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Step 3: NIPN capacity development strategy and plan of action (3/4)

5. Capitalise on existing opportunities: be aware of of other capacity-building initiatives in the country and aim to collaborate

Examples of capacity development opportunities for NIPN which are already in place include:

  • Peer to peer learning through regional and international NIPN workshops and webinars arranged through the Global Support Facility.
  • This set of Guidance notes on a range of aspects of the NIPN process
  • Mentoring and hands-on support in NIPN countries through NIPN technical assistance.
  • Knowledge brokering (see text box below) which refers to the role of ‘middle men’ or brokers who make research and practice more accessible to others.

Case studies from NIPN countries (this section, page 15) provide a rich source of inspiration and practical experience.

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System’s capacity building through knowledge brokering
Knowledge ‘brokering’ ensures that knowledge commonly available to researchers or global experts is being shared with policy makers, planners and implementers across different types of local organiations. It is important in the context of NIPN because academics have access to global resources and skills (such as the ability to analyse complex data or policy questions, conduct literature reviews, link to global databases and knowledge) which can support and strengthen processes and decisions in the national multisectoral nutrition coordination system. Examples of knowledge ‘brokering’ include:

Seminars
In Ethiopia IFPRI / NIPN are organising monthly nutrition policy and research seminars which support informal capacity strengthening by bringing together researchers and policy-makers to:

  • Disseminate existing research findings with the objective of promoting nutrition knowledge among decision makers.
  • Promote interactions between decision makers and researchers.
    These seminars have focused on themes such as Food Systems and Diets in Ethiopia and Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture.

Newsletters and websites
Circulating nutrition-related research findings to a broader audience can be done through newsletters, E mail updates and websites.
The European Union Delegation in Ethiopia circulates a weekly newsletter by E mail containing relevant nutrition-related articles. The newsletter is circulated to over 100 people involved in nutrition in Ethiopia as a means of broadening the nutrition knowledge base.
A similar approach has been taken by POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonise Actions for Nutrition in India) led by IFPRI. Research Notes, which present a concise summary of research studies conducted by POSHAN and its partners, are available on their website and help to extend access to the evidence base to a wider audience.