Guidance on National Nutrition Information Systems

A national nutrition information system (NNIS) is a system for collecting, analysing, storing, and disseminating information to support decision-making relevant to nutrition programmes in a country. A strong NNIS improves decision-making and leads to better nutrition outcomes, making it a key element in the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 2 and other nutrition goals.

Establishing and strengthening NNIS is important; however, global guidance on this topic has not been available. To fill this gap, the WHO-UNICEF Technical Expert Advisory Group on Nutrition Monitoring (TEAM) created the first-ever global guidance on NNIS to outline core concepts of a NNIS.

The NNIS guidance consists of a five-module publication entitled “The Fundamentals Series” covering the following topics:

  • Module 1. What is an NNIS?
  • Module 2. How does an NNIS support a country’s nutrition programmes?
  • Module 3. What is needed to build a useful NNIS?
  • Module 4. What are the main attributes of an NNIS?
  • Module 5. What are the main types of data used in an NNIS?

Technical notes with detailed guidance on specific topics will also be produced to provide a collection of short guidance on common issues and questions related to nutrition monitoring.


Access the fundamental series

Modules 1-5

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

Module 5


Technical notes

The Technical Notes provide more detailed technical information about developing and implementing an NNIS. For example, the Technical Note on Assessment of an NNIS, aims to support periodic operational assessments to help yield critical insights on how well the system is working and how it can be improved, while the Technical Note on the Nutrition Data Value Chain helps users develop or refine the nutrition data value chain for their NNIS, which can be useful when identifying critical issues that require focused attention and resources. Two NNIS Technical Notes will be released soon and fifteen additional technical notes, with topics including: Building a practical set of nutrition indicators; Costing, budgeting and financing; Reconciling and triangulating nutrition data; and Data quality assurance will be released later in 2022.


An e-course covering the information in The Fundamental Series is also available. The e-course includes four modules: (i) an introduction to NNIS; (ii) enhancing the effectiveness and usefulness of an NNIS; (iii) NNIS data; and (iv) the NNIS data value chain. The e-course will be delivered through Agora, UNICEF’s global hub for learning. Spanish and French translations of the e-course will be available soon

Access the e-course

E-course module 1 – an introduction to NNIS

E-course module 2 – enhancing the effectiveness and usefulness of an NNIS

E-course module 3 – NNIS data

E-course module 4 – the NNIS data value chain