Special Report: Nutrient Profiling for Global Benefit
Discover the power of nutrient profiling through a uniquely curated lense. Part of our mission as a think tank is to act as a platform for shared learning and develop evidence-based solutions for improved nutrition. This latest publication provides a roadmap of current knowledge including in-the-field testimonials, and addressing important gaps to kickstart action. We aim to bring you a holistic view of nutrient profiling, within the context of low-and-middle-income countries. The findings are clear: current systems are not suitable for low-and-middle-income countries with complex nutritional challenges.
However, elevating key priorities like developing consumer insights, supporting small and medium enterprises, and seizing opportunities for scale-up, can play a critical role increasing effectiveness of nutrient profiling in low-and-middle-income countries, for better nutrition and an energized tomorrow. We are thrilled to be sharing with you this important and timely publication and we hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.
Dig into the full content here and watch the video below to catch all the publication highlights:
Sight and Life is excited to announce the launch of a new, one-of-a-kind Swiss Consortium comprised of Sight and Life, the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), ETH Zürich and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture. Together this partnership will implement the Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project, working across the agricultural, health and education sectors in order to improve urban diets in low- and middle-income countries. NICE promotes women and youth leadership, and places a strong emphasis on public-private engagement and income generation.
The world faces a major malnutrition crisis, with rapid urbanization shifting the impact from rural to city populations. To improve urban diets in Bangladesh, Kenya and Rwanda, a consortium of Swiss partners has launched the Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project. NICE is led by the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
“Over two billion people lack access to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the world was not on track to defeat malnutrition,” said Helen Prytherch, NICE Project Coordinator at Swiss TPH. “The global community recognises the urgent need to improve food systems. The aim of NICE is to ensure long-term access to nutritious, local, agro-ecologically produced foods, as well as to reduce waste and the strain on natural resources.”
Secondary cities, not just national capitals, play a key role in the transformation of food systems. As well as bringing different sectors together, city authorities can champion the engagement of women and youth in the production, selling, preparation and promotion of healthy foods and in facilitating access to the most vulnerable city population groups.
NICE will work in six “front-runner” secondary cities in three countries, and encourage the sharing of experiences within and between cities. Locally led city launches took place in September 2021 in Bungoma and Busia in Kenya. These are being followed by launches this October in the Rwandan cities of Rubavu and Rusizi, and in Dinajpur and Rangpur in Bangladesh.
The Swiss partners will work closely with city authorities, local businesses, markets and civil society to create healthier urban food systems. The front-runner cities will also have the opportunity to exchange with cities like Geneva, Lausanne, Basel and Zürich, which are innovating to confront food systems challenges in Switzerland.
“SDC believes that cities play a key role in food systems transformation towards a more sustainable consumption and production, addressing malnutrition of vulnerable people while transforming their local food systems to be more resilient.” said Carmen Thönnissen, Co-Lead Global Programme Food Security, SDC. “Switzerland contributes to NICE as we believe the project will be a way to support the implementation of the Committee on World Food Security Voluntary Guidelines on Food Systems for Nutrition. We also hope that insights gained from NICE will be shared with the UN Food System Summit’s Coalition “Healthy Diets from Sustainable Food Systems” supported by Switzerland.”
Check our Consortium website to keep updated on the latest NICE project ongoings: https://nice-nutrition.ch. Keep an eye on our global-level NICE communications via the hashtag #NICEProject.
The Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) is a world-leading institute in global health with a particular focus on low- and middle-income countries. Associated with the University of Basel, Swiss TPH combines research, education and services at local, national and international levels. Over 800 people from 80 nations work at Swiss TPH focusing on infectious and non-communicable diseases, environment, society and health as well as health systems and interventions.
Sight and Life is a global nutrition think tank, which delivers science-based solutions to eliminate all forms of malnutrition among vulnerable populations. As a pioneer of nutrition solutions, Sight and Life translates nutrition science, fosters public private partnerships for improved nutrition and uses consumer insights to develop viable social business models.
ETH Zürich (The Sustainable Agroecosystem Group, The Sustainable Food Processing Group and The World Food System Center) commands globally recognized expertise in agriculture, agroecology, food systems, and city region resilience. Moreover, ETH pioneers women engagement in the still largely male dominated agricultural sector, works extensively on value chains, while having global links to C40, the Food and Agriculture Organization, African cities, and being involved in building rural-urban links in the Swiss city of Lausanne.
The Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) is non-profit organization based in Basel, Switzerland. Its vision is a bright future for smallholder farming. SFSA works with a wide range of partners. Together, they provide smallholders in Africa and Asia with innovations to improve food security, income and resilience.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is the agency for international cooperation of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). The SDC is responsible for the overall coordination with other federal authorities of development and cooperation with Eastern Europe as well as for humanitarian aid delivered by the Swiss Confederation. The SDC aims to alleviate need and poverty around the world, to foster respect for human rights, to promote democracy and to conserve the environment. It fosters economic self-reliance and state autonomy, contributes to the improvement of production conditions, helps address environmental problems, and ensures better access to education and basic healthcare services.
During this 3-day virtual course (August 26 – August 28), attendees will be uncovering tools and innovations in behavioral science and social marketing for application towards positively impacting behavior, increasing service uptake, and generating demand for healthy goods.
With an unprecedented number of outstanding applicants this year, our scholarship selection committee was particularly impressed by the expertise, curiosity, and imagination demonstrated by each candidate. A warm congratulations goes out to each of our Sight and Life scholarship recipients. Get to know more about these successful candidates and learn how they plan to use social marketing for good:
Keira Brett, Ireland
An experienced Coordinator, Keira has spent a number of years working on sustainability and community development projects in both government and not-for-profit sectors in Australia. Since returning to Ireland in 2019 has pursued a career in health promotion and currently works within a multi-disciplinary network to advance the Healthy Ireland government framework in Fingal, North Dublin, seeking to improve the population’s health and well-being with a particular focus on health inequalities.
Keira is particularly interested in learning how to develop social marketing interventions as an effective evidence-based tool for behavior change.
Camille Demonchaux, Switzerland
With 7+ years of experience in both private and social sectors, Camille currently works as a Project Manager at the Adecco Group Foundation. In parallel, she has developed a new passion for food and health as a result of health issues which led her to radically change her eating habits. She is now specifically interested in learning how to use social media to share her key learnings with others.
With this course, Camille aims to combine her new passion for food and health with her business acumen in creating sustainable changes and innovative models to impact people’s lives.
Apple Espino, Philippines
Apple is a Filipino Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian with a wide breadth of experience and interests – from nutrition epidemiology and food marketing, to climate change and agri-food system. Her drive and goals as a researcher, practitioner, and learner have always been motivated by grassroots understanding and stories of poverty, hunger, malnutrition and inequality. Her tools and methods are influenced by global thinkers and her inquiries are receptive to the question, “Why do people do what they do?’—fostering an understanding of the various systems and environments that impact a person’s aspirations, decisions, and behavior.
Apple takes seriously the delivery of genuine, effective solutions for positive change and the transformation of people and communities. As such, she considers her education and ability to apply social marketing to be an important complementary asset to the other approaches she is familiar with.
Ruth Helena Girsang, Indonesia
As a program officer, Ruth’s daily responsibilities are designing and carrying out initiatives that help improve outcomes for vulnerable groups in the community. Her day-to-day activities have enriched her understanding of the value of the way that initiatives are delivered to recipients – in ways that encourage them to use it, which she esteems to be as important as the initiative itself.
Ruth views this as an experience to ignite her curiosity and learn more about how to invite communities to be partners in creating change for the greater good. This desire to enhance engagement for public good led her to an approach called social marketing.
Dr. Swati Jain, India
Dr. Swati Jain is a qualified nutritionist, presently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Food and Nutrition, Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, India. Her research and academic interests are diverse and extend into the areas of mechanism-based nutrition studies, intervention research focused on nutrition issues related to chronic disease risk reduction and self-management, child growth and malnutrition. Dr. Jain has been actively involved as a member and reviewer with international organizations like the Nutrition Society, UK and World Public Health Association, UK.
Dr. Jain views social marketing as an approach that equips individuals to be more accountable towards their health. In a global era of the triple burden of malnutrition and non-communicable diseases, she sees addressing faulty food systems to be of the utmost importance and social marketing as a critical tool for improvement.
Florence Nabwire, England
Florence is a Research Associate and a Prince of Wales Fellow at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Prior to her PhD and postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge and the MRC Human Nutrition Research, she worked for Baylor-Uganda where she designed and implemented a pioneering program integrating nutrition and food security into HIV/AIDS services at over 300 government health facilities.
