Despite progress, many children in Ethiopia remain stunted, diet diversity continues to pose a challenge, and food systems are changing rapidly. To support the implementation of Ethiopia’s National Food and Nutrition Policy (NFNP), IFPRI, Policy Studies Institute (PSI), Ethiopia Public Health Institute (EPHI), and the Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) program presented new research results on diets, affordability, and policy at the National Nutrition Conference, which took place in the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa on 12 December, 2019.
The National Food and Nutrition Policy (NFNP) aims to end child stunting in Ethiopia, where currently 38 percent of children are stunted. The NFNP prioritizes evidence-based decision making and aims to address child stunting and other forms of malnutrition with a coordinated and comprehensive approach to food security and nutrition.
To support and strengthen evidence-based decision making, Ethiopian government established the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) in 2018. The NIPN is a multisectoral initiative which is supported by the European Union, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK Department for International Development. It is housed at the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) and receives technical assistance from IFPRI under its Compact2025 initiative.
Together, local and international research organizations presented and discussed various policy-oriented evidence, which has the potential to guide decision making processes during the implementation of the NFNP, as well as the NIPN. The National Nutrition Conference brought together over 150 delegates from different sectors, including policy makers, academia, development partners, NGOs and private sector, to discuss evidence around two key elements of the NFNP: Improving consumption and utilization of diverse and nutritious diets; and improving access to nutrition-smart services. To do so, global and national experts presented patterns in diet diversity across Ethiopia; assess affordability of healthy diets; review access to nutrition smart services and the impact of policies and programs on diets; and reflect on how this evidence can be used for decision-making.
Along with keynotes and presentations from eminent researchers, the conference also highlighted new evidence from upcoming researchers from Ethiopian universities and research institutes working closely with NIPN. The conference identified evidence gaps around diets and stunting, which will support the development of the research agenda of the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) and the National Nutrition Monitoring Evaluation and Steering Committee.
Following the conference, a synthesis research note on “Diets and stunting in Ethiopia” will be developed.
- Diets and stunting in Ethiopia (Kaleab Baye)
- Bottlenecks for healthy diets in Ethiopia (Arnaud Laillou)
- The EAT Lancet Publication: Implications for Nutrition Health and Planet (Namukolo Covic)
- Prices of Healthy and Unhealthy Foods: A global review (Harold Alderman)
- Affordability of the EAT–Lancet reference diet: A global analysis (Kalle Hirvonen)
- Affordability of Nutritious Foods in Ethiopia (Haleluya Tesfaye)
- Policies and Programs on food and Nutrition in Ethiopia (Tefera Belachew)
- The impact of nutrition-sensitive social cash transfers on diets, food security and nutrition in Ethiopia (Daniel Gilligan)
- Changes in household and children dietary diversity in AGP intervention areas (Tadesse Kuma)
- Irrigation-Nutrition Linkages (Dawit K. Mekonnen)
- Integrated Use of Social and Behaviour Change Interventions Improved Complementary Feeding Practices and Reduced Stunting in Amhara Region (Yewelsew Abebe)
- Sustainable Undernutrition Reduction in Ethiopia (SURE): Evaluation studies (Desalegn
- Access to health and agricultural extension services (Tirsit Genye)