evidence-based blog of Filippo Dibari

Posts Tagged ‘programming’

NO WASTED LIVES: the research agenda

In Under-nutrition on April 3, 2018 at 8:20 pm

from the webpage of No Wasted Lives

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The No Wasted Lives Coalition is investing in cutting edge ideas to drive forward global learning and action on acute malnutrition. As part of this effort, in 2018, No Wasted Lives and the Council of Research & Technical Advice (CORTASAM) launched the global Research Agenda for Acute Malnutrition and a call for Expressions of Interest from organisations working in research and programming for acute malnutrition and who want to support this effort. Our aim is to support coordination and concrete action across the sector, filling critical gaps and scaling-up evidence-based prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition.


Prioritising Research for Impact

The Council for Research and Technical Advice on Acute Malnutrition (CORTASAM) was assembled under No Wasted Lives with the goal to drive the use of evidence for action, in order to ultimately reach more children with effective treatment and prevention programmes.

Over the course of 2017, CORTASAM and No Wasted Lives launched a research prioritisation exercise, with the involvement and contribution of over 300 individuals from national governments, NGOs, academia, UN agencies and technical experts from around the world. In line with the priority research areas identified and a review of the existing evidence, CORTASAM has identified the following research areas with high potential impact on the effective management of acute malnutrition at scale but where further research and evidence generation is critically needed in order to achieve this:

  1. Effective approaches to detect, diagnose, and treat acute malnutrition in the community: taking community detection using mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) to scale while building the evidence on diagnosis and treatment of acute malnutrition in the community across contexts and health platforms.
  2. Appropriate entry and discharge criteria for treatment of acute malnutrition to ensure optimum outcomes: building the evidence base on expanded MUAC thresholds for treatment to improve treatment outcomes for all children with acute malnutrition. Also needed is research to explore different options to identify high-risk children not selected by MUAC<115mm and analysis on the impact on burden estimates and operational feasibility, including supply and supply chain.
  3. Optimum dosage of ready-to-use food (RUF) for treatment of acute malnutrition:  investigating the safety, effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness of reduced dosage of RUF for treatment of acute malnutrition.
  4. Effective treatment of diarrhoea in children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM): using evidence to streamline guidance and generating implementation research to understand how the operational application of guidelines can inform improved practice and better treatment outcomes.
  5. Rates and causal factors of post-treatment relapse across contexts: understanding the burden of relapse post-treatment and, if found to be high, effective solutions to reduce relapse across contexts.
  6. Identification and management of at-risk mothers and of infants <6 months of age: generating the evidence required to influence country-level policies and implementation at scale.
  7. Alternative formulations for ready-to-use foods for acute malnutrition: continuation of the large amount of ongoing research to investigate the effectiveness, and cost-effectiveness, of formulas using alternative and local ingredient.

More details about the evidence gaps and CORTASAM’s call for more research can be found in the Research Agenda. Download it below.



In January 2018 we ran a call for Expressions of Interest in response to the Research Agenda. The call closed in February 2018 and applications are now being considered for possible donor funding. Download an overview of the submissions received here.

People-in-Need/Nutrition: (free) operational resources for not-necessarily nutritionists

In Under-nutrition on April 2, 2018 at 9:40 am

from People-in-Need webpage

(click on the covers of the publications to download them)

Nutrition Surveys

Nutrition programming
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SBCC toolkit
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What are the implications for humanitarian programming of responding to stunting in protracted emergency contexts, and what should we be doing about it?

In Under-nutrition on June 3, 2016 at 7:43 am


from ENN

A number of recent reviews of crises, including Syria (ENN 2014), Lebanon and the Ukraine (GNC-ENN 2015) have raised questions about the humanitarian nutrition response in contexts where levels of wasting are not elevated or high in terms of emergency thresholds, but where stunting is prevalent.

ENN decided to investigate the implications of operating in situations of protracted crisis where levels of stunting may be high and of concern. This brief investigation included a review of documents and informal discussions with a number of nutrition focal points in some of the donors and agencies. The purpose is to begin to explore the issues and pose questions and in so doing get the issue of stunting in protracted contexts higher up the nutrition agenda

Download: Stunting-Brief-2015_WEB_01022016.pdf (PDF, 1.3mb)

USAID: Nutrition Program Design Assistant: A Tool for Program Planners

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on July 15, 2015 at 7:48 am

from Core Group web site



The Nutrition Program Design Assistant is a tool to help organizations design the nutrition component of their community-based maternal and child health, food security, or other development program.

