by Tuyen Huynh
Agriculture for Nutrition and Health Research Program (A4NH) researchers from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT have been part of the Technical Working Group on Nutrition led by UNICEF and the National Institute of Nutrition in Vietnam since 2017. This positioned A4NH and the Alliance as dedicated to working for nutrition sensitive food systems in Vietnam. A4NH has a strong record of research on food systems, with work conducted under the research flagship Food Systems for Healthier Diets (FSHD), which is led by Wageningen University & Research, and through the Entry Points to Advance Transitions towards Sustainable diets (EATS) project.
As shared in past blogs, in 2018, Vietnam launched the Zero Hunger National Action Plan (NAP) to provide enough food and nutrition for people in order to enhance the Vietnamese people’s health, intelligence and stature; and, at the same time, as part of efforts to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 to which the Government committed. To target its objectives, the Government is carrying out nutrition-sensitive agriculture projects in 1,000 poor communes, led by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) in collaboration with other ministries.
Recognizing the role of impacts for nutrition-sensitive work in Vietnam by potential collaboration with the Zero Hunger National Action Program, A4NH researchers from the Alliance joined the Zero Hunger technical group in 2019 and have contributed to building up guidelines on applying a nutrition-sensitive approach to the Zero Hunger National Action Program in Vietnam in 2019.
As a result of these efforts, on March 30, 2020, the MARD approved the guidelines for applying a nutrition-sensitive approach to the Zero Hunger National Action Program in Vietnam for the period from 2020 to 2025, which opens a door for the nutrition-sensitive movement in Vietnam with a potential collaboration with the Scaling Up Nutrition movement and work with the Nutrition Technical Working group and the Zero Hunger National Action Program. In addition, the A4NH Country Coordinator, from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, is a member of the Appraisal Committee for training materials for the Zero Hunger National Action Program. In this role, A4NH researchers from CIAT are able to map baseline assessment indicators of the Zero Hunger National Action Program’s five objectives into the food systems elements and the food systems framework developed by A4NH researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute and colleagues, based on the Committee on World Food Security’s High Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) 2017 food system framework. This framework is credited and included in the training materials of Zero Hunger NAP for provincial staff, illustrating the importance of A4NH and its food systems research products to the policy making process on nutrition sensitive work in Vietnam.
To continue contributions to the nutrition-sensitive movement, in 2020 A4NH researchers from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT will assist in constructing a web-based database of the Zero Hunger NAP to reach to more stakeholders. In addition, A4NH researchers from the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT will join the Zero Hunger Office and MARD at a broad regional event to share information and highlight the Zero Hunger NAP as a multisector collaboration aiming to address SDG 2.