Back to Overview

Pandemics are a time of hardship for all. At the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation – a chance to improve the current and future situation for many. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated outcomes are affecting health, and food and nutrition security leaving millions ailing, hungry and malnourished. Business as usual is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve humanity’s most pressing challenge. The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life aims to push progress by supporting disruptive innovations to address the stalled progress in nutrition brought on by COVID-19. Join us on December 4th at 13:30 CET for an exciting pitch competition. De sure to register for the event here

We are thrilled to announce four finalists for the seventh Elevator Pitch Contest hosted by Sight and Life and the Africa Green Revolution Forum, the world’s premier forum for African agriculture.

Congratulations to:

Elizabeth Gikebe | Mhogo Foods

Elizabeth Gikebe is the founder of Mhogo Foods, a company that adds value to cassava production by processing the tubers into gluten-free flour, which is fortified with vitamins and minerals. This ensures that her target market, children under 5 years, pregnant and lactating women and women of reproductive age get their daily recommended nutrition. Mhogo foods works directly with over 8,000 small holder farmers. Its portfolio of products include cassava flour, crisps, and tapioca flour.  Mhogo foods is ready to scale.

Prince Abugri | Presbyterian Health Service

Prince Abugri proposes establishing food processing plants in the premises of local health communities to locally produce food supplements, popularly known as ‘wini-mix’. Wini-mix would be processed in a central processing plant with the use of local ingredients such as soya-bean, maize, groundnuts and dry fish and fortified with essential micronutrients like vitamin A and C among others. The mill will also serve the community to generate income to sustain the production.

Chibuike Emmanuel | Agserver

Chibuike Emmanuel is the founder of Agserver, a  peer to peer knowledge transfer and information sharing network/digital platform for the farmers to get queries resolved in local languages in real time without needing internet connection. Farmers will be connected to the most suited and precise responder/resources (using ML & AI) to make them more knowledgeable, buy smarter (accessing quality products), and thereby sell better farm produce. A

Godsable Aidam | Traza Geospatials

Godsable Aidam, founder of Traza Geospatials, is developing a mobile and website app, Green Basket, which ensures (1) door step delivery of fresh fruits and vegetables, (2) notifications and reminders of nutritious foods to include in diets and (3) dietary advice from nutritionists.

Join us for this exciting pitch competition on December 4th and more about their innovations. Register here


Thank you to our expert judging panel who ask hard questions and make tough decisions!

Dr. Klaus Kraemer – Managing Director, Sight and Life
Dr. Simon Winter – Executive Director, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture
Dr. Debisi Araba – Managing Director, African Green Revolution Forum
Dr. Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, Director, African Women in Agricultural Research and Development
Kalpana Beesabathuni – Global Lead, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Sight and Life

Back to Overview

Nutrient Profiling

Nutrient profiling is the science of classifying foods based on their nutritional composition and can be a tool to help address all forms of malnutrition. 

Join us for an interactive webinar on Thursday, December 10th at 10:00 EST to discuss the necessity of nutrient profiling in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs). Our expert speakers will analyze and compare current profiling methodologies, highlight challenges, and the steps required to develop a nutrient profiling system fit for the LMIC context through the lens of the government, private sector, and academia.

In partnership with Professor Adam Drewnowski of the University of Washington, Sight and Life is developing a manual on nutrient profiling for LMICs after identifying a lack of nutrient profiling guidance and methodologies suitable for LMICs (publication early 2021). This gap was detected through an in-depth review of OBAASIMA, a public-private partnership aiming to improve micronutrient intakes of women of reproductive age through the utilization of a seal to create demand for nutritious and affordable food in Ghana (find out more about OBAASIMA here). Using OBAASIMA as an example, this webinar will share the importance of nutrient profiling, especially for LMICs, and open the floor for questions on the topic.

Save your spot and register here!

Moderator

Breda Gavin- Smith, SRD, MPH, is the Global Public Health Nutrition Manager, Sight and Life. She is a Dietitian and Public Health Professional with experience in both the public and private sector in Ireland, UK, South East Asia and West & Southern Africa. Specializing in issues and initiatives that require multi-stakeholder engagement and participation with a track record of successful project management of programs requiring collaboration across cultures, sectors and multi-levels.

Speakers

Dr. Emorn Udomkesmalee is the Senior Advisor and Former Director of the Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand, as well as Adjunct Associate Professor in Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. She is currently the Board Chair of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI); Board member of the Micronutrient Forum and Sight and Life Foundation. In addition, she is a member of the Scientific Council – Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD)/France and Scientific Director of ILSI South East Asia. Her research interests include micronutrient assessment, bioavailability and metabolism; efficacy of food-based interventions to address micronutrient deficiencies; maternal and child nutrition policy and program implementation.

Prof. Dr. Adam Drewnowski is the Director of the Center for Public Health Nutrition and Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Washington. He obtained his MA degree in biochemistry at Balliol College, Oxford University, and PhD in psychology at The Rockefeller University in New York. Dr. Drewnowski is the author of the Nutrient Rich Food Index (NRF), a nutrient profiling model that helps consumers identify foods that are nutrient rich, affordable, and appealing.  His landmark Seattle Obesity Study (SOS III), funded by the National Institutes of Health, has explored health disparities by Seattle neighborhoods, focusing on the relation between diet quality and diet cost.  Those studies have provided maps of food patterns, obesity and diabetes and COVID-19 risk by geographic area.  Dr. Drewnowski has authored over 300 research publications.  He advises governments, foundations, and the private sector on issues related to diet quality and health. Complete List of Published Work 

Dr Saskia de Pee is Senior Technical Advisor for Nutrition at the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) where she leads the Systems Analysis for Nutrition team and is Adjunct Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston and at Human Nutrition, Wageningen University, the Netherlands. She has worked in public health nutrition for more than 20 years, focusing on science as well as practical applications, policies and strategies. Prior to joining WFP in 2007 she worked for Helen Keller International in the Asia Pacific region for 10 years. She has co-authored more than 150 scientific publications and holds a PhD in Nutrition from Wageningen University, the Netherlands.

Samuel Kwame Ntim Adu is the founder and CEO of Yedent Agro Group of Companies Ltd, a leading agro processing company based in Sunyani that serves the industrial, institutional and household markets. He is an alumnus of KNUST, and holds a degree in Economics and Geography, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from Henley Management College, UK and an Executive Masters in Business Administration from GIMPA. Kwame has deepened conceptual and practical knowledge in Agri and food business management from three leading America Universities in these fields. He is a Cochran fellow in food business and safety from the Michigan State University, an alumnus of Purdue University in Agri business financing as well as an alumnus of Stanford SEED in business management. 

Dr Esi Foriwa Amoaful is the Director of Nutrition at Ghana Health Service. She is a nutritionist and public health specialist and Maternal Child Health and Nutrition advocate with over 25 years field experience and a special focus on nutrition and health programs design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of community-based health services and operational research. Her vision is to contribute to sustained improvement in nutrition status by focusing on program design, system strengthening and promotion of maternal and childhood nutrition in particular through coordinated planning and capacity development for improved competencies, knowledge and skills. She holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and has a degree in Nutrition and Biochemistry and certificate in Nutrition Program Monitoring and Evaluation from University of Ghana and the School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, USA respectively. She is also a member of the HarvestPlus Global Program Advisory Committee and the Sweetpotato Support Platform for West Africa.

Mark your calendar for Thursday, December 10th and register for the webinar here!

Back to Overview

We are happy to announce the awards for the Elevator Pitch Contest on Pandemic-Proof Innovations in partnership with the Micronutrient Forum 5th Global Conference, CONNECTED. As we are all living through this current pandemic, we know it is hard for everyone, but at the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation, and that is just what our finalists have done. Selected from a pool of 54 applicants from 11 countries, these four entrepreneurs delivered compelling pitches for their innovative solutions and competed for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000.

Grand Prize Winner

The four contestants brought attractive solutions making it a difficult decision for the judges, but we are pleased to share the grand prize winner is Wilvenna Añora, the co-founder of AtoANI. Wilvie is a young Philippino entrepreneur, who has made farming a lucrative and reliable livelihood option. By integrating digital technologies to bypass middle men and adopting a unique model of produce-to-demand, she has drastically limited food losses and wastage and increased farmers income. Wilvie has transitioned farmers from monocropping to growing a variety of fruits and vegetables, thus improving the dietary diversity in Philippines, but more importantly, among the farming communities she works with. Wilvie is very passionate about sustainable living and started this venture with her family in 2014. 

Audience Choice Award

The ‘Audience Choice Award’ goes to Yutaro Oka, CEO of NutriPride and a former UN WFP Ghana officer. Yutaro is improving nutrition among school going children in Ghana, one school at a time. He helps schools provide healthy and nutritious meals by procuring ingredient packages directly from local farmers and wholesalers according to the meal plans created with local dietician. He is very familiar with the business model as his family has been operating a school meal business in Japan for three generations. Well done, Yutaro!

We wish Yutaro and Wilvie, along with Bello and Issac the best of luck and much success in the future!

Thank you to everyone who participated, and please join us for our next pitch competition in partnership with AGRF on December 4th – it promises to be exciting! 

Back to Overview

The Micronutrient Forum 5th Global CONNECTED Conference is here with the theme ‘Building New Evidence and Alliances for Improving Nutrition’. This virtual event aims to cover the broad spectrum of micronutrients from the research, efficacy, program, and policy perspective. Additionally, experts deep dive into how micronutrients might be optimized and protected within food systems and the interactions between agriculture and climate change, and their impact on health and nutrition. Moreover, this year COVID-19 has placed an additional, unprecedented threat for (micronutrient) malnutrition and this conference will examine the implications, highlighting the work of the Standing Together for Nutrition consortium, and discuss how we can reshape the future for nutrition post-COVID19.

