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Building a nutrition education evidence data base to support policy and planning in developing countries
Note The term “nutrition education” as used in this proposal refers to action taken to improve food practices and attitudes, and has broad application in several sectors and at several levels.
– despite the growing evidence of the potential long-term impact of food and nutrition education on health, there is a striking lack of nutrition education where it is sorely needed – in many developing countries, at all levels (policy, planning, training, implementation), in most nutrition-related sectors and in integrated interventions (FAO 2011);
– much evidence is not well-known to country practitioners, governments, NGOs and national institutions, and to many donors who do not have the time, resources or personnel to find, assemble and interpret it, and/or to develop the necessary instruments for advocacy, strategic decision-making and design;
– there is a need for more evidence relevant to nutrition education in developing countries, their issues, contexts and capacity needs, evidence which is compelling in quantity and quality, easily accessible and understandable and fit for need and purpose;
– SNEB urges its members to support, personally or through contacts with individuals or organizations, the establishment of a nutrition education evidence database for developing countries, which will help to identify research gaps, inform advocacy, formulate policy briefs and design programs, with a particular view to building NE employment infrastructure and capacity in developing countries in all nutrition-related sectors (health, education, agriculture and food security, social protection and community development).
LIST OF SNEB MEMBERS ENDORSING THE RESOLUTION
- JANE SHERMAN
- MELISSA VARGAS
- PAM KOCH
- JOANNE ARSENAULT
- ANA ISLAS
- SERAH THEURI
- DIANA WASHEIM
- KAVITHA SANKAVARAM
- JASIA STEINMETZ
- VANESSA WHITE-BARROW
Jane Sherman, Via Mastrogiorgio 16, 00182, Rome, Italy.
Tel 0039 06 57250172 Mobile phone 0039 3466914245 e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
PEOPLE FROM WHOM THE AUTHORS SOUGHT INPUT
- SNEB members (SNEEZE network)
- DINE members (listserv)
The audience for this Resolution is the SNEB membership. The primary audiences for the initiative itself are national, regional and international bodies concerned with nutrition in development in the relevant sectors (e.g. agriculture, social protection, education, health and community welfare), and interested in the role of nutrition education, whether as providers, consumers or disseminators of data and data products. Examples are aid organizations, NGOs, professional associations, research institutions and course providers, national university departments, professional training institutions, government ministries, curriculum developers and individuals. It is hoped that purposeful interactions between interested parties will strengthen the international nutrition education community and will open opportunities for further research, trials and publications.
RELEVANCE OF THE RESOLUTION TO SNEB’S VISION AND MISSION
The resolution is fully in line with SNEB’s vision of “healthy communities, food systems and behaviors” and with its mission “to promote effective nutrition education and healthy behavior through research, policy and practice”. However it focuses specifically on developing countries.
HOW THE RESOLUTION WILL BE USED
It is hoped that the resolution will encourage SNEB members and other individuals and organizations to collaborate on building a database which can be put to use as outlined in the resolution, for example to advise on policy, design effective programs and recommend training approaches. Endorsement of this policy by SNEB membership will make it possible to make official approaches to other organizations and institutions. A side-effect should be the strengthening of the international community of nutrition educators.
The exact project to be undertaken has yet to be determined, hence costs cannot be estimated. Some form of dispersed research review is recommended in which the labor is contributed voluntarily by members, their institutions and other partners. In the first phase work could be carried out with shared online documents, Skype and e-mail. If the project gains support, it will be necessary to establish the data archive and set up a website. These tasks may be discussed with partners, and seeking external funding can be included as a project task.
 “Nutrition education” (NE) here embraces culturally appropriate actions at several levels which aim to produce voluntary changes in food practices and attitudes, and hence includes behavior change approaches. It may be stand-alone (e.g. in schools, public campaigns, ENAs, food guidelines), or integrated with other nutrition-related activities (e.g. agriculture, food security, health, social protection, community development) and with interventions to improve the food environment (e.g. restrictions on food advertising, labeling, sugar taxes, improving service delivery). It includes activities in three spheres:
- Direct actions to influence food behavior
- Political, governmental and institutional advocacy and promotion
- In-service, pre-service and ad hoc professional training, curriculum development and capacity building
 The concept note which was circulated for consultation has been revised in line with comments and is attached.