Innovation Lab for Nutrition Webinar Series

Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab Webinar Series

Upcoming 

The Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab is pleased to announce two upcoming webinars on maternal and child health and nutrition– "Micronutrient Status of Women and Young Children" (Sep. 27th) and "A Closer Look on the Ground: Breastfeeding Practices, Benefits, and Challenges" (Sep. 29th). Details, speaker bios, and registration can be found below.

 

Micronutrient Status of Women and Young Children in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Tuesday, September 27th | 2:00-3:30 PM Jordan Time | 7:00-8:30 AM US Eastern
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JNIL Webinar

Description:

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has witnessed sustained economic growth and nutrition transition in the last few decades. Despite the progress, reductions in the prevalence of micronutrient (Iron, Vit A, Vit D, and Zinc) deficiencies have been mixed. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Health and key stakeholders in Jordan, the Jordan National Micronutrient Survey (JNMNS) was implemented in 2019 to provide a comprehensive assessment of various forms of malnutrition and its associated factors, and to assess the prevalence of deficiencies of key micronutrients (Iron, Vit A, Vit D, and Zinc) in women of reproductive age and pre-school children. Distinguished panelists in this webinar will present findings on the trends of the micronutrient status (JNMNS), as well as the nutritional status and food consumption patterns of reproductive age group women and young children in Jordan.

Moderator:

  • Ms. Haneen Abulaila | Country Coordinator, Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab
    Haneen Abulaila is the Country Coordinator for the Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab (JNIL) funded by USAID and implemented in partnership by Tufts University and Mindset. She is passionate about projects that improve health outcomes for women and children in Jordan. Abulaila has over 15 years of experience in project management and implementation and is currently overseeing both the capacity building and research components of the USAID-funded initiative. Her accomplishments on the project include further developing the knowledge and skills of stakeholders in the maternal and child health and nutrition landscape in-country. Before working at Mindset, Abulaila was a project manager at Medair, where she strategically planned and lead the implementation of interventions that sought to improve maternal access to health care and nutritional knowledge as well as maximize healthy behaviors. Abulaila graduated from the University of Jordan with a degree in Pharmacy.
     

Speakers:

  • Eng. Rawhieh Barham | Head of Nutrition Department, Noncommunicable Disease Directorate, Jordan Ministry of Health
    Rawhieh Barham is the head of the Nutrition Department in PHC Administration in the Health Ministry of Jordan. She is responsible for improving the health and well-being of Jordanians through monitoring and evaluation of nutrition strategies including food fortification and supplementation programs. She has developed and promoted food-based dietary guidelines and non-communicable disease management guidelines, and has led national studies for the assessment of micronutrient deficiency and impact of fortification programs on health status among women of child-bearing age and children under 5. Eng. Rawhieh has published many recent scientific papers, including the Review of the Nutrition Situation in Jordan: Trends and Way Forward. She also provides nutrition assistance, dietary guidance, nutrition policy coordination, and nutrition education for Jordanian and Syrian refugees in collaboration with UNICEF and WFP in Jordan. A Certificate of Appreciation has been awarded to Eng. Rawhieh acknowledging her significant and excellent work with the Nutrition Unit at WHO / EMRO in the Eastern Mediterranean Region as well as for her leadership for the nutrition program in Jordan.
     
  • Dr. Asma Basha | Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Jordan and Jordan University Hospital
    Asma Basha is an obstetrician and gynecologist, and one of the first to hold a fetomaternal subspecialty in Jordan after her training in Sydney- Australia. She is also the first female professor in OBGYN in Jordan. Currently, she is the Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Jordan and Jordan University Hospital, and her interests include sexual and reproductive health for women with special focus on pregnant women and lactating women and fetal health. She holds many publications in relation to these interests, is a member of many committees in Jordan on topics including the Jordan maternal mortality survey and response, cesarean section reduction, strategy for reproductive health in Jordan, Jordanian Board for Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Hashemite University Board of Trustees, Medical Accountability Committee and others. Her ambition is to promote health equity for all.
     
  • Dr. Narmeen Al-Awwad | Head of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, The Hashemite University
    Narmeen Jamal Al-Awwad is an Associate Professor of Nutrition and head of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics Department in the Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences at The Hashemite University, Zarrqa. Dr. Al-Awwad earned her PhD (2012), MSc (2004), and BSc (2000) from the Department of Nutrition and Food Technology at the University of Jordan in Amman, and aims to spread the science and awareness of nutrition using various tools such as performing related research, nutrition education and counseling. Dr. Al-Awwad has published 18 articles to date on research topics including functional foods (probiotics and prebiotics), pediatric nutrition, sport nutrition and dietary patterns associated with chronic diseases. Currently she is a member in the Health Education Clinic Committee at The Hashemite University, a member of the technical committee for preparing educational materials of complementary feeding and feeding diversity for children < 5 years old at the Ministry of Health, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the Jordanian Dietetic Association (JDA). She has also participated in many local technical committees including “The Athletes Food” and “Foods for Special Use” Committees at the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA), as well as the Juice and Beverage Committee in the Jordanian Institute for Standardization and Metrology.