The CONNECTED 2020 schedule provides rich and thought-provoking content from notable presenters and a high-quality experience for attendees with access to 55 on-demand sessions, at their convenience, together with an engaging live program featuring distinguished keynote speakers. Here are Sight and Life, we are thrilled to be a part of the programing and invite you to join us at the CONNECTED conference. Be sure to register for access here

BE PART OF THE ELEVATOR PITCH CONTEST

Please join us November 9-13, 2020, as the four finalists share their pitches to the audience attending the virtual MNF CONNECTED 2020 conference. These entrepreneurs will be pitching their innovative solutions changing the way nutrition is delivered and competing for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000. Find out more about the finalists here

You can take part in the excitement by voting for your favorite innovation. Beginning November 9, the four pitches will be available for viewing via the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED 2020 Conference website. On November 13, we will announce the grand prize winner and the recipient of of the Audience Award of the Elevator Pitch Contest during the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED live programming. 

 Join us for this exciting and competitive event starting November 9. Register HERE to be a part of the fun and vote for your favorite. 

CONNECT WITH THE EXPERTS

Wednesday, November 4 at 9:00 AM EST | 3:00 PM CET 
Join Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life, for an interactive discussion on fortification and collaboration with private sector. Please sure to sign-in early as space is limited to 70 people on a first come, first serve basis.

LIVE VIDEO CHAT

Wednesday, November 11 at 7:30 AM CET | 10:00 AM IST
Join Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life for a live Q&A session on MMS. To join and be part of the conversation, click on the MMS tile on the MNF CONNECTED platform. Space is limited to 20 people on a first come, first serve basis. 

ON-DEMAND SESSIONS

At a crossroads: Scaling up Fortified Rice to Address Hidden Hunger
Conclusion-At a crossroads: Scaling up Fortified Rice to Address Hidden Hunger
Speaker: Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life

Solutions to engagement with the private sector (small medium sized enterprises) to invest and support high quality foods
Demand creation to improve micronutrient intake in Ghana – the case of Obaasima
Speaker: Daniel T.O Amanquah, Food Scientist for Sight and Life 

What’s the value proposition? How to engage new partners along the value chain for micronutrient nutrition outcomes?
Innovation platforms: Elevator Pitch Contest
Speaker: Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology & Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life 

Early life micronutrient interventions: short- and long-term outcomes
Introduction: Early life micronutrient interventions: short- and long-term outcomes
Panel discussion: Early life micronutrient interventions: short- and long-term outcomes
Speaker and Panel Member: Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life 

Efficacy and effectiveness of food system value chain interventions
Introduction: Efficacy and effectiveness of food system value chain interventions + Q&A: Efficacy and effectiveness of food system value chain interventions
Speaker: Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology & Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life 

Creating a Healthier Future: National Perspectives on the MMS Evidence Base, Policy Landscape, and Implementation Approaches
Introduction-A Renewed Urgency to Move the MMS Agenda Forward in the COVID-19 Era and Beyond + Q&A- Creating a healthier future: national perspectives on the MMS evidence base and policy landscape
Moderator: Nola Martin, Communications consultant for Sight and Life 
Closing Remarks: Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life 

What’s next for the MMS movement: implementing and coordinating action on MMS programming
Ready for MMS? A Decision-Making Tool for Deciding When to Explore MMS, part 1
Speaker: Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology & Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life  

A Decision-Making Tool for Deciding When to Explore MMS, part 2
Moderator: Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life, Ready for MMS? 

POSTERS

The Egg Hub – an Innovative Business Model to Improve Micronutrient Status in Low-And Middle-Income Countries Through Consumption of Eggs
by Srujith Lingala, Manager – Technology and Entrepreneurship for Sight and Life 

Knowledge Gaps in Understanding the Etiology of Anemia in Indonesian Adolescents
by Kesso Gabrielle van Zutphen, PhD Candidate at Wageningen University & Research and Knowledge and Research Manager at Sight and Life

The Power of Cooperatives – to Improve Access to Affordable Eggs for Women and Children – a Case Study from India
by Priyanka Kumari, Programme-coordinator for Sight and Life  

Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation (MMS) for Pregnant and Lactating Women in South Africa: a Policy and Programmatic Analysis
by Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life

Situation Analysis of Multiple Micronutrient Supplement (MMS) Procurement and Production in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Madagascar and Tanzania
by Madhavika Bajoria, Manager-Nutrition Integration for Sight and Life
 
EGGciting Innovations – Consumer Research to Understand Consumer Motivations and Generate Demand for Eggs in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
by Puja Peyden Tshering, Consumer Insights Specialist for Sight and Life

Nutrition Kiosk – Human-Centered Design to Convert Dull Environments in Workplace Canteens and Clinics to Enable Better Delivery of Micronutrients
by Anne Milan, Design Specialist for Sight and Life

Back to Overview

Pandemics are a time of hardship for all. At the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation – a chance to improve the current and future situation for many. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated outcomes are affecting health, and food and nutrition security leaving millions ailing, hungry and malnourished. Business as usual is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve humanity’s most pressing challenge. The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life aims to push progress by supporting disruptive innovations to address the stalled progress in nutrition brought on by COVID-19. 

We are thrilled to announce four finalists for the sixth Elevator Pitch Contest (EPC) hosted by Sight and Life and the Micronutrient Forum (MNF), a global catalyst and convener on micronutrients in all aspects of health promotion and disease prevention, with special emphasis on the integration with relevant sectors. Congratulations to Maria Añora of AtoANI, Bello Maryam of Parkers Mobile Clinic, Issac Adu of Matabino Health Center and Yutaro Oka of NutriPride! Learn more about their innovations below. 

BE PART OF THE ELEVATOR PITCH CONTEST

Please join us on November 9-13, 2020, as the four finalists share their pitches to the audience attending the virtual MNF CONNECTED 2020 conference. You can take part in the excitement by voting for your favorite innovations. Beginning November 9, the four pitches will be available for viewing via the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED 2020 Conference website (register here to access). On November 13, we will announce the grand prize winner and the recipient of of the Audience Award of the Elevator Pitch Contest during the Micronutrient Forum CONNECTED live programming. 

A BIG round of applause to these EPC finalists who made it to the final round ahead of over 54 applicants from 11 countries. These entrepreneurs will be pitching their innovative solutions changing the way nutrition is delivered and competing for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000. Join us for this exciting and competitive event starting November 9. Register HERE to be a part of the fun and vote for your favorite. 

MARIA AÑORA | Philippines | AtoANI

AtoANI provides a solution to enable sustainable agriculture by producing-to-demand distribution model of fresh organic produce straight from farmers to customers, using an analytics tool for farmers and an e-commerce platform that aggregates orders and enables efficient linkage of demand and supply. Maria Wilvenna Añora, the co-founder of AtoANI has an engineering and MBA from University of the Philippines. She is passionate about sustainable living and started this venture with her family.

BELLO MARYAM | Nigeria | Parkers Mobile Clinic

Parkers Mobile Clinic brings healthcare and nutrition services to vulnerable populations living in remote locations of Nigeria. Maryam Bello is the project officer and co-founder of Parkers mobile clinic and a STEM enthusiast on a mission to impact children’s lives through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

ISSAC ADU | Ghana | Metabino Health Center

Metabaino Health Center is a community-based medical center that encourages food fortification through clinical nutrition programs and fortified food products to address micronutrient deficiencies. Isaac Adu is a medical practitioner, entrepreneur, CEO and is in-charge of Metabaino Health Center. He is a passionate advocate of nutrition and healthy living.

YUTARO OKA | Canada | NutriPride

NutriPride provides nutritious and affordable meal packs to schools in Ghana by making healthy weekly meal plans with local dietitians using locally sourced ingredients. Yutaro Oka is the CEO of NutriPride and a former UN WFP Ghana officer who comes from a family that has been running a school meal business in Japan for three generations.

Thank you to our distinguished jury:

Dr. Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director, Sight and Life
Dr. Corinne Ringholz, Food Fortification Specialist, World Food Programme
Shantanu Pathak, Founder, CareNX Innovations
Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead – Technology and Entrepreneurship, Sight and Life 

Find out where a few of the past EPC finalists are now by reading this blog post

Back to Overview

 

Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life Pandemic-Proof Innovations

We have extended the deadline for applications to the upcoming Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life to October 10th, 2020. In addition, AGRF has joined as a partner providing an additional platform for the virtual contest. Now we will have two contests and award two finalists with a grand prize of $5,000 USD. One competition will be held from November 10th-13th during the Micronutrient Forum (MNF) 5th Global Conference CONNECTED 2020 and the second will take place in December with the support of AGRF. Therefore, don’t delay and submit your pandemic-proof idea today!

Innovations can be in any of the following categories:

Health Systems: supports and strengthens micronutrient delivery through people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care
Food Systems: builds resilient and responsive infrastructure and processes to feed and nourish a population
Biological Systems: nutrition innovations that improve immune response to fight the effects of COVID-19
Digital Systems: uses data and technology to solve a problem or perform a task
Knowledge Systems: improves quality and reliability of nutrition delivery and behaviour change 

Please note, it is important to show that the innovation addresses the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and improves micronutrient or nutrition delivery to the population. 

For all the details on the upcoming Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life click here.

About Micronutrient Forum
The Micronutrient Forum (MN Forum) serves as a global catalyst and convener for sharing expertise, insights and experience relevant to micronutrients in all aspects of health promotion and disease prevention, with special emphasis on the integration with relevant sectors. Our primary objective is to foster dialogue among the research, policy, clinical, program and private sector communities to facilitate the translation of evidence for policy and program planning, and to inform research needs and priorities based on evidence gaps to support programs.

About AGRF
The AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, bringing together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to take practical actions and share lessons that will move African agriculture forward. Under AGRF’s current strategy, the Forum is particularly focused on driving progress of the Malabo Declaration by 2025 as the priority set of commitments African Heads of State and Government have made to strengthen agricultural development at the center of the continent’s overall development and progress. AGRF tracks progress on the continental agricultural agenda in alignment with the African Union’s leadership by reviewing data of the Biennial Review of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The Biennial Review with its indicators and data provide detail on how countries, regions, and sub-sectors of Africa’s agricultural system are improving over time and the areas that need more focus and improvement.  AGRF thereby shapes its programmatic focus and platforms to best respond and continue to drive progress across the continent. The AGRF is organised by the AGRF Partners Group, a coalition of institutions that care about Africa’s agriculture transformation. 

