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Editorial

Listen to an interview with the editors on the ENN podcast channel

We’re proud to introduce this tenth issue of Nutrition Exchange! The publication has grown from a digested version of Field Exchange, first published in 2011, to a fully-fledged publication in its own right, designed to meet the needs of national and sub-national actors for easy-to-access information on nutrition programming. NEX has gone from strength to strength and now showcases original articles by government staff, development and humanitarian partners working across sectors to address malnutrition.

In 2016 the publication became biannual and available in four languages (English, French, Arabic and Spanish) and also included a focus on capturing experiences from SUN Movement countries. We believe this resource is helping national actors to understand more about nutrition, why it is important and how they and their peers in other countries are making progress to address malnutrition, while facing and overcoming unique implementation challenges.

Articles in this issue cover a wide breadth and depth of such experiences. But a general theme that emerges is of the progress that can be achieved when forces combine to work for common nutrition goals. Multi-sectorality is often reported on at national level; but a story from Rajasthan in India illustrates how steps to achieve effective coordination can often lie in actions sub-nationally. The article describes how a successful ‘tripartite’ partnership was formed between three different groups of health and nutrition workers to coordinate their efforts towards a common goal – that of detecting and treating child undernutrition. In Somalia’s Gedo province, where there is an absence of government structures, community members are trained for a similar role in a community-based surveillance system that leads to identifying programme improvements. In Balochistan , Pakistan’s poorest province, a local NGO steps in to implement a provincial-level nutrition programme for those districts left without coverage.

Sometimes, emergencies are a catalyst for creative thinking around nutrition interventions. In post-earthquake Nepal , government and UN agencies have collaborated on the use of hospitals in urban settings, an under-utilised platform for nutrition interventions. In Latin America and the Caribbean region, countries are also facing increasing frequency of natural disasters: a new platform provides guidance and support for nutrition preparedness to be included in national nutrition plans.

Bangladesh’s national plan has been praised for its inclusion of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions in the country’s second National Plan of Action, requiring a range of sectors to work together. In Gabon , an agriculture minister and nutrition champion did much to catalyse the country’s multi-sector platform and prepare its national plan. Mapping tools can help actors from different sectors see the wider nutrition picture: that was certainly the experience of those stakeholders who came together to map nutrition interventions in Burundi and Myanmar .

The Eastern Mediterranean region contains a wide diversity of countries and states, most often in the news for ongoing conflicts. An article in this issue focuses on the measures being taken by countries in the region to tackle overweight and obesity. Finally, an article from the West Africa region reports on collaborations with local producers to deliver fortified, blended food products – ensuring they are part of the solution for combatting the double burden of malnutrition.

Through active support to authors in the writing process, NEX provides a unique opportunity for those working on the ground to share their stories and lessons learnt with a wider audience. Thanks to all NEX readers and authors for the last ten issues – it’s been our privilege to work with you and on your behalf. And we look forward to working with more national and sub-national actors and to sharing this resource as widely as possible through the next ten issues of Nutrition Exchange

Happy reading.

Carmel Dolan, Co-editor, NEX

Judith Hodge, Co-editor, NEX

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Editorial. Nutrition Exchange 10, July 2018. p3. www.ennonline.net/nex/editorial10

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