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Nutrition Security networks

Acting and emerging networks in the field of Nutrition Security
Nutrition security networks
March 19, 2014 By: Nicole Metz Image: F&BKP

This is an overview of relevant international and national knowledge networks on nutrition security. The list includes international institutions, knowledge and research networks, civil society organizations and networks, and public-private partnerships. It is a preliminary list which will be adapted when relevant. Last updated: April 10, 2014.

Please note that this is an initial list of knowledge networks on nutrition, including the key international institutions as knowledge hubs and standard setting bodies in the field of nutrition. The list is not complete; additions from readers are welcome. Suggestions can be emailed to info@knowledge4food.net

The Food & Business Knowledge Platform will collaborate more closely with some of these networks. However, inclusion in the list below does not necessarily mean that there is a formal relation between the F&BKP and the network mentioned.

Ag2Nut Community

A knowledge gateway in the area of food security and nutrition, which includes a list serve for interested experts (working via subscriptions), the archives of which are also accessible online for subscribers.

Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM)

The Amsterdam Initiative against Malnutrition (AIM) is a joint public-private-partnership founded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands, GAIN, Unilever, DSM, AkzoNobel, Wageningen University, and ICCO in 2009. Over the past few years, several other organizations from different continents have joined the initiative as well. AIM’s goal is to eliminate malnutrition for 100 million people in Africa and Asia by 2015. Through AIM an opportunity was created to combine the know-how of major players in the food and nutrition industry worldwide to come to interventions in Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Indonesia.

CGIAR – Research programme on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

The starting point for this research program is that agricultural practices, interventions, and policies can be better adapted and redesigned to maximize health and nutrition benefits and to reduce health risks. The primary focus will be on improving human nutrition and health by bringing together research and development professionals across the agriculture, nutrition, and health (ANH) sectors to jointly tackle key challenges and design joint solutions.

Consumers International

A network of consumers organizations, supporting and representing over 240 consumers organizations all over the world. Its work in the area of food focuses amongst others on consumers information about food products, salt reduction, food prices. Consumers International is involved in a range of partnership agreements with different other stakeholders. Consumer organizations also represent the consumer’s interests in national or international platforms such as the Committee on World Food Security (CFS).
www.consumersinternational.org/language-documents?flang=2812 (French documents)

Flour Fortification Initiative (FFI)

The Flour Fortification Initiative is an international partnership working to improve health by advocating for fortification in industrial mills. It collaborates with public, private, and civic partners to encourage the addition of vitamins and minerals to wheat flour, maize products, and rice. Among the partners are millers, scientists, government ministries, and non-governmental organizations.

Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Nutrition division

The nutrition division aims to create sustainable improvements in nutrition, especially among nutritionally vulnerable households and population groups; to provide information, assessments and analysis to combat hunger and reduce all forms of malnutrition; and to assist countries in identifying people who are food insecure and vulnerable to nutritional problems. FAO is a co-organizing the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in November 2014 (read more).
www.fao.org/food/nutrition/fr/ (in French)
(Translations in Spanish available too)

Food Security and Nutrition Network

FSN Network is an open community of food security and nutrition implementers seeking to create opportunities to share information, shape agendas, understand and influence donor priorities, build consensus on promising practices, and widely diffuse technical knowledge. It is resourced and managed by the Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program, a USAID/Food For Peace (FFP)-funded program seeking to build the capacity of FFP grantees and other food security and nutrition implementers.
(Translations in French, Portuguese and Spanish available too)

Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN)

GAIN’s mission is to reduce malnutrition through sustainable strategies aimed at improving the health and nutrition of populations at risk. The goal of GAIN’s Nutrition Program is to develop and deliver high quality population-based and targeted programs that will contribute to GAIN’s target of reaching one billion people by 2015 with nutritious foods.

Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition

The purpose of the Panel is to provide global research and policy leadership to maximize the contribution of agriculture and food systems to improve nutrition and health outcomes, particularly of women and children. The Global Panel is jointly funded by the UK government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. For agriculture and food systems to make their essential and substantial contribution to improving nutrition, there is a need to understand “what works” and how it can be more widely implemented.


HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) and is coordinated by two of these centers, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). With diverse partners in more than 40 countries, it is committed to bridge the divide between disciplines and sectors in search of robust solutions to hidden hunger. Relevant: Spring 2014, a global consultation upcoming: Getting Nutritious Foods to People (read more).

Hellen Keller International (HKI)

Hellen Keller International’s mission is to save the sight and lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged. The organization combats the causes and consequences of blindness and malnutrition by establishing programs based on evidence and research in vision, health and nutrition. To accomplish this, HKI builds the capacity of local governmental, civil society and private sector systems and infrastructure, and promotes the development of sustained, large scale programs that deliver effective preventative and curative eye health and nutrition services. These services are integrated into ongoing programs and initiatives, and are delivered in cost-effective and practical ways that take into account actual community health needs and local realities. Their design is firmly rooted in scientific evidence.

Institute of Development Studies (IDS) UK

As a follow up to the Nutrition for Growth Summit international stakeholders will compile a Global Nutrition Report, to maintain momentum in nutrition efforts and further build support and commitment. A Stakeholder Group has now been established to guide the process of producing such a Report, co-chaired by the Governments of the UK and Malawi. This Group is now establishing an Independent Expert Group (IEG). It will be held accountable for the independence and quality of the Report and will vouch for the quality of the data, will develop the narrative around the data, and be held accountable for the quality of the report and the process that produces it.

Micronutrient Initiative

In view of a world free of hidden hunger, the Micronutrient Initiative’s purpose is to ensure that the world’s most vulnerable – especially women and children – in developing countries get the vitamins and minerals they need to survive and thrive. It wants to be a global leader in advancing integrated, innovative and sustainable solutions to reduce vitamin and mineral deficiencies through advocacy, technical and programmatic support, in collaboration with others.

