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

5. Capitalise on existing opportunities: be aware 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 organised by 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 by NIPN technical assistants.
  • 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.
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 organisations. 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:

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 e-newsletter containing relevant nutrition-related articles. The newsletter is circulated to over 100 nutrition partners 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 the POSHAN website and help to extend access to the evidence base to a wider audience.

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