About

Capacity Development Network in Nutrition in Central and Eastern Europe, CAPNUTRA

The UNU/SCN Network for Capacity Development in Nutrition in Central and Eastern Europe (NCDNCEE) was established in 2005 and had support from the UNU Food and Nutrition Programme from 2005-2011 and several EC projects. In order to continue our activities in CEE region we have established the Capacity Development Network in Nutrition in Central and Eastern Europe - CAPNUTRA in 2012.CAPNUTRA is successor of NCDNCEE.

Activities

1. Share information on food, health and related nutritional challenges and healthy nutrition promotion within population
2. Identify status, needs and follow-up activities within food, health and nutritional challenges in order to facilitate the initiatives in the field of capacity development in the region.
3. Creation of the Balkan Food Platform and development of the first regional Balkan Food Composition data base (FCDB) within EC FP7 project EuroFIR-Nexus in collaboration  with CAPNUTRA
4. Organization of the specific capacity development activities such as workshops, trainings; seminars and other educational forms related to the food and nutrition with support from EC projects, FAO, WHO and other relevant stakeholders
5. Professional dissemination of scientific achievements in nutrition, international co-operation and communication between scientific institutions, individual scientists and stakeholders in order to accelerate implementation of innovations, knowledge exchange and technology transfer.
6. Initiate a dialogue with relevant food industries and SMEs in the region on how to take nutritional considerations in developing new food products
7. Collaboration with policy makers, EuroFIR AISBL, with regional networks, key food and nutritional stakeholders from West Balkan countries - SMS, clusters, food industry, consumers organization etc.
8. Share the results of the CAPNUTRA with colleagues in other parts of the world. This includes also sharing of information through Internet via web site.
9. Collaboration and nutritional knowledge information exchange with other national, European and international networks/associations/institutions.
10. Creation, testing and implementation of the nutritional tools for food composition data base development, dietary intake analyses and assessments, based on questionnaires in population at national and regional level using harmonized and standardized methods according to European recommendations
11. Share and discuss challenges in national developments of dietary guidelines for different population groups.
Foster regional involvement and identify needs and opportunities in regional CD
12. Current status in academic nutrition education in CEE countries needs improvement. Solution to this is organization of tailor-made trainings with support from EU level

International and EC Research projects where NCDNCEE and CAPNUTRA participate:

• EuroFIR Nexus FP7 - EuroFIR Food Platform: Further integration, refinement and exploitation for its long-term self-sustainability (2011-2013) (www.eurofir.org)
• EURRECCA - FP6  Harmonising nutrient recommendations across Europe with special focus on vulnerable groups and consumer understanding (NoE) www.eurreca.org (2007-2012)
• EuroFIR - FP6 - European Food Information Resource Network (NoE) www.eurofir.org (2006-2011)
• DIETS, Dieticians Improving Education Training Standards across Europe, Thematic Network for Dieticians in Europe, Socrates Erasmus fund http://www.thematicnetworkdietetics.eu

Evolution of the UNU/SCN Network for Capacity Development in Nutrition in Central and Eastern Europe

NCDNCEE Capacity development (CD) in food and nutrition is much more than formal training. It includes human resource development, organizational, institutional and legal framework development with aim of enhancing knowledge and skills. This is essential for the contribution of professionals to the improvement of the food and nutrition situation in all countries. Capacity development is a long term, continuing process, gives primacy to national priorities, plans, policies and processes.

The UN System Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN) established a set of working groups (WG) on CD in close collaboration with the United Nations University (UNU). The WGs are driving forces of the SCN. Through the WGs, participants take an active role in the work programme of the SCN, aimed at harmonizing, information sharing, advocacy and reviewing issues important SCN. Currently there are nine SCN WGs, of which CD is one.

The most recent UNU/SCN initiated regional CD network is the Central and Eastern European Region (CEE). Earlier regional initiatives were ongoing in all major regions of the developing world except for Central and Eastern Europe. The networking of training and research institutions was regarded as significant, of which the regional approach was important, and this was seen as needed to maintain regional agendas and organization.

In 2005 a meeting in Budapest was held to initiate processes which finally led to the establishment of the UNU/SCN Network for CD in nutrition for Central and Eastern Europe (NCDN-CEE).

The objective was to initiate and support CD activities in research and training in CEE countries based on country specific needs. 

This was part of the UNU/SCN Working Group?s efforts in catalyzing the formation of regional networks working towards the enhancement of individual, institutional, and organizational capacity in food and nutrition.

Four subsequent Network meetings took place in 2006 (two), one in 2007 and 2008. In addition the Network participated in the annual sessions of SCN, and a small informal steering committee has met whenever convenient (conferences etc.). The Network activities, results and plan of the work were presented on several international meetings and collaboration on CD has been established.

Objectives of the 2nd and 3rd meeting

  • Formally initiate the Network on Capacity Development for the CEE countries within the capacity development initiatives of SCN, UNU and other European research and training institution.
  • Present and discuss the profile of challenges identified by participants.
  • Identify follow-up activities in order to facilitate the initiatives of the Network in the field of capacity development in the CEE region.
  • Present EC projects : EuroFIR and EURRECA and establish collaboration and partnership
  • Identify strategic elements to meet the capacity development plans of institutions and individuals in the region.

Participants over the last  years came from the following  countries: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Macedonia, Hungary, Poland, Republika  Srpska, Romania, Serbia , Slovakia, Slovenia and facilitators came from the Netherlands and Norway.

 Network for Capacity Development in Nutrition and link to EC Projects

  1. Euro FIR - European Food Information Resource Network (NoE) FP6
  2. EURRECA - Harmonising nutrient recommendations across Europe with special focus on vulnerable groups and consumer understanding (NoE) FP6 
  3. DIETS  Dieticians Improving Education Training Standards across Europe, Thematic Network for Dieticians in Europe, Socrates Erasmus fund

More information on the working groups in SCN products and more explanation about the organisation, its activities and products are available online at following pages... 

UNU Newsletter July 2005

UNU Newsletter April 2006