Bringing food and nutrition information to Filipinos through iFNRI: The potentials of ICT to Inform, Educate, and Serve
Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Institute (DOST-FNRI)
The iFNRI was conceptualized by the Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Institute (DOST-FNRI) with the purpose to make the Institute a databank of nutrition and nutrition-related information. Through iFNRI, DOST-FNRI works as the storehouse of data and information and provides a convenient reference source for current data and trends in food and nutrition for both professionals and laypeople. It can also serve as basis for developing school nutrition programs, provide reference information to businesses in menu planning, and guide industrial canteen concessionaires in maximizing the nutritional value of menus for employees.
Background and Problem
Mandated to implement R&D initiatives on food and nutrition, DOST-FNRI has cited the strong need to utilize information and communications technology (ICT) in consolidating, storing, and providing access to food and nutrition data. The lack of computerized system to support the staff in carrying out business processes needed to implement the R&D projects and S&T activities has resulted to inefficiency, inaccuracy, longer turn-around time, duplication of work, incompatibility, data loss, poor information dissemination, and poor public service. The iFNRI was established as the Institute-wide ICT Program that can provide a systematic process for the planning, conceptualization, implementation, monitoring and evaluation data.
Solution and Impact
The iFNRI website was launched in February 2016 using the URL http://www.i.fnri.dost.gov.ph. The website’s components are iAssess, iServe, iBusiness, iPromote, iLearn, and iAdmin.
iServe allows the DOST-FNRI to conduct its frontline services to clients online. iBusiness enables the institute to link its internal and external data processing system more efficiently and flexibly. iPromote delivers promotional marketing messages and food and technology products. iLearn provide online learning for clients with or without nutrition background. iAdmin refers to a number of mechanisms which hopes to convert traditional office paper processes into electronic processes.
The iFNRI website utilized different media such as applications, databases, tools and other references to disseminate accurate, sound, and useful nutrition information and knowledge to its clients. The program does this by consolidating various websites hosted by DOST-FNRI. As such, iFNRI becomes the one stop website for all types of DOST-FNRI information services. Featured sites in iFNRI include the following:
- HELP Online, Menu Eval Plus, e-Nutrition, and eSEL to help assess nutrition status and adequacy of dietary intake.
- NutritionSchool.ph and Salt Calculator to educate people and improve nutrition literacy.
- PhilFCT, eFCD-DEA, SL-IOS, eT2M2, and DOST PINOY to provide students and professionals access to accurate scientific interventions and reference materials in food and nutrition.
iFNRI is still undergoing various changes to stay updated to the needs of its stakeholders. Among the expected future innovations for the program include the enhancement of iFNRI online portal, inclusion of iTrain component, and development of an iFNRI strategic marketing and communications plan