A Technical Meeting on Nutrition is hosted by the Emergency Nutrition Network
On 7 October 2014, the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) hosted a three day meeting at the town hall in Oxford, United Kingdom. The aim of the meeting was to facilitate technical learning on nutrition in emergencies and high burden contexts. The meeting engaged over 100 participants from multiple stakeholder groups including NGOs, UN agencies, academia, donors, the private sector and government representatives.
The meeting provided time and space for individuals to share and learn about their experiences in nutrition specific and nutrition-sensitive programming and how to improve coordination within and between different stakeholder groups. The plenary sessions, marketplace, parallel sessions, Q&A panel and side meetings were set up to foster learning and inform better practice, research priorities and advocacy.
The four thematic areas featured were – adolescent and maternal nutrition programming and research; nutrition within the basic package of health services; cash transfer programming (conditional and unconditional) and combinations of cash with other sectoral interventions; and nutrition resilience (in programming and evidence).
During day 1, Patrizia Fracassi, a Senior Analyst from the SUN Movement Secretariat shared how countries were increasing engagement with multiple stakeholders through an inclusive dialogue around common results for nutrition. Rob Hughes, DFID Nutrition Advisor, highlighted the important differences and challenges in responding to countries’ requests for technical assistance for nutrition.
The meeting helped identify areas of opportunity where increased coordination would help countries in scaling up nutrition. These included:
- There is strong evidence-based nutrition-sensitive dialogue from which countries and the global community would benefit significantly if the research community were to come together for improved coherency.
- Of the 18 countries which have been activated as part of the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC), 14 are countries in the SUN Movement. These countries could benefit from increased engagement between SUN Movement Focal Points and the GNC Response Coordinators.
- Sharing between countries about their past experiences in dealing with emergencies could help ensure lessons from emergency response are institutionalised.
Read a blog about the meeting by Lawrence Haddad
Find out more about the meeting and download the presentations at ENN
ENN is a UK registered charity which was set up to improve practice and strengthen the institutional memory of agencies involved in the emergency food and nutrition sectors. ENN focuses on communities in crisis, typically humanitarian emergencies, and where undernutrition is a significant chronic problem. Ways in which ENN enables nutrition networking and learning to build the evidence base for nutrition programming includes;
- Field Exchange, an online and print publication on nutrition and food security in emergencies and high burden contexts. Field Exchange is printed three times per year.
- Nutrition Exchange, is an online publication of short, easy to read articles on nutrition programme experiences and learning. Nutrition is summarised information from the flagship publication, Field Exchange.
- en-net, a free and open resource that helps practitioners access technical advice for operational challenges through the online forum.
The GNC was established to improve the effectiveness of humanitarian response programmes by ensuring greater predictability, accountability and partnership. GNC aims to safeguard and improve the nutritional status of emergency affected populations by ensuring an appropriate response that is predictable, timely and effective and at scale. The 40 agencies which form GNC include international NGOs, UN organisations and donors. They are guided by its Strategic Plan which includes four pillars:
- Partnership, communication, advocacy, and resource mobilization
- Capacity development in humanitarian coordination
- Operational and surge support to country clusters
- Information and Knowledge Management
The GNC operates in both sudden onset disasters, whether natural or human causes, and protracted crises. The nature of support provided by the GNC when a country cluster approach is activated depends on the expressed needs of individual country clusters, global priorities and the availability of resources. The GNC provides ongoing technical support and coordination and information management capacity to country-level clusters and nutrition authorities.
When existing coordination mechanisms are already active in the affected country, the GNC support is focused on ensuring sufficient capacity of these institutions and structures are built and that the coordination of the emergency response is built upon existing mechanisms.