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Jan 2020 | No Comment

Madagascar embarks on multisectoral nutrition mapping

Nearly one in two children under five years old suffer from chronic malnutrition in Madagascar, according to the 2018 Global Nutrition Report. Malnutrition is more prevalent in some parts of the country due to economic disparities, lack of resources and increased poverty.

To combat this issue, the Government of Madagascar has long been committed to a multi-sectoral approach at the highest level since its early adherence to the SUN Movement in February 2012. For the first time, nutrition has been included in the ‘Plan Emergence’, a strategic document of the General Policy of the State that will soon be released. The National Office of Nutrition (ONN) is responsible for monitoring the inclusive implementation of the National Nutrition Policy (PNN) and its Nutrition Action Plan (PNAN).

Within this framework, the ONN made a request for technical assistance on the UNNNAM III (Nutrition Action Plan III – 2017-2021) to help ensure that its implementation is on track, looking to the UN Network Secretariat. Madagascar joined a list of 25 other countries, which have undertaken the Nutrition Stakeholder and Action Mapping exercise to gage the coverage levels of nutrition actions on the path to scale up. Additionally, this was the first time that Japan financed a UNN-supported mapping exercise.

The mapping will bring an accountability framework putting beneficiaries at the center of programs and actions. It is also catalyzing capacity building at the sub-national level with the participation and training of more than 50 M&E regional assistants.

The multi-sectoral approach of the mapping included 27 actions that engage sectors including health, agriculture, WASH and social protection. The national mapping team included technical focal points from the ONN, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, National Institute for Geography and Hydrography, National Statistics Institute as well as UN colleagues from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Food Programme (WFP). This not only ensures ownership of the exercise but also helps to institutionalize the mapping within government institutions.

The first phase took place over 6 days, in late August 2019, including all stakeholders involved in the field of nutrition in Madagascar. More than 100 participants attended the launching workshop, where technical and financial partners undertook a prioritization exercise to identify which nutrition actions would be mapped.

The mapping team spent three days building capacity for the supervision of data collection and data capture. One of the days focused on the mapping module, using the District Health Information (DHIS2) software for customization, data collection, data entry and basic analysis. During this period, the team proposed a preliminary long list of nutrition actions, target groups, implementation mechanisms and geographical levels that was validated during the workshop.

The mapping exercise itself will take roughly four months to be completed, including the data collection phase, data cleaning, analysis and dissemination of results. This will make it possible to reframe and deliver the package of priority interventions with a proven impact by targeting the geographical areas not previously covered. The goal is to identify existing gaps among the different demographics to boost coverage for hardto- reach populations.

Punjab, India launches Web- GIS for ease of doing business

Punjab Small Industries and Export Corporation (PSIEC) has launched Estate Management System (EMS) and Web-GIS to improve transparency and promote ease of doing business in the state. Through EMS, applicants/ allottees will be able to apply for allotment of industrial/ commercial/ residential plots, pay dues online and also avail post-allotment services with respect to their plots.

All the PSIEC allotees will be given access to an online dashboard which, will be used for managing all aspects of their industrial plot. Post-allotment services shall be made available online, including, applying water/sewage connection, permission to mortgage, registration of lease deed/conveyance deed, issuance of no dues certificate, conversion from lease to freehold etc.

GeoDB democratizing Big Data with Blockchain-based data sharing ecosystem

GeoDB is a decentralized peer-to-peer data sharing ecosystem that boasts over 12 million users from 150 countries. They are on the forefront of addressing some of the major issues in the big data industry. The company has successfully raised over $3 million (USD) from several closed private investment rounds as well as a crowd sale held on crowdcube, the leading crowdfunding platform in the UK.

GeoDB has established several strategic partnerships with third party applications whose users will share data while being rewarded via its ecosystem. With over 12 million users the company is confident that they will become one of the largest company by amount of token holders already in 2020. This would make GeoDB one of the first crypto/ blockchain projects to achieve mass user adoption, which has been a major challenge for most blockchain based projects.

Apart from merely boasting about having a large user base, it also launched their in-house GeoCash application about 5 months ago and during this time, over 1000 wallets were created and more than 15 million locations where uploaded to the platform.

Sponsorship for RSU2- based Robotics Team

Delta Prime Robotics has received a $4,000 sponsorship from Hallowellbased software company Blue Marble Geographics®. The sponsorship covers most of the team’s registration with its parent-organization FIRST Robotics®, which includes the cost of two regular season competitions and equipment such as basic robot

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