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Minimum Reporting Package (MRP) – an innovative tool to improve monitoring and reporting on feeding programmes

This is an exciting moment for Save the Children UK and our partners as the Minimum Reporting Package is entering into a new phase with funding from the Humanitarian Innovation Fund.

The MRP is an innovative monitoring and reporting tool for Supplementary Feeding Programmes (SFP) which treat moderate acute malnutrition mainly in children under five years, and pregnant and lactating women.

The MRP consists of guidelines, software and a software manual. It was developed to provide humanitarian organisations running feeding programmes with a standardised method for data collection for admissions and discharges and the calculation of performance indicators according to the latest Sphere standards.

The MRP aims at improving decision-making, programme quality and accountability to beneficiaries and donors and seeks to identify if the current SFP approach is effective for the treatment of moderate acute malnutrition at child and population level.

Some history on the MRP

A study undertaken in 2005/6 by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) and Save the Children UK on the efficacy and effectiveness of 82 emergency SFPs revealed that inadequate reporting standards were being followed by the 16 organisations that were examined. An unexpected number of information gaps, inaccuracies and statistical errors were found that raised concerns over the quality of SFPs and implications for the impact on beneficiaries, the accountability of agencies, and organisation’s capacity to learn from experience.

To address these concerns, the MRP was developed through a consensus building exercise with a large number of humanitarian agencies during 2008/9, with the ultimate aim to repeat the study of efficacy and effectiveness of SFPs. The package included a software that was subsequently piloted in four countries. In 2011/12 guidelines were reviewed and expanded to include standards for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition and the rollout within Save the Children UK and several organisations started in mid 2012. Preliminary data analysis was done last month but more data is needed to support a more meaningful analysis.

Plans with HIF for 2013/14

Currently, 5 organisations in 10 countries are collecting data on their feeding programmes following the MRP guidance. Save the Children continues to work with more organisations interested in introducing the MRP to their programmes in 2013.

We also have plans to refine the MRP guidelines based on feedback from organisations/users and revise the software currently in Microsoft Access, to a web-based platform. We also hope to support this with the pilot of the MRP on hand held devices to provide innovative reporting methods directly from the field.

Further trainings will be conducted over the coming months and continued support will be provided to existing and future MRP users through our helpdesk on a daily basis.

We will continue to collect monthly SFP data from MRP users whilst providing feedback on data quality and performance indicators (if requested). As we collect more and more data, we will begin further analysis of the efficacy and effectiveness of SFP programmes to support decision making and ultimately guide best practice for feeding programmes in emergencies.

In this blog we will update monthly on the progress of this project. If you want more information please visit the MRP website www.mrp-sw.com where you can download the MRP software and access our MRP e-learning site. For specific questions feel free to contact us at mrp@savethechildren.org.uk.

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