Despite the fact that there is global consensus on actions essential to address undernutrition, in many countries, the workforce needed to promote those actions is insufficient. SPRING works to strengthen human resources for nutrition with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of formally-trained professional and frontline workers in nutrition, as prioritized by USAID’s Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy 2014-15.
To do this, we—
- help build consensus on the human resource competencies needed to implement nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive activities that can reduce undernutrition
- develop tools for mapping the nutrition workforce within the health sector
- create innovative training packages for the on-site training of health workers in nutrition practices
- promote multisectoral “systems thinking” for the development of a nutrition workforce that is capable of acting and delivering services across health, agriculture, and other social sectors.
For example, the Nutrition Workforce Mapping Toolkit helps countries understand which nutrition-specific actions are performed by health workers at different levels with the health care service-delivery system. Field tested in Haiti, the toolkit includes a user’s guide, data collection forms, data entry forms, and illustrative tables for reporting findings.
Future work in strengthening human resources for nutrition may include adapting the toolkit to map nutrition-sensitive activities undertaken by the workforce in other sectors.