Menu ENN Search

Action Against Hunger Research for Nutrition conference, 2017

By Miriam Ait-Aissa and Stephanie Stern

Myriam Ait-Aissa is currently Head of Research and Analyses at Action Against Hunger – France (Action contre la Faim). She has been involved for over fifteen years in many multi-sectoral research programmes aiming at improving the treatment and the prevention of undernutrition.

Stephanie Stern leads the Action Against Hunger Knowledge LAB project. She previously worked at the Strategy and Analysis Department of Save the Children International and was a research fellow at IRIS, the French think tank on international relations and strategic affairs. 

The fight against undernutrition is a protracted struggle. Although some very positive initiatives have been launched in recent years to tackle undernutrition worldwide, the global context is ever more challenging due to political conflicts, famines and disasters precipitated by climate change, leading to large-scale and often protracted humanitarian crises. While wasting and stunting are declining globally, both remain high; 155 million children are currently estimated to be stunted and 52 million wasted. Levels of hunger are also on the rise, with 815 million people reported to have suffered from hunger in 2017; 38 million more than the number reported in 2015 (FAO, 2017).

It therefore remains crucial for governments and the humanitarian community worldwide to identify and roll out effective, scalable interventions to tackle undernutrition. Due to the increasing complexity of different contexts, more analysis is required to truly identify the context-specific roots of undernutrition to better inform programming. We need to identify effective and scalable preventive interventions, as well as figure how to provide accessible, adequate care to undernourished children. Critically, health and other government systems must be strengthened in order to improve reach and ensure long-term sustainability.

Building the evidence base is critical to inform scale-up and mobilise the necessary resources; quality research is needed to identify effective solutions, demanded in a Lancet call for a stronger evidence base and research in humanitarian contexts (Lancet, 2017). Sharing best practices and lessons learned among practitioners working in the nutrition and health sectors, along with engagement of stakeholders from other relevant sectors, is a vitally important part of this process.

Action Against Hunger launched the Research for Nutrition conference in November 2016 (FEX, 2017) with the aim of enhancing knowledge of the latest available evidence on the identification of effective interventions to treat and prevent undernutrition. Based on its success, a second conference took place in November 2017 in the Pavillon de l’Eau in Paris. A call for abstracts generated 57 submissions; 17 were selected for oral presentation and 15 for poster presentation. A total of 28 high-level speakers participated in the conference, either presenting their work or to share lessons on specific topics during panel discussions. One hundred and thirty individuals attended the conference, representing 66 organisations. Nineteen individuals represented national or international institutions and donors; 82 s attended from operational agencies (humanitarian organisations), 31 from academic organisations and seven from private-sector bodies.

The oral presentations comprised a rich array of research around the key topics of undernutrition and mortality; diagnosis and treatment of undernutrition; effects of multi-sector interventions on nutrition and health; and effects of community-based initiatives to prevent undernutrition. The research agenda on acute malnutrition defined by No Wasted Lives (www.nowastedlives.org) was also presented. For the session on undernutrition and mortality, a meta-analysis of operational surveys to examine the relationship between drought and child mortality in Ethiopia was presented, followed by an analysis of associated mortality risk of in-treatment children by mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) and/or weight-for-height z-score (WHZ). Research on the diagnosis of undernutrition included a presentation on new MUAC measurement devices. This was complemented by an ‘Innovation Lab’ session in which emerging research on three innovative ways of measuring nutritional outcomes was presented: the SAM photo diagnosis app, the Body Bioelectric Impedence Analysis (BIA) and the leptin test.

Nutrition security is a complex issue that requires coordinated efforts from different sectors, especially in emergency settings. Three presentations shared results and discussion from interventions aimed at assessing the effects of preventive interventions on nutrition and health outcomes.

The first panel discussion focused on the topic “How to overcome data management challenges in research in crisis contexts”. The second, entitled “How to improve the engagement of communities in research,” was dedicated to uptake of research by communities. Both sessions produced lively and interesting discussion that engaged the audience in debate. The conference evaluation confirmed that participants appreciated the level of exchange.

We are delighted to collaborate with ENN again to share outputs from the meeting. Summaries of presented research are included in this edition of Field Exchange, with links to video recordings where available. In some cases, peer review publication is pending so findings could not be published in this issue; these will be summarised in future Field Exchange issues.

The 2017 Research for Nutrition conference again proved highly successful, providing a valuable forum for exchange between researchers and programmers; we look forward to facilitating another in 2018.

Links to posters, presentation videos and interviews are available here.

For general information about the conference, visit this link or #R4NUT

Read more...

