Entries by UNSCN Secretariat

Second Global Summit on Food Fortification

6 November 2020, 13.00 – 15.30 CET
Register here
Part of MNF CONNECTED conference

The purpose of the Second Global Summit on Food Fortification Launch Event is to mobilize high-level political will to pursue the unfinished agenda on large scale fortification and biofortification and to demonstrate high-level attention and commitment to the fortification agenda across sectors and stakeholders.

The high-level launch event will:

  • Highlight for a large global audience the significant untapped potential of large-scale fortification and biofortification and the urgency of closing this gap to combat rising malnutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond;
  • Celebrate Progress – focusing on salt iodization as an inspiring global success story with lessons relevant to the fortification unfinished agenda and India as a country that has made significant progress in the 5 years since the first global summit on food fortification in 2015;
  • Present the fortification Unfinished Agenda, including key barriers that must be tackled and promising solutions that should be pursued to ensure that large-scale and biofortification maximize their impact;
  • Promote the Food Systems Summit and N4G as key opportunities to mobilize support for food fortification;
  • Celebrate national progress, and identify key challenges and actions to address them;
  • Call on global and national leaders to do more to accelerate progress on large scale and biofortification.

More info here

UNSCN Knowledge Management Survey

Over the past five years, UNSCN has published a range of papers (visit our Resources library here). We have prepared a short survey to collect your feedback on some of these documents and gain insight to what extent they have served your needs. This will help us sharpen our knowledge management while UNSCN will transition into UN Nutrition in 2021.

The survey should only take around 10 minutes of your time and is open until Wednesday 11 November 2020.

With the evolution of UNSCN to UN Nutrition you are also welcome to share any other comments, experiences or feelings by sending us an email at info@unscn.org

UNSCN publications

Micronutrient Survey Manual and Toolkit

UNICEF, WHO, CDC and Nutrition International have released the Micronutrient Survey Manual and digitized Toolkit. Nutrition stakeholders around the world can now access expanded and digitized resources needed to conduct micronutrient surveys and evaluations.

Globally, at least 1 in 2 children under 5 suffers from hidden hunger due to deficiencies in vitamins and other essential micronutrients. Hidden hunger harms children - it undermines their capacity to grow, develop and learn to their full potential. Accurate and reliable nutrition data provides evidence for policy makers to better understand and tackle this nutrition problem. 

The user-friendly format of the new survey manual and toolkit allows program managers, researchers and government officials alike to access and search the entire knowledge library of best practices and resources for micronutrient status assessment on an interactive website. There is also a downloadable platform that functions just like the website and enables these resources to be accessible to users offline. The content includes 16 modules of information and more than 200 tools, examples and resources in a searchable platform.

 

WHO Bulletin Call for Papers: Behavioural and Social Sciences for Better Health

Deadline for submissions: 31 December 2020

What drives people towards tobacco use? What prevents people from doing physical exercise or adopting preventive measures during a pandemic? What increases the likelihood that someone will adhere to treatment or seek appropriate health care?

While a growing body of knowledge provides insights into these questions, factoring behavioural evidence effectively into health policies and programmes can be challenging. For example, health programmes often rest on the assumption that people will act in their best interest once we increase their awareness and knowledge. Yet, we know that this increase is insufficient for a behaviour to change. Because of inertia and preference for short-term rewards, people may continue with their unhealthy habits, despite improved health literacy. Certain health policies underestimate the importance of social norms and the fact that our behaviours are influenced by our perceptions of how other people think and act. Some interventions focus only on the human factor, without giving attention to environmental and structural issues that determine what options are available and how these options are presented to the population.

Too often, considerations around behaviours are only discussed in the implementation phase; but effective health policies and strategies require raising critical behavioural issues and questions much earlier, when broad policy objectives are discussed and designed. If we expect policy-makers and practitioners to increase the use of behavioural and social sciences, the global community of experts needs to provide easy access to evidence, tools, expertise and examples of use.

Behaviours are the result of complex interactions among cognitive, emotional, social and environmental drivers. To understand these, we need to draw theories and evidence from a variety of fields: sociology, behavioural sciences, behavioural economics, cognitive sciences, psychology, anthropology, humanities, communications, marketing, design thinking and system thinking.

To achieve health for all, policy-makers and practitioners need deeper insights into what shapes individual and collective behaviours among the general population as well as among practitioners and health-care workers who design and deliver health and social care. As part of its efforts to scale up the use of behavioural and social sciences in public health, the World Health Organization created a multidisciplinary technical advisory group for behavioural insights and sciences for health in 2020. The Bulletin of the World Health Organization will publish a theme issue on behavioural and social sciences for better health in 2021. We invite practitioners and researchers, particularly from low- and middle-income countries, to submit manuscripts with original research, reviews, perspectives and lessons from the field on the unique opportunities the behavioural and social sciences provide in achieving health for all.

