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en-net updates

En-net update July to October 2016 inclusive

Over the past four months 88 questions have been posted on en-net[1], generating 228 responses. Forty-two vacancy announcements have been posted, which have accumulated almost 12,000 views on the website; and 8 upcoming trainings.

en-net has increasingly seen posts alerting readers to new research and guidance in areas that have received much attention on the site, such as coverage assessment http://www.en-net.org/forum/16.aspx  and WHO updates on HIV and infant feeding http://www.en-net.org/question/2579.aspx  which is a welcome development, assisting people to access research and evidence-based information. In addition, there have been several posts recently to encourage readers to engage in online consultations and experience-sharing by researchers and those developing guidelines. These include Sphere Handbook consultation, updated guidance on Infant feeding, and contributions to research on “Understanding the contextual factors enabling evidence-based decision making in disasters: Organisational contexts and other disaster related contexts”. The latter is still open for inputs here, http://www.en-net.org/question/2697.aspx

In the Scaling Up Nutrition forum area there has been a call for experiences on engaging nutrition champions for a new guide to be published by the Institute of Development Studies and the SUN Movement Secretariat. Contributions have been shared by individual practitioners, SUN Focal Points, government ministers and civil society alliance conveners. Findings so far include:

The Prime Minister galvanised Namibia into action after a review illustrated that the country was facing a major challenge in reducing maternal deaths and infant mortality and making slow progress towards its MDGs. A survey was then conducted which clearly showed the links between the high rates of anaemia in pregnant women and stunting in children and these poor outcomes. It was against this background that the Namibia Alliance for Improved Nutrition(NAFIN) was born. NAFIN is multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder. Its mission is to provide evidence-based information to policymakers on the state of nutrition in Namibia; promote social mobilisation in favour of balanced diets; promote breast feeding; build awareness among pregnant mothers about the need to visit ante-natal clinics; promote public hygiene such as good sanitation and hand washing.

The SUN Civil Society Alliance Pakistan (SUNCSA,Pak) organised sensitisation sessions of Parliamentarians in all provinces and at Federal level to engage them to play an important role in implementation of Inter-sectoral Nutrition Strategies and enactment/ enforcement of relevant legislation such as Protection and Promotion of Breastfeeding laws, mandatory food fortification laws etc. Parliamentarians can also help increase budgetary allocations for nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive interventions. They found key messages that work well are:
(1).The current malnutrition crisis in Pakistan has been estimated to cost the economy 2-3% of GDP per year; Pakistan cannot afford to sustain this drain on the economy
(2)If prioritized, malnutrition can be ended in a generation in Pakistan! Addressing malnutrition is one of the best investments Pakistan can make in its future
(3).Improving nutrition is transformational—families become healthier, wealthier and better educated, because
- Children who are malnourished learn less at school, and earn less when they grow up.
- Iron and iodine deficiency in childhood reduces IQ by up to 25 and 13 points respectively.
- Malnutrition makes children more likely to acquire communicable diseases like measles and also develop complications. Malnutrition also reduces the effectiveness of certain vaccinations.

The SUN CSA, Pak is now developing policy briefs and provincial scorecards to equip them with ready to reference information required for policy making and planning.

The Sierra Leone Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition is a civil society advocacy Non-governmental Organization and an alliance of over 150 networks. They came together as an alliance after persistent reports identifying malnutrition as one of the major causes for the high maternal and infant mortality in the country; one of the key issues responsible for Sierra Leone’s low position in the Human Development Index.

To enhance government commitment to nutrition, the alliance is currently leading the efforts to include nutrition and food security issues in the National Constitution in the current constitutional review process. The effort has already yielded fruit: under Protection of Socio-economic Rights, to be free from hunger and to have food of acceptable quality, has been included. The alliance is currently hosting, on behalf of Sierra Leone, the Ecosystem Based Adaptation for Food Security Assembly which is a Pan African institution, and thereby encouraging other nutrition activists to include climate change issues in their nutrition activities.

Follow the discussion and add your contribution at http://www.en-net.org/question/2700.aspx

Finally, there have been several calls on en-net for access to more nutrition materials in French, Spanish, Russian and Portuguese. This ranges from translated guidelines to SMART survey reports. The dearth of available literature in languages other than English is a significant issue. If you have links or materials to share, please do so, here http://www.en-net.org/question/2583.aspx or  http://www.en-net.org/question/2705.aspx or contact post@en-net.org. en-net has a mirror French site, launched earlier this year, www.fr.en-net.org. We very much welcome feedback on the quality of translations on this site and suggestions to make it increasingly accessible and useful to French speakers. All feedback is welcome to post@en-net.org.

To join any discussion on en-net, share your experience or post a question, visit www.en-net.org.uk  

 

Contributions

Nahas Angula, Muhammad Irshad Danish, Hassane, Edward Jusu, Dr. Bonnix Kayabu, Regine Kopplow, Scaling Up Nutrition/Transform Nutrition Moderator.

[1] From 1st July to 31st October 2016.

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