Region: South Asia
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought unprecedented changes to global food and agriculture sectors. Many governments have closed formal and informal retail outlets for food, and severely restricted the movement of citizens, with the production, processing, transportation, trade, and retail of food being profoundly affected. This has led to multiple shocks throughout the food system.
In the Philippines, AGREA, a group that aims to support the empowerment of local farmers by implementing sustainable agricultural practices and creating inclusive agribusiness livelihood programmes, began getting calls from farmers unable to move their produce. The group quickly set up the Move Food Initiative, an online, Google Form-based, fresh produce ordering platform, which facilitated food to move, at both producers’ and consumers’ end. The initiative has helped reduce food waste and post-harvest loss on the side of the farmers and on the consumers end, provided people who needed food but were not able to leave their homes because of the quarantine, access to fresh produce. By the end of November 2020, 191,447 kg of fruits and vegetables had been delivered, 28,122 farmers had been partnered with, and fruits and vegetables had been served to 78,177 families and 4,690 frontline workers.
FEX 63 South Asia Special Edition: An interview with Britta Schumacher, Senior Regional Nutrition Advisor with World Food Programme Regional Bureau for Asian Pacific, on WFP's role and regional approaches for wasting management.
As part of the special edition of Field Exchange on Child Wasting in South Asia, we were delighted to speak to Britta Schumacher, senior regional nutrition advisor with WFP Regional Bureau for Asian Pacific. This regional office provides support to 14 countries in Asia, of which seven are in South Asia. In this podcast, Britta shares insights of WFP's role and regional approaches to wasting management as well as nutrition more broadly in the region.
FEX 63 South Asia Special Edition: Thoughts on Pakistan’s approach to wasting management from Dr Baseer Khan Achakzai, Nutrition Director for the Ministry of National Health, Service, Regulation and Coordination, Pakistan.
As part of the special edition of Field Exchange on wasting in South Asia, we feature an article that examines how wasting prevention and treatment is central to stunting reduction in Pakistan. We're delighted to have had the opportunity to interview Dr. Baseer Khan Achakzai, Nutrition Director of the nutrition wing of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination for the Government of Pakistan to discuss the details of the article further.
FEX 63 South Asia Special Edition: An interview with Dr. Andrew Mertens, UC Berkeley School of Public Health, on recently published papers on growth failure.
In this podcast, Marie McGrath speaks to Dr. Andrew Mertens, a postdoctoral scholar at the UC Berkeley Center for Targeted Learning and a lecturer at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. Andrew is the lead author of some fascinating research, examining patterns of growth failure that we have summarized in the Field Exchange edition, part of the knowledge integration initiatives of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which includes a database of millions of participants and studies in child birth growth and development. Summaries of the particular papers mentioned in this podcast can be found here and here.
FEX 63 South Asia Special Edition: Reflections on wasting from Dr. Bawary, Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM) Officer, Ministry of Health Afghanistan
This podcast reflects on an article within the special edition of Field Exchange on wasting in South Asia that describes the challenges and developments around wasting management in Afghanistan. To delve into some of the details of integrated management of acute malnutrition or IMAM in Afghanistan, we were honoured to interview Dr. Jamil Bawary, the IMAM Officer for the Public Nutrition Department of the Ministry of Public Health in Afghanistan.
FEX 63 South Asia Special Edition: Insights on wasting management from Kedar Raj Parajuli, Chief of the Nutrition Section, Family Welfare Division, Department of Health Services, Ministry of Health and Population Nepal.
This podcast reflects on one of the articles published within the special edition of Field Exchange on wasting in South Asia that describes Nepal's experiences in scaling of integrated management of acute malnutrition or IMAM programming. What began as pilot programs way back in 2008 is now implemented in over half the countries districts. We were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Mr. Kedar Raj Parajuli, chief of the Nutrition Section of the Ministry of Health and Population in Nepal, to share further insights into the experiences on their pathway to scale up.
In this podcast, Dr. Victor Aguayo, UNICEF’s Chief of Nutrition shares his reflections on the rich experiences gathered within Field Exchange 63 which has been a joint publication between ENN and UNICEF Regional Office of South Asia. Victor shares his insights into why wasting in South Asia has not received the attention it needs, what are the key opportunities, challenges and learning from the region and why other regions should be interested in what is happening in South Asia.
In this short podcast, Purnima Menon explores why the burden of wasting is so high in South Asia and the current priority areas of action for the treatment and prevention of wasting in the region. Purnima Menon is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute, and is based in New Delhi, India.
This podcast accompanies Field Exchange 63 Special issue on Child wasting in South Asia.
In this short podcast, Dr. Zulfiqar Bhutta, Co-Director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health and Founding Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, at the Aga Khan University, explores why the burden of wasting is so high in South Asia and the current priority areas of action for the treatment and prevention of wasting in the region.
This podcast accompanies Field Exchange 63 Special issue on Child wasting in South Asia.
