FANTA developed the NACS Planning and Costing Tool to help policy makers, program managers, and implementers plan for the design, financing, and management of NACS at national and sub-national levels. The tool answers the question, “What is required in human, material, and financial resources to establish and maintain NACS services?” The results from the tool can be used for many purposes, including developing an operational, strategic, or annual work plan to guide maintenance and scale-up of services and advocating for the start-up or expansion of NACS services.
The Microsoft Excel-based planning and costing tool estimates the quantity and cost of inputs to establish and scale-up NACS services at national, provincial, and district levels using the activity-based costing approach for service delivery, training, supervision, commodities, logistics, startup governance, and routine governance. Users enter information into 9 sets of data entry worksheets and the tool produces result tables that can be disaggregated as needed. Instructions throughout the tool and in the accompanying user’s manual provide guidance on how to approach the tool’s application, where to obtain information and how to enter it, and how to navigate country-specific situations.
The Malawi Ministry of Health successfully used the tool to develop its 5-year national operational plan for the scale-up of NACS—known in Malawi as Nutrition Care, Support, and Treatment (NCST)—and found that it played a critical role in determining costs for the essential set of activities needed for NCST services.