We are interested in behaviourally informed approaches, interventions and reforms that have been shown to improve public health. In particular, we will welcome manuscripts that illustrate how behavioural sciences have been used for the design of policies and programmes; how behaviours of key players – including, but not only, at the population level – are addressed within health systems; how robust behavioural evidence can be gathered despite time and financial constraints; and how innovative approaches can help in overcoming these constraints. We hope submissions will provide evidence as to how multidisciplinary approaches improve the quality of behaviourally informed interventions; if and how existing behavioural theories and models are relevant to low- and middle-income countries; and how to build knowledge and skills relevant to behavioural and social sciences among health workers, practitioners and policy-makers.

The deadline for submissions is 31 December 2020. Manuscripts should be submitted in accordance with the Bulletin’s guidelines for contributors (available at: http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes796/1/18-990118/en) and the cover letter should mention this call for papers.

The call for papers was published in the October 2020 issue and can be accessed here.

The UN Food System Summit

In 2021, UN Secretary-General António Guterres will convene a Food Systems Summit as part of the Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. The Summit will launch bold new actions to deliver progress on all 17 SDGs, each of which relies to some degree on healthier, more sustainable and equitable food systems.

The Summit will awaken the world to the fact that we all must work together to transform the way the world produces, consumes and thinks about food. It is a summit for everyone everywhere – a people’s summit. It is also a solutions summit that will require everyone to take action to transform the world’s food systems.

Guided by five Action Tracks, the Summit will bring together key players from the worlds of science, business, policy, healthcare and academia, as well as farmers, indigenous people, youth organizations, consumer groups, environmental activists, and other key stakeholders. Before, during and after the Summit, these actors will come together to bring about tangible, positive changes to the world’s food systems. 

Each track, with support from its corresponding chair and vice-chairs, is designed to address synergies as well as possible trade-offs with other tracks, and to identify bold new actions, innovative solutions, and strategies that can deliver wide-reaching benefits across all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They are to create solutions at local, national, regional, and global levels and to scale up and to accelerate existing initiatives that align to the Summit vision and principles.

UN agencies will provide technical assistance as well as a link into the broader experience and expertise of the entire UN system, and oversee support for Summit follow-up activities. In addition, members of the Scientific Group will engage in each area to ensure the tracks are underpinned by robust evidence and science.

The following UN agencies have been selected as anchoring agencies for each action track:

  • FAO - Action track 1: Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food for all
  • WHO - Action track 2: Shifting to sustainable consumption patterns
  • UNCCD - Action track 3: Boosting nature-positive production at scale
  • IFAD - Action track 4: Advancing equitable livelihoods
  • WFP - Action track 5: Building resilience to vulnerabilities, shocks and stresses

 

The Summit process aims to deliver the following outcomes:

  1. Generate significant action and measurable progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Summit will succeed in identifying solutions and leaders, and issuing a call for action at all levels of the food system, including national and local governments, companies and citizens.
  2. Raise awareness and elevate public discussion about how reforming our food systems can help us all to achieve the SDGs by implementing reforms that are good for people and planet.
  3. Develop principles to guide governments and other stakeholders looking to leverage their food systems to support the SDGs. These principles will set an optimistic and encouraging vision in which food systems play a central role in building a fairer, more sustainable world. Principles of engagement
  4. Create a system of follow-up and review to ensure that the Summit’s outcomes continue to drive new actions and progress. This system will allow for the sharing of experiences, lessons and knowledge; it will also measure and analyse the Summit’s impact.

More information is available here

World Food Day 2020

16 October 2020

Grow, Nourish, Sustain. Together. Our Actions are our Future.

As countries around the world suffer the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, #WorldFoodDay is launching a call for global solidarity to help the most vulnerable people to recover and make food systems more sustainable, stronger and resilient to shocks.

Our actions are our future.
But the responsibility doesn’t only lie with governments. We all have a role to play, from making food choices that improve both our health and that of our food system, to not letting sustainable habits fall by the wayside.

More information available here

UNICEF Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action

UNICEF has released its revised Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs). Grounded in global humanitarian norms and standards, the CCCs set organizational, programmatic, and operational commitments and benchmarks for UNICEF.  

The CCCs have been revised to equip UNICEF and its partners to deliver principled, timely, quality and child‑centred humanitarian response and advocacy in any crises with humanitarian consequences.

For Nutrition, the revised CCCs describe eight commitments to ensure children, adolescents, and women have access to diets, services and practices that improve their nutritional status in humanitarian crisis: 

  1. Leadership and coordination 
  2. Information systems and nutrition assessments 
  3. Prevention of stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiencies and overweight in children aged under five years 
  4. Prevention of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and anaemia in middle childhood and adolescence 
  5. Prevention of undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, and anaemia in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers 
  6. Nutrition care for wasted children 
  7. System strengthening for maternal and child nutrition 
  8. Community engagement for behaviour and social change 

To fulfil these commitments, UNICEF draws upon multiple resources including those in UNICEF's Nutrition in Emergencies Training and those developed by the Global Nutrition Cluster and the Infant Feeding in Emergencies Core Group.

