Accra, Ghana – From 18-22 March 2019, 32 nutrition professionals from across West Africa were convened in Accra, Ghana for a short course, hosted by Transform Nutrition West-Africa, the United Kingdom's Institute for Development Studies, and the International Food Policy Research Institute with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; as part of the Transform Nutrition West Africa project 2017-2021.
The 5-day course, which is the second of a series of four nutrition leadership courses, provided a base for developing transformational leadership change in nutrition, and exposed participants to a cutting-edge knowledge and evidence on global nutrition.
Bringing together individuals such as policymakers, civil society professionals and practitioners, it strengthened their leadership capabilities, and work in broader multisectoral nutrition environments, providing them with a base to develop their own future leadership as agents of change in nutrition.
The participants were guided through the latest knowledge and evidence on nutrition through an interactive diagnostic approach, where they conducted their own diagnosis of available evidence on nutrition in relation to immediate, underlying and basic drivers of malnutrition for their countries.
During the training, Dr. Nick Nisbett Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom (IDS-UK) expressed his concern over the rate of malnutrition within the region.
“Today we see a growing political commitment to address the high rates of maternal and child undernutrition in West Africa and yet there remains a lack of sufficient data to highlight the debilitating issue of malnutrition in the region. This the Transform Nutrition West Africa aims to improve, by curating, mobilizing and disseminating information that will support policy program decisions and actions to accelerate reductions in maternal and child malnutrition,” the Senior Research Fellow of IDS-UK stated.
He also extended appreciation to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for providing such a unique opportunity, which has strengthened the capacity of the nutrition professionals, grooming them into change ambassadors within the region.
Dr. Roosmarijn Verstraeten a Research Coordinator at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) at the closing ceremony encouraged the participants to continue to collaborate towards transforming nutrition in West Africa.
“Let us endeavor to be change agents in our various countries, this can be achieved by forming alliances to spread the message of nutrition within the region,” Roosmarijn emphasized.
Participants demonstrated enthusiasm to apply the knowledge and skills gained from the Evidence for Policy and Programming course to contribute towards transforming nutrition in their communities.
“It has been an amazing five-day experience for me at the Evidence for Policy and Programming course and I would recommend this to anyone in the nutrition and food systems space aspiring to contribute to end malnutrition and hunger in Africa. The training has empowered me to take nutrition advocacy to another level, through the insight given to us by the facilitators. The course exceeded my expectations as it explored themes that enlightened me into the possible areas of research for my PhD and I am convinced that with the networks I have made through this course, my dream of starting a PhD will materialize soon” Abdul-Malik C. Abdul-Latif, Senior Nutrition Officer & QI Coach, Volta Regional Health Directorate, Ghana Health Service excitedly shared.
For more information or further clarifications, on the upcoming courses kindly send an email t0 [email protected] or visit https://westafrica.transformnutrition.org/
1. Transform Nutrition West Africa is a regional platform to enable effective policy and programmatic action on nutrition, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from 2017-2021 and led by the International Food Policy Research Institute. https://westafrica.transformnutrition.org/
2. Our focal countries are Burkina Faso, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal.
3. Transform Nutrition West Africa have developed a series of four leadership development courses which are being held in Ghana and Senegal in English and in French specifically designed for strengthening leadership capabilities in individuals who work in multisectoral environments. https://westafrica.transformnutrition.org/learning/