 

A Closer Look on the Ground: Breastfeeding Practices, Benefits, and Challenges

Thursday, September 29th | 2:00-3:30 PM Jordan Time | 7:00-8:30 AM US Eastern
Zoom

Register Here

JNIL Webinar

 

Description:

Breastfeeding is the optimal method of enteral nutrition for infants in the first year of life due to the many health benefits it offers both infants and mothers, including improved immunity and reduced risk of breast cancer, respectively. Despite the critical importance of the practice, mothers often face breastfeeding challenges related to their caregiver work status, demographic factors, psychosocial attributes, health-care attributes, biomedical constraints, and policies, which can lead to increased use of formula and decreased exclusive breastfeeding.

In this webinar, distinguished panelists will share insights from recent studies on breastfeeding practices, challenges women in Jordan face, and the protective effects of breastfeeding on the mother’s health overall, especially related to breast cancer.

Moderator:

  • Dr. Moad Al-Rahamneh | Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab
    Moad Al-Rahamneh is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Tufts University for the Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab, and earned a PhD in Epidemiology from University of Navarra – Spain. Dr. Al-Rahamneh has been working in regional NGOs leading regional and national projects and studies on emergency management, disease control, COVID-19, infectious diseases, and biosafety and biosecurity across the MENA region. Within the Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab, Dr. Al-Rahamneh’s main focus is research component, for which he contributes to and oversees the technical aspects of research and program evaluation. In addition, Dr. Al-Rahamneh contributes into the technical aspect of the JNIL capacity building component, such as research methodology workshop, scientific webinars, and the JNIL symposiums.

Speakers:

  • Dr. Reem Al Ajlouni | Director, Jordan Breast Cancer Program
    Reem Al-Ajlouni is a public health and policy professional with demonstrated experience in project design and management in the areas of health systems strengthening, health governance, organizational development, and health financing. Al-Ajlouni has extensive work experience in the health development sector working with international and national organizations. Currently she is the Director of Jordan Breast Cancer Program, a national program led and supported by the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center. Previously she served as the Health Project Management Specialist at USAID/Jordan, as a National Health Officer at UNICEF, and a Program Coordinator at Medecins du Monde/France. Al-Ajlouni is a member of several forums and committees in the public health field and has a number of published articles. Al-Ajlouni holds a Bachelor's of Science in Pharmacy from the University of Jordan, and a PG Diploma and a Master's of Health Economics from the University of South Wales
     
  • Ms. Zeinab Al Bukhari | IBCLC- Lactation Consultant, Institute for Family Health, Community Health and Nutrition
    Zeinab Al Bukhari received her B.S. in Nutrition and Food Science in 2002 and her M.Sc in Human Nutrition and Dietitian in 2018 from University of Jordan. She became an International Board-Certified Lactation Counselor in 2021. She has worked with NGOs for more than 4 years in camps providing counselling about infant and young child feeding and has provided Lactation Counseling for mothers since 2018. She is a member of the administrative board in the Breastfeeding Support Association, and is currently the In-Service Training Program Manager under the Community Health and Nutrition project.
     
  • Dr. Ayah Talal Zaidalkilani | Assistant Professor of Nutrition, Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of Petra
    Ayah Talal Zaidalkilani is an entrepreneur in education, researcher, and an academic faculty member in Public Health and Nutrition at the University of Petra – Department of Nutrition – Faculty of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences. Dr Ayah earned her PhD from The Queen’s University of Belfast – UK, in 2019. Dr Ayah has received many awards including Researcher Plus, empowering women in business, and academic distinction. She has a strong background in nutrition science, mother and child nutrition, gestational diabetes, type 2 diabetes, public health, and community-based research, and she has worked as a nutrition counsellor for the IYCF project for almost two years. At the University of Petra, Dr. Ayah has an interest in sustainable strategies that help the university and the local community, including awareness of a healthy lifestyle and mind, finding the best balance between work and personal life, avoiding distractions, stopping interruptions, and prioritizing daily objectives. Accordingly, she fulfils her role as the regional and international coordinator of academic research funds, training, and collaboration at the University.

Previous JNIL Webinars

 

Jordan MENA webinar banner
Tuesday, March 29th, 2022
2:00-3:30 PM Jordan Time | 7:00-8:30 AM US Eastern
Description:

According to the World Health Organization (2015), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) were responsible for 74% of all deaths in the MENA region, where rates of overweight/obesity and the prevalence of NCDs among women of reproductive age and youth have been increasing. Calorie-dense ultra-processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) have also been identified as major contributors to total calories consumed by women and youth in the region. In this webinar, panelists presented findings on the current trends in infant, young child, and maternal diet and nutrition in the MENA region (Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait), sharing case studies on the impact of evidence-based policy actions on sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) sales and its overall consumption.

Moderator:

  • Dr. Hala Nawaiseh, Assistant Professor, University of Jordan
     

Speakers:

  • Dr. Shibani Ghosh, Principal Investigator, Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab, Tufts University

  • Dr. Lynne M. Ausman, Saqr Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor of International Nutrition, Tufts University

  • Dr. Reem Alsukait, Assistant Professor, King Saud University

 

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Jordan MIYCHN Webinar Banner
Tuesday, February 8th, 2022
1:30-3:00 PM Jordan Time | 6:30-8:00 AM US Eastern Time
 
Description:

Exclusive breastfeeding has long-term implications for both mothers and children, particularly children under 2 years of age. In this webinar, distinguished panelists discussed national priorities and current maternal, infant, and young child health and nutrition (MIYCHN) trends in Jordan. This event also introduced USAID’s efforts to improve MIYCHN through the Community Health and Nutrition (CHN) and Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab (JNIL) projects.

