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Nutrition Research

The Nutrition Research Technical Working Group (NR-TWG) convenes its first meeting of the year on 18 February 2021 via Zoom to discuss the plans for the development of the Strategic Plan for the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) Research Agenda.

The PPAN Research Agenda, a companion plan of the PPAN 2018-2022, aims to provide evidence for the formulation of policies, selection, and design of nutrition interventions and improvement of nutrition program management towards the achievement of the PPAN goals and objectives. It has nine priority transdisciplinary nutrition thematic areas that aim to guide the generation of research on nutrition in the country. How to implement the research agenda? A strategic plan will be developed through the expertise of Organic Intelligence (OI), Inc., a contractor hired for this purpose.

One of the recommendations of the TWG members, in particular, Dr. Gloria Nenita Velasco (DOH-HPDPB) was to extend the strategic plan to the next cycle year of research agenda, in as much that the current PPAN and Research Agenda will end in 2022. Thus, the strategic plan will cover the next PPAN cycle 2023-2028.

The plan for the conduct of a Nutrition Research Forum was also presented. This forum aims to hold an annual event to disseminate results of nutrition and nutrition-related research aligned with the PPAN Research Agenda thematic areas for evidence-based decision making in planning, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating nutrition interventions.

Topics gathered from the members include linkage of Universal Health Care (UHC) to nutrition; the implication of COVID-19 to nutrition; and biodiversity/ food diversity/ food systems. The proposed second Nutrition Research Forum is tentatively set on June 2021, together with the soft launch of the PPAN Research Agenda 2019-2022. The forum will also be a venue to engage the public and other stakeholders to contribute to the priority thematic areas.

The NR-TWG was reorganized in 2018 for the development of the PPAN Research Agenda 2019-2022. Current members include PCHRD, CODHEND, DOH-HPDPB, DA-BAR, DSWD, CHED, DOST-FNRI, PIDS, UPM-CPH, NDAP, PhilCAN, and NNC.

Maria Camille Andrea L. Hari and Daniel G. Salunga