The tool focuses on prevention and also provides guidance on recuperative approaches that are needed when there is a high prevalence of acute malnutrition.

The tool has two components:

(1) a reference guide for understanding the nutrition situation and identifying and selecting program approaches, and

(2) a workbook to record information, decisions, and decision-making rationale.

The workbook is available as a pdf or Word file, and includes a separate Excel file with adaptable templates to use as needed for data collection and developing a Logical Framework.

NPDA Reference Guide [PDF]  NPDA Workbook [PDF]  NPDA Workbook [WORD]  NPDA Workbook [EXCEL]

Technical Meeting on Nutrition – Oxford, UK: 7th, 8th and 9th October 2014

In Over-nutrition, Under-nutrition on April 15, 2014 at 10:55 am

CaptureCall for Abstracts/Summaries

 Introduction – The ENN will host a 3 day meeting in Oxford, UK, from 7th – 9th October 2014. The aim of the meeting is to facilitate a technical learning and networking meeting on nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive[1] programming in emergencies and high burden contexts[2]; to inform better practice, research priorities and advocacy. The meeting will engage a broad audience (up to 200 participants) that includes NGOs, UN agencies, academia, bilateral and multilateral donors, foundations, private sector and government representatives.

The meeting will connect with other nutritional fora planned for 2014 to maximise relevance, such as; the Global Nutrition Cluster meetings, the World Health Assembly and the ICN-2. The ENN will document and rapidly share the meeting discussions and outcomes.

Meeting format – The meeting will use formal and informal approaches to present, share and discuss research, policy and programming through a combination of the following:

  • Plenary presentations
  • ‘Market place’ presentations
  • Panel Q & A discussions
  • Technical development networking opportunities such as active networking and space and bookings for pre-identified side meetings (which, in some cases, may be by invitation only)

 Thematic Areas – A process of identification and prioritisation of thematic areas for the meeting has been undertaken by the TMN Steering Committee. The highest ranked thematic areas have been identified as follows:

1)     Adolescent and maternal nutrition programming and research

2)     Nutrition within the basic package of health services

3)     Cash transfer programming (conditional and unconditional), and combinations of cash with other sectoral interventions

4)     Nutrition resilience – programming and evidence

 A further six thematic areas have also been identified and will be addressed at the meeting:

5)     Innovative financing in humanitarian and high burden contexts

6)     Nutrition and WASH programming and research

7)     Governance across the nutrition sector (institutional architecture, mandate challenges, successes and challenges strengthening governance)

8)     Nutrition sensitive agricultural programming and evidence

9)     M&E, global and national systems; innovation, standardisation and alignment

10)   Links between wasting & stunting (research and evidence)

 We seek abstracts on these 10 thematic areas. Abstracts that address the top four priority themes will be favoured for presentation in the plenary sessions (although abstracts that describe ‘cutting edge’ research or programming may also be selected for presentation at plenary). Abstracts that speak to themes 5-10 will be considered for presentation in the side meetings and in the market place forum, in particular.

A series of cross-cutting questions will be developed over the next two months that presentations selected for plenary will be asked to consider (you will be informed by the meeting organisers, as required).

Required information for abstract/summary submissions – An abstract submission template is available clicking here.  The abstracts/summaries to be submitted must be no longer than 300 words. All must be received by Friday 30th May 2014. Please submit your abstract to the following address: tmnabstracts@ennonline.net. You will receive an automatic email saying that it has been received.  After review of your submitted abstract/summary (likely between 2 and 4 weeks from submission), one of three things will happen.

–          It will be accepted for presentation at plenary

–          It will be accepted for the marketplace

–          It will not be accepted

You will be informed of the decision by email as soon as possible.

All attendees will be self-funding (unless you have secured funding from alternative sources) as there is no funding available from the ENN for attendance of presenters.


[1] Programmes whose primary objectives are not specific to nutrition but have the potential for nutrition impact.

[2] ‘High burden contexts’ refers to countries with high rates of undernutrition and/or those facing the double burden of malnutrition.




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