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NGO Nutrition Association: A new initiative

Following discussions of the Action Contre La Faim Scientific Advisory Committee, Professor Mike Golden of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at Aberdeen University has recently established an NGO Nutrition Association. The Association has started as a discussion group for those who co-ordinate, manage or advise nutrition programmes in developing countries and for, those nutritionists who are working in relative isolation. The idea behind the Association is that participants can share problems (particularly those originating from the field) and opinions with a wide range of interested people who have experience and expertise in a whole variety of topics related to such programmes. New initiatives can be discussed before they are implemented. Even issues such as the ethics of various nutritional interventions can be aired. Important information from the literature can also be brought to the group's attention. It is not intended to include those whose primary job is to actually operate programs in the field as confusing, contradictory and biased opinions may be expressed. Programme co-ordinators will distil the essential essence of the discussions for field level staff This newsletter will also report major conclusions from the Association. Furthermore, Golden is in the process of setting up a web-page which will serve as a location for messages that are consensus statements or conclusions from the Association's deliberations. Anyone interested can then log onto the web-page. Currently, members of the Association are drawn mainly from UN and non-govemmental organisations as well as academics from both rich and poor countries. Although optimistic about the usefulness of the Association, Golden observes that "the group will only be as good as those who actively contribute to it". Those who plan, co-ordinate, evaluate, manage or advise nutrition programmes are encouraged to join by sending a message by e-mail to: ngonut-request@abdn.ac.uk.

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NGO Nutrition Association: A new initiative. Field Exchange 1, May 1997. p12. www.ennonline.net/fex/1/ngo

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