Moderator:

  • Dr. Shibani Ghosh, Principal Investigator, Jordan Nutrition Innovation Lab, Tufts University

Speakers:

  • Ms. Bethany Haberer, Director, Population and Family Health Office, USAID/Jordan
  • Eng. Rawhieh Barham, Head of Nutrition, PHC Administration, Jordan Ministry of Health
  • Ms. Doris Youngs, Chief of Party, Community Health and Nutrition, FHI 360
  • Dr. Reema Safadi, Professor of Nursing, Maternity, and Child Health and Nutrition, University of Jordan
  • Dr. Asma Basha, Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Jordan University Hospital and Professor, University of Jordan School of Medicine
  • Dr. Eman Badran, Director of Neonatal Unit, Jordan University Hospital and Staff Faculty, University of Jordan School of Medicine
     
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Food Systems for Nutrition Innovation Lab Webinars

FSNIL introductory webinar

Thursday, April 21st, 2022
8:30-9:45 AM US Eastern

Webinar Description:

USAID and Feed the Future's newest Innovation Lab, the Food Systems for Nutrition Innovation Lab (FSN-IL), is a consortium of partners led by Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. In target geographies of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, the Lab’s goal is to identify, study, and promote the uptake of novel technologies, practices or information flows that help in i) reducing food loss and waste, ii) improve food safety, and iii) enhance access to nutrient-dense (often perishable) foods.

FSN-IL’s consortium of U.S. academic partners, global development institutions, and food value chain and business collaborators will work across three core integrated activities—research for development (R4D), human and institutional capacity development (HICD), and stakeholder engagement. The goal is to support the uptake of food system innovations for improved diet quality and nutrition in South Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Central America. FSN-IL’s key research areas include food safety and storage innovations, diet quality of women and girls, drivers of consumption choice by low-income consumers, understanding risks associated with climate change, and the need for resilience. FSN-IL aims to start its work in Nepal, Bangladesh, Malawi, and Mozambique, with the goal of expanding work in the next five years to other USAID priority countries.

In this webinar, we introduced the objectives of FSNIL in the context of global food system priorities. We discussed FSN-IL’s research and capacity building agenda and highlighted how FSN-IL plans to support the broader objectives of USAID and Feed the Future. 

Moderator

  • Meghan Anson, Senior Nutrition Advisor, Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)

Speakers:

  • Shawn K. Baker, Chief Nutritionist, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • Patrick Webb, Director, Feed the Future Food Systems for Nutrition Innovation Lab
  • Shibani Ghosh, Associate Director, Feed the Future Food Systems for Nutrition Innovation Lab

 

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Nutrition Innovation Lab Webinar Series: 2020-2021

We invite you to view the recordings below from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition Webinar Series, which ran from August 2020-June 2021.  During each webinar, panelists from across the globe presented findings from their research, discussed policy implications of these findings, and identified research gaps for future consideration. 

June 10th, 2021: 8:00-9:00 am (ET)

Description:

In 2018, the Innovation Lab for Nutrition, along with partners at Universidade Lúrio, ANSA, and INS, conducted a study to examine the association between aflatoxin and height in young children. In this webinar, we shared findings from the study, including relationships found between children's height and aflatoxin, as well as agricultural and dietary contributors to increased aflatoxin levels. We also launched the study report, which is now available below.

Speakers:

Maureen Malavé - Maureen Malavé serves as the Nutrition Team Lead at the USAID Mission to Mozambique.

Sofia Costa- Sofia Costa is the Director of the Center for Studies and Health Services at UniLúrio, where she is also a lecturer and researcher at the Faculty of Health Sciences. 

João Salavessa – João Salavessa is an UniLurio Associate Professor and the Project Coordinator of the UniLurio: Support to Skills Development for Agriculture and Industry Project granted by the African Development Bank. 

Katie Appel- Katie Appel is an Assistant Researcher for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition. 

Shibani Ghosh-  Shibani Ghosh is a Research Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. 

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Study Report

 

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June 9th, 2021: 9:00-10:30 am (ET)

Description:

Assessing and monitoring diet quality is crucial for improving nutrition, especially in low- and middle-income countries where diets are rapidly changing. This webinar focused on the double burden of malnutrition, exploring current gaps in diet quality metrics and potential policy measures for ensuring high-quality diets are affordable. We discussed a range of metrics for quality and access, including Prime Diet Quality Score (PDQS), Minimum Dietary Diversity for Women (MDD-W), Mean Adequacy Ratio (MAR), and cost and affordability measures. Data from Tanzania, Bangladesh, and other NIL focus countries was examined.

Moderator:

Lindsey Anna, MPH- Lindsey Anna is a  Nutrition Analytics Advisor for USAID's Bureau for Resilience and Food Security.


Panelists:

Anne Swindale, PhD- Anne Swindale is Senior Monitoring, Evaluation and Analysis Advisor and Metrics and Methods Team Lead in the Analysis and Learning Division, Office for Policy, Analysis and Engagement for USAID's Bureau for Resilience and Food Security. 

Rumana Akter, MPH, PhD- Rumana Akter is a Senior Nutrition Advisor at Save the Children Bangladesh. 

Isabel Madzorera, MS, ScD-  Isabel Madzorera is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Will Masters, PhD- Will Masters is a Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition and the Department of Economics at Tufts University.

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May 26th, 2021: 8:00-9:00 am (ET)

Descrição:

Em 2018, o Laboratório de Inovação Nutricional, juntamente com parceiros da Universidade Lúrio, ANSA e INS, realizaram um estudo para avaliar a associação entre a aflatoxina e a altura de crianças pequenas. Neste webinar, serão partilhados os resultados do estudo, incluindo a relação encontrada entre a altura das crianças e a aflatoxina, bem como factores agrícolas e alimentares que contribuem para o aumento dos níveis de aflatoxina. Também será feito o lançamento do relatório do estudo, que ficará disponível no website após o webinar.

Oradores:

Maureen Malavé - Diretora da Equipa de Nutrição, Escritório de Saúde, USAID/Moçambique. Mestrado em Saúde Pública, Columbia University, New York. Ponto focal do Estudo

Sofia Costa- Directora do Centro de Estudos e Serviços de Saúde da UniLúrio, docente e investigadora da Faculdade de Ciências de Saúde da UniLúrio, Nutricionista, Co-Investigadora Principal Local do Estudo.

João Salavessa- Coordenador do projecto financiado pelo Banco Africano de Desenvolvimento de Capacitação da UniLúrio para o apoio à agricultura e indústria, Professor Associado na Unilúrio, Doutorado em Tecnologia dos Alimentos pela Universidade Técnica de Lisboa, Investigador Principal Local do Estudo. 

Artur Fernando dos Santos- Mestre em Nutrição Clínica pela Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação da Universidade do Porto; Pós-graduado em Nutrição Pediátrica pela Boston University School of Medicine; Nutricionista, Docente e Director do Curso de Licenciatura em Nutrição na Universidade Lúrio.

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May 19th, 2021: 9:00-10:30 am (ET)

Description:

Micronutrient deficiencies are a leading global health issue, which results in poor child growth and development outcomes. One cause is inadequate intakes, but implementing mitigation strategies at scale remains a critical policy and programmatic challenge. In this webinar, we explored research from Nepal and Uganda on micronutrients including vitamin A, iron, folate, and other B vitamins. We assessed the relationship between micronutrient deficiencies in mothers and children, and discussed how evidence-based interventions and nutrition policy can help alleviate micronutrient malnutrition.

Moderator:

Shawn K. Baker- Shawn K. Baker is the Chief Nutritionist for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), where he chairs the Agency’s Nutrition Leadership Council and oversees the vision and strategy of the Agency’s Center for Nutrition in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security.

Panelists:

Andrew Thorne-Lyman- Dr. Andrew Thorne-Lyman is an Associate Scientist and Nutrition Epidemiologist in the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Lynne Ausman- Dr. Lynne Ausman is the Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor in International Nutrition and the director of the Master of Nutrition Science and Policy program at the Friedman School, Tufts University.

Omar Dary- Dr. Omar Dary has been a Nutrition Science Specialist of the Bureau for Global Health at USAID since 2007 and has worked in public health nutrition for 30 years.

 

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May 12th, 2021: 9:00-10:30 am (ET)

Description:

Leveraging multisectoral programming to improve health and nutrition has gained attention over recent years, as collaboration between sectors has the potential to address many of the root causes of malnutrition. However, multisectoral interventions can be complex and difficult to evaluate, and outcomes can be challenging to measure. In this webinar, we examined data on multisectoral programming from NIL-focus countries including Nepal, Uganda, and Bangladesh. We discussed approaches and best practices for developing evidence-based interventions across agriculture, nutrition, and health, and explored implications and future directions for multisectoral strategies.

Moderator:

Dale Davis -Dale Davis has diverse experience in international health and nutrition, is the country director of Helen Keller International in Nepal.

Panelists:

Nassul Kabunga Nassul Kabunga is an Evaluation Research Economist affiliated with the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. 

Laurie Miller-  Laurie Miller is Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and Adjunct Professor of Child Development at the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University.

Neena Joshi- Neena Joshi a development professional working in the field of community development, and currently serves as Director of Programs at Heifer Project International Nepal.

Katie Appel- Katie Appel is an Assistant Researcher for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition. 

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April 28th, 2021: 9:00-10:30 am (ET)
Description:

Over the past 10 years, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition has supported research on the role of neglected biological mechanisms in child growth and nutrition, specifically in Uganda, Nepal, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Timor Leste. As a result of these activities, significant research contributions have been made in understanding mycotoxins, environmental enteric dysfunction (EED), and inflammation. But despite this growing body of evidence, charting the way forward toward mitigating these complex risk factors remains a significant challenge in the health and nutrition fields. This interactive webinar discussed critical research, policy, and programmatic implications of unpackaging the effects of mycotoxins, EED, and inflammation on child health, growth, and nutrition.

Moderator:

Ahmed Kablan, PharmD, PhD- Dr. Kablan is a senior science advisor in the Center for Nutrition/Food Safety Division/Bureau for Resilience and Food Security/USAID.  

Panelists:

Christopher Duggan, MD, MPH- Dr. Duggan is a pediatric gastroenterologist and nutrition physician at Boston Children's Hospital, and a professor in the departments of Nutrition and Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Shibani Ghosh, PhD - Dr. Ghosh is a research associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the associate director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition.  

Patrick Webb, PhD—Dr. Webb is the Alexander McFarlane Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition.

 

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April 7th, 2021: 9:00-10:30 am (ET)

Description:

Enhancing countries’ institutional and human capacities to identify and address their own nutrition needs and develop successful nutrition research and programs is a key objective of the Nutrition Innovation Lab’s applied research activities in its focus countries. From 2010 to 2020, the Nutrition Innovation Lab, in close collaboration with in-country stakeholders, academic institutions, governments, and ministries has enhanced institutional and human capacity through long-term graduate level trainings, short-term research workshops, seminars, symposia, and conferences. In this webinar, we highlighted the capacity development activities conducted in Nepal, Uganda, and India and explored lessons learned and policy and programmatic implications for continued long-term support to develop human and institutional nutrition capacity.

Moderator:

Dr. Swetha ManoharDr. Swetha Manohar is a Fellow at the Johns Hopkins University’s Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).

Panelists:

Dr. Kedar Prasad Baral- Dr. Baral is a Professor at Patan Academy of Health Sciences and the director of the Master of Public Health Program.

Ram Shrestha— Ram Shrestha is currently based in Nepal, assisting CAFODAT College to improve the quality of M.Sc. Nutrition and Dietetics course. 

Dr. Rebecca Kuriyan Raj- Dr. Rebecca Kuriyan Raj is Professor and Head, Division of Nutrition, St John’s Medical College & St John’s Research Institute, Bengaluru.  

Dr. Bernard Bashaasha- Dr. Bernard Bashaasha is a Professor Agricultural & Development Economics and Principal, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences at Makerere University, Uganda. 

 

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March 3rd, 2021: 9:00-10:30 am (ET)

Description: Effective governance is crucial to the implementation of nutrition policies aimed at reducing chronic malnutrition, food insecurity, and micronutrient malnutrition. However, the assessment of governance strategies at both national and sub-national levels has remained a challenging aspect of nutrition programming, especially for multi-sector plans. In this webinar, we explored novel strategies for measuring nutrition governance in the context of Ethiopia and Nepal.

Moderator:

Dr. Robin Shrestha- Dr. Robin Shrestha is the regional project manager at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition.

Panelists:

Dr. Eileen Kennedy Dr. Eileen Kennedy is a former dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Dr. Shibani GhoshDr. Shibani Ghosh is a research associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the associate director at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition.

Grace Namirembe - Grace Namirembe is a data analyst at the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition.

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Photo credit: Merina Shrestha
Photo credit: Merina Shrestha
February 3rd, 2021: 9:00-10:30 am (ET)

Description: 
Good nutrition is critical for early childhood development (ECD), which has multiple facets including social, cognitive, emotional, and physical development. While stunting in early childhood has been used in the past as a proxy for the measurement of ECD, field-friendly tools now exist to directly measure the different facets of early childhood development in low and middle income countries. In this webinar, we explored the relationship of household and child factors, including diet quality, consumption of animal source foods, and anthropometry, to the early development of young Nepali children. Experiences administering an ECD tool in the context of surveys in rural Nepal were also shared.

Moderator:

Dr. Irwin Rosenberg- Dr. Irwin Rosenberg is Professor Emeritus of Nutrition and Medicine at Tufts University's USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) and the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. 

Panelists:

Dr. Andrew Thorne-Lyman- Dr. Andrew Thorne-Lyman is an Associate Scientist and Nutrition Epidemiologist in the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

Dr. Laurie Miller- Dr. Laurie Miller is Professor of Pediatrics at Tufts University School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor of Nutrition at the Tufts Friedman School for Nutrition Science and Policy, and Adjunct Professor of Child Development at the Tufts Eliot Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development.

Dr. Merina Shrestha - Dr. Merina Shrestha is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu, Nepal.

Dr. Shibani Ghosh-  Dr. Shibani Ghosh is Research Associate Professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Associate Director for the Innovation Lab for Nutrition.

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November 18th, 2020: 9:00-10:30AM (ET)
Description:

Building resilience of vulnerable populations is increasingly important for development and humanitarian agencies. To effectively target interventions, rigorous methods are needed to measure resilience at household and community levels. This webinar introduced a novel approach for measuring resilience, aiming to distinguish it from other kinds of improvement or recovery over time. We applied the new metric to nutritional data for women and children from Nepal, Bangladesh, and Uganda, and discussed its value alongside other indicators used to guide agriculture and nutrition interventions.

Moderator:

Dr. Patrick Webb - Dr. Patrick Webb is the Alexander McFarlane Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy and the Principal Investigator of USAID’s Food Aid Quality Review Project. 

