From June 20 - June 30, 2022, the Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy is hosting its annual gathering of researchers, practitioners, and policymakers working at the intersection of agriculture, food systems, nutrition, and health. For the third year in a row, the ANH Academy Week will take place online. To foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and learning around interdisciplinary ANH research, the event is split into two components. The first is a series of learning labs. The second half of the event consists of a research conference. Both components of the virtual ANH Academy Week will cover topics related to agriculture, food systems, nutrition, and more. Additional information about the event can be found on the ANH Academy website.
During the event, USAID Advancing Nutrition Social and Behavior Change (SBC) Advisor Shaneka Thurman will present USAID Advancing Nutrition’s work on marketing healthy diets as part of one of the Learning Labs. Food Systems Technical Advisor Chris Vogliano will present on the new Diet Quality Questionnaire during a different Learning Lab and Research and Learning Advisor Abby Conrad will present on Agriculture interventions in protracted humanitarian crises: How they influence dietary diversity for women and children and the mediating role of social support during a research conference session on conflict and crises.
Tuesday, June 21, 2022 from 10:30AM - 12:30PM EDT (GMT - 4)
Ending poor diets is a goal linked with some of the world’s most pressing challenges, so bold action is needed from all sectors and actors, even beyond the nutrition community. As producers and policymakers improve equitable supply of nutritious food, social and behavior change practitioners have a critical role to play in increasing demand for healthy diets and food. This requires expanding and refining approaches to create the desire for nutritious foods which people grow, purchase, and eat.
Proven marketing techniques from the private sector can accelerate the impact of SBC activities to better generate demand in underserved communities. SBC practitioners use many of the best practices already, such as formative research to understand the audience, but could do more with these marketing techniques, such as identifying key insights to inspire change. This session will give participants a hands-on opportunity to identify and apply insights to generate demand for healthy diets.
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 from 8:90AM - 10:00AM EDT (GMT - 4)
Agriculture programs often seek to improve diet, but feasible standardized tools have not been available to measure diet quality. Especially for programs that have limited finances and technical capacity, dietary assessment must be low-burden: simple, rapid, reliable, and not requiring nutrition expertise. In this session, we demonstrate how a new diet quality questionnaire (DQQ) has been designed to capture information on nutrient adequacy, healthy and unhealthy food consumption, with a minimal amount of time (5 minutes) and nutrition expertise (none required). Standardized DQQs have been adapted and are ready to use for over 100 countries, available at dietquality.org. We will practice using these tools and calculating indicators of diet quality (such as the MDD-W) from them.
Research Conference Session
Thursday, June 28, 2022 from 10:10AM - 11:25AM EDT (GMT - 4)
This research conference session will feature presentations on various topics related to conflict, crises, and shocks. USAID Advancing Nutrition Research and Learning Advisor Abby Conrad and co-presenter Elise Reynolds from the University of California Davis will discuss agriculture interventions in protracted emergencies.
Donors fund agricultural interventions to improve food security and strengthen livelihoods in protracted humanitarian contexts. Standard indicators for nutrition remain poor among women and children, raising questions about whether agricultural interventions can improve dietary intake as has been documented in development contexts. To contribute to this limited evidence base, the researchers examined associations between agricultural interventions and dietary diversity of women and children within two USAID-funded projects in northern Cameroon and South Sudan. They also examined, and will present on, the effects of influencing factors, such as social support, which have been understudied in humanitarian contexts.