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Back to Overview

UNICEF is extending its strong partnership with DSM and Sight and Life to increase access to micronutrient powders for children, and now multiple micronutrient supplements for mothers, to ensure healthy lives for the next generation.

6-month-old Falmata is being screened for malnutrition at a UNICEF-supported health center in Dalori IDP camp, Maiduguri, Borno State. Photo credit to UNICEF Nigeria/2016/Esiebo

Royal DSM, a leading science company in nutrition, the UN children’s rights agency UNICEF, and Swiss-based nutrition think tank Sight and Life have announced they are extending their cross-sector partnership focusing on delivering better nutrition to at-risk children and mothers in Nigeria until the end of 2021. The partners are bound by their shared vision to improve health and end all forms of malnutrition, by increasing the availability and accessibility of micronutrient powders (MNP) for older infants and young children, and multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) for women during pregnancy – improving nutritional wellbeing of the next generation.

Genesis of the partnership

UNICEF first began working with DSM in 2013 to support MNP programs in Madagascar and Nigeria. In 2015, the partnership supported the Nigerian Government in further introducing MNP pilot programmes in three states, reaching over 11,000 children from six to 23 months. The partnership was formalised and extended to Sight and Life in 2017 and has successfully endorsed MNP as a critical nutrition intervention, and by 2019, it had established a national MNP programme reaching one million children. The extended agreement is scaling our impact by aiming to reach two million children in 15 Nigerian states and integrating MMS for women across Nigeria as a new opportunity.

“In Nigeria, about 37% of children are stunted, which translates to almost 14 million children. This has a far-reaching consequence for child survival and development. Working with DSM allows us to leverage the power of business and markets to make a difference for these children. Since 2013, our partnership with DSM has contributed to reaching over one million children with vital nutrients that has helped save many lives. UNICEF and DSM will support the Nigerian Government to ensure even more children have access to vital nutrients needed for improved nutrition and optimum growth.”
– Simeon Nanama, Chief Nutrition of UNICEF Nigeria

Building a strong future with nutrition

As the partners scale up production and implementation of MNP and MMS, they are focusing on quality assurance and controls to guarantee the best standards, and are advocating for new regulatory policy around MMS in Nigeria. Their medium-term goal is to spur similar action in other countries where malnutrition is a critical concern.

“Fighting malnutrition requires local knowledge and extensive access which is why partnerships are so vital. Combining UNICEF’s reach with Sight and Life’s proven expertise and our science-based solutions will help get critical micronutrients to two million more vulnerable children in Nigeria next year. We are capable of so much more when we act together.”
– Geraldine Matchett, Co-CEO and CFO of DSM

A mother giving her baby complementary feeding at her workplace at Primary Health Board, Akure.
UNICEF Nigeria/2016/Esiebo

In parallel, the partnership is aiming to create an enabling environment for MMS. After decades of scientific research, MMS was recently endorsed by WHO as a cost-effective solution to improve the nutrition of mothers, and thereby the development of new-born children, especially in countries with a high prevalence of nutritional deficiencies. Specifically, scientific evidence shows MMS can effectively reduce maternal anaemia and the risk of children being born underweight, too small, and too soon.

“Good nutrition sets off a ripple effect. It can dismantle inequity, poverty, and poor health and drive progress at every stage in life. It supports physical and cognitive development, helps prevent a number of medical conditions and saves lives. MMS can help to improve maternal nutrition, thereby ensuring the health of children and breaking the perpetual succession of malnutrition.”
– Dr. Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director of Sight and Life

UNICEF, DSM and Sight and Life each bring unique but complementary competencies to this effort. The UN children’s rights agency is present in over 190 countries and leverages its strong development expertise to help improve the health and nutrition of the most marginalised children. DSM has differentiated itself in the health and nutrition sector as both an innovative research leader and a reliable producer of safe, high-quality vitamins and micronutrients. Sight and Life, finally, has garnered the best minds on nutrition to deliver cutting-edge solutions and address the world’s toughest challenges in malnutrition.

“Global and local food systems must ensure that all children, without exception, have access to nutritious, safe, affordable and sustainable foods. … Support in one sector supports success in all.”
– Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF

Besides their complementary expertise, the partners share a common vision and aim: working to end malnutrition. They are guided in their extended collaboration by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2 and 3, aiming to end hunger and promote good health, respectively. The cross-sectoral partnership between an expert UN body, a humanitarian think tank and a global, purpose-driven company serves as a leading example of SDG 17 – “Partnership for the Goals” – and how bridging between public and private can enable a complete, large-scale, catalytic impact.

Back to Overview

A NEW Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life

Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life | Pandemic-Proof Innovations

 

Pandemics are a time of hardship for all. At the same time, a crisis often provokes innovation – a chance to improve the current and future situation for many. The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated outcomes are affecting health, and food and nutrition security leaving millions ailing, hungry and malnourished. Business as usual is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve humanity’s most pressing challenge. The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life and the Micronutrient Forum aims to push progress by supporting disruptive innovations to address the stalled progress in nutrition brought on by COVID-19.

Innovations could be in any of the following categories:

Health Systems: supports and strengthens micronutrient delivery through people, institutions, and resources that deliver health care
Food Systems: builds resilient and responsive infrastructure and processes to feed and nourish a population
Biological Systems: nutrition innovations that improve immune response to fight the effects of COVID-19
Digital Systems: uses data and technology to solve a problem or perform a task
Knowledge Systems: improves quality and reliability of nutrition delivery and behaviour change 

Please note, it is important to show that the innovation addresses the challenges brought on by COVID-19 and improves micronutrient or nutrition delivery to the population.

THE VIRTUAL PITCH

An elevator pitch is a critical part of the entrepreneurial process. As competition for research and investment funds increases, young scientists need to effectively articulate their idea and do so in a manner that is persuasive and precise. Sight and Life has developed a platform for organizing an elevator pitch contest (EPC) on disruptive ideas to stimulate networks and dialogue, especially among innovators.

Sight and Life is hosting the sixth Elevator Pitch Contest during the Micronutrient Forum (MNF) 5th Global Conference CONNECTED 2020 held online from November 10 to 13, 2020. The four selected innovators will have the opportunity to pitch their innovative solution to a panel of experts and the audience of the MNF in five minutes. One finalist will be awarded a grand prize of US$5,000 and one will receive US$1,000 as the recipient of the Audience Award. 

Submit your concept for the upcoming Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life by September 31, 2020.

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

Back to Overview

On August 6, 2020, the fifth edition of the Elevator Pitch Contest (EPC) hosted by Sight and Life, a competition amongst innovators, hosted a LIVE pitch competition. The edition was supported by UNITLIFE, a new fund hosted by the United Nations and exclusively dedicated to the prevention of chronic malnutrition, and brings disruptive ideas that will change the current way nutrition is delivered. 

The EPC’s goal is to identify and support projects that can be implemented and produce a meaningful impact in the short term. To stimulate innovation, the EPC looks to identify and support projects that can provide climate-smart solutions for better nutrition. The competition was lively as the seven finalists brought their innovations to light in persuasive five-minute pitches. Watch the full Elevator Pitch Contest below:

The distinguished panel of judges awarded Dysmus Kisilu of Solar Freeze with the grand prize. Solar Freeze is pioneering portable cold storage units powered by solar energy for rural, smallholder farmers of perishable produce, to help them reduce the vast challenge of post-harvest food loss that currently accounts for more than 45% of all perishable produce going to waste in developing countries. Watch his pitch below:

In addition, Melissa Kartjito of Gama Mlindang (watch her EPC pitch here) was recognized by the viewers and received the “Audience Award”. Mlindang Spray Coating created by Gama Mlindang, an EPC finalists, is a spray-based edible coating that seals uneaten or unused food parts so people can meet nutritional needs while reducing waste. The sustainable spray is made through a simple and easy processes and uses inexpensive and easily found materials or waste products such as shrimp skin or melinjo seed. Watch her pitch below:

Congratulations to these EPC finalists who made it to the final round ahead of over 200 applicants from 46 countries. We wish you much success in the future. 

 

EPC, Elevator Pitch Contest, Climate-Smart, Nutrition, Innovations, Entrepreneur

Find out where some of the past EPC finalists are now by reading this blog post

Back to Overview

The planet is currently HOT, HUNGRY, and CROWDED. Climate change, rapid urbanization, and a growing population affect food and nutrition security leaving millions malnourished. Government programs supporting nutrition are underfunded, aid initiatives have a limited reach, and the private sector does not currently do enough to aid proper nutrition. Business, as usual, is therefore not enough. We need a new generation of innovators who can solve one of humanity’s most pressing challenges: how can we nourish and sustain 10 billion people by 2050 without hurting our planet?

On August 6, 2020, the fifth edition of the Elevator Pitch Contest (EPC) hosted by Sight and Life, a competition amongst innovators, will be hosted LIVE online (register for the event here). The edition is supported by UNITLIFE, a new fund hosted by the United Nations and exclusively dedicated to the prevention of chronic malnutrition, and brings disruptive ideas that will change the current way nutrition is delivered.

The EPC’s goal is to identify and support projects that can be implemented and produce a meaningful impact in the short term. To stimulate innovation, the EPC looks to identify and support projects that can provide climate-smart solutions for better nutrition.

EPC, Elevator Pitch Contest, Climate-Smart, Nutrition, Innovations, Entrepreneur

Congratulations to these EPC finalists who made it to the final round ahead of over 200 applicants from 46 countries. These entrepreneurs will be pitching their innovative solutions changing the way nutrition is delivered and competing for a grand prize of US$5,000 and an Audience Award worth US$1,000. Join us for this LIVE event on August 6 and vote for your favorite. Register HERE to save your spot. 

