Online Program

Creating the Next Generation Nutrition Leaders: The Uganda Nutrition Fellowship (UNF) Program

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Bridget Ralph, BS, Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance Project (FANTA III), FHI 360, Washington, DC
Brenda Namugumya, MSc, Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA), FHI 360, Washington, DC
Hanifa Bachou, MBChB, PhD, Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA), FHI 360, Washington, DC
Karen Tumwine, MSc, Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA), FHI 360, Washington, DC
Kristen Cashin, MSc, Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance III Project (FANTA), FHI 360, Washington, DC
Background: Uganda is addressing malnutrition through a multi-sectoral nutrition strategy. Improving nutrition requires strong nutrition leaders at every level. Universities provide Uganda’s graduates with a theoretical foundation in nutrition, but little practical experience.

Methods: The UNF strengthened the professional skills of recent nutrition graduates through practical experience, professional development, and mentorship. During 2013-2014 eight Fellows were placed in government, NGOs, and clinical facilities for 12 months. Fellows engaged in policy development, nutrition governance, case management, capacity building, and community mobilization. The UNF provided professional development in communication, management, leadership, and team building -  skills needed for next generation leaders. Using their newly-refined skills, Fellows completed an independent project that addressed a programmatic, policy or practical challenge observed during their Fellowship.

Findings/Recommendations: This proved to be an effective approach to build the capacity of young nutrition graduates; the eight Fellows all found full-time employment or have decided to pursue advanced degrees in nutrition. Findings from the first round of the UNF identified a need for longer term placements with additional professional development opportunities. The 2015-2016 Fellowship will include 12 Fellows with 18 month placements. While programs such as the UNF can provide the funding and management; other stakeholders play a key role in supporting and mentoring Fellows to become leaders in the field.

Learning Areas:

Administration, management, leadership

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate the role of post-graduate practical training programs in enhancing the professional and leadership skills of recent nutrition graduates. Explain the role mentorship and professional development play in the careers of young professionals

Keyword(s): Nutrition, Workforce Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on the Uganda Nutrition Fellowship (UNF) program for the past two and a half years. I worked closely with my colleagues to design this program, develop curriculum materials as well as plan and facilitate workshops and retreats for the Fellows. Our first class of Fellows graduated in August 2014 and we are looking forward to placing our next group of Fellows with host organizations in April 2015.
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.

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