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close this bookFood and Nutrition Bulletin Volume 18, Number 2, 1997 (UNU Food and Nutrition Bulletin, 1997, 118 pages)
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close this folderExecutive summary
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View the documentNational pyramid for advanced training
View the documentDisciplinary and interdisciplinary breadth required for dealing with food and nutrition issues
View the documentRole of training for specific skills through short courses, workshops, and in-service training
View the documentCapacity-building for research
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close this folderExperience of international food and nutrition initiatives for developing countries
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View the documentExperience of the United Nations University in capacity-building
View the documentThe Joint AAU/UNU Regional Food and Nutrition Project for Africa
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close this folder"Public nutrition": The need for cross-disciplinary breadth in the education of applied nutrition professionals
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View the documentThe concept of public nutrition
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View the documentCurriculum content: Responses of graduates of US programmes
View the documentPotential effectiveness of public nutrition education for improving nutrition
View the documentProfessional definitions within public nutrition: Is it nutrition?
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close this folderAdvanced training in food and nutrition: Disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and problem-oriented approaches
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View the documentLimitations of disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches
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View the documentEpistemological limitations and instrumental limitations
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View the documentThe problem-oriented approach
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close this folderDisciplinary and interdisciplinary breadth required for dealing with modern food and nutrition issues for countries in transition
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View the documentImplementing nutrition for populations in transition
View the documentThailand's nutritional development
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close this folderDeveloping a national training pyramid
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close this folderRole of training for specific skills through short courses, workshops, and in-service training
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close this folderWorking Group report on disciplinary and interdisciplinary breadth required for dealing with food and nutrition issues
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close this folderWorking Group report on developing a national pyramid for advanced training in food and nutrition
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View the documentDescription of the national training pyramid
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close this folderWorking Group report on the role of short-term training for institutional capacity-building
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close this folderWorking Group report on capacity-building in research
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close this folderAnthropometric reference data for international use: Recommendations from a WHO Expert Committee
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View the documentThe foetus and newborn infant
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close this folderChild malnutrition and feeding practices in Malawi
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close this folderImproved retinol, carotene, ferritin, and folate status in Nuxalk teenagers and adults after a health promotion programme
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New directions

What, then, is the solution? How can nutrition training be improved in a manner that will make a tangible difference? A more targeted approach to the problem of malnutrition is clearly required. Third-world institutions should assess their own strengths and weaknesses relative to their tasks. Each institution should examine its financial, human, political, and organizational resources. This assessment of capabilities may reveal key weaknesses. The institution can then evaluate the relative capabilities of other institutions in carrying out such tasks, their policies, and their willingness to help, and can formulate strategies to obtain assistance from other organizations or institutions. To build such capacity internally without any external support is a major task for third-world institutions. The resources and expertise of centres of excellence in the developed countries should be utilized to accomplish these goals. Such a strategy also promotes the development of centres of excellence throughout the world.

Nutrition training institutions and programmes need to develop self-evaluation techniques. However, the biggest problem for many institutions in the third world often is competition over resources with other institutions. Third-world nutrition training institutes will continue to require external funding assistance. Funds from developed countries should be used to build the capabilities of third-world institutes rather than to finance the formal education of a few individuals from the developing world at institutions in the developed world, as is commonly the case at present. The latter strategy has several disadvantages: it is more expensive, and personnel trained abroad over a long period of time may not fit well into the existing systems upon their return to their home countries and, in some cases, may not even return.

Developing countries require the cooperation of the developed world to upgrade the skills of nutrition experts from developing countries in the use of technology and to encourage these experts to use data from their own countries in training. Specific skills often are provided best through short courses, workshops, and in-service training. Unlike formal education, short-term training is flexible, emphasizes experiential learning, and is more responsive to changing nutritional needs and problems. Such training can be accomplished by concerted, collaborative efforts of local, regional, and international institutions. The local efforts should include training in data management and analysis and the dissemination of specific skills and technologies. Regional efforts require cooperation between institutions within and among developing countries to facilitate and promote the exchange of information and skills. At the international level, institutions in the developed world may upgrade the skills of nutritionists from the developing world or send experts to developing countries to train local nutritionists and other professionals in allied fields. The training institutions in developed countries will continue to attract degree candidates from abroad. Ideally, even nutritionists from the third world who pursue formal degrees in developed-country institutions should be encouraged to use data from their own countries in their training to assess and evaluate local nutritional conditions.