Shweta Khandelwal and Purnima Menon
Course Directors: Prof. Lawrence Haddad (IFPRI-UK), Prof. Aryeh Stein (Emory University), Dr. Purnima Menon (IFPRI-India) and Dr. Shweta Khandelwal(PHFI)
The context: Facing simultaneous demographic, health and nutrition transitions alongside continuing poverty, deprivation, gender inequities and food insecurity, India faces a tremendous burden of malnutrition. On the one hand, India has the highest number of undernourished children, while on the other, overweight, obesity and non-communicable diseases are rapidly escalating, and micronutrient deficiencies remain stubbornly high. This triple burden of malnutrition is often inextricably linked biologically, socially and policy responses to the overall burden of malnutrition need to come together and evolve together to ensure that India’s health, as a nation, is strengthened.
The capacity challenge: At the same time, the strategic capacity to understand, interpret and manage this truly overwhelming burden of poor nutrition in countries like India is limited. This, in turn, can hamper India’s ability to tackle existing and emerging nutrition-related problems. In the context of this landscape of challenges, but an increasing political and economic awareness of the importance of good nutrition for development, the Centre for Chronic Disease Control (CCDC) and the Public Health Foundation of India (PHFI), together with international academic partners, aim to strengthen the ability of the Indian nutrition policy, technical and academic community to understand and mitigate this challenge through the development of various forms of public engagement and training.
The course: One method of strengthening strategic capacity for nutrition actions is through training and network-building. PHFI’s response to this is our short course on nutrition, in partnership with Transform Nutrition, a global research partnership that PHFI is proud to be a part of. The short course “Transforming Nutrition in India: Ideas, Policies and Outcomes” will be held from 7th-11th Dec 2015 in Gurgaon, Haryana, not far from New Delhi. This five-day course, initially developed for global nutrition practitioners and decision-makers, and already popular internationally, has now been tailored to be specific to India. In the course, we discuss the state of nutrition in India, links between nutrition and other determinants of health, the role of different types of interventions, challenges to scaling up and converging interventions, and thinking and acting multisectorally. A key feature of the course is to embrace the political economy of nutrition and discuss what it means to move nutrition up the political agenda, to understand and advocate for increased financing for improving nutrition.
Course faculty: Dr. Shweta Khandelwal, who has invested years of her career in understanding and mapping nutrition capacity challenges in India is the course convenor and coordinator. Faculty who support this course, through lectures, direct and intense engagements with participants, and as a continued resource even after the course ends, consist of Indian and international leaders in the area of public health nutrition research and policy. Core faculty include Professor Lawrence Haddad, Professor Aryeh Stein, Professor Reynaldo Martorell, Professor Srinath Reddy, Professor D. Prabhakaran, Professor Ramanan Laxminarayan, Dr Purnima Menon and others.
Who will benefit from this course? Applications are invited especially from early- to mid-career candidates who are either considering working in the nutrition policy and program areas or are already working on strengthening nutrition actions in public sector, private sector or civil society organizations. It is best suited to generalists who need to dive into and understand the state of play of nutrition in India, career nutritionists who want to “catch up”.
The course fee is INR 7500 for 5 days, not inclusive of travel, accommodation or transportation charges you might incur to attend. Meals are provided during the course. The final date for applications is 10 November, 2015. Seats are filling up!