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Professional Training in Nutrition Education

FAO has often found that dietary promotion strategies within food security interventions are compromised by weak capacity at country level. Few countries offer professional training in this field (in some it is unknown) and familiarity with behaviour change approaches is generally lacking. Strong advocacy is needed to establish dietary promotion strategies firmly in national policy and institutions, and there is a great need for professional capacity to integrate these strategies into health, agriculture, education and community services. Capacity for effective dietary promotion needs to be built throughout the system.

NEAC project

Against this background, in 2010 FAO asked for the support of the German Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV) to carry out an assessment of needs for professional training in nutrition education and communication in Africa. The assessment involved a review of the literature and case studies in seven African countries (Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria and Tanzania), including extensive interviews with over 100 experts. It was found that suitable approaches and relevant training are lacking or irregularly available in most sectors and settings and for most professional groups, and that the felt need for capacity development and advocacy in this field is high. Respondents saw an urgent need for developing and adopting a suite of professional training courses at undergraduate, postgraduate and extension levels as a framework for comprehensive capacity building. 

ENACT project

On the basis of these findings, FAO initiated a follow-up project named ENACT (Education for effective Nutrition in Action), supported by BMELV, which began in January 2012. As a key to future capacity development, the project will produce, pre-test and disseminate a basic certificate at undergraduate level which will implement the best practices of professional training in dietary promotion and also satisfy local demand. The materials will be available for online, face-to-face or blended use and will be piloted in all these formats with both national and international partners, in order to adapt them to local context and consumer need.

Curriculum Development Workshop

Following from the needs analysis, a curriculum development workshop was held in Aburi, Ghana from 16-20 July 2012, in which the outlines of the module and the courses were discussed together with prospective coordinators and tutors from the piloting institutions, the case study surveyors, international nutrition education experts and other guests.

Aburi workshop program and presentations


last updated:  Friday, January 8, 2016