Moderated Topics Events

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Past Moderated Topics discussion events

Rapid Assessment of Food Security during COVID-19: Sharing knowledge & experience

Dates:

Begins on 06 May 2020

Ends on 29 May 2020

Moderators:

Event Description:

The purpose of this moderated discussion is to allow individuals to share their knowledge and experiences measuring food security during COVID-19. This is a follow-up to the May 6 webinar “Measuring Food Insecurity in the Era of COVID-19: Practical insights from data collection activities in four global contexts,” which was sponsored by Ag2Nut and Data for Nutrition.

Are you a DfN member? Visit this Moderated Topics discussion event here.

Household water insecurity and its importance for ensuring food, nutrition, and well-being

Dates:

Begins on 13 April 2020

Ends on 24 April 2020

Moderator:

Sera Young, Associate Professor, Northwestern University 

  • Dr. Sera Young (serayoung.org) is an Associate Professor of Anthropology and Global Health at Northwestern University. 
  • She draws on her training in nutrition (PhD Cornell University) and medical anthropology (MA University of Amsterdam, BA University of Michigan) to take a biocultural approach to understanding how mothers, especially in low-resource settings, cope to preserve their health and that of their families. She has spent much of the last decade studying food 
  • She has led the development of the Household Water InSecurity Experiences (HWISE) Scale, a cross-culturally valid tool to measure household water access and use (hwise.org), which is currently being implemented by Gallup World Polls to obtain the first nationally representative data on household water insecurity in Africa and India.

Event Description:

  • The global water crisis is among the most urgent issues of the 21st century. Persistent water shortages, contamination, and flooding threaten human nutrition and health, economic productivity, and psychosocial well-being. Strikingly, the relationships between water insecurity and well-being beyond infectious disease are only beginning to be understood. 
  • Therefore, we will present the latest findings on water insecurity and discuss the implications of water insecurity at the individual, household, community, and international levels

Are you a DfN member? Visit this Moderated Topics discussion event here.

Maternal iron supplement data: quality and use

Dates:

Begins on 16 March 2020

Ends on 27 March 2020

Moderator:

Sara Wuehler, Nutrition International – Ottawa

  • Supports nutrition data collection and use in Nutrition International’s 10 core countries across Africa and Asia.
  • Works to improve nutrition programs through collection and interpretation of quality assured data for evidence-based contextually relevant interventions.
  • Seeks to build capacity among collaborators to conceptualize and implement feasible surveillance of nutrition programs, use data to implement appropriate changes, and ensure the effectiveness of nutrition programs.

Event Description:

Recent WHO-UNICEF initiatives have been implemented to ensure that maternal iron supplement indicators are harmonized and useful. In the process of harmonizing the indicators and related questions, the quality of these data has been questioned. The intent of the indicator is to report on whether adequate amounts of iron are consumed during a pregnancy. Thus, data must be collected after the end of the pregnancy and women are asked to recall information up to and sometimes more than 5 years in the past.

This week we have two interlocking questions:

  • In your experience, what is your opinion of prenatal iron supplement consumption data? and
  • Are data adequate for its uses?

In addressing these questions, please consider whether the current methods of data collection are appropriate, what might change vs remain as it stands, what changes you have applied and how they worked, potential implications should changes be made – benefits vs risks, whether the current indicators are useful and being used for programs, how resulting data are used, whether a different approach or set of indicators would be more useful – what changes are needed.

Are you a DfN member? Visit this Moderated Topics discussion event here.

Quality of anthropometric measurements taken in the field: From ideal to the real

Dates:

Begins on 17 February 2020

Ends on 02 March 2020

Moderators:

Erica Phillips, Independent Consultant

  • Completed a PhD from Cornell University, Program of International Nutrition
  • Currently leading a cluster randomized trial to assess the effect of a low aflatoxin diet on length-for-age Z scores at 18 months in rural Tanzania.

Rasmi Avula, Research Fellow, International Food Policy Research Institute (Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division)

  • Trained as a nutritionist with a public health background (MS Nutritional Science- South Carolina State University, Orangeburg, SC; PhD – Health Promotion, Education, & Behavior –  University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC)
  • Joined International Food Policy Research Institute in 2012 and currently working as a Research Fellow in the Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division.
  • Primarily conduct implementation research to understand how to improve large-scale programs pertaining to maternal and child nutrition.  Also, involved in synthesizing and generating evidence to inform policy and programmatic decisions aimed at improving maternal and child nutrition. 

Event Description:

  • Why is anthropometric data quality important? Accurate anthropometric measures are essential for research purposes, informing clinical decision-making and local, regional and national-level policy making.
  • Estimates generated based on anthropometry have become a metric for measuring progress of countries on development. For example, three of the World Health Assembly targets for 2025 are based on anthropometry – stunting, wasting, and childhood overweight. Resource allocation to achieve these targets is driven by the estimated prevalence rates.
  • There are numerous guidance and training documents for performing field anthropometry (WHO, FANTA, DHS, MICS).  Additionally, there are multiple electronic means to enter and check anthropometric data quality, including WHO Anthro Survey Analyser and EpiInfo, among others.  Even with these resources, detailed training and supervision, field workers can struggle to take accurate measurements, especially for length.
  • However, in my experience, these guidance documents often assume the best case scenario for measuring infants—a happy and cooperative infant.  But this rarely happens!  Infants react in different ways to being measured (usually unhappily.)  When infants do resist measurement, data collectors are forced to adapt.  These adaptations often mean the quality of these measurements is likely weaker than the “perfect” cooperative infant.
  • Is it possible to manage these real-world challenges?  If so how, while still obtaining an accurate measure?  How can we document these adaptations/deviations from perfect?

Are you a DfN member? Visit this Moderated Topics discussion event here.

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