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
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.
- 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;
- To define the nutritional situation and policy development of each country;
- 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;
- To apply recent new knowledge and tools to support the implementation of food-based interventions especially in the poorest populations;
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: