Nutrition education needs and capacity analysis package

Nutrition Education is an essential component of any attempt to improve the nutritional status of a country. But it has often been neglected in the past, and many countries do not currently have the capacity to carry out large scale and effective nutrition education programmes. FAO has developed a set of tools for analysing nutrition education capacity, which are available below.

Why is nutrition education capacity analysis needed?

  • improved school curricula
  • nutrition education in the health, agriculture and social protection services
  • community interventions and point-of-sale information, including labeling
  • social marketing campaigns and lifestyle change communication programmes 

About these tools

FAO member states, by adopting the Rome Declaration on Nutrition and the ICN2 Framework for Action, have committed to ensuring an enabling environment and to improving nutrition in all sectors. Recommendations 19-21 of the Framework include implementing nutrition education and information interventions through

In response to the growing need for skilled professionals to carry out these tasks, the Framework recommends that countries “Build nutrition skills and capacity to undertake nutrition education activities, particularly for front line workers, social workers, agricultural extension personnel, teachers and health professionals.” The first step in this process is to conduct a needs analysis, using tools such as those developed by FAO.

As a first step towards improving country capacity for NE it is important to assess the existing situation.

This is what FAO did in their seven-country survey, carried out in 2011. The tools used in that survey are available below. They have been revised and adapted so that they can be used by any other body – government ministry, NGO or aid agency, university research department, National Nutrition Institute, professional association, civil society organisation – interested in assessing existing country capacity for nutrition education. The findings of such a survey can be a useful base for developing NE interventions or for advocating for better policies in this field.

The aim of the enquiry is to give a quick picture of country needs and capacity in nutrition education and professional training for nutrition educators.  It consists mainly of a consultation with country experts, supported by insights into the nutrition and nutrition education situation, policy and institutions, consumer awareness and available nutrition-related local literature.