Esnath Divasoni | Zimbabwe | Glorified Community Empowerment Trust (GCET)

GCET empowers rural communities to improve their livelihoods. By working with a community’s vulnerable members, GCET ensures they receive the nutrition that they deserve through farmed insects and provides training on nutritional topics. 

Esnath, its founder, is a recent graduate from EARTH University in Costa Rica. She is passionate about community development and unleashing the potential in the forgotten communities.

Melissa Stephanie Kartjito | Indonesia | Gama Mlindang Team

Mlindang Spray Coating is a spray-based edible coating that seals uneaten or unused food parts so people can meet nutritional needs while reducing waste. The sustainable spray is made through a simple and easy processes and uses inexpensive and easily found materials or waste products such as shrimp skin ormelinjo seed.

The Gama Mlindang team consists of three agile-minded, change-focused students from the Universitas Gadjah Mada in Indonesia: Melissa, Eka, and Nadia.

Dysmus Kisilu | Kenya | Solar Freeze

Solar Freeze is pioneering portable cold storage units powered by solar energy for rural, smallholder farmers of perishable produce, to help them reduce the vast challenge of post-harvest food loss that currently accounts for more than 45% of all perishable produce going to waste in developing countries.

Rio Lawandra | The Netherlands | Enakke

Enakke is a high protein and flavor-rich seasoning to be sprinkled in your daily food and is made with herbs and viable ingredients such as moringa leaves and crickets. Without change eating habits, Enakke will help consumers enjoy delicious and sustainable food consumption.

Dennis Nyarko | Ghana | After Energy

Dennis is the Founder and CEO of After Energy Ventures, a Black Soldier Fly (BSF) Biowaste treatment facility that would feed food scraps to BSF larvae and then process the larvae into protein meals for aquaculture businesses and feed producers worldwide. 

Dennis is an award-winning, young environmentalist who is passionate about conservation in Africa. Through innovative enterprises, he is creating sustainable community development projects to help build a greener world.

Kelvin Ogholi | Nigeria | AgroVie

Agrovie is a social enterprise that up-cycles food waste from breweries, food service organizations, and farms into low-cost animal feed and bio-fertilizer.

Kelvin Ogholi, its founder, is a young farmer, social entrepreneur, and innovator. He is very passionate about farmers and his boldest ambition is to see poverty reversed in the lives of Nigerians and African farmers.

Alejandro Ortega | Costa Rica | Costa Rica Insect Company

The Costa Rica Insect Company creates sustainable and healthy food solutions using insects to provide a solution to malnutrition and future food scarcity.

Alejandro Ortega is an expert in Business Communications, with a passion for creating sustainable solutions to save the world, experienced leader and an entrepreneur. He is the CEO of Sibo Inc. & Costa Rica Insect Company.

Find out where some of the past EPC finalists are now by reading this blog post

Back to Overview

The 45th edition of UNSCN Nutrition – Nutrition in a Digital World is available now! This edition examines the complexity of the digital world for improved nutrition and considers the benefits and potential-risks that technologies might entail, and explores a range of issues from food-systems to behavior change and capacity-building to inequality and human rights.

This edition includes a contribution from the team at Sight and Life on the different ways in which technologies are changing how we address malnutrition and highlights examples of innovations featured in Sight and Life‘s Data in Nutrition magazine.

Download the full edition here.

Download the article by Sight and Life here

Back to Overview

On 20 June 2020, IMPAct4Nutrition, a platform to Mobilise Private Action for Nutrition in India, was honored with a UNICEF global INSPIRE Award in the category ‘Best Multistakeholder Engagement’. Nearly 100 campaigns from 50 countries were nominated and voted on by UNICEF staff worldwide.

The IMPAct4Nutrition along with the founding partners such as UNICEF, Tata Trusts, CII, Sight and Life, CSR Box, IPE Global, and NASSCOM Foundation co-developed a robust knowledge base for nutrition literacy that companies can use in their ongoing Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and employee engagement programs.

By taking the pledge with IMPAct4Nutrition, companies are committing to make POSHAN Abhiyan a Jan Andolan, a social movement to address nutritional issues in their company ecosystem. With this commitment, the private sector will reach out to employees, their families, and customers to spread awareness and improve their knowledge of the importance of nutrition and healthy eating. 

IMPact4Nutrition received a ministerial-level nod when the Ministry of Women and Child Development recommended the implementation of IMPact4Nutrition’s workplace nutrition tools to more than 9,000 member companies through the Confederation of Indian Industry. The IMPact4Nutrition platform is already reaching a combined workforce of nearly 10 million employees, their families, and communities in India and has taken the first steps towards mobilizing the Jan Andolan for nutrition that the country so desperately needs to improve the nutritional status of its people.

Learn more about IMPact4Nutrition by reading our Action in Brief on IMPact4Nutrition or the case study in Sight and Life Magazine. Also, read our recent blog Nutrition in the Workplace is a Winning Solution During and Post-COVID-19 sharing the benefits as well as the science behind workplace nutrition.  

Back to Overview

On May 19, 2020 the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) announced Dr Purnima Menon as the recipient of the Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award in Global Nutrition. This award is supported by Sight and Life and contributions from Global Nutrition Council members. It is given to a mid-career professional who has done innovative work to advance the field of global nutrition and is a current member of ASN’s Global Nutrition Council. The awardee is typically between 10 and 20 years post-terminal degree and has a sustained record of substantial research, mentoring, and training. 

Nevins Scrimshaw Award, San, Purnima Menon

Dr Menon is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy and Research Institute and is based in New Delhi, India. As the theme leader for South Asia Nutrition Programs in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health, and Nutrition Division, Dr. Menon directs POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), an initiative to support more use of evidence for nutrition in India. She conducts implementation research on scaling up maternal and child nutrition interventions, including evaluating large-scale behavior change communications programs in nutrition and health. Dr. Menon has research experience in India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Haiti, Viet Nam, and Nepal, has published extensively, and invests deeply in research translation in her engagements with policy communities.

In addition to her research, Dr. Menon co-convenes a global nutrition policy course with the Institute for Development Studies in the United Kingdom, and has designed and taught many adaptations of this course in India as well. She serves on several national and global advisory groups, including the State of the World’s Children, the Global Nutrition Report, and the Countdown to 2030.

Dr. Menon has a Ph.D. in International Nutrition from Cornell University and an MSc in Nutrition from the University of Delhi.

Congratulations Dr Menon on a well-deserved accolade and we wish you continued success. 

Back to Overview

Improving prenatal nutrition: Making the case for multiple micronutrient supplements 

On April 28, 2020, we teamed up with Devex and DSM for a webinar focusing on multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS). During the event, a Devex moderator led a discussion on how critical maternal nutrition during pregnancy is for antenatal care and global health in general. The event’s aim was to highlight the importance of MMS as a driver to improve maternal nutrition and share insights on existing and future interventions to ensure that all women have access to MMS during pregnancy and understand their benefits. Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director for Sight and Life, was part of the expert panel and emphasized that greater importance should be placed on cross-sector collaborations to overcome current challenges and increase demand, supply and delivery of high coverage MMS.

Watch the full webinar below and find the responses to the Q&A here

Back to Overview

Sight and Life, MMS, Special ReportThe Sight and Life Special Report: Focusing on Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation inPregnancy compiles and curates the latest evidence, experience from the field and resources for scale-up. It aims to serve as an important resource for decision-makers and implementers, thereby driving the introduction and adoption of MMS.

Find the complete Sight and Life Special Report HERE.

Back to Overview

Crisis leads to purpose – Have you found yours today?

COVID-19, malnutritionWe are in the eye of the proverbial perfect storm, with COVID-19 sending consistent shock waves across all spheres of life. While the coronavirus has been referred to as an equalizer of many sorts, it becomes clearer day by day that there are some, for whom it hurts greatly more than others. Pre-existing financial and social vulnerabilities are deepened in these times. The lockdown to contain the virus has caused major disturbances in day-to-day food supply which are being felt even at an individual level. Procurement, distribution, pricing – fluctuations in these related systems is deeply impacting low-income households. In a recent report by UNICEF, malnutrition alone accounted for 69% of the deaths of children under the age of five, in India.

You and I are typically grappling with facts and trying to do well for ourselves in the face of uncertainty, but a larger section is living their worst fears as you read this. COVID-19 deprives them of even dignity.

There is no better time than now, to come together, to act together.

Help Sight and Life in our mission to alleviate the aftermath of the crisis for the ones who need your help, while also fighting the big fight. Help spread hope so they can cope.
DONATE HERE.

Who are we helping and how?
Sight and Life is supporting its network of institutional partners, NGOs such as The Akshaya Patra Foundation, The Hungry Foal, The Breakfast Revolution to help provide nutritious food supplies to vulnerable sections of society across India. These sections comprise of the marginalized and low-income groups – children under 5 years, pregnant and lactating mothers, daily wage earners, migrant laborers, the most needy and the elderly. They need your help because:

– They do not have the flexibility to work remotely
– They do not have savings to stock up on food
– They do not have ready access to essential service and products either

This initiative will also strengthen grassroots NGOs who don’t have a national presence but are involved in exemplary groundwork to fight COVID-19.

Our plan of action:
Given that this will be a long haul, we will follow a phased donation campaign to best distribute relief efforts. There are 3 phases to our strategy. Phase One aims to reach out to the following vulnerable populations:

– Pregnant women
– Lactating women
– Mothers of children under 5 years

Sight and Life team based in India has volunteered to co-ordinate these relief efforts outside of office hours.

How will your donation be utilized in Phase One?

– We need 20 lakh rupees to provide 1 lakh nutritious meals
– 100% of your donation will be utilized in procurement and distribution of the food and medical kits.

Every contribution, irrespective of the amount, counts. It is time for positive intention to translate into positive action.

DONATE HERE.

Back to Overview

Join us for an informational webinar “Improving prenatal nutrition: Making the case for multiple micronutrient supplements” on Tuesday, April 28, from 10-11:10 a.m. ET.