Panelists: 

Dr. William A. Masters - Dr. William A. Masters is an Investigator for the Innovation Lab for Nutrition and a Professor at Tufts University in the Friedman School of Nutrition with a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics.

Dr. Sonia Zaharia - Dr. Sonia Zaharia is a post-doctoral fellow at the Nutrition Innovation Lab with a background in economics.

 

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November 4th, 2020: 9:00 - 10:30AM (ET)

Description:

This session examined patterns in dietary diversity and quality in South Asian and Sub-Saharan Africa contexts. We assessed how crop and livestock production influence dietary diversity and its components, how seasonality influences consumption of non-staple foods and discuss the implications of seasonality for the use of dietary diversity indicators to measure progress over time.

Moderator:

Dr. Wafaie Fawzi - Dr. Wafaie Fawzi is the Richard Saltonstall Professor of Population Sciences Professor of Nutrition, Epidemiology, and Global Health at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Panelists:

Dr. Elena Broaddus- Dr. Elena Broaddus is a senior instructor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. 

Dr. Isabel Madzorera- Dr. Isabel Madzorera is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the department of Global Health and Population at the Harvard School of Public Health. 

Dr. Andrew Thorne-Lyman -  Dr. Andrew Thorne-Lyman is an Associate Scientist and Nutrition Epidemiologist in the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

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October 21st: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)

DescriptionFCT table

The importance of food composition data (FCD) has been recognized as far back as the 1940’s where UK based scientists McCance and Widdowson stated that “a knowledge of the chemical composition of food is the first essential in dietary treatment of disease, or in any quantitative study of human nutrition”. This statement remains highly relevant in the present, and particularly in many African countries where the response to complex problems of food insecurity, undernutrition, overweight/obesity and related non-communicable disease sequalae cannot be achieved without reliable FCD. Moreover, the rich biodiversity of the African content, diversity in food and food systems necessitates country specific FCDs. Yet, less than half of African countries have reliable up-to date food composition tables (FCT).
In this webinar, we learned more about the collaborative effort between the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR) and the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC) to develop Malawi’s first food composition table/database. The FCT was developed through an extensive process of data gathering and compilation following methodology endorsed by the FAO/INFOODS international network of food data systems. The Malawian FCT describes the nutritive value of 316 commonly consumed foods and 42 nutrient components that were largely derived from existing data in the country. The webinar also featured the application of the FCT from the perspective of the Malawi government and nutrition science researchers.

Moderator:

Sanele Nkomani - Supervising Dietitian for Malawi’s first Dietetics training program, based at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition through USAID funding. 

Main speakers:

Dr. Averalda van Graan – Research Manager of the South African Food Data System, also known as SAFOODS, at the South African Medical Research Council.

Stevier Kaiyatsa - Economist at the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development in Malawi. 

Kate Schneider - PhD Candidate in Food Policy and Applied nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. 

Dr. William A. Masters – Investigator for the Innovation Lab for Nutrition and a Professor at Tufts University in the Friedman School of Nutrition with a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics. 

Panelists:

Dr. Felix P. Phiri – Director of Nutrition in the Department of Nutrition, HIV and AIDS, Ministry of Health, Malawi. 

Dr. Agnes Mwangwela - Food Scientist with over 20 years of experience in university teaching in food science, at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

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GraduatesOctober 7th: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)

Description

In the face of the growing double burden of malnutrition in Africa, Malawi became one of a handful of countries in sub-Saharan Africa to develop and implement its own dietetics program, with support from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and USAID Malawi. The multi-faceted role that registered dietitians play in improving quality of life through multidisciplinary clinical nutrition care, nutrition programming and policy engagement, in communities and hospitals, is recognized globally.  Yet, more than 60% of African countries do not have dietetics training programs, consequently leading to a severe shortage of dietitians in health service delivery. In this webinar, we learned more about a pioneering dietetics program that has led to the genesis of the dietetics profession in Malawi; the development, implementation, challenges and future directions. We also heard from Malawian academic and government stakeholders’ perspectives on the introduction of dietetics training, future of the program and the profession in Malawi.

Moderator:

Elizabeth Marino-Costello - Registered Dietitian and Senior Program Manager, Clinical Instructor, Academic & Career Advisor, Graduate Science Programs.

Speakers:

Dr. Bernadette Chimera-Khombe - Clinical Coordinator for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and USAID supported, collaborative postgraduate Clinical Dietetics program at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and College of Medicine, Malawi.

Dr. Lynne M. Ausman - Saqr bin Mohammed Al Qasimi Professor in International Nutrition at the Friedman School, Tufts University; a Fellow in the American Society of Nutrition; and a Registered Dietitian.

Sanele Nkomani - Supervising Dietitian for Malawi’s first Dietetics training program, based at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR) and supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition through USAID funding.

Panelists:

Dr. Tinna Manani - Dean for Faculty of Food and Human Sciences at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

Dr. Alexander Kalimbira - Associate Professor and Head of the Department of Human Nutrition and Health at Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR).

Dr. John Phuka - Dean of School of Public health and Family Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Malawi.

