Impact Story

Building capacity and growing networks with global leaders in nutrition

Published on 1 August 2018

In July 2017, for the sixth consecutive year, we ran our Transform Nutrition: Ideas, Policies and Outcomes short course. Over the past year, the course and the growing global network around it have helped to build participants’ capacity and ability to influence change.

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“ The course was really useful for me in this respect as it gave me the
‘nuts and bolts’ of everything I needed to know about nutrition for my new role at the World Bank. This knowledge is with me while I am working, making decisions or giving advice. For example, I have used the knowledge from the course while I have been designing a $26 million health governance and nutrition development project in Laos, which was recently awarded the World Bank Vice-Presidential Award.”                  (Course participant from the World Bank in South Asia)

Participants have come primarily from Transform Nutrition’s four focal countries (Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia, Kenya), plus Tanzania and Nigeria, and have included senior civil servants, civil society partners, NGO workers, practitioners and activists.

The course has been consistently well received with many participants going on to build lasting connections with both their peers and the Transform Nutrition
programme and researchers. Last year an evaluation of the course showed that all of
those surveyed would recommend the course to a colleague. Some alumni have sought to adapt and offer the course in their own locations.

The five-day course is for both policymakers and practitioners and aims to provide a base from which participants can become future leaders for transformational change in nutrition. It plays a vital role in exposing leaders to nutrition research, placing this IDS offering in a key position to have conceptual impact in this area. It also teaches practical approaches for putting evidence into use at local and national levels, with the potential for learning to feed into policy discussions and debates.

Through this course, participants have joined a growing network of nutrition leaders and champions, working across a range of sectors, made up of previous cohorts of the course and other key stakeholders. This network now numbers more than 173 individuals, including 123 global leaders who participated in the UK summer school and another 50 from the same course run in India. Tailored versions of the course held in India for District Nutrition Officers (Bihar) and practitioners (Karnataka) have contributed to regional capacity building. As a result of this approach, participants on the 2017 course indicated several examples where the short course has influenced changes in practice, including to organisational policy and procedures as well as government policy.

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