241728 PROFILES, a tool and process for health and nutrition advocacy

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:48 PM

Helen Heymann, MSC , Global Health, Population and Nutrition, Academy for Educational Development, Washington DC, DC
Profiles, developed by Family Health International (FHI) 360 in 1993, with funding from various sources, is a process for public health nutrition policy analysis and advocacy using epidemiological computer-based models designed to engage national leaders by demonstrating the contribution that improved nutrition can make to human and economic development. Until date PROFILES has been applied and customized in over 35 countries around the world.

Based on the latest scientific research the PROFILES models examine relationships between nutritional problems such as growth faltering, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity etc. and quantifies the effects of these problems on various functional consequences as productivity, mortality, health care costs etc.

Profiles is used to create two nutritional scenarios for advocacy: a status quo situation if nothing is done to improve the future nutritional status of a population and an improved scenario examining the impact of proposed interventions. Results of the simulations are presented using various advocacy communication tools.

Critical advocacy results in countries of application show that Profiles has raised awareness, built consensus and promoted coalitions in support of nutrition; made nutrition a priority for policy-makers, built the capacity and developed the leadership skills of nutrition advocates, leveraged new resources etc.

Profiles public health nutrition advocacy work points towards the importance of having sound and credible research and data, continuous technical guidance to nurture the dialogue, and strong leaders to sustain the advocacy effort. Continuously addressing emerging needs such as the double burden of malnutrition are equally important.

Learning Areas:
Advocacy for health and health education
Communication and informatics
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe a nutrition policy and advocacy tool called PROFILES has been used worldwide Explain how this nutrition policy and advocacy tool called PROFILES works Identify key factors that have led PROFILES to be successful in health advocacy

Keywords: Advocacy, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I have been managing and working on this program on health and nutrition advocacy since a couple of years which has included training partners worldwide, co-developing new models etc.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.