Sustainable Micronutrient Interventions to controL deficiencies and Improve Nutritional status and General health in South East Asia

Update: 6/30/2012 - View: 2959

In 2010, the European Union (EU) launched a call for proposals for projects, falling with the FP7 framework ((Seventh Framework Programme), to contribute to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). One of these calls, KBBE.2011.2.2-04: ‘Translation mechanisms for targeting interventions on micro-nutrients, focused on South Asia and South East Asia’.

Institute for Research for Development (IRD), France, together with the Department of Human Nutrition, Copenhagen University, Denmark a consortium was formed which included 5 Research Institutes from Europe (France, Denmark, The Netherlands (2x) and UK) and 6 Research Institutes from South East Asia (Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia (2x)). The proposal prepared by this consortium, called: ‘Sustainable Micronutrient Interventions to controL deficiencies and Improve Nutritional status and General health in Asia’ or SMILING. This project has been approved for funding by the Europe Commission (EC) from 01/02/2012. Project duration: 24 months from the first quarter of  2012. IRD is the project coordinator

General objective

To  provide  (by  the  end  of  the  two-year  project)  each  South-East  Asian  country  implicated  in  the project  a  prioritized  list  of  the  most  acceptable,  pragmatic,  feasible,  integrated  and  sustainable strategies  to  prevent  micronutrient  deficiencies  in  women  in  reproductive  age  and  young  children  to be implemented with success according to their specific context. Each strategy will indicate the degree of implication of the different stakeholders and the human, administrative  and financial means to be invested,  as  well  as  the  expected  outcomes.  These  outcomes  will  inform  policy  makers  not  only  on expected improvements in micronutrient status of women of reproductive age and young children, but also  on  overall  health  (short  and  long-term)  benefits,  development  (social,  language,  cognitive  and motor  development)  and  cost-benefits. Beyond this objective, the project will allow the definition of generic guidelines that would serve the whole  of  Asia  with  evidence-based  interventions  to  be  adapted  to  the  specific  conditions  of  each country.

Specific objectives

  1. To  review  the  latest  knowledge  regarding  micronutrient  needs  of  women  in  reproductive  age and  young  children  and  map  research  studies,  pilot  and  large  interventions  carried  out  at international,  regional  and  selected  Asian  country  level  to  prevent  malnutrition  in  these vulnerable groups;
  2. To define the nutritional situation and policy development of each country;
  3. To  map  current  interventions  carried  out  in  selected  South  East  Asia  (SEA)  countries  and identify  their  positive  and  negative  elements,  constraints,  limits  and  gaps  that  may  explain their success or failure;
  4. To  apply  recent  new  knowledge  and  tools  to  support  the  implementation  of  food-based interventions especially in the poorest populations;
  5. To define, from the four precedent actions, and prioritize for each country the most pragmatic, feasible,  operational  and  sustainable  set  of  strategies  (ranging  from  supplementation  to  food-based  approaches  and  non-nutritional  measures),  as  well  as  their  integration,  time  frame  for development  and  the  required  support  (financial,  human  and  political)  for  effective implementation.
  6. To  understand  the  perceptions  and  requirements  of  stakeholders  inside  and  outside  the nutrition community on the selected strategies (by using Multi-Criteria Mapping method) and adjust/adapt accordingly the strategies.
  7. To  consult  and  disseminate  widely  outputs  in  order  to  attain  the  highest  level  of  political engagement and involvement of public and private sectors, communities, families, NGOs and international organizations.
  8. To develop an agenda for decision makers and donors that sets out a strategic framework for nutrition  intervention  priorities  at  each  selected  country  level  and  funding  and  resource requirements at regional and international level.

The content and tasks of the project includes the following main Work Packages:

  • Mapping  of data  on  nutritional  status and micronutrient interventions
  • Updating of Food Composition Tables on  selected  food  and  (micro)nutrients  for Sout East Asia (SEA)
  • Inform  nutrition  policy  and intervention  planning  using  a  framework based on mathematical modeling tools
  • Prioritizing  and  characterizing  the potential  best  practices  for  each  SEA country (global workshop in SEA)
  • Selecting  the  best  strategies  in  SEA countries - Stakeholder analysis
  • Developing  the  Road  Map: Integration  of  priority  interventions  in National Policies

In the project planning, besides completing the main work packages of the project, National Institute of  Nutrition of Vietnam was allocated to support the University of Wageningen, the Netherlands organized the training workshop on ‘Updating of Food Composition Tables on selected food and micronutrients for five countries of Southeast Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam)’ in Hanoi from 16 - 27 April 2012.
For more information about the project, please access the web page:

http://cordis.europa.eu/projects/rcn/102046_en.html