Janet Guta - Deputy Director Nutrition Management for the Health Sector in the Government of Malawi; public health nutrition specialist with 16 years’ experience in the field of public health and nutrition working with government and International organizations.

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September 30th: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)

Description

South Asia is the region with the world’s highest burden of stunting, housing approximately a third of the world’s stunted children. The persistent, high rates of stunting in South Asia suggest a need to go beyond establishing its prevalence and associated factors, to additionally measure growth faltering (i.e., abnormally low linear growth velocity) to detect its extent, timing, severity and associated antecedent risk factors. In this webinar, panelists presented work from the USAID Innovation Lab for Nutrition examining trends in stunting in modern Nepal, spanning the past half-century, during periods of decline and pause up to the present time, concluding that innovation is needed to progress further. They also explored and proposed evaluating preschool linear growth velocities in a population, introducing the use of a novel, sex-specific, annualized growth reference to reveal the burden of insufficient growth throughout all preschool year.  The utility of this approach was demonstrated by revealing the prevalence of low linear growth velocity (<-2 Z-scores) by age and sex in the plains (Terai) of Nepal, and identifying covarying risk factors, across the height-for-age spectrum. The panelists proposed that this approach may help Nepal and other countries in the region detect and initiate measures to prevent growth faltering, possibly before children become stunted.

Moderator:

Dr. Keith P. West - George G. Graham Professor of Infant and Child Nutrition, and Director of the Sight and Life Global Nutrition Research Institute in the Department of International Health at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.

Dr. Andrew Thorne-Lyman - Associate Scientist and Nutrition Epidemiologist in the Center for Human Nutrition at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Dr. Swetha Manohar - Fellow at the Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and holds a joint appointment with the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s (JHSPH) Department of International Health, at Johns Hopkins University.

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September 16th: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)

Description

Emerging global evidence highlights the lack of critical, accurate, and timely data as a major weakness for decision-making around policy and programmatic actions relevant to diets, nutrition, and overall food systems. With rapid and increased utilization of digital technologies by development programs, there is a growing focus on the development of novel metrics that can better support evidence-based policy making. Research supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition in low- and middle-income countries explores the use of technologies such as mobile data and accelerometers to assess food security and the relationship between physical activity, energy expenditure and diet quality in specific population sub-groups.  In this webinar, panelists discussed the research findings and policy and programmatic implications from the studies conducted in India, Nepal, and Ghana aimed at generating evidence for sound policy making in agriculture, nutrition, and health.

Moderator:

Grace Namirembe - Data Analyst for the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition.

Panelists:

Dr. Robin Shrestha - Regional project manager for the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition. 

Dr. Giacomo Zanello - Associate Professor in Food Economics and Health at the University of Reading (UK) and LCIRAH Fellow. 

Dr. Lichen Liang - Data analyst for the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition. 

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September 2nd: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)Picture of a meal from Nepal

Description:

Women’s roles in agriculture has been widely proposed as key to achieving improved maternal and child health and nutrition. In low-middle income countries (LMICs), rural households depend on agriculture for their livelihood, in which women actively participate, while also being more vulnerable than men to economic and food availability stresses.  As large-scale, multisectoral programs in LMICs focus on sustainable agricultural development by considering women’s roles and gender equity in agriculture, it is critical to understand the impact of these programs on women’s empowerment and decision making, production diversity and dietary diversity. Research supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition in Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda investigates apparent influences of gender, diversity and specificity of household food production, and food purchasing patterns on women’s dietary diversity and adequacy. Women’s empowerment, in terms of ownership and decision making in cash crops, is examined as a means to improve child and maternal nutrition and health outcomes. In this webinar, panelists discussed research findings and policy and programmatic implications from their studies conducted on women’s diets, roles in agriculture, health, and nutrition.

Moderator:

Dr. Eileen Kennedy -  Former dean and a current professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University.

Panelists:

Dr. Keith West - George G. Graham Professor of Infant and Child Nutrition, and Director of the Sight and Life Global Nutrition Research Institute in the Department of International Health at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. 

Dr. Nassul Kabunga - Evaluation Research Economist affiliated to the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University.

Alexandra Bellows - Nutrition PhD student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. 

 

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August 19th: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)Chickens feeding outside home

Description:

Environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) is a dynamic condition characterized by reduced nutrient absorption, increased gut permeability, and inflammation. It is associated with poor environmental hygiene and contamination, poor water quality, poor hygiene and sanitation practices, and an altered microbiota. EED has been implicated in increasing the risk of stunting and wasting in early life and the risk of a poor birth prognosis in pregnancy. However the evidence on both its causes and effects has been mixed. This may be in part due to measurement challenges as the gold standard metric of EED, the lactulose-mannitol test, measures only part of the EED process. Research supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition in Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Nepal aimed to test new metrics for EED assessment, examine the relationship of EED, stunting and wasting within the context of poor WASH practices, an altered microbiota, and the presence of contaminants such as mycotoxins.  In this webinar, panelists discussed findings from their studies and discussed the necessary policy and programmatic actions required to tackle EED and its underlying causes.