Florence’s current research at CISL aims to understand infant and young child feeding practices and the factors that influence these decisions in city environments in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), to inform strategies for achieving sustained improvement in diets in the first 1000 days of life. Training in demand creation and social marketing will equip me with knowledge and practical insights on employing consumer insights to promote healthy diets in city environments in SSA.
Nihal Nassereddin, Palestine
A Nutrition Officer and food technologist at WFP since 2009, Nihal is based in her home city of Jerusalem. Through her career in WFP, she has been able to interact with and better understand a variety of people, which has enabled her to develop nutrition projects tackling nutrition problems, mainly anemia, including flour fortification, nutrition awareness, and the development of partnerships with government, NGOs and other UN agencies. When she and her team realized that none of the interventions had changed the nutrition status, Nihal helped to conduct formative research. With the aim to better understand people’s motivators and barriers, this research determined that social marketing was necessary in order to change people’s behavior.
Nihal is deeply invested in learning more about social marketing as it is a new approach in WFP Palestine. She would like to become more informed and confident in social marketing to implement it.
Rituj Sahu, Germany
Rituj is a business and economy researcher-practitioner with 7 years of professional experience in diverse domains, including financial product management, risk advisory, public policy, IT strategy, and social finance. Presently based out of Berlin, he is working as a German Chancellor Fellow at Wider Sense GmbH, a social impact consulting firm. Under the patronage of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, he is creating an open-source handbook on German best practices in the field of Impact-Investing.
Rituj’s interest in social marketing stems from his fascination with the study of human behavior and combining it with marketing concepts and techniques to positively influence social outcomes.
Join the SSPH+ Summer School free virtual plenary lecture series here, to learn from experts including Dr. Rowena Merritt, Sight and Life’s Senior Advisor on social marketing.
This Supplement of the Food and Nutrition Bulletin, The Triple Burden of Malnutrition Among Adolescents in Indonesia, is curated a variety of research papers, urging further attention to adolescent nutrition in Indonesia and beyond.
As the first comprehensive review of present knowledge on Indonesia’s adolescent nutrition, this Supplement, which is comprised of 9 articles by nutrition experts Kesso Gabrielle van Zutphen and Klaus Kraemer at Sight and Life, as well as from UNICEF, the University of Indonesia and Wageningen University, addresses the critical gaps in knowledge around adolescent nutrition. The triple burden of malnutrition is distinctly illustrated in Indonesia, where 1 in 3 children under 5 years old is stunted, 1 in ten 10 children has wasting, and a further 8% of children are overweight. But not all demographics are hit equally by malnutrition – adolescents bear the brunt of the consequences, as 1 in 4 adolescent girls suffers from anemia and 1 in 7 adolescents is overweight or obese. The findings of the supplement give the impetus for action in the nutrition community for more evidence-based interventions supported by large-scale implementation research and evaluation.
Policies and programs to tackle the triple burden of malnutrition in Indonesia were scarce, especially for adolescents, until recently. Many gaps in research and understanding of adolescent nutrition in Indonesia persist, including:
The drivers and determinants of the triple burden of malnutrition.
Evidence-based interventions which are supported by large-scale implementation research and evaluation.
Effective delivery platforms capable of reaching vulnerable adolescents.
As such, authors urge the nutrition community that the time for action is now to make adolescent nutrition the focal point of development; furthermore, it must be drawn into the mainstream within health sector plans, strategies and policies.
In this Supplement you’ll also discover: Knowledge Gaps in Understanding the Etiology of Anemia in Indonesian Adolescents, co-authored by Kesso Gabrielle van Zutphen, Klaus Kraemer, and Alida Melse-Boonstra.
This article addresses the significant knowledge gaps around the etiology of anemia among Indonesian adolescents and provides a framework highlighting the urgency of additional research across all etiological factors. This framework was developed within the context of a need for strategies targeting anemia among adolescents in Indonesia to be adapted to local conditions and anemia’s specific etiology and prevalence in the particular setting and population.
We are thrilled to see the excellent work of Sight and Life team member, Madhavika Bajoria being featured and shared across our partner networks! In coordination with our celebrated partner, Kirk Humanitarian, Madhavika has recently shared her expertise on the critical role of multiple micronutrient supplementation (MMS) in supporting maternal health in the video below.
