Nutrition Exchange Issue 6 May 2016 [EN/AR]

Report
from Emergency Nutrition Network
Published on 31 May 2016 View Original
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Editorial

This issue of Nutrition Exchange is our sixth and we continue to profile the writing of those working at national and sub-national level. This issue contains 13 original articles from Bangladesh,
Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Niger and Somalia and two with a regional and geographical perspective.

For the first time, we received French articles from west Africa and have translated them into English for this issue. Every original article is the result of a close supportive collaboration with the author(s). ENN provides editorial support to get the best information possible from those working on different types of nutrition-related programmes and issues in different contexts.

There is a stronger focus in this issue of NEX on learning and experiences from Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement countries. We have carried out two interviews with key SUN Movement actors in Kenya and Somalia. In Kenya, the interview with an outgoing representative of the SUN Donor Network describes the experience of starting the network, their achievements and future priorities. In Somalia, the Government SUN Focal Point shared the challenges faced in bringing nutrition to the wider attention of key government actors and in maintaining this focus in light of the frequent disruption caused by conflict and insecurity. The role of the SUN Civil Society Network in supporting nutrition advocacy and, in particular, the ongoing work to support nutrition in a highly devolved context is described in Kenya. We also have a summary of the phase two SUN Movement Roadmap, the findings from a recent review into SUN country experiences with the Common Results Framework, and a brief description of a new ENN project providing knowledge management services to the SUN Movement in phase two (2016-2020). Two summarised Field Exchange SUN-related articles have been included in this section from Pakistan and Indonesia as they describe the progress made since joining the SUN Movement, highlighting the increasing need to focus on nutrition scale-up in highly devolving situations and to continue to foster multi-sectoral engagement at all levels. The double burden of malnutrition (where high levels of undernutrition and overweight/obesity are both present in a country) is also raised in the Indonesia article.

The original country article from Bangladesh describes ongoing work in the management of malnutrition in infants under six months of age. For many years these infants have been a neglected group, but today they are receiving more attention globally and in certain countries. ree articles from west Africa (Niger, Democratic Republic of Congo and Chad) give us insights into efforts to address contexts with high levels of acute malnutrition.

In Niger, an alliance of non-governmental agencies is looking to more sustainable/developmental ways to maintain treatment services; in Chad, mobile teams are being deployed to reach remote populations in need to treatment services; and in DRC the challenges of maintaining effective, community-based nutrition activities once they are mainstreamed into health service provision with lower budgets are exposed. All these articles highlight the practical challenges of applying the technical advances that have been made to prevent and treat acute malnutrition. Additional articles from DRC and Ethiopia describe the use of different agriculturally focused activities to increase dietary diversity in food-insecure areas. Keyhole gardens are one technology being used in Ethiopia to support year-round food availability in food insecure regions, while the education system is being used in DRC to promote dietary diversity and income-generation at household level. In Somalia, behaviour change and communication (BCC) is an approach being used to increase hand-washing and promote improved infant and young child feeding to prevent undernutrition. These articles describe a range of nutrition specific and nutrition-sensitive approaches. While most of the articles describe relatively small-scale projects, it is encouraging to see attention being given by some to measuring impacts: this is key if decisions are to be taken for replication or scale-up.

We feature an article (IFOAM) describing an approach to agriculture and nutrition in a number of countries with large populations living in remote, mountainous regions. This is being done by networking people through different platforms to access better evidence and knowledge about nutrition-sensitive agriculture and dietary diversity. In Ethiopia, the need to link research more explicitly in order to evidence policies and programmes is described, along with the way current obstacles to this are being addressed. For the first time, we include an article from the Americas, highlighting how the Latin America and Caribbean Nutrition Clusters are working together regionally and are using a tool for the standardised definition and monitoring of regional and national nutrition preparedness and response capacity in a context with recurring natural disasters.

As with previous issues, we have also included summaries of nutrition-related reviews, research, events and global developments that we hope are of interest to our readers. In particular, we have summarised the latest developments in the growing attention on the benefits of linking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) with nutrition.

In mid-2016, the third Global Nutrition Report will be published and we have included a summary (written by the coordinating team) of the focus this will take. Along with the recently announced Decade for Nutrition (also summarised), the forthcoming Nutrition for Growth Summit in Brazil and the launch of the new Sustainable Development Goals (see the summary), nutrition is still receiving the attention it deserves globally and, more importantly, across many countries where a wide array of policies and programmes is being shaped and implemented and which the NEX team is dedicated to trying to capture and share for the benefit of country actors.

We warmly thank all those who have contributed articles and news pieces and who have been available for interview for this issue. We are already looking for new content for Issue 7 and encourage anyone with experiences and learning to share about nutrition specific programming, nutrition-sensitive programming, nutrition governance, coordination and financing to get in touch with us. In keeping with our efforts to reach as many readers as possible, this year we will be publishing NEX in Spanish (so copy only), thanks to the UNICEF Regional Office in Panama and the financial support from USAID and DFID as well as our usual French and Arabic versions.
We warmly thank Valerie Gatchell for her early editorial role before handing over to Jacqueline Frize, who has capably stepped in to support the production of this issue while Valerie is away from ENN. We also thank Chloe for doing so much before taking her maternity leave. We appreciate the considerable support from Gwenola Deplats in supporting the French-speaking authors in west Africa and for adding to our French network and warmly thank Nick Mickshik for copy editing.

The Nutrition Exchange Editorial team,
Carmel, Valerie, Chloe and Jacqueline