The event aims to highlight the importance of multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) as a driver to improve maternal nutrition and share insights on existing and future interventions to ensure that all women have access to MMS during pregnancy and understand their benefits. The expert panelists will emphasize that greater importance should be placed on cross sector collaborations to overcome current challenges and increase demand, supply and delivery of high coverage MMS.

Register here to reserve your spot!

Speakers include:

Dr. Saskia Osendarp, executive director, Micronutrient Forum
Dr. Jennifer Busch-Hallen, senior technical adviser for maternal and neonatal health and nutrition, Nutrition International
Inraini Fitria Syah, chief project officer, Summit Institute of Development SID Indonesia
Dr. Kristen M. Hurley, senior vice president of nutrition, Vitamin Angels
Dr. Klaus Kraemer, managing director, Sight and Life

Panelists will draw on their personal experience in the sector to explain the potential impact of a greater emphasis on communication strategies surrounding MMS and a continued push to scale up MMS programs.

For more on the topic, check out this article on Devex by Klaus Kraemer outlining the issue or read our action in brief on MMS here. Additionally, sign-up here to receive our Sight and Life Special Report: Focusing on MMS on April 28th. It compiles and curates the latest evidence, experience from the field and resources for scale-up and aims to serve as an important resource for decision-makers and implementers, thereby driving the introduction and adoption of MMS.

Back to Overview

Sight and Life, Consumer Insights, magazine, Nutrition, BCCThe NEW Sight and Life Magazine is available now! This edition of the Sight and Life magazine explores various dimensions and applications of consumer insights. 

Each article in this issue of Sight and Life magazine is inspiring and thought-provoking and we very much hope you will enjoy it and trust that it will stimulate new ways of thinking that pave the way for meaningful and lasting change. Our deepest thanks to all of the authors for their contributions! 

Take a look at the magazine HERE.

 

Back to Overview

On December 17, 2019, Devex published “Opinion: Engaging nutrition to improve pregnancy outcomes” by Klaus Kraemer, managing director of Sight and Life and adjunct associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The full article can be read here on Devex.

Abstract

Good nutrition sets off a ripple effect. It can dismantle inequity, poverty, and poor health and drive progress at every stage in life. It supports physical and cognitive development, helps prevent a number of medical conditions — from spina bifida to diabetes — and saves lives.

During and after pregnancy, nutrition demands are greater — as are the consequences of not meeting them. For mothers, ensuring a healthy pregnancy limits the risk of life-threatening complications. And for their children, good nutrition during pregnancy can be the difference between being born healthy and being born physically or mentally disadvantaged.

It is critical that we sustain our momentum on nutrition, a task that requires greater investment in cultivating a cadre of leaders to take us there, argues Klaus Kraemer, director at Sight and Life.

While diet diversity remains the preferred means for women to meet nutrient requirements during pregnancy, many nutrient needs cannot be met through diet alone, especially in resource-constrained settings. As such, it is imperative that we reach women and girls with effective interventions for improving maternal nutrition that are ready for global scale-up now. Multiple micronutrient supplementation, or MMS, during pregnancy could be one way to help meet maternal nutrition needs.

Read the full article on Devex here.

Back to Overview

Double burden of malnutrition, sight and lifeThe double burden of malnutrition (DBM) is an epidemic that has, and continues to, impact the lives of millions of people worldwide. In response to the increasing burden on populations, and to move the DBM agenda forward, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations Children‘s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) organized the International Symposium on ‘Understanding the Double Burden of Malnutrition for Effective Interventions’, within the context of the UN Decade of Action on Nutrition 2016–2025.

This event attracted representatives from over 90 countries worldwide and spurred global action to tackle this growing problem. The resources highlighting key conclusions and outlining ways to reduce the DBM were identified during the symposium are now available. These resources include 1) the symposium report which provides a general overview of all sessions and side events, 2) a brochure outlining key opportunities to reduce the DBM and 3) the symposium proceedings published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism.

The proceedings of thirteen papers highlight the preconception period and the first 1,000 days of life, accurate assessment of different aspects of the DBM, regional examples of programmes and policies, ways to bridge from biology to implementation and indicate research gaps.

During the symposium, Klaus Kraemer presented at the panel session on “Bridging the evidence – how to strengthen the link between biology and implementation for sustainable action?” which served as the basis for a publication in the symposium proceedings published as special issue in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism. Sight and Life also organised a 2-hour working group on harnessing public and private sector engagement for improved nutrition (in all forms) and can read about the details here on the Sight and Life blog or a review on the workshop can be found here on page 29. Additionally, the Sight and Life magazine focused on the double burden of malnutrition can be found here

For more information including the recorded livestream consult the symposium website, or contact us at nahres@iaea.org for any questions or feedback.

Opening session of the International Symposium on the Double Burden of Malnutrition. Photo credit: Dean Calma, IAEA
Participants collecting information on the IAEA’s Technical Cooperation Programme. Photo credit: IAEA
Participants discussing new research at the poster sessions. Photo credit: IAEA

Back to Overview

An elevator pitch is a critical part of the entrepreneurial process. As competition for research and investment funds increases, young scientists need to effectively articulate their idea and do so in a manner that is persuasive and precise. Sight and Life developed a platform for organizing an elevator pitch contest (EPC) on disruptive ideas to stimulate networks and dialogue, especially among innovators.

The Elevator Pitch Contest’s goal is to identify and support such projects that can be implemented and produce a meaningful impact in the short term. To stimulate innovation from different fields, this edition of the Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life will identify and support projects that can provide climate smart innovations for better nutrition.

The Elevator Pitch Contest will be held at the Micronutrient Forum Global Conference on March 25, 2020. Seven selected finalists will win a round trip and accommodation to Bangkok, Thailand, to present their idea. Each finalist will receive valuable mentoring throughout the contest and one winner will receive a cash award of US$5,000.

Elevator Pitch Contest Timeline

January 31, 2020 by 11:59 PM (GMT): Complete and submit the online application HERE

February 17, 2020: Seven best entries will be announced

March 24, 2020: Selected innovators will present their ideas to a panel of experts and the audience in five minutes. Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered for all finalists.

Disclaimer:

The Elevator Pitch Contest is a platform founded by Sight and Life and open to students and young professionals to present their ideas in front of a distinguished team of experts, investors, and the nutrition science community. Sight and Life does not endorse or certify the quality, originality or potential of the ideas for the Elevator Pitch Contest. All participants are solely responsible for the ideas they express. Sight and Life expressly disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information or the quality, attributes, or availability of any of such ideas. In no event shall Sight and Life be liable for any damages, including without limitation special, indirect or consequential damages, resulting from the access or use, or lack of access and use, of these ideas.  

Back to Overview

On the evening of November 5, 2019, Sight and Life proudly announced the recipient of the 2019 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership award during the Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Global Gathering (SUN GG) in Kathmandu, Nepal. Basanta Kumar Kar was recognized as a great leader in the nutrition field with the 2019 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award.

Sight and Life, Nutrition Leadership, SUNGG, scaling up nutrition, 2019
Gerda Verburg, Scaling Up Nutrition Movement Secretariat (left) and Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director of Sight and Life, present Basanta Kumar Kar with the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award

“It’s with humility, respect and a lot of optimism that I accept this honor and thank you to Sight and Life. I dedicate this award to the men and women – the true nutrition warriors – who have been silently waging a war against the scourge of malnutrition, unrecognized, unheard and unacknowledged on the ground,” states Basanta Kumar Kar.

Sight and Life, nutrition, leadership, award, nutrition leadership award, SUNGGRaised in a small village in India, Kar experienced poverty and deprivation first hand. These childhood experiences left an impression, and for him was a motivation to create promising futures for others. Through his professional career he has applied this optimistic vision as a way to eliminate malnutrition and develop human potential, for a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. He has held leadership positions at The Coalition for Food and Nutrition Security, National Dairy Development Board, CARE, ActionAid International and GAIN providing vast experiences over the past 30 years and deep knowledge of nutrition. This is a reason why, today, he is known as the ‘Nutrition Man’, and is currently the Country Director of Project Concern International in India.  

“Faced with many challenges, Basanta continuously pushes forward with passion resulting in many positive changes to improve nutrition throughout India, “ expressed Klaus Kraemer, Sight and Life’s Managing Director, “Here at Sight and Life we have a vision of an improved world and one free from malnutrition, Basanta embodies this mission and has transformed systems in order to advance nutrition goals and therefore making more prosperous futures for many.”

In Bangladesh, he was instrumental in the mandatory food fortification legislation, where now 85% of the population are benefiting from vitamin-A fortified vegetable oil. In his home state of Odisha, he is co-leading a comprehensive strategy to make advances against the triple burden named “Mission Filaria, Malaria, and Malnutrition-Free Odisha”.

He built ‘The Nutrition Coalition’ in India, and recently, he was recognized by the Government of India for his leadership in supporting The Prime Minister’sNational Nutrition Mission, India’s flagship program to improve nutritional outcomes for children, pregnant and lactating mothers. 

In addition to writing many scientific articles, he also translates his passion for improving the lives of others through poetry. ‘The Unfold Pinnacle’ is a series of poems sharing real life stories on nutrition and health issues of marginalized women and girls.

Kar joins an inspiring group of past recipients of the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award, such as David Nabarro, Robert Black, Anna Lartey, Shawn Baker, Ellen Piwoz, and Shilpa Bhatte. Congratulations to this very deserving leader in receiving the 2019 Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership award, who is diligently working to change the face of nutrition for the better.

Back to Overview

We are pleased to announce the launch of egghub.org by Sight and Life, a one-stop source for the most up-to-date information and research related to egg consumption and production in low and middle-income countries. This new website is dedicated specifically to eggs and aims to improve collaboration and innovation around eggs, two elements that are key to increasing the availability of eggs globally.