Additionally, Madhavika’s expert insight has been highlighted through her co-authored blog piece together with our partner,IMPAct4Nutrition, who possesses extensive expertise in leveraging public-private engagement to address malnutrition in India. Recently published byAVPN, an organization working to increase the flow of capital into the social sector, this blog post:3 Ways to Build a Nutritionally Self-Reliant Indiaprovides important insights into sustainable nutrition solutions. This timely piece provides essential recommendationsas the benefits of good nutrition, including boosted immunity are all the more important in defending India against Covid-19.
Find out more about how current challenges in stunting, anemia, and disruptions in nutrition-related supply chains can be addressed in the full article here.
One of the leading news magazines of India, Outlook Poshan creates space for important stories to be heard, addressing the issues at hand, while keeping an eye out for opportunities ahead. In this vein, the Food Systems Innovation Hubs have been featured for their important potential in tackling malnutrition.
‘To end all forms of malnutrition, we need to enable environment-friendly food systems that are local, resilient and responsive. “We believe that the power for this transformation – from struggling food systems to a robust machinery that enables society-wide healthier dietary shifts – lies in Food Systems Innovation Hubs,” says Kalpana Beesabathuni, Global Lead of Technology and Entrepreneurship at Sight and Life …’
Find out more about the importance of food hubs in combatting soil erosion, food waste and the double burden of malnutrition by reading the full article here and learn more in our full blog series here.
This paper discusses the challenge of the growing triple burden of malnutrition in urban contexts and advocates for the role of secondary cities as game-changers to transform city region food systems. Secondary cities are introduced as emerging players in pioneering nutrition-centered food systems interventions, and in monitoring and evaluating their impacts for later improvements and out-scaling.
Against the context of many of the challenges raised in this paper, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation has initiated and provides funding for a project starting in 2021, that aims to improve nutrition in secondary cities in three countries. The Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project works with selected secondary cities in Bangladesh (Dinajpur and Rangpur), Kenya (Bungomaand and Busia) and Rwanda (Rubavu and Rusizi) and places a particular focus on women, youth and vulnerable groups in city regions. Key elements of NICE are to: strengthen the supply of and demand for agroecologically-produced, local and nutritious foods; foster multisectoral governance; stimulate greater public and private sector engagement for resilient food systems and improved nutrition outcomes.
Social marketing combines concepts and techniques from social science and marketing to create programs designed to influence human behavior to benefit society. It is considered a professional craft that relies on multiple scientific disciplines. Approaches that use social marketing have found success in public health, environmental protection, and political marketing. Here at Sight and Life, we believe social marketing has tremendous power to shift behaviors toward better nutrition, and we want to teach you all we know.
Rowena Merrit, Senior Advisor on Consumer Insights and Social Marketing at Sight and Life Breda Gavin-Smith, Global Public Health Nutrition Manager at Sight and Life Kalpana Beesabathuni, Technology and Entrepreneurship at Sight and Life Puja Peyden Tshering, Consumer Insights Specialist at Sight and Life
The engaging course will explore the following:
– Explain the core elements of successful social marketing demand creation.
– Learn how to “pitch” social marketing demand creation ideas and sustainable business models to senior management, stakeholders, and donors to gain buy-in.
– Explore how innovations in behavioral science and consumer insights are used to create demand for better public health goods and services.
– Understand the planning process used in developing successful demand creation initiatives.
– Identify, prioritize and segment the target audience.
– Understand the importance of formative research in demand-creation work and how to ask the right questions.
– Discuss important issues related to public-private partnerships in trying to reach public health goals.
– Develop a social marketing intervention mix based on insights.
– Critically appraise at least two programs in which public-private partnerships have been used to achieve public health outcomes.
– Understand why putting on your ‘business hat’ is important when thinking of improving nutrition and public health goods and services at scale.
– Explain at least three programs in which social and behavior change was used as a tool for development and discuss the strengths of those particular applications.
The application deadline is Friday, June 25, 2021, at 23:58 ET. Winners will be announced on Thursday, July 1, 2021. Share the announcement easily on social media by visiting our Trello board.
Take a look at our social marketing and consumer insights resources here:
– In our Social Behavior Change Webinar Series features, Sight and Life experts explore, unpack, and demystify topics of interest to the global nutrition community. Check out the four-part series here.
