Guidance on National Nutrition Information Systems

November 16, 2021

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?


Access the Fundamental Series

Modules 1-5

Module 1

Module 2

Module 3

Module 4

Module 5


Technical notes

Technical Notes are designed to help stakeholders understand and address critical issues relevant to the design and operation of National Nutrition Information Systems. They are brief, easy-to-understand documents that are valuable supplements to the five modules in the Fundamentals Series. Additional Technical Notes will be developed as users and experts identify specific topics that can be addressed in this format.


Access the Technical Notes

Assessing a National Nutrition Information System

Nutrition Data Value Chain

Designing Effective Data Visualizations

The Power of Nutrition Dashboards, Scorecards and Profiles

Costing a National Nutrition Information System


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-courses

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