Sight and Life is on quest to end malnutrition and we believe eggs are a critical part of the solution. As a source of high-quality protein, vitamins and minerals, and essential fatty acids, eggs are increasingly being seen as a solution to combat maternal and child nutrition. Since 2016, Sight and Life has been engaged in multiple projects to deliver eggs to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations by increasing egg production and egg consumption. 

Through our Eggciting Program we are working on making eggs available and affordable to low-income households through innovative poultry business models in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, and Malawi. We are also piloting new innovations in egg production, egg-based products, sustainable business models, tools and approaches to address protein and micronutrient malnutrition during pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence.

As we continue to add more content and develop the website further, we encourage you to reach out to us with questions, information, and comments via the website’s contact page.

Back to Overview

Join us on Tuesday, October 15th for a webinar with World Food Programme focusing on data in nutrition and highlighting the important topics covered in the latest edition of the Sight and Life magazine.

Speaker Line-up

Introduction: Strengthening the Nutrition Data Value Chain – Gaps and Disruptive Opportunities by Srujith Lingala and Madhavika Bajoria of Sight and Life 

Dalili: Smartphone-based data curation to put affordable, nutritious food on the plates of the world’s most vulnerable by Kelly Stableim of the World Food Programme

Portraying your data – a guide to creating infographics by Anne Milan of Sight and Life 

Please join the webinar HERE.

Back to Overview

Date in Nutrition Webinar

We teamed up with Agriculture, Nutrition & Health Academy for a webinar focusing on data in nutrition and highlighting the important topics covered in the latest edition of the Sight and Life magazine

Srujith Lingala and Madhavika Bajoria, editors of this Sight and Life magazine, guide an informative discussion on the data value chain along with guest speakers Rahul Rawat of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Meera Sawkar of GeoPoll and Anne Milan of Sight and Life. Watch the full webinar below. 

Back to Overview

Micronutrient malnutrition is highly prevalent and persistent among Ghanaian women where 1 in every 2 women of reproductive age are folate deficient, 40% are overweight and 20% are anaemic. There is a critical need for availability of foods rich in micronutrients. Therefore, the Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life in partnership with Obaasima, McGill University and Association of Ghana Industries sought disruptive ideas in aspirational and affordable nutritious foods.

EPC, Sight and LIFe, Elevator Pitch Contest, Ghana, nutrition, food products

The Competition

On September 12, 2019, Sight and Life’s maiden Elevator Pitch Contest designed to encourage local solutions to local problems by locals took place in Accra, Ghana. Open only to residents of Ghana, this contest drew 35 entries from students of 6 Ghanaian universities and many young entrepreneurs with fresh ideas to improve foods. Applications ranged from innovative ideas to successful solutions already at scale proving the judges a difficult task narrowing down the group of 35 applicants down to seven finalists. Our thanks goes to the jury members who shared their immense knowledge, experience and expertise in nutrition assessment.

Breda Gavin-Smith, Global Public Health Nutrition Manager, Sight and Life

Kwame Jantuah, CEO, African Energy Consortium Ltd.

Samuel Kwame Ntim Adu, Founder and CEO, Yedent Agro Group of Companies Ltd.

The seven finalists were awarded a round trip to Accra, Ghana to pitch their innovations at the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition 2019. Before the competition, each finalist received extensive mentorship and feedback regarding their concept and presentation to help hone their pitch. The finalists worked with Parand Salmassinia, Global Vice President of Commercial Strategy, Key Accounts & Aroma Ingredients Business of DSM, and Dr. Nii Addy, Assistant Professor (Research) at McGill’s Institute for the Study of International Development (ISID) of McGill University on their innovations through multiple group and individual sessions to refine their pitch and improve their narrative. They also met with William Offori Appaw, a previous Elevator Pitch finalist who shared his entrepreneurial journey and the experience of participating at the previous Elevator Pitch Competition held in Mumbai.

The Winners

The third place winner of the Elevator Pitch Competition was Ewura Esi Manful from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, with a nutritious yogurt called ‘Sweetpot yogurt’ that aims to curb vitamin A deficiency while simultaneously providing a market for sweet potatoes. Sweetpot yoghurt is naturally flavoured and supplemented with Vitamin A, and dietary fibres, presenting consumers with a healthier snack choice.

Grace A. Twumasi, receiving the first runner up award from Ing. Alfred D. Sackeyfio, Director, Corporate Strategy of Volta River Authority

The second place winner was Grace A. Twumasi from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She pitched an innovative nutrient dense food for children made completely from locally available raw materials such as orange flesh sweet potato, millet, soyabeans. Grace’s innovation has already completed research trials at the Manhiya Children’s Hospital in Kumasi and is ready to be scaled up to the market.

The winner of the competition was Zeenatu Suglo Adams from Pneuma Food Scientifics, a start-up that formulates affordable and nutritious snacks that taste great. Zeenatu pitched ‘Yammy pops’, a ready to eat (RTE) extruded snack made from underutilized and highly nutritious crops (yam, tamarind indica, baobab). This snack has high vitamin C, mineral, protein and fibre content. Yammy Pops, similar to corn pops, are made out of yams and therefore also reducing dependence on cereals and grains.

“Initially it was not an easy task, but after many rehearsals and coaching by the EPC team, I managed to talk about my idea in 5 minutes. This activity helped me identify the key features needed in a building a business. Passion alone is not enough. The facts and figures are very important,” states Zeenatu Suglo Adams, winner, Elevator Pitch Contest finalist.

Other finalists of the event are:

JOACHIM ASARE, SPeCS Foods
Muden is a nutritious fermented cake made from popular cereals in Ghana like maize, millet, rice, soybean & sorghum. It can either be eaten alone or added to cooked foods. The fermentation process enhances the development of micronutrients.

EDITH KUFOALOR, Sosogin
Sosogin is an organic herbal tea from hibiscus petals, bicolar sorghum grass, lemongrass and ginger produced from locally grown plants. It has nutrients that help support digestion, prevent stomach ulcers, and also contains anti-biofilm properties such as beta-carotene, lycopene and others.

JOHN ATTU, Nature Foods
Yogurt made from fresh pasteurized cows milk and fruits that are sourced locally. The product is rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D, B12, riboflavin, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and probiotics, which boosts digestive health. The addition of fresh fruits improves the vitamin, mineral and fiber content in the product.

DEBORAH AMOASI, Dietician App
A mobile app with a database of calories of all Ghanaian foods. The aim of the app is to be able to convert foods consumed into daily calories and provide individual body mass index (BMI) scores depending on height and weight.

The Elevator Pitch Contest by Sight and Life brought together local entrepreneurs and provided an opportunity for them to connect and incubate their ideas. The seven finalists pumped life in to this contest with their cutting edge ideas and passion – we are looking forward to bright futures for all of them. This was Sight and Life’s fourth Elevator Pitch Competition, with the first three held in Cancun (2016) focusing on micronutrients, Boston (2018) seeking innovations in nutrition assessment and Mumbai (2018) challenging ways to reduce aflatoxins. For more information on these exciting competitions, visit elevatorpitch.org.

Take a look at pictures from the event:

Back to Overview

 

Here at Sight and Life, we believe great leadership is about having a vision of an improved world, acting on that vision and inspiring others to do the same.

·   A good leader is a visionary, not a dreamer: someone who not only dreams and talks about a better world but steps up to realize his vision.
·   A good leader is innovative and creative: someone who seeks new solutions to a problem and provides the knowledge and methods to take them into action.
·   A good leader is passionate: someone who is driven by a passion about his or her work to improve the current situation.
·   A good leader has courage: someone who rises and takes initiative in difficult times.
·   A transformative leader is an inspiration: someone who inspires, encourages, and helps other people achieving improvement.

In this spirit, we are proud to announce the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award 2019 will be presented this November at the SUN Global Gathering in Nepal.

Do you know a leader changing the future of nutrition? Please submit a nomination HERE for the Sight and Life Nutrition Leadership Award 2019 by September 30th, 2019 EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 6th, 2019

PAST RECIPIENTS:
David Nabarro, 2012; Robert Black, 2013; Anna Lartey, 2014; Shawn Baker, 2015; Shilpa Bhatte and Ellen Piwoz, 2017

Back to Overview

A round of applause to the seven finalists of the Elevator Pitch Contest for aspirational and affordable nutritious food products. Congratulations! Join us on September 12, 2019 during the Ghana Industrial Summit and Exhibition (GISE) in Accra to watch each of these pitches and learn about their innovations. The judges of this competition have a tough decision to select the recipient of the $5,000 cash award.

FINALISTS

Zeenatu Suglo Adams, Pneuma Food Scientifics
Deborah Amoasi, Dietician App
Joachim Asare, SPeCS Foods
John Attu, Nature Foods
Edith Kufoalor, Sosogin
Ewura Esi Manful, Sweetpot Yogurt
Grace A. Twumasi, Sweepolac

JUDGES

Breda Gavin-Smith, Global Public Health Nutrition Manager for Sight and Life
Samuel Kwame Ntim-Adu, CEO of Yedent Agro Group of Companies
Kwame Jantuah, CEO of Africa Energy Consortium Ltd

For additional information about the Elevator Pitch Contests visit elevator-pitch-contest.org

EPC, Sight and LIFe, Elevator Pitch Contest, Ghana, nutrition, food products

Back to Overview

Tue, Sep 17, 2019 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM CEST – FREE

Join us for a webinar with Agriculture, Nutrition & Health Academy (ANH) focusing on data in nutrition and highlighting the important topics covered in the latest edition of the Sight and Life magazine. Srujith Lingala and Madhavika Bajoria, editors of this Sight and Lifemagazine, will guide us through an informative discussion on the data value chain. The webinar will feature speakers such as Rahul Rawat from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Meera Sawkar from Geopoll, and Anne Milan from Sight and Life delving into thought-provoking topics and their conclusions.

Please register here : http://bit.ly/ANHSAL

Back to Overview

Sight and Life is delighted that Dr Noel W Solomons, Co-Founder and Scientific Director of the Center for Studies of Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM) and longstanding friend of Sight and Life, is the recipient of the 2019 J. David Naparstek Community Mentor Award alongside Ms Maria del Rosario Garcia-Meza. We warmly congratulate both of them on this well-deserved achievement!