In this short podcast, Professor Robert Black, Professor and Chairman, Department of International Health, John Hopkins University, explores why the burden of wasting is so high in South Asia and the current priority areas of action for the treatment and prevention of wasting in the region.
This podcast accompanies Field Exchange 63 Special issue on Child wasting in South Asia.
Reflections on the latest Nutrition Exchange South Asia edition on improving young children’s diets.
Recently I was asked to provide a summary of the two South East Asia Nutrition Exchange Special Editions for the upcoming Field Exchange, which also has a special focus on the region. It provided an opportunity for me to once again dive into the rich content of the editions, particularly the latest publication which focused on young children’s diets and the importance of complementary feeding.
In this podcast, accompanying the second special issue of Nutrition Exchange South Asia, Dr Charulatha Banerjee talks to Dr Sahib Jan Badar, Programme Coordinator of the Accelerated Action Plan, Department of Health, Government of Sindh province, Pakistan.
In this podcast, accompanying the second special issue of Nutrition Exchange South Asia, Dr Charulatha Banerjee talks to Dr Mohammadullah Noorzad, Senior Officer for the Community Based Nutrition Programme in the Public Nutrition Directorate, Ministry of Public Health, Afghanistan.
ENN’s Regional Knowledge Management Specialist for Asia, Dr. Charulatha Banerjee, speaks to Grana Pu Selvi, World Vision India and author of the article in Field Exchange Issue 58 titled Treatment of severe acute malnutrition through the Integrated Child Development Scheme in Jharkand State, India.
Grana shares the difficulties faced in setting up the project and what has been learnt from the experience for implementation ahead. We also briefly speak with Mahesh Nathan from the WASH team of World Vision. Mahesh outlined the organisation’s approaches to including WASH interventions in projects to improve nutrition outcomes.
The private sector in nutrition - a player by default or choice? Reflections from a multi-stakeholder meeting
I participated in a Round Table organised by South Asia Food and Nutrition Security Initiative SAFANSI In Colombo in June which was titled “Putting the Lens on the Consumer in Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture and Food Systems in South Asia”.
Before I share highlights from the 2-day event, here is some background on SAFANSI -
ENN's Regional Knowledge Management Specialist for Asia, Dr Charulatha Banerjee, visited two districts in Nepal: Jumla and Kapilvastu, to see and hear how the country’s flagship Multi Sector Nutrition Plan (MSNP) is being implemented at the sub-national level.
Earlier this month, I attended a meeting organised jointly by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA) together with Nutrition International to discuss and identify actions to accelerate the nutritional care of women during pregnancy and postpartum in South Asia. The meeting was attended by representatives from all 8 SAARC countries with all countries sending high level officials from Governments perhaps indicative of the importance of the issue in the region.
In this video, Dr. Uma Koirala describes the role of the SUN Civil Society Alliance in Nepal. She emphasises the need for civil society to advocate for nutrition at all levels; from the national, policy making level through to the district levels.
Uma talks about the importance of regional coordination and how it is enabling CSAs in Asia to share learning, experiences, challenges and best practices amongst regional counterparts. She also highlights the contribution that the CSA in Nepal is making to this group, drawing on their success in building the alliance in Nepal.
In this video, we hear from Belal Uddin a member of the SUN Civil Society Alliance (CSA) in Bangladesh.
Belal discusses the importance of civil society working in partnerships with other stakeholder groups such as the media and parliamentarians. In particular, he talks about the CSAs work to support capacity building for journalists in reporting on nutrition issues. He also reflects on the challenges the CSA has faced due to changes in internal governmental structures.
Dr Naseer Muhammad Nizamani is the Country Director for Nutrition International in Pakistan and is also a member of the Pakistan SUN Civil Society Alliance.
In this interview, Dr Nizamani talks about the formation of the CSA in Pakistan and their strong focus on building the capacity of local and national organisations. Dr Nizamani highlights some of the challenges the alliance has faced and how they have overcome them.
In this podcast join Ali Dino Kunbher from Welthungerhilfe is in conversation with ENNs Dr Charulatha Banerjee (Asia Regional KM Specialist) discussing his article in Field Exchange 55 titled 'Multi-sector, nutrition-sensitive response to drought emergency in Pakistan'. The article and podcast capture experiences of an ECHO funded multisectoral nutrition project implemented in drought affected Sindh Province of Pakistan, the successes of this complex project and the numerous challenges faced in doing nutrition sensitive programming in an emergency setting.
The SUN Civil Society Network (SUNCSN) has as we speak 2500 member organisations organised as National Civil Society Alliances (CSA) spread across 39 countries globally.
In mid-July, I attended the SUN Civil Society Regional Learning Exchange – Asia co-organised by Global SUN CSN Secretariat and the Civil Society Alliance for Nutrition, Nepal (CSANN) in Kathmandu.
