Initiatives to improve training on nutrition in emergencies

A new Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) initiative to improve the capacity to respond to nutritional emergencies by strengthening professional training has recently received funding from the US Office for Disaster Assistance (OFDA). The two year initiative encompasses two projects; one implemented by the Centre for International Health and Development (CIHD) and one by the partnership, NutritionWorks. ODFA has also provided funding to the ENN for the update of a key tool, the Harmonised Training Package (HTP), which is being used in the development of these training initiatives.

CIHD is collaborating with universities and institutes in Asia, East Africa and the Middle East to run professional training courses in emergency nutrition. The intensive short courses are based on the HTP, the development of which was funded and coordinated by the Global Nutrition Cluster (GNC) and managed by NutritionWorks, and combine theory with practical group exercises and problem solving. Course modules will be led by experts in the field of emergency nutrition. Each course will culminate with an emergency simulation to help participants apply their knowledge and to understand the challenges of working in emergency settings. The courses are suitable for a wide range of professionals, including nutritionists who are interested in working in the emergency sector, and individuals working in health, food security and livelihoods who want to learn how to prevent and treat malnutrition in emergencies.

NutritionWorks is developing pre and in-service training in nutrition in emergencies with the aim of reaching 'front line' national staff. The project is being piloted in Kenya and in one country in Asia (to be determined). Nutrition in emergency modules based on the HTP will be introduced into university and college courses for district and regional nutritionists, nurses and home economists. Lecturers will attend a two week 'Training of Lecturers' course to update their technical knowledge and teaching skills, and to develop appropriate curricula for their institution. Links between academic and operational agencies will be fostered to increase opportunities for practical student placements and for course fieldwork.

NutritionWorks is also overseeing the production of Version 2 of the HTP, in collaboration with the Capacity Development Working Group of the GNC, and guided by an ENN/NW editorial committee. Over half of the 21 HTP Modules will be updated in 2010 to reflect new developments in the sector, new guidance and policies as well as to strengthen the content and make it more useful for practitioners, trainers and managers at country, regional and the global level.

More information about the training initiatives can be found at http://www.ennonline.net/network/nietn or follow progress on Twitter (http://twitter.com/NIEtraining) or via Facebook to get the latest updates. For more information about the dates, prices and locations of the professional short courses, please contact: NIEtraining@gmail.com.

The HTP can be found at http://www.unscn.org/en/hosted_websites/gnc_htp/modul.php. For more information on the HTP update contact Carmel Dolan, email: cdolan@aol.com

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Reference this page

Initiatives to improve training on nutrition in emergencies. Field Exchange 38, April 2010. p22. www.ennonline.net/fex/38/initiatives