Netherlands Working Group on Nutrition

This network of organizations with an interest in nutrition functions as a Dutch platform for knowledge sharing on nutrition, while also delivering specific expert advice on nutrition (e.g. to Dutch embassies) or hosting expert meetings. Members: DSM, GAIN, ICCO, Micronutrient Initiative, Plan NL, Royal Institute for the Tropics / KIT, Save the Children NL, UNICEF-NL, Unilever, WFP, WUR.

People’s Health Movement (PHM)

The People´s Health Movement has its roots deep in the grassroots people’s movement and owes its genesis to many health networks and activists who have been concerned by the growing inequities in health over the last 25 years. PHM calls for a revitalization of the principles of the Alma-Ata Declaration which promised Health for All by the year 2000 and a revision of international and domestic policies that have shown to impact negatively on health status and systems. Food and nutrition is one of the areas of interest.

Plan International

Plan strives to prevent and manage malnutrition and food crisis – saving lives and building resilience among children and communities. It takes action before, during and after disasters by supporting programmes such as malnutrition prevention and management; food distribution; school feeding; agricultural activities; cash and voucher-based support. Plan also builds the capacity of communities to address malnutrition, and use analysis and advocacy to influence policies and bring about lasting improvements.

Renewed Efforts Against Child Hunger and Undernutrition (REACH)

REACH is a country-led approach to scale-up proven and effective interventions addressing child undernutrition through the partnership and coordinated action of UN agencies, civil society, donors, and the private sector, under the leadership of national governments. REACH co-facilitates the UN network for SUN, together with the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition. It was established in 2008 by FAO, UNICEF, WFP and WHO to assist governments of countries with a high burden of child and maternal undernutrition to accelerate the scale-up of food and nutrition actions.

Save the Children

Save the Children works to improve health and nutrition of mothers, newborn babies and children, with special attention to poor and vulnerable communities. This international non-governmental organization works in hard-to-reach and impoverished communities, as well as with families hard hit by natural disasters and conflict. Focus of efforts in six areas: Maternal and Reproductive Health; Newborn Health; Child Survival; Nutrition; Emergency Health and Nutrition; Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health.

Scaling Up Nutrition

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement is a renewed effort to eliminate all forms of malnutrition, based on the principle that everyone has a right to food and good nutrition. The Movement is unique by bringing different groups of people together – governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and scientists – in a collective action to improve nutrition. It is not a fund, an institution or an agency, rather the Movement is strengthening political commitments and accountability for those commitments. It is transforming the way in which people work together by empowering people to put in place effective systems and to increase investments. The SUN Movement is working to achieve sustainable and equitable reductions in malnutrition and nutrition justice for all. You can find a quick overview of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement including the list of 47 countries working to scale up nutrition here.
Also see their 12 page leaflet

SecureNutrition Platform

SecureNutrition is one of six of the World Bank’s Knowledge Platforms, all of which aim to contribute to the shift toward open development: open data, open knowledge and open solutions. SecureNutrition is working to bridge the operational knowledge gap between agriculture, food security, and nutrition. It recognizes that important knowledge gaps remain on how best to identify, design, implement, monitor and evaluate agriculture and food security interventions; the SecureNutrition Knowledge Platform would like to help global actors work together to fill in these gaps. It acknowledges the need to think critically and to carefully plan sustainable solutions that address the challenges of macro- and micronutrient sufficiency and adequacy.


UNICEF is a key partner in the major global initiative called the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement. In addition, UNICEF is committed both to working in and convening partnership across all sectors of society with governments, UN organizations, the private sector and civil society. UNICEF is committed to scaling up and sustaining coverage of its current high-impact nutrition interventions in the programme areas of: (1) Infant and Young Child Feeding; (2) Micronutrients; (3) Nutrition Security in Emergencies; and (4) Nutrition and HIV/AIDS. UNICEF is committed to a life-cycle approach, to using partnerships and to creating and enhancing integrated interventions to maximize effectiveness.

United Nations System Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN)

The food and nutrition policy harmonization forum of the UN. It is a forum where UN agencies, bilateral partners and NGOs/CSOs come together to exchange information and discuss nutrition related issues. The UNSCN is not another agency but a mechanism for facilitating joint work. It aims to ensure that the system-wide response is indeed greater than the sum of the individual efforts.

 World Food Programme

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. Its interventions include cash and vouchers programmes, school meals, and many others. In 2011, the WFP created a Centre of Excellence against Hunger, in partnership with the Government of Brazil, to enable capacity development of national governments in the areas of school feeding, nutrition, and food security. The Centre of Excellence will have an initial focus on school feeding (read more).
www.wfp.org or https://nl.wfp.org/

World Health Organisation, Nutrition division

The WHO is a key network of expertise on nutrition, with its collaboration centres for nutrition primarily based in OECD countries (e.g. RIVM, The Netherlands, read more) as well as with its regional offices (read more) in all parts of the world.

At WHO level, a range of actions takes place in the field of nutrition: standard setting, policy making, advisory work, as well as the development of databases to support this work (e.g. a global database on the implementation of nutrition action, read more). A key agency is the Nutrition Guidance Expert Advisory Group (NUGAG). WHO is co-organizing the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) in November 2014 (read more).
www.who.int/nutrition/fr/ (link to French pages)
(Translations in Spanish and other UN languages also available)

Wageningen University

WUR’s Food & Nutrition Security programme supports its partners to enhance food security and reduce hunger amidst global challenges to achieve sustainable and healthy food for all. They do this through capacity development and training, supporting policy processes and enabling dialogue.



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