Mother and small child in Guatemala

Project—Epidemiological Health and Nutrition Surveillance System (SIVESNU)


To develop an integrated reproductive health and nutrition surveillance system that provides representative, high quality, and timely process and impact data annually.


Anemia, obesity, deaths related to pregnancies, and chronic under-nutrition as evidenced by stunting are leading public health problems in Guatemala. Multiple interventions are implemented, or under development, to address these issues. Before developing SIVESNU however, the only source of representative, high quality data for children’s measurements, anemia, and maternal and child health was collected every four to five years.

With SIVESNU, data are collected through continuous household surveys annually, providing timely representative, high quality data. SIVESNU provides data for key nutrition and health programs for women of reproductive age and children less than 5 years. The core content covers fertility, child mortality, infant and young child feeding, child health, nutritional status, health related to pregnancy, women’s health, and household level indicators.

SIVESNU fills a critical surveillance gap and meets the program information needs of the Food and Nutrition Security Secretariat, Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance, US Agency for International Development, and other key partners. This information is used to monitor changes in key interventions and evaluate progress.


A prototype of the system was tested in 2011 in five departments of the highlands of Guatemala. National piloting of the system occurred in 2013. Government staff participated in the surveillance system annually starting in 2015. The goal was to strengthen the government’s capacity to fully implement the system.

As a flexible platform, SIVESNU can incorporate new content annually. For example, the 2011 prototype was broadened in 2013 to include more maternal and child health indicators. In 2016 the system expanded to include key chronic disease indicators. The SIVESNU 2017-2018 included nationally representative data on school age children 6-14 years and zika infection.

CDC’s International Micronutrient Malnutrition Prevention and Control (IMMPaCt) team provides technical assistance in designing new content to be added to the surveillance system, implementation, data management, analysis and report writing.

Potential Impact

SIVESNU’s costs are lower than other quality surveys in Guatemala. The aim of this lower-cost model is to increase the sustainability of the system. Sustained and expanded national data for appropriate target groups will help the government determine its health priorities and modify or add interventions as needed.

Next Steps

CDC will continue to provide technical assistance to Guatemala for the collection, use and interpretation of SIVESNU data. The work will support the availability and use of timely, high quality nutrition data.

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