CFS High-Level Special Event on Food Security and Nutrition

13 - 15 October 2020 | Virtual

The Committee on World Food Security (CFS) will organize a High-Level Virtual Special Event on Food Security and Nutrition, 13 - 15 October 2020. The session, in lieu of CFS 47 which has been rescheduled to 8 - 12 February 2021 in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, will seek to keep food security and nutrition front and centre on the global sustainable development agenda.

Over the course of these 3 days, CFS will organize three high-level virtual plenaries, one per day, to:

  1. Take stock of the global food security situation guided by the SOFI 2020 and the HLPE report on Building a Global Narrative towards 2030;
  2.  Reflect on the impacts of COVID-19 on food security and nutrition and the global efforts needed to “build back better”; and,
  3. Discuss the draft CFS Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems and Nutrition and the draft CFS Policy Recommendations on Agroecological and Other Innovative Approaches, and their relevance to the objectives of the UN

To enrich and complement the plenary discussions and to give its partners and stakeholders an opportunity to highlight their work, CFS will organize 12 virtual side events over the three days – 4 per day. The side events (two in the morning before plenary and two in the afternoon after plenary), will be hosted/co-hosted and organized by CFS stakeholders. Each virtual side event will be allocated one and a half hours.

Please download the SIDE EVENTS APPLICATION FORM, fill it and send it back to CFS-SIDE-EVENTS@FAO.ORG by COB, Friday 14 August 2020.

Small-Scale Irrigation, Resilience and Nutrition: Can we have it All? – Side event 2020 World Food Prize

Tuesday 13 October, 7:30 AM CDT - 8:30 AM CDT

Register h​ere​ - Event flyer

Please find the recording of the event here 

With a growing climate crisis and deepening food insecurity, sustainable solutions that address these challenges are urgently needed. Small-scale irrigation, which is increasingly implemented by smallholder farmers or groups of farmers themselves, can play an important role in addressing these challenges. Small-scale irrigation allows millions of smallholders to grow incomes and improve nutrition while increasing resilience to climate change. But small-scale irrigation needs to be placed in a larger complex of water-nutrition linkages, ranging from WASH (water supply, sanitation and hygiene), growing water scarcity and changing diets. This panel discussion provides an overview on water-nutrition linkages based on a recently released UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition paper, discusses specific linkages between small-scale irrigation and nutrition and incorporates insights from the field on how irrigation is transforming rural livelihoods.

Panelists 

Stineke Oenema, Coordinator (presentation)
UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition, Italy

Mure Agbonlahor, Senior Agricultural Production and Marketing Officer
Africa Union Semi-Arid Food Grain and Development (AU-SAFGRAD), Burkina Faso

Nicole Lefore, Director
​Innovation Laboratory on Small-Scale Irrigation, Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture, Texas A&M University, USA

Mansi Shah, Senior Technical Coordinator
Self-Employed Women’s Association, India

Claudia Ringler, Deputy Division Director ​
Environment and Production Technology Division IFPRI, USA

The 2020 International Borlaug Dialogue (October 12-16), will be offered in a week of half-day sessions in a virtual setting. Through a series of live and on-demand components, registrants will hear from leaders and champions, take deep dives into key interdisciplinary topics, and interact with new and familiar partners and colleagues.

Each day, the event will offer three types of live sessions - a panel discussion, a roundtable session and a workshop. Participants will connect through a discussion board feature. This year, the students of the Global Youth Institute will participate directly in presentations and discussions on the key topics: Climate Change, Equity & Access, Nutrition, and Finance & Investment in the context of resilience. 

Children Eating Well: Healthy Diets Within Planetary Boundaries – Report of the Children Eating Well (CHEW) strategic workshop

The report Diets of children and adolescents: Unlocking gains for human and planetary health summarizes the outcomes of a strategic meeting by UNICEF and EAT in Oslo, March 2020.
 
In the context of the two organizations’ Children Eating Well (CHEW) collaboration, the meeting brought together experts from governments, academia, development partners and youth organizations. They reviewed the latest evidence on healthy and sustainable diets for children and adolescents, identified research gaps and opportunity areas for action, and explored the role children and adolescents can play in advancing food systems transformation.
 
Children have unique dietary needs, requiring a diversity of foods and foods of higher nutrient density than adults; they also have specific rights that governments must fulfill and protect. Meeting participants agreed that children’s needs should be positioned at the center of food systems transformations for healthy and sustainable diets. Three opportunity areas for action were identified: 1) influencing public policy; 2) addressing the issue of affordability of nutritious foods; and 3) improving multi-stakeholder, multi-scale collaboration. Meaningful engagement of children and adolescents themselves as part of this agenda was also considered crucial.