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Welcome to the first blog entry of our follow up small grant from HIF in which we will work towards the finalisation of the CMAM Report software and its dissemination amongst interested agencies.

As a recap, in the preceding large grant with HIF we went through a process of software development and in July 2014 launched a first version among our partners of the comprehensive monitoring and reporting tool for CMAM programmes – the CMAM Report online software, formerly known as the MRP (Minimum Reporting Package).

Data from the former Access based system was migrated to the online software so that partners could use their previous data in the new system. The launch was accompanied with increased technical support to partners through the email helpdesk and skype calls with screen sharing – which worked well as a good way to introduce new users to the software a. We also conducted a West and Central Africa training in August to boost uptake of the software amongst French speaking countries and received further input and review of the tool.

The new online software was generally received well by users and is seen as a great improvement over the previous Access based software. One user fed bac k to us “…You and your team did a great job! I really like the new version (of the CMAM Report software)… I find the functions all pretty intuitive and I check the user manual only from time to time and then I find the help immediately, all written in a nice short and clear way. Now we only have to convince more agencies to use it.”

As the software release was done under warranty, we also received comments with change requests on smaller and bigger software issues and bugs that we worked on the in the last four months since the launch.  In the meantime the software development continued, the ‘Country Administrator’ function (aimed to be used by Ministries of Health and / or UN Agencies at a national level) was added in September and the French version is being finalised. We also decided to stop software development by the end of this year and grouped remaining changes into three workable batches. Any additional changes will need to go into another phase of software development. We felt this was important to launch a complete and stable version of the software which can later be reviewed and adapted as necessary.

In October 2014 we presented the latest progress on CMAM Report at the Emergency Nutrition Network meeting in Oxford in one of the parallel session on acute malnutrition. The session was well attended and we received several questions from different participants on the tool and the next steps with the dissemination of the CMAM field data analysis.

We also worked on supportive materials for the software. With feedback from users software manuals were reviewed and finalised. The e-learning tool is currently being updated and we recorded several screen cast videos that talk users through all main topics of the software.

A draft version of the CMAM field data analysis has been shared with partners that contributed data for their feedback. As data was not strong enough to be analysed for effectiveness of SFP, this paper rather illustrates current field practice of CMAM programmes.  We plan to finalise the report soon and prepare its publication.

Finally something that makes the development team very happy; over the last couple of months we have received several signs of interest in CMAM Report and the software from agencies running or supporting CMAM programmes. In the next months we will engage more with interested agencies and advocate for the use of standardised indicators and the CMAM Report software.

For information related to any of the above, please contact Chris Andert at c.andert@savethechildren.org.uk

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