Mobilizing Support

Sight and Life accelerates the uptake and impact of
nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions on the most vulnerable lives. Nutrition must remain high on the global development agenda, and multi-sectoral linkages must grow and strengthen. We partner with others to advocate for nutrition at all levels - global, regional and national.

Sight and Life and DSM’s Partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP): “improving nutrition - improving lives”

Sight and Life is an active member of the DSM-World Food Programme (WFP) partnership, entitled “Improving Nutrition - Improving Lives”. The partnership aims to fight the debilitating effects of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world. This shows how public-private partnerships can work and deliver, through harnessing individual strengths.

Sight and Life provides the partnership with scientific expertise. Areas include food vehicle development using a consumer-first approach; rice fortification technical advice for efficacy trials and programs; an advocacy and communication platform; and capacity building through training on nutrition basics, situation analysis, response options, behavior change communication and advocacy, and program resource materials such as the Cost of the Diet Tool.

The partnership also helps to implement large-scale micronutrient powder (MNP) programs as part of WFP nutrition strategy. As a co-founder and member of the Home Fortification Technical Advisory Group (HF-TAG), Sight and Life has played an important role in the development of a 15-micronutrient formulation for MNPs that has been endorsed by both the WFP and The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). MNPs have now been recognised as an effective way to deliver indispensable nutrition, through various delivery platforms, either free or through a market based approach.

Eva Monterrosa, Sight and Life Scientific Manager describes her role in the partnership:

“I'm assessing World Food Programme (WFP) behavior change communication strategies, and developing a framework that can be used across all the nutrition programs in both emergency and non-emergency settings, as well as developing the guidance documents to help country program officers.”

Klaus Kraemer, Director Sight and Life states:

“I am the co-chair of the partnership from DSM’s end. As part of the joint management team, I provide strategic guidance and my expertise in nutrition science to the partnership.”

Hidden Hunger Index and Maps: an advocacy tool for action

Together with leading academic institutions, Sight and Life has developed a Hidden Hunger Index and Maps, which highlights the critical issue of hidden hunger. The index and maps provide public health practitioners with a vital advocacy tool to ensure that action is taken to end hidden hunger.

‘Hidden Hunger’ is a major barrier, which prevents billions of people around the globe from living their optimal healthy lives. As the name suggests, the problem is hidden - not only from those who suffer from hidden hunger, but also from politicians and policy makers. As a result, the issue is often neglected.

By highlighting global hidden hunger hot spots and providing, for the first time, a ranked index of countries affected by multiple micronutrient deficiencies, the Hidden Hunger Index begins to fill this gap in the evidence base. It provides the global health and development community with evidence to inform where to focus national strategies and programs, and on which micronutrients. To countries, donors, and partners working to scale up nutrition, it offers an opportunity to develop a unified approach to target the alleviation of hidden hunger. The Hidden Hunger Index and Maps are updated on a regular basis providing an essential component of the accountability toolbox of nutrition advocates.

 

Sight and Life’s Partnership with Vitamin Angels: catalyzing supplies and distribution

While Sight and Life continues to address the issue of vitamin A deficiency (VAD), its mandate continues to expand and embrace additional nutritional topics of importance. In partnership with the non-governmental organization Vitamin Angels, it catalyzes local vitamin A supplies and distribution systems in order to reach those in need, and also provides vital assistance with communication, advocacy, research, and geographic expansion.

Howard Schiffer, President and Founder of Vitamin Angels says:
"The collaboration with Sight and Life [strengthens] our collective ability to reach especially those individuals experiencing VAD who reside in families at the bottom 30% of the income pyramid, by more formally aligning and drawing upon the respective core strengths of each organization.”

Building an Enabling Environment: supporting nutrition interventions

Global, regional and national enabling policies all need to be in place in order to establish the environment, context and priorities into which nutrition interventions are applied.

Every year, Sight and Life attends and ensures a presence at a number of high-level events, such as the United Nations General Assembly and The World Economics Forum. Via our advocacy work at these gatherings, we aim to keep nutrition high on the global agenda, and ensure that nutrition interventions are scaled up.

Dr David Nabarro, Special Advisor on Food and Nutrition Security to the UN Secretary General, who is taking the lead on SUN, says:

"SUN is not a new institution, initiative or financial mechanism. Instead, it is a movement that brings organizations together to support national plans to scale up nutrition. It helps ensure that financial and technical resources are accessible, coordinated, predictable, and ready to go to scale. The main investors in SUN are national governments themselves, and the SUN movement is for all countries whose populations experience undernutrition, and for all stakeholders committed to providing support.”

Tiyimiseleni Project: social responsibility and protecting vulnerable children

Sight and Life supports the Tiyimiseleni Project, based in Mabarhule in Mpumalanga province, South Africa, providing the MixMe™ micronutrient beverage, which is served alongside the midday meal. Apart from adding a drink to the meal, this ensures that these children receive adequate micronutrients whatever their ages.

This community care centre is run as a social responsibility project by a private game lodge, Savanna Lodge. It supports some 250 vulnerable children and HIV/AIDS orphans, giving them a safe place to go to where they get a nutritious meal, have an adult to talk to, can do their homework, and just be children for a while.