Sight and Life Magazines Sight and Life Magazine: Consumer Insights
This edition of theSight and Life Magazine explores the various dimensions and applications of consumer insights. We look at innovative methods and tools through these pages by using behavioral science as the foundation for generating consumer insights and identifying trends. There are examples of how consumer insights have been applied to design products and services, using different approaches such as social and behavior change communication, human-centered design and social marketing, and so much more! Flip through the full issue here.
Sight and Life Magazine: Focus on Food Culture
This Sight and Life Magazine issue focuses on food culture, and we have curated contributions that explore the social and cultural domains of food choices and food experiences more broadly. We acknowledge that this is only part of the story. We promise to explore cognition (psychology, brain) and biology (evolution, genes, biochemistry) – factors that also drive food choices – in a future issue of the magazine. For some of our readers trained in biology or chemistry, culture may seem a fuzzy, perhaps non-scientific, topic. Be assured, however, that culture is as much part of nutrition as are biology, biochemistry, chemistry, and genes, and there is a rich body of research on nutrition and culture. Read the full edition here.
– In the Valuing Nutrition post by Puja Peyden Tshering, Consumer Insights Specialist at Sight and Life, she explains why we choose the foods that most commonly make it to our tables. Read this interesting perspective here.
– Another insightful post by Puja Peyden Tshering named Exchange in Behavior Change sharing the engaging journey to find a balanced exchange, one which requires exploring the individual and society, the motivations at play, and the broader environment they are all delicately balanced within. Dive into the details here.
– In our Expand your Knowledge blog post, we have collated an array of books, websites, and papers that are valuable resources. We hope these recommendations can deepen your knowledge of BCC and provide thought-provoking ideas and inspiration as they did for us.
– Rowena Merritt, Senior Advisor on Consumer Insights and Social Marketing at Sight and Life, and mother to an 8-year-old boy with a strong affection for ‘fizzy’ drinks, addresses the essential task of understanding your target audience in an informative and humorous style. Enjoy reading this uplifting post; It Makes Me Smile, here.
Recognizing the exceptional strides made by Dr. Scrimshaw towards the alleviation of hunger and malnutrition, Sight and Life committed in 2017 to match up to $50,000 in contributions from supporters of the ASN Foundation towards the creation of the Inaugural Nevin Scrimshaw Mid-Career Award. In tribute to Dr. Scrimshaw’s contribution to nutrition and recognition of innovative, driven, mid-career nutrition professionals, this annual award celebrates those who make extraordinary strides in advancing the global nutrition field. We at Sight and Life are thrilled to see Dr. Gernand being recognized for her diligence and significant endowment to the nutrition community. Please join in ASN’s Live Online flagship meeting from June 7-10, 2021, where Alison and the 2021 Honoree cohort will be recognized.
Food Systems Innovation Hubs provide an opportunity to address these challenges. They have the potential to stimulate investments in resilient and responsive food systems with the goal of alleviating malnutrition through corporate partnerships, impact investors and government collaboration. These hubs can encourage food companies to expand into LMICs, facilitate investments in local companies, and stimulate supply chain innovations.
This paper aims to draw attention to the role that Food Systems Innovation Hubs can play in creating healthy, resilient, and inclusive communities in LMICs. First, eight different archetypes of food innovation hubs are described. Future opportunities for these hubs to deliver planet-friendly nutritious and safe foods are then explored. It is argued that the complexity of food systems calls for context-specific transformations and that innovation hubs have a key role to play here. Three key actions are identified as essential for developing effective Food Systems Innovation Hubs in LMICs: Inspire! Invest! and Innovate!
We are seeking a Technical Nutrition Associate to support the Sight and Life Global team from a nutrition science perspective. This individual will provide technical knowledge and insight, ensuring our work is of the highest scientific rigor and furthering Sight and Life’s reputation as a key nutrition science partner.
Find all the details for this exciting role as a Sight and Life Technical Nutrition Associate HERE. Please apply by April 30, 2021.
On March 29, 2021, Nutrients published Food Fortification: The Advantages, Disadvantages and Lessons from Sight and Life Programs written by Sight and Life team members: Rebecca Olson, Breda Gavin-Smith, Chiara Ferrabochi and Klaus Kraemer.
