Evolution of the UNU/SCN Network for Capacity Development in Nutrition in Central and Eastern Europe – NCDN CEE to the 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.

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