Online Program

Profile of the public health nutrition workforce in high burden stunting countries: Limiting and supporting factors

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:30 a.m. - 8:45 a.m.

Manisha Tharaney, MPH, MSW, SPRING Project, Helen Keller International, Arlington, VA
Meghan Anson, MA, The SPRING Project / JSI, Arlington, VA
Sascha Lamstein, PhD, The SPRING Project / JSI, Boston, MA
Kristen Kappos, MPH, The SPRING Project / JSI, Arlington, VA
Anuradha Narayan, MA, John Snow Inc, Arlington, VA
Hana Nekatebeb, PhD, SPRING Project, Save the Children, Arlington, VA
Objective: Most countries with the highest burden of stunting have a severe shortage of human resources and are unable to deliver quality, basic nutrition or health services. A profile analysis of the nutrition workforce is underway in five high burden stunting countries. The objective of the analysis is to outline which frontline workers are tasked with implementing the high-impact nutrition interventions defined in the Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition (2008).

Methods: Five countries across different regions were selected to provide a wide range in geographic location as well as to understand the various contexts of workforce development. The SPRING project developed a web-based database that will be used to map trends and patterns across countries.

Results: Initial findings suggest that a wide range of health providers, community workers and agriculture extension workers are involved in delivering high-impact nutrition services in the five countries. However, much is not known about skill-mix, the attributes and the competencies of these workers. One reason is the scarcity of such data at the country level. Another reason is the lack of clarity on the types of activities that are classified as “public health nutrition” by health, agriculture and community development workers.

Conclusion: System strengthening, in particular workforce development represents a key element to address in nutrition programming as it allows countries to provide evidence‐based systematic approaches with sufficient numbers of skilled workers to serve communities with diverse nutrition needs.

Learning Areas:

Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy
Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Analyze which type of workers implement public health nutrition services. Identify patterns and trends of public health nutrition workers across countries. Assess whether their training and skill mix support implementation at community and facility levels.

Keyword(s): Workforce, Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a health systems and nutrition professional with ten years of experience working in global health and nutrition.
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.

Back to: 5055.0: Nutrition and malnutrition