In this interview Dr Charulatha Banerjee (Asia Regional Knowledge Management Specialist) speaks to Cecilia Garzon (Head of Nutrition) and Dr Aliahmad Khan (Nutritionist) in the WFP Pakistan Country Office in Islamabad. They discuss details of the Food & Nutrition Gap (FNG) Analysis and Cost of Diet Tool which were recently used to assess the nutitional situation in Pakistan.
Additionally, James Kingori, Regional Nutrition Officer in the WFP Regional Bureau (Bangkok) speaks in detail about the methodology and presents key lessons from Laos and Indonesia which also have done the FNG analysis. These conversations supplement an article which features in NEX 8 titled 'Filling the Nutrient Gap in Pakistan: Insights to address malnutrition'.
Dr Charulatha Banerjee, ENN’s Asia Regional Knowledge Management Specialist caught up with Sonali Patnaik, Director of Arupa Mission Research Foundation, to learn more about the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) law in India including how this has the potential to impact on nutrition programming and spending in the country.
Au fil des années, la portée du travail d'ENN s'est étendue au-delà de l'accent mis initialement sur les contextes humanitaires pour englober un ensemble plus large de problèmes liés à l’émaciation et au retard de croissance dans des contextes d'urgence et/ou des contextes où la prévalence est élevée. Nous sommes de plus en plus intéressés par l'évolution de la politique et de l'environnement de programmation autour du traitement et de la prévention de la malnutrition. ENN est actuellement engagé dans l'exploration de la relation entre l’émaciation et le retard de croissance (voir le récent billet de Carmel Dolan sur le blog ici), le retard de croissance dans les situations d'urgence, et la façon dont les initiatives ciblées sur le retard de croissance et l’émaciation interagissent dans la pratique.
Over the years the scope of ENN’s work has expanded beyond a focus on humanitarian contexts to encompass a broader set of issues around drivers of wasting and stunting in both high burden and emergency contexts. We are also increasingly interested in the evolving policy and programming environment around malnutrition treatment and prevention. ENN is currently engaged in exploring the relationship between wasting and stunting (see the recent blog piece by Carmel Dolan here), stunting in emergencies, and on how stunting or wasting focused initiatives interact in practice.
Dr Charulatha Banerjee, ENN’s Asia Regional Knowledge Management Specialist caught up with Pawan Agarwal, CEO of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).
Mr Agarwal spoke to us about the progress in food fortification including the newly approved comprehensive food safety standards in India. He discusses the role of the Food Fortification Resource Centre and some of the challenges and opportunities of working in this area.
Dr Charulatha Banerjee, ENN’s Asia Regional Knowledge Management Specialist caught up with Dr Rajan Sankar, Director of Nutrition at Tata Trusts to understand more about philanthropic business networks in India, and how nutrition fits in with the corporate social responsibility (CSR) agenda.
Dr Sankar discusses Tata Trusts philanthropic work and shared some opinions on how nutrition NGOs and private sector can work together. He also shared some of the opportunities and challenges that have arisen from the new CSR law introduced in India requiring all corporates to contribute 2% of profits to CSR.
Dr Charulatha Banerjee, ENN’s Asia Regional Knowledge Management Specialist caught up with Mr Stanley Chitekwe Chief of Nutrition UNICEF Nepal and discussed the details of Multi-Sector Nutrition Programming (MSNP) in Nepal. This conversation supplements an article which features in FEX 54 titled 'A journey to multi-sector nutrition programing in Nepal: evolution, processes and way forward.'
Savita Malla is an Advocacy and Communication Specialist based within the National Nutrition and Food Security Secretariat (NNFSS) in Kathmandu, Nepal. In this video Savita discusses the national nutrition plan implementation and roll out in Nepal.
This video features as the second instalment in a three-part podcast and video series exploring the different stages of the Common Results Framework.
In this podcast, join Tui Swinnen and Tamsin Walters again as they discuss the implementation of national nutrition plans or Common Results Framework (CRF), moving on from the development and planning stages dicussed in the previous episode.
We also speak with Savita Malla, Advocacy and Communication Specialist based in the National Nutrition and Food Security Secretariat (NNFSS) in Kathmandu about national nutrition plan implementation and roll out in Nepal following up from our conversation with her in 2015.
Dr Charulatha Banerjee, ENN’s Asia Regional Knowledge Management Specialist caught up with Ms Mridula Sinha Director General of the Jharkhand State Nutrition Mission earlier this month to understand the evolution of the Nutrition Mission in the state, work done so far and plans for the future.
Ms Sinha has been working in child health and nutrition in Jharkhand for many years. In this interview she talks about the formation of the State Nutrition Mission, the complexities of nutrition governance in India and the architecture of the Mission as an independent body with the power to convene related departments. She presents the challenges faced by Jharkhand State, which is less than 2 decades old, and also the huge potential given the strong political will to render the State malnutrition free by 2030. She mentions the role of the private sector in nutrition in the State as well as the work of UNICEF and other partners to support the State Nutrition Mission’s work.