The presence of exchange-students, as well as local students, has been a constant feature of CeSSIAM during the 34 years of its existence. Noel Solomons expresses his gratitude in receiving this prestigious award:

At least for me, this recognition is exceptionally sweet insofar as the mentoring of students and young scientists over the years in Guatemala has been more rewarding than the findings and publications. I had the good fortune to have mentoring from the likes of Nevin Scrimshaw, Irv Rosenberg and Fernando Viteri, and I have been passed the torch for a new generation of local exchange students through CeSSIAM’s 34 years of foundation.

Klaus Kraemer, Managing Director of Sight and Life, reflects on his relationship with Noel Solomons:

Those who have met Noel Solomons quickly understand he knows everything about nutrition. He is proactive about sharing his knowledge and experiences from the past forty plus years. Each conversation with Noel is an education that challenges your mind and his insights have changed my perspective on the most important underlying factors of malnutrition. Noel truly cares about the next generation of scientists and guides them as they take their first steps in the field and sets them up for a promising career path.

 
Dive into a day in the life of Dr Noel W. Solomons below:

Sight and Life (SAL): Dr Solomons, you are Director of the Center for Studies of Sensory Impairment, Aging and Metabolism (CeSSIAM). How long have you been in this role, and what does it entail?

Noel Solomons (NS): I have been in this position since July 1, 1985 – the day the new center was founded. I am also its Senior Scientist. The Center is the operative arm of a non-profit association, the ASOCIACION CeSSIAM. I’ve been the Vice President of the Board of Directors of ASOCIACION CeSSIAM since 1987. The role involves projecting the vision and the mission of the institution, both internally and externally. Above all, the Center is about discovery and the creation of new knowledge. It is also about training young scientists and building capacity for knowledge creation. It is not about participating in public health programs per se. External projection involves contacting potential donors of research financing in foundation, government and industry sources and communicating with potential collaborators and researchers. Reviewing research manuscripts and free-paper abstracts for scientific meetings occupies much of my time. The role also involves financial administration.

SAL: Is there such a thing as a normal working day for you? If so, could you describe it?

NS: When I’m not travelling, there is a usual work week. On Tuesdays, we hold an Academic Seminar, in which one of our staff or students will make a presentation on research. On Fridays, we convene a coordination meeting of our Guatemala City staff, followed by another Academic Seminar. Occasionally, we invite a guest professional to give a presentation. I try to leave Wednesdays free so that I can work from home, do errands and visit other professionals or entities. On Saturdays, I have one-on-one meetings with the post-doctoral staff members and graduate students to mentor their projects.

SAL: Can you tell us something about the team that supports you at CESSIAM?

NS: There is an external (international) team and an internal (local) team. The external team consists of the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation in Boston and the Hildegard Grunow Foundation in Munich, Germany. We also have productive ongoing academic collaborations with several other international universities. The internal support team consists of two loyal staff members in clerical and custodial positions. We have five full-time professionals based in the Headquarters – two with international doctoral degrees in nutritional sciences – and one coordinating our outpost in Quetzaltenango in the Western Highlands.

SAL: Can you tell us something about the history, values and objectives of CeSSIAM itself?

NS: CeSSIAM was born out of values: our guiding principle is to encourage creative and unfettered lines of research outside of the constraints and orthodoxies of any institutional oversight. From 1977 to 1984, I perceived a weakening of the investigative mission of INCAP due to the politicization of research. As a conscious counter-reaction, CeSSIAM’s most important value was to provide a refuge for the expression of scientific curiosity originating from the inspiration of the investigator, with strict adherence to the objectivity of the scientific method. We also wanted to develop young scientists as ‘human capital’ for innovative biomedical investigation. We originally had four divisions for the center, but this has evolved to two: Diet and Health; and Safety and Efficacy of Iron.

SAL: Your website states that “CeSSIAM is located in Guatemala City, Guatemala. The small, modest building belies the copious amounts of cutting-edge nutrition research going on within!” Could you tell us more?

NS: The small building on the website photo is but one of a number of small buildings that make up the Center. In our white office headquarters, we have the offices; in a twin building attached, there is a space used for a clinic or simple laboratory, as well as a meeting room for seminars and some offices for our students. In the city of Quetzaltenango, in the Western Highlands of Guatemala, we have two locales in a commercial center. I have never subscribed to the “edifice complex” of some institutions, where the grandeur of the physical facilities becomes a status symbol. Our current facilities are ample compared to the space in the eye and ear hospital in our early years.

SAL: You are an officer of the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation (INF). What is the relationship between INF and CeSSIAM?

NS: Around the time of the founding of CeSSIAM it was “awkward” to have large amounts of funds in local banks. We worked out a means to have hard currency deposits held in Boston and released as needed on a monthly basis. This arrangement persists through today, helping us to obtain equipment and reagents that are difficult to purchase directly in Central America.

SAL: You are a Doctor of Medicine by training. In what ways has this identity influenced your work?

NS: Being a physician in first instance has enabled my work, permitting me to take a leadership role in research with human subjects and populations. Moreover, a physician is less likely to become too narrowly focused on one problem or experimental technique. Medical doctors are also committed to the Hippocratic tradition, which is based on the dictum of “first do no harm.” This is relevant to areas such as iron administration in malarial regions.

SAL: Do you have a hero who has inspired you in your career?

NS: There are three heroes who have acted as inspirational mentors. In 1965, my political leanings were considered too radical for Top Secret clearance in the Office of Scientific Affairs, so I was relegated to USAID and war-vintage out-buildings in the flats of Foggy Bottom in Washington DC. Again, a modest setting! There I was to meet Dr Harald Frederiksen, a tropical disease physician (and also somewhat of a political renegade), with whom I did a summer internship after my junior year at Harvard College. The topic he proposed would introduce me to the world of international nutrition, and turn my career aspirations from biochemistry to medicine. Returning to campus, I headed over to cross-register at MIT for an honors thesis on nutrition and infection with Prof. Nevin Scrimshaw, Chair of the Department of Nutrition and Food Science. Nevin, at age 31, had been the founding director of INCAP in Guatemala. Over the years, working with him later on the faculty of his Department and subsequently with his International Nutrition Foundation, I would learn the art of science in broad and relevant topics, as opposed to narrow specialization. Prof. Irwin Rosenberg, Dean Emeritus of Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition: Science and Policy is another major influence. Closely allied in the 1970s with Dr. Scrimshaw, he was a gastroenterologist with an interest in folic acid and vitamin B12. We first linked up at the Harvard Medical School as part of the civil rights movement. After finishing my medical training, I became a trainee in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Chicago, which Irv was by then running. There I became involved in intestinal handling of lactose, zinc and bile acids in Chicago, and I carried those three interests to Guatemala, when he pointed me to a final, fellowship year abroad at the INCAP.

SAL: If you could change one thing about your working life, what would it be?

NS: I wish that I could spend more time with the staff and students at CeSSIAM’s outpost in the Western Highlands. It’s a remote – but vibrant – location.

SAL:How do you switch off from work? Do you have interests outside your professional existence?

NS: “So much to do … so little time” is my usual perspective. I enjoy photography, dancing and socializing, but usually in the context of a professional activity.

See the links below for more information on the remarkable work of CeSSiAM and Noel W Solomons:

CeSSiAM
Guatemala recognizes Noel Solomon’s research efforts
CeSSiAM celebrates 25 years of nutrition research
Read Noel Solomon’s latest insightful article on Nutrient Density as a Dimension of Dietary Quality in the latest Sight and Life magazine.

Back to Overview

With 58 million stunted children on the continent and stunting rates as high as 40% in some African countries, malnutrition remains a public health emergency in Africa and hinders optimal child development. School feeding has been recognized by the international community as an opportunity to fill a child’s nutrient intake gap. The objectives of this side-event are to discuss and inspire the attendants of 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7) on how child nutrition can be improved to unlock Africa’s full potential by focusing in particular on the nutrition value of school meals.

Sight and Life‘s Srujith Lingala will be presenting on innovative sustainable business models to increase access to eggs. Find out more about this side-event and register here

Back to Overview

On June 10, 2019 during the American Society for Nutrition (ASN) conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Dr. Laura E. Murray-Kolb was announced as the recipient of the Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award in Global Nutrition. This award is supported by Sight and Life and contributions from Global Nutrition Council members. It is given to a mid-career professional who has done innovative work to advance the field of global nutrition and is a current member of ASN’s Global Nutrition Council. The awardee is typically between 10 and 20 years post-terminal degree and has a sustained record of substantial research, mentoring and training. 

Dr. Murray-Kolb is an Associate Professor and the Professor in Charge of the Graduate Program in the Department of Nutritional Sciences at The Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, she holds an adjunct faculty appointment in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Murray-Kolb’s research career is devoted to understanding the neurophysiological and neuropsychological consequences of iron deficiency with the aim of informing the development of policies designed to improve maternal and child health worldwide. Much of her research is conducted in South East Asia and Sub Saharan Africa where the integration of her training in nutrition, child development, and cognitive psychology has helped advance our understanding of the contextual variables that modify the effects of iron deficiency and the neural correlates underlying the detrimental consequences of iron deficiency.

For over a decade, she has chaired the Cognitive Development Subcommittee for a large, multi-site (8 low- and middle-income countries) study investigating the effects of repeated enteric infections and malnutrition in early life on child development. In 2016, she was awarded the Norman Kretchmer Memorial Award in Nutrition and Development by the American Society for Nutrition in recognition of her substantial body of independent research with relevance to improving child health. Dr. Murray-Kolb teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses in global nutrition, nutritional epidemiology, micronutrient metabolism, and nutritional aspects of disease. She is also a dedicated mentor whose students have consistently had their work recognized with awards and who have gone on to leadership positions in academia, government, and the private sector. She considers it a privilege to have served on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Nutrition since 2010 and to be a member of a special task force that provides expertise on iron supplementation policy, particularly in malaria endemic areas.