Moderator:
Dr. Christopher Duggan - Dr. Duggan is a pediatric gastroenterologist and nutrition physician at Boston Children's Hospital where he directs the Center for Nutrition (http://www.childrenshospital.org/nutrition) and is Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and a Professor in the Departments of Nutrition and Global Health and Population at the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health.

Panelists:
Dr. Jacqueline LauerPublic health nutritionist and Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University. Dr. Lauer’s research focuses on environmental contributors to poor growth and development among infants and young children in low-resource settings, including environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) and aflatoxin exposure.

Dr. Akriti SinghIn August, Dr. Singh successfully completed her thesis defense to receive her PhD from Tufts University, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Dr. Singh’s research focuses on determinants of maternal and child undernutrition in low and middle-income countries including diets, body composition, environmental enteric dysfunction, gut microbiota, and water sanitation and hygiene.

Dr. Shibani Ghosh - Research Associate Professor at Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Dr. Ghosh is also the Associate Director for the Innovation Lab for Nutrition with experience working in the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Her research interests are in understanding the role of agriculture in improving nutrition while ensuring health, assessing the diet and non-diet determinants of nutritional status of infants and young children and testing interventions aimed at improving maternal and infant nutrition and growth.

 

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August 12th: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)Aflatoxins on Maize

Description:

Exposure to mycotoxins through the diet is widespread in many resource-constrained areas of the world. Additionally, research conducted by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition at Tufts University suggests that aflatoxins, in particular, may be associated with poor nutrition outcomes in infants and young children, beginning in utero. Panelists presented on findings from their studies in Uganda, Mozambique, Nepal, and Timor-Leste and discussed the necessary policy and programmatic actions required to improve food safety, limit exposure, and improve health.

Moderator:
Dr. Patrick Webb - Director for the U.S. Government's Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and Alexander McFarlane Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Panelists:
Dr. Jacqueline LauerPublic health nutritionist and Clinical Assistant Professor at Boston University

Katherine HeneveldAssistant Researcher for the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition

Dr. Shibani Ghosh - Associate Director for the U.S. Government's Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and Research Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

 

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August 5th: 9:00AM - 10:30AM (ET)ASFs Webinar

Description: 

Animal sourced foods (ASFs) are nutrient dense foods that when consumed in small amounts provide quality protein, vitamins, minerals and amino acids, and all nutrients critical for growth and development, particularly of infants and young children. While evidence supports the contribution of ASFs in improving the linear growth of children, a better understanding of the long-term effects of the consumption of different ASFs is needed. In this webinar we will examine the role of ASFs in improving the nutritional status of vulnerable populations and present findings from the Innovation Lab for Nutrition’s studies in Nepal, Uganda and Bangladesh. These include econometric multi-country analyses assessing the role of the type of ASF and the total number of ASFs in supporting optimal growth and development. Panelists also presented analyses and findings on their work in the realm of nutrition-sensitive interventions (e.g. aquaculture and animal husbandry), consumption of ASFs, and nutritional status. 

 

Moderator:
Grace Namirembe - Data Analyst for the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition

Panelists:
Dr. Patrick Webb - Director for the U.S. Government's Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and Alexander McFarlane Professor of Nutrition at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy

Dr. Shibani Ghosh - Associate Director for the U.S. Government's Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and Research Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

Dr. Sonia Zaharia - Post Doctoral Fellow for the U.S. Government’s Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition

 

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Nepali marketJuly 15, 2020 :  9:00 - 10:30 AM (ET)

Many factors combine to shape diets and maternal and child health. In this webinar, we review recent research from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition regarding the role of markets and infrastructure in mitigating nutritional risks. We focus specific attention on findings from Bangladesh, Nepal and Uganda, examining correlates and drivers of dietary diversity, linear growth and weight gain, and nutritional resilience.

 

Moderator:

Dr. Shibani Ghosh - Associate Director for the U.S. Government's Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and Research Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

Panelists:

Dr. William Masters - Investigator for the Innovation Lab for Nutrition and a Professor at Tufts University in the Friedman School of Nutrition with a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics.

Dr. Gerald Shively - PI for the Innovation Lab for Nutrition, the Associate Dean and Director for the International Programs in Agriculture, Faculty Fellow for Global Affairs, and Professor of Agricultural Economics at Purdue University.
 

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Bangladesh Chimney DryerJune 17, 2020:     9:00 - 10:00 (ET)

In Bangladesh, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition's focus is on aquaculture programming, linked in various ways to horticulture promotion, innovations in drying and storage of products, and behavior change communication. Located in the Feed the Future zone of Bangladesh (the South-West), the Innovation Lab for Nutrition works closely with local academic institutions, international partners (such as IFPRI), and implementing organizations (such as SPRING) to generate strong empirical evidence of how food choices are made, how diets change, and what impacts are possible on nutrition.

This webinar covered the Innovation Lab for Nutrition's research, findings, and innovative technologies in Bangladesh. Speakers explained how their efforts will contribute to a shared research agenda that will ultimately inform policy and programming within the context of USAID and globally. 

 

Moderator:

Dr. Shibani Ghosh - Associate Director for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition and a Research Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

Panelists:

Dr. Patrick Webb - Director for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition, Alexander McFarlane Professor of Nutrition at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University

Dr. Robin Shrestha - Project Manager for the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition

 

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