Step 3: NIPN capacity development strategy and plan of action (2/4)
3. Include technical and functional skills
Individuals involved in the implementation of NIPN require both technical knowledge and functional skills. The latter are often neglected in favour of the former but are just as important. In recent years, more attention is being paid to the development of functional skills and there are courses to help enhance these skills. One example of this are the European and African Nutrition Leadership Programs (see the text box below). Follow up after the course will ensure that the benefits are sustained. Technical assistants providing in-country support to the NIPN team can play an important mentoring role and help to develop skills such as leadership, negotiation, conflict management, team-building across sectors and groups, communication, advocacy, and problem-solving.
Developing and integrating managerial – leadership skills with existing technical skills is a critical success factor in effectively implementing nutrition interventions, The idea is not new, but its application in multisectoral teams working in nutrition, is.
The programme creates awareness of leadership orientation, strengths and gaps, personal values and purpose and helps to develop amongst others communication, conflict management, decision making, and problem solving skills.
4. Consider a mix of capacity development approaches
The choice for one or another capacity development approach will depend on the objective, the target audience and its size, and the budget available. A range of different approaches to develop capacity exist and are listed in the table below. It is recommended that countries identify a balanced mix of different approaches based on their relative cost-effectiveness.