Nutrition Committees

Evidence shows that models for strong nutritional governance have been positively associated with nutritional outcomes. According to  Saksham Anganwadi and Poshan 2.0 guidelines, the District Nutrition Committee (DNC) is a multisectoral platform constituted in all districts to deliberate upon nutrition related indicators, ensure periodic monitoring, effective delivery, intersectoral convergence, and overall administration of the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) program in the district. As per the guidelines, District Magistrates (DMs) have been made the nodal point in the district for overall monitoring nutrition programs. They are also expected to convene the meetings of the District Nutrition Committees (DNC) with participation of members and experts. Thus, DNCs are now expected to act as a platform to deliberate upon nutrition-related indicators, ensure periodic monitoring, effective delivery, intersectoral convergence, and overall administration of nutrition related programs in the district.

Anuvaad undertook a programmatic assessment of the district nutrition committees at the request of ICDS Department, Government of Uttar Pradesh. A qualitative assessment was undertaken to review the overall functioning of DNCs, understand the role of key stakeholders, and assess the utilization of the DNC template. The study highlights the importance of streamlining district-level review of nutrition indicators, capacity building of district and field-level functionaries and improving accountability of multi-sectoral action undertaken during DNCs. Key findings from the study have led to release of a revised DNC template, standardization of formats for documenting meeting minutes and action taken report, training of District Program Officers (DPOs) on effective use of data and sensitization of DMs and Chief Development Officers (CDOs) regarding their respective mandate in DNCs. Moreover, a new template has been released for divisional level review of the ICDS program. This study has also provided momentum for future initiatives, such as conducting a skill gap assessment for Anganwadi Workers (AWWs) to enhance data collection and entry processes.  Access the full report here.

Anuvaad Solutions

Anuvaad Solutions is a registered LLP (ID Number AAY-4683). All project initiatives are supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

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Anuvaad Solutions LLP

Anuvaad Solutions

Anuvaad Solutions is a registered LLP (ID Number AAY-4683). All project initiatives are supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Contact Us

Anuvaad Solutions LLP