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ENN secures funding for ‘NGOnut revisited’

The ENN has just secured 1 year of funding from USAID/OFDA to create an online interactive forum to provide quick access to technical advice for emergency nutrition staff.

The ENN was approached by a number of people to provide a forum that allows field staff working in the emergency nutrition sector to have rapid access to technical advice and guidance. The demise of NGOnut and NutritionNet (earlier initiatives) could be traced to a combination of institutional and technical challenges, rather than failures of demand. Arguably, the need for such a mechanism has probably increased over time, with more and more non-governmental organisations and civil based organisations working in the emergency sector and the increasing complexity of emergencies and response. While headquarters (HQ) personnel endeavour to provide such support, there may be a variety of reasons why ability to provide 'technical back-stopping' within agencies is compromised, e.g. there is a limit to the technical know-how that agencies may have available in-house. Consequently, many international and national field staff, working in isolated environments (both geographically and technically), are faced with critical technical decisions for which they need immediate support. Furthermore, as technical knowledge in the sector is continuously developing and evolving, it is vital that the most up to date information and guidance (much of which will not be in the literature or most recent guidelines) is made available to field and HQ staff as rapidly as possible.

The interactive forum will be hosted on the ENN website, coordinated by ENN and moderated by a number of technical experts in specific subject areas, identified through the ENN's contacts and network. The site will also be linked to other related interactive fora, e.g. International Task Force on Malnutrition (ITFM)1, to encourage interaction between different users on cross-cutting issues/themes.

It is envisaged that the forum will be modelled on the previous email-based support, 'NGOnut', coupled with the visibility of a simple online platform to display questions and answers, host comments and discussion and invite feedback. The overriding aim will be timely responses to 'urgent' field questions to inform programming.

The forum will be established over the next three months, with a view to launching at the beginning of 2009.

For more information, watch for new postings on the ENN website or email: marie@ennonline.net

Show footnotes

1An online forum in development by the IMTF to provide support to organisations and individuals at different levels, to support implementation of the guidelines on acute malnutrition (both inpatient and community-based).

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ENN secures funding for ‘NGOnut revisited’. Field Exchange 34, October 2008. p18. www.ennonline.net/fex/34/enn

(ENN_3846)

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