Oversight committees for planning and implementation: Steering committee and Technical committee

Two principal committees, the Steering committee and the Technical committee, provide consultation and feedback during survey planning, in particular related to objectives, design, and implementation. The survey plan usually requires considerable discussion, amendment, and compromise before it is sure to meet stakeholders’ most important needs while remaining within the constraints of resources and time. Detailed information about the roles, responsibilities, and composition of these committees is presented in Module 8, Survey supervision and personnel, and in the “Survey tasks and roles for survey personnel” online tool.

Steering committee

Survey results need to be accepted, endorsed, and used by relevant public and private sector organizations. To ensure that this is done, it is critical that stakeholders who have identified a need for, or who will use, the survey data are engaged in the planning process. One common method of getting the necessary buy-in is to establish a Steering committee that includes high-level personnel from stakeholder organizations. This committee will provide oversight, help guide decisions and foster a sense of common ownership of the survey. The committee will be involved in

  • Defining the need for and scope of a micronutrient status survey;

  • Planning and implementing the survey, including securing approvals and permissions;

  • Analysing, disseminating and guiding the use of survey data.

It is good practice to conduct a survey only when there is a clear gap in timely data and when the Steering committee agrees on how the results will be used to inform and improve national or subnational programmes.

Technical committee

In addition to the Steering committee, it is important to establish a Technical committee to promote best practices and ensure the quality of all survey-related processes. The composition of this committee can vary but in general includes members of government agencies working in nutrition, the national statistics agency, and other organizations implementing or supporting nutrition-related activities in the country. These may be international and local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations agencies and academic institutions. The Technical committee helps ensure that the survey coordinator, who manages the day-to-day activities, has all the technical information needed. To this end, the survey Laboratory coordinator, a Logistician, and a Data manager should also be part of the committee.