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Presentation of the Progress in the Collection of Food Security and Nutrition Information

14 October 2014. The Agency on Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan invited all main government and international agencies involved in food security and nutrition to the presentation of the results of the integration of the Women s Dietary Diversity Score into the Household Budget Survey conducted in June 2014 in Khatlon Region of Tajikistan.

The Agency on Statistics requested Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations office in Tajikistan to technically assist the implementation of regular collection of nutrition related data at the national level in the framework of the EU-FAO project “Support the strengthening of the National Food Security Information System in Tajikistan”. Tajikistan already conducts a Household Budget Survey at the national level on a regular basis which has not, until now, included any module to collect nutritional data either at the individual or at the household level.

Twenty-three enumerators and staff of the Agency on Statistics under the Presidency of Tajikistan were trained in the administration of WDDS, from tool adaptation to data collection and analysis, during a six-day training that took place in Kurgan Tube, Kathlon region, May 2014. After the training, the trained enumerators used the fully adapted WDDS tool for pilot data collection in four urban and 11 rural settlements in Kathlon region, in June 2014: a total of 331 women with an average age of 34.5 years were interviewed.

During the planning phase, most relevant institutions (Nutrition Research Institute of Tajikistan, UNICEF, WHO, WFP, World Bank and USAID, etc.) were consulted and informed about the scope and objectives of the project.

The initial results of the pilot study showed that the dietary diversity of women s diets in Kathlon region was relatively high as compared with previous studies conducted in other countries: the results indicated a higher probability of micronutrient (i.e. vitamins, minerals and trace elements) adequacy in the surveyed women. However, the high dietary diversity of women s diets might be partly due to the season of data collection (June -the harvest season) and a single geographical location for data collection..

A wider implementation of the nutrition module covering different seasons, geographic regions and socio-economic groups in the country would provide important national representative nutritional data for decision making in policy and programme. It would also help identify regions and population groups at high risks of malnutrition and micronutrient inadequacy.