The OMNI Tool was created to allow estimation of impact for nutrition programming and reporting, and does not address every type of scenario. Nutrition International is committed to updating the tool with new scenarios and future modelling of non-health impacts (planned for Fall 2018). The following are some key benefits and limitations of the OMNI Tool.
BENEFITS OF USING THE OMNI TOOL
From intervention to impact, a series of inputs build on program coverage and burden data to estimate outcomes of interest for key nutrition interventions.
Current Program Impact Results: The most common application is for estimating current program impact based on actual coverage. From established information channels or including an organization’s own field-level program monitoring activities, compiled data allows the OMNI Tool to compute the expected benefit.
Future Program Planning: The tool also guides future program planning scenarios by estimating impact potential tailored to the user’s nutrition interventions of interest. With the tool, users can experiment with program design and implementation strategy to identify the greatest opportunity for impact. This also enables comparison of various resource allocation scenarios making a compelling case for specific intervention(s) to a donor, government minister, or other key stakeholder.
A step-by-step guide to using the OMNI Tool will allow you to make impact estimates that are calculated in real time with readily available program coverage data.
Users drive their own experience within the OMNI Tool. For example, the OMNI Tool can be customized with a user’s own program coverage data and/or sub-national estimates to generate more context-specific impact estimates. The OMNI Tool can easily be customized to suit diverse programming and multiple outcomes of interest; it is constructed to estimate impact of a user’s program – which is in addition to existing platforms (i.e. The OMNI Tool results do not claim all the impact of a given platform unless the program is delivered exclusively by the user). It is important to note the OMNI Tool also does not claim impact twice should a beneficiary be reached through two complementary interventions.
A modelling tool must be strongly evidence-based to allow for informed advocacy, stakeholder engagement, and key decision-making which includes prioritization of interventions. The OMNI Tool is constructed with the most relevant and acceptable intervention effect sizes, and pre-populated with nationally representative coverage and burden data from inter-agency working groups and household surveys.
Nutrition International (NI) sought out peer review of the OMNI Tool with leading experts to confirm its validity. The data and evidence used for modelling was substantiated by public health experts at Johns Hopkins University and the LiST Team. NI brought its expertise in implementation research (evidence) and implementation experience (“hands-on” application) to refine the modelling outputs.
Quality evidence and data drive the OMNI Tool. Evidence is not always clear cut and is ever-changing. There is often a gap in the discussion between evidence and implementation. Implementation research is one way to bridge this gap. Advancing program monitoring systems can also help reinforce implementation practices and course correction. Both research outputs and survey results directly contribute to better modelling outputs.
NI conducts regular reviews of the tool, its background assumptions and underlying evidence to ensure it remains up-to-date with the latest literature and approaches. Beyond the existing pathways currently included, NI plans to continue expanding the tool as new evidence becomes available.
NI selected nutrition interventions and impacts that are relevant to a number of interventions and are pertinent to a number of global nutrition targets (e.g. stunting, anaemia, low birth weight). This can facilitate multi-stakeholder conversations and advocacy to justify the investment in nutrition programming. The impacts currently modelled are relevant to the World Health Assembly Global Nutrition Targets 2025 and the Sustainable Development Goals (2030).
LIMITATIONS OF THE OMNI TOOL
The current inventory of interventions and their associated effects is not considered exhaustive. Those interventions and associated impact pathways currently included do not suggest lack of significance for others, but are rather due to a lack of consensus on intervention effect (common) or require further exploration by the experts to devise an impact model. This is something Nutrition International (NI) actively continues to explore and welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with others to address gaps in the tool. Further, program data requirements remain a limiting factor to computing impact (feasibility, regularity, etc.).
The OMNI Tool uses both meta-analysis and systematic reviews as a basis for impact estimates currently included. Country and context-specific estimates are incorporated to allow users the ability to derive more appropriate results for their programming environment. The OMNI Tool does not account for other contextual factors beyond those interventions and impacts being modelled which may contribute to an observed change in the population, and assumes contextual factors are static during the period of time included.
The OMNI Tool does not automate the creation of prospective program scenarios, but rather facilitates key stakeholder discussion surrounding results and expected impact; this is driven by inputs including scope and scale of potential future programming being considered.
Future impact estimates require that key informants are knowledgeable about program delivery and scope for improvement to input determine targets.