Congratulations Laura, we wish you continued success!

Back to Overview

Join us on June 4th, during the Women Deliver conference in Vancouver, for Power for Mothers to understand why closing the gap in maternal is paramount, and how we can ensure all mothers get the critical vitamins and minerals they need. Compelling evidence shows that taking multiple micronutrient supplements (MMS) during pregnancy reduces the risk of anemia in mothers and helps ensure babies are born healthy. But global recommendations lag behind the science, and many pregnant women cannot access MMS. 

Kristen Hurley, Program Director at Vitamin Angels, will moderate an enlightening discussion on MMS with Robert Black of Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Spencer Kirk of Kirk Humanitarian, Lenore Spies from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health, Klaus Kraemer of Sight and Life, as well as representatives from 1,000 DaysBill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Power for Mothers: Bring a solution for Better Nutrition to All
June 4th at 5:30 pm
Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver

Hosted by: Sight and Life, CIFF, MMS TAG, Kirk Humanitarian, Vitamin Angels, 1,000 Days

Cocktails and light fare will be served following the event for an opportunity to meet the panelist and network.

All attendees must register on eventbrite HERE.

Back to Overview

As our project portfolio grows, we are looking for an addition to our team with experience in consumer centered research, product and service design, and monitoring and evaluation. Our current focus countries for consumer research are Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, and South Africa. The role is based in Bangalore, India. 

For further information on the full-time position, please view the terms of reference HERE or download HERE to share.

Back to Overview

We are seeking an addition to our team and accepting applications now for a position as the Global Lead for Consumer Insights. This person will be responsible for growing Sight and Lifes consumer insights and demand creation and generation portfolio. This includes developing relationships with partners and funders, crafting new initiatives, overseeing and executing current initiatives, and supporting programs that have a consumer insights and demand creation component. As a member of Sight and Life’s Leadership Team, the Global Lead for Consumer Insights will contribute to the development of short- and long-term strategic and operational planning within Sight and Life, participate in resource mobilization efforts, promote the organization’s culture, act as an ambassador to external stakeholders, and contribute to the broader knowledge creation and dissemination activities of Sight and Life.

For further information on this position and details on how to apply, please download the terms of reference HERE. Or if you know the right person for the job, please feel free to pass along.

Back to Overview

Biofortification targets rural families in developing countries relying on homegrown, inexpensive but not very nourishing staple foods like rice, wheat, or maize. The biofortification process allows rural families to grow and consume varieties of these crops that are rich in vitamin A, iron, or zinc—three of the micronutrients identified by the World Health Organization as most critical for health.
 
A new interactive tool developed by HarvestPlus helps identify where and for which staple crops biofortification can make the greatest impact on micronutrient deficiencies.
 
Biofortification tool, harvestplusThe website, based on the HarvestPlus Biofortification Priority Index (BPI), is a user-friendly tool designed to guide strategic decisions for investment, policy, and practice pertaining to the introduction and scaling of biofortified staples.
 
HarvestPlus developed the BPI in 2013 to ensure efforts to develop and deliver biofortified crops by HarvestPlus and its partners were as targeted, cost-effective, and impactful as possible. Using the most recent national-level data on eating and growing patterns as well as micronutrient deficiency rates, the BPI ranks 128 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean regions according to their potential for biofortification for eight different crop-micronutrient combinations. The result is a clear prioritization of where biofortified crop interventions are most suitable.
 
The interactive tools allows users to:

– Quickly identify the 20 countries most suited for biofortification of each crop.
– Take a closer look at the data behind the index with interactive maps for the subindices—production, consumption and micronutrient deficiency.
– Learn more about the progress being made to test and release biofortified crop varieties in each country.
– Compare how rankings change when a country’s land area or population size is considered.
– See the BPI for the newest biofortified crop: zinc maize

Click HERE to start exploring the tool!

Back to Overview

GAIN, Report, nutritionBeing able to track and measure the impact of business on food and diets is critical. Business is both part of the problem and the solution to the current food systems challenges. By increasing the effectiveness of tracking we will be better positioned to ask and assist businesses to be agents for positive change.
 
To better assess the impact of the private sector actions, an increasing number of accountability mechanisms have been created. These ‘accountability mechanisms’ engage in measuring and reporting business impact on nutrition and can take different forms: bringing companies around a table to collaborate, creating peer accountability, encouraging companies to set and track progress towards goals and even ranking company performance against objective criteria.
 
‘A Review of Business Accountability Mechanisms in Nutrition’ is an insightful new report describing the different mechanisms and how they fit into the wider nutrition landscape. It is a laudable step to better understand the limits and opportunities of the current landscape assessment of business impact on nutrition.
 
The key findings of the report are the following:

– The number of accountability mechanisms – 21 (considered in the report) – looking at business impact on nutrition is high and increasing. Companies find it difficult to manage this crowded landscape and efficiently prioritizing their accountability reporting. We could simplify this.

– Accountability mechanisms often collect similar data. By cooperating on the process of data collection, mechanisms could provide comparable and complementary analysis. Data sharing is a way to streamline.

– The entirety of the food systems should be assessed if we want to identify the levers for improvement. The current focus on manufacturers and processors is too limited. The role of retailers and out-of-home sector has been overlooked. We need to broaden the footprint.

The report highlights the need to strike a balance: between overcomplication which deters clear reporting, and too loose, failing to responsibly reflect performance. There is an optimal level of accountability and we clearly have some way to go to achieve that.
           
Click HERE to read the full report by GAIN.

Back to Overview

Andhra Pradesh, a coastal state in Southern India, has a high burden of vitamin and mineral deficiencies leading to night blindness, anaemia and various birth defects. To combat malnutrition, in early 2018, Andhra Pradesh announced its plans to distribute fortified rice through government feeding programs in three districts in the first phase and later scale it up to the entire state.

Currently, the rice fortification program includes a batch blending system to blend fortified rice kernels with regular rice. However, there are shortcomings with the batch blending system, which created the need for a new system. To support this effort, Sight and Life, in partnership with Tata Trusts and the Government of Andhra Pradesh, has pioneered an innovative, cost-effective blending process, called continuous blending. This is the first of its kind in India and the first time a continuous blending process is being employed to fortify rice for large-scale government programs. 

rice, fortification, nutrition, India, technical brief, tata trusts
This knowledge has been captured in a technical brief, Rice Fortification in Andhra Pradesh: Pioneering an Innovative Blending Process to Improve Nutrition Outcomes and includes a step-by-step guide for operationalizing rice fortification, using the continuous blending model. By conceptualizing and operationalizing this model, in a short period of time, we have been able to provide 60 million meals with fortified rice to schoolchildren and pregnant and lactating women in Andhra Pradesh. Building on these successes, Sight and Life endeavors to optimize and expand activities using the continuous blending model, working in partnership with Tata Trusts and state governments in improving nutritional outcomes in India.

Back to Overview

On January 17, 2019, the EAT-Lancet Commission on Food, Planet, and Health released a groundbreaking report on healthy diets from sustainable food systems. This is the first full scientific review of what constitutes a healthy diet from a sustainable food systems perspective, and which actions can support and speed up food system transformation. 

The world currently has 821 million people who are undernourished, 2 billion people lack key micronutrients, and 2 billion people are overweight or obese and at risk of diseases related to overconsumption. At the same time, global food systems face the unprecedented challenge of feeding a growing and increasingly urbanized population, with global food production expected to increase by 70% by 2050.

Food systems are a major source of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), accounting for one-third of total emissions. They are the main user of fresh water, a leading driver of biodiversity loss, land-use change and cause eutrophication or dead zones in lakes and coastal areas. The composition of diets also determines the environmental impact of food and global average dietary GHG emissions from crop and livestock production will increase by 32% between 2009 and 2050, on a per capita level, if current global dietary patterns continue. 

Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement targets to reduce carbon emissions means urgently and fundamentally changing the way we eat and produce food. But key questions remain unanswered and a lack of scientific consensus is slowing down governments, businesses and civil society actors who want to take action. This report endeavors to understand and address these issues, and provide guidance on how to solve them. 

Download and read the full report here

Back to Overview

In West Africa, the prevalence and impact of micronutrient deficiencies are significant, and anemia, vitamin A deficiency, and iodine deficiency remain of public health concern. For example, every country in the region is off-track to reach the World Health Assembly 2025 global nutrition target for anemia prevalence reduction (Global Nutrition Report, 2018). Fortified rice has the potential to reach 130 million people in 12 African countries, three-quarters of which are in West Africa, and help tackle micronutrient deficiencies.

How could rice fortification help, and how might this happen? The new Sight and Life supplement with the World Food Programme explores these questions in depth. The comprehensive overview explains why fortifying rice with micronutrients can be part of an affordable, effective strategy to increase the intake of essential vitamins and minerals to reduce the prevalence of micronutrient malnutrition. Following the previous supplements on Scaling Up Rice Fortification in Latin America (2017) and Scaling Up Rice Fortification in Asia (2015), this edition takes a closer look at the continent that has the largest per capita rice consumption after Asia, yet where micronutrient deficiencies remain unacceptably high.

Each article in this supplement is thought-provoking and focuses on micronutrient deficiencies in West Africa. The articles explore the opportunities and challenges around rice fortification and its potential role in improving dietary quality. The articles cover a wide range of issues, ranging from food availability and consumption in the region (Mawuli Sablah, Greg Garrett and Ibrahim’s Parvanta) to a review of the progress and lessons learned from food fortification (Frederick Grant, Becky Tsang and Greg Garrett). 

The supplement also busts common myths about rice fortification while exploring the most appropriate delivery channels and technologies for fortified rice. A special article is dedicated to the new WHO guidelines on rice fortification, and the supplement concludes with a summary of a West Africa Rice Fortification workshop where country delegates and global and regional technical partners discussed opportunities, challenges and next steps.

Download the full supplement in English and French.