The article discusses how to use Sight and Life’s global and national experiences in implementing food fortification efforts. We demonstrate how different programs in low- and-middle income countries have successfully addressed challenges with food fortification and in doing so, find that these efforts are most successful when partnerships are formed that include the public and private sector as well as other parties that can provide support in key areas such as advocacy, management, capacity building, implementation and regulatory monitoring. Read the full publication in Nutrients 2021here.
Olson R, Gavin-Smith B, Ferraboschi C, Kraemer K. Food Fortification: The Advantages, Disadvantages and Lessons from Sight and Life Programs. Nutrients. 2021; 13(4):1118. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041118
The initial goal of most NP models was to prevent obesity in high-income countries by penalizing energy-dense foods. New NP models intended for LMIC use need to address the still prevalent vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Assuming access to nutrient composition data, the development of such models can follow already established principles and guidelines.
The manual is a guide for developing a nutrient profile model and shares a case study on Obaasima, a quality seal used in Ghana. Read the full manual here.
Adam Drewnowski, Daniel Amanquah, Breda Gavin-Smith, Perspective: How to Develop Nutrient Profiling Models Intended for Global Use: A Manual, Advances in Nutrition, 2021;, nmab018, https://doi.org/10.1093/advances/nmab018
Here at Sight and Life, we care deeply about the health and wellbeing of our fellow world citizens and have been working to improve access to quality nutrition globally since our inception during the famine in the Horn of Africa in the mid-1980s. Through our work at the foundation, we have seen firsthand the immense impact scientific evidence, technology transfer, and targeted investment can have on food systems.
We will work to establish hubs in rapidly emerging consumer markets, such as India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Kenya to stimulate investment in resilient and responsive food systems, as well as facilitate relevant technology transfer and know-how from HIC to LMIC. Through partnerships, government collaboration, impact investors, and philanthropies in the context of local entrepreneurs, these hubs will catalyze a transformative change for society-wide dietary shifts towards more efficient, healthier, and more environmentally friendly food systems.
Join us in this coordinated effort to improve the world’s food systems and to reach out to learn how you can become involved. Together we can work to solve this global problem of peoples’ and planetary health. To learn more about the Food Systems Innovation Hubs, register for our webinar on Tuesday, February 2 at 7:00 EST / 13:00 CET HERE.
Watch the webinar Let’s Talk About Nutrient Profiling: Are we forgetting about low- and middle-income countries?
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.
The expert speakers analyze and compare current profiling methodologies, highlight challenges, and the steps required to develop a nutrient profiling system fit for the low- and middle-income countries (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 LMIC 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 LMIC.
Sight and Life’sBreda Gavin-Smith moderates the conversation with speakers including: Dr. Emorn Udomkesmalee, Prof. Dr. Adam Drewnowski, Dr Saskia de Pee, Samuel Kwame Ntim Adu, and Dr Esi Foriwa Amoaful.
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. Save your spot and register for the event here.
Elizabeth Gikebe is the founder of Mhogo Foods, a company making affordable, nutritious, and gluten-free cassava flour fortified with vitamins and minerals in Kenya. A product helping 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 looks to ensure rural health clinics have access to food supplements via a simple, local processing facility in Ghana. “Wini-mix”, a popular combination of local ingredients such as soya-bean, maize, groundnuts and dry fish and fortified with essential micronutrients like vitamin A and C among others would be processed in a central processing plant in Ghana.
Chibuike Emmanuel | Agserver
Chibuike Emmanuel is the founder of Agserver, a digital platform delivering information and hosting peer-to-peer knowledge transfer for farmers in Nigeria. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, farmers queries can be resolved in local languages and in real time without needing internet connection. Each farmers will be connected to the most suited and precise responder and resources proving information that allows the farmers to buy smarter (accessing quality products), and thereby produce better quality products.
Caleb Mawuko | Traza Geospatials
Caleb Mawuko 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
Kalpana Beesabathuni – Global Lead, Technology and Entrepreneurship, Sight and Life
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.
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.
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 Nutritionand 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. Drewnowskiis 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.Drewnowskihas 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.
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!
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
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.
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.
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.
Find out where some of the past EPC finalists are now by reading this blog post.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Crisis leads to purpose – Have you found yours today?
We 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.
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.
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.
The 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!
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.
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.
The 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions or feedback.
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 Lifewill 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.
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.
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.
“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.
Raised 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.