References

FAO, 2017

FEX 54. Field Exchange 54, February 2017. www.ennonline.net//fex/54/acfspecialsection

Lancet, 2017. Evidence on public health interventions in humanitarian crises. The Lancet 2017. www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)30768-1/abstract

More like this

FEX: Special Section: Research for Nutrition Conference - Editorial

Myriam Ait Aissa leads the Action Against Hunger Research and Analyses Department, which overall aim is to produce evidence for better action. Before joining Action Against...

en-net: Call for Abstracts - ACF Research for Nutrition Conference 13th November 2017

Research for nutrition CONFERENCE - #r4nut

Sharing Evidence, Uptake and Operational challenges to tackle undernutrition
Paris, FRANCE – 13th of...

FEX: Paving the way from research to action: cash and nutrition

By Stephanie Stern Stephanie Stern leads Action Against Hunger Knowledge LAB, which explores innovative ways to facilitate knowledge uptake. She works to ensure that evidence...

FEX: Methodological challenges for operational research in the humanitarian context

By Stephanie Stern and Melchior de Roquemaurel Stephanie Stern leads the Action Against Hunger LAB project which aims to reinforce the impact and uptake of knowledge. Before...

Themed content from Field Exchange

Once per year we publish a Field Exchange issue with a special focus. Previous examples include nutrition cluster coordination, nutrition-sensitive programming, urban...

Research on Food Assistance for Nutritional Impact (REFANI)

Bridget Fenn, the REFANI Pakistan Principal Investigator, talks about the results of REFANI at the ACF hosted Research for Nutrition Conference 2017. What is REFANI? The...

FEX: How to ensure quality research uptake

By Stephanie Stern Stephanie Stern leads the Action Against Hunger LAB project which aims to reinforce the impact and uptake of knowledge. Before joining Action Against...

FEX: Editorial

View this article as a pdf In this issue of Field Exchange we are delighted to feature, for the second year running, a special section that shares key outputs of Action...

ENN Latest

Watch here presentations by Marie McGrath (ENN), Martha Mwangowe (KEMRI-Wellcome Kenya) and Hatty Barthorp (GOAL), members of the MAMI Special Interest Group, present on MAMI...

en-net: ACF and WFP are seeking an external consultant on “Cash and Nutrition”

ACF and WFP are seeking an external consultant on “Cash and Nutrition” in preparation for the R4NUT conference: November 14th, 2017 (1/2 day...

FEX: Action Against Hunger/Action Contre la Faim: Promoting a comprehensive nutrition-security approach and organisational culture to enhance nutrition-sensitive programming

By Maureen Gallagher and Julien Morel Maureen Gallagher is Senior Nutrition & Health Advisor with ACF-USA Julien Morel is Senior Nutrition Security and Social Protection...

FEX: Editorial

A number of the recommendations in the Grand Bargain reported on in the last issue of Field Exchange speak to the need to forge stronger links between humanitarian and...

Podcast: FEX54: Editors Speak

Join Marie McGrath and Jeremy Shoham, editors of Field Exchange in conversation with Tui Swinnen as they explore some of the key themes and content of this issue. This FEX 54...

Research for Nutrition Conference 2017 - Posters and Presentations

The following posters were prepared for the Action Against Hunger 'Research for Nutrition' Conference held on 13th November, 2017 at the Pavillon de l'eau,...

Blog post: Food Assistance and Nutrition- a recent presentation of our research findings in Pakistan

Hello, I am Bridget Fenn, ENN's long standing lead research investigator. I recently I gave a virtual presentation about the REFANI to participants at a research conference in...

FEX: Upcoming research shared at ACF research conference

At the ACF research conference, November 6th, 2016, experiences were shared from a number of studies where final results will be made available in 2017. A snapshot of what to...

FEX: Report on innovations in CMAM

By Anne Marie Kueter, Claudine Prudhon, Emily Keane and Megan Gayford The implementation of community-based management of acute malnutrition (CMAM) as the standard model of...

FEX: Literature review on impact of cash transfers on nutritional outcomes

By Bridget Fenn and Ellyn Yakowenko Bridget Fenn is an epidemiologist with a background in nutrition. She is currently a consultant for the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN)...

FEX: TreatFOOD study in Burkina Faso

Summary of presentation1 of published research2 View this article as a pdf By Susan Shepherd Dr Susan Shepherd is Director of Clinical and Operational Research for...

FEX: ACC/SCN Working Group on Nutrition in Emergencies

Excerpts from Working Group Report The ACC/SCN held its 27th Session at the World Bank in Washington DC last April. About 60 participants from NGOs, bilateral and UN agency...

Close

Reference this page

Miriam Ait-Aissa and Stephanie Stern (2018). Action Against Hunger Research for Nutrition conference, 2017. Field Exchange 57, March 2018. p58. www.ennonline.net/fex/57/aahresearchfornutconference17