Leadership Programme on Nutrition Security and Sustainable Development

A collaborative programme of The Coalition for Sustainable Nutrition Security and Chair for Sustainable Development,
Indira Gandhi National Open University

The costs of malnutrition are very high: a vicious intergenerational cycle of poor health, high death rates, poor quality of life, decreased mental capacity and reduced worker productivity that can be estimated at more than 10 per cent of lifetime earnings for individuals and 2-3 percent gross domestic product for the nation. This means that improvement in nutrition is important for a healthy and productive life as well as for continued economic growth and development.

Nutrition security is broadly defined as physical, economic and social access to and utilisation of an appropriate, balanced diet, safe drinking water, environmental hygiene, and primary health for all.

Although India has made tremendous advances in science, medicine, information technology and many other fields, and has experienced unprecedented economic growth over the past decade, malnutrition remains unacceptably high. India, with perhaps the worst malnutrition problem in the world, continues to rank poorly on the human development scale.

Malnutrition in India persists despite an apparent surplus of food grains highlighting that national food security at the national level alone is not sufficient to attain nutrition security at the household and individual level. Nutrition security then is dependent on several inter-related factors such as access to food, community and household level food distribution, poverty, equity, access to health services, education levels, access to safe drinking water, environmental sanitation and hygiene and cultural beliefs and practices.

In order to improve nutrition security in the country the Government has been implementing a number of direct as well as cross-cutting programmes related to nutrition. There are, however significant gaps in public sector efforts underlining the need for greater focus on the household and community level rather than merely at the national or state level.

The programme on Nutrition Security and Sustainable Development under the aegis of IGNOU undertakes to review the current situation in India, the complex causes of poor nutrition, and evidence of what works to improve nutrition.

Programme Objectives

This Nutrition Security Programme is intended to sensitize and guide policy and programme leaders to rely more on evidence based programming for achieving nutrition security and sustainable development.

Special Features of the Programme

The special feature of this programme is its conceptualization and development in collaboration with the Coalition for Sustainable Nutrition Security in India (‘the Coalition’). The Coalition, chaired by Professor M.S. Swaminathan, is a group of public and private sector leaders, NGOs, Media and Academia who have united in an effort to improve nutrition security, ensuring that every Indian has access to a balanced diet, safe drinking water, environmental hygiene, sanitation, and primary health care. The Coalition has developed and committed itself to a Leadership Agenda for Action.

The Leadership Agenda for Action highlights the urgent need to address high levels of malnutrition in India. It has developed recommendations for priority actions based on evidence and programming experience and helps build awareness, capacity and commitment among policy and programme leaders for implementation of the recommendations.

The programme is designed based on the Leadership Agenda for Action. The contributors to this Nutrition Security programme include: Prof. M.S. Swaminathan, task force members, special reviewers, consultants and the Coalition Secretariat who all greatly contributed to its development.

Duration

The programme can be completed in a period of minimum of one month and maximum of six months.

Medium of Instruction

The programme is offered in English

Eligibility Requirements

The programme is open to candidates who are graduates or equivalent in any discipline from any recognized University. There is a special focus on candidates working in the health and nutrition sector, including policy makers and programme implementers, civil society and public health nutrition professionals.

Credit System

The Leadership Programme on Nutrition Security and Sustainable Development is comprised of four credits. One credit equals 30 hours of study by the student. The requisite for completing the programme is 120 hours of study.

Programme Structure

    The programme is of one month duration and consists of four blocks. The fourth block refers to project work based on practical exercises and case studies/field visits. In order to be eligible for the award of the certificate, a student has to complete the following four blocks.
  •  Block 1: Sustainable Development and Nutrition Security
  •  Block 2: Interventions to Reduce Undernutrition in Infant and Young Children
  •  Block 3: Interventions to Reduce Undernutrition in Girls and Women
  •  Block 4: Project Work (any one).

The Detailed Structure of Leadership Programme

Block 1: Sustainable Development and Nutrition Security

  • Unit 1: Nutrition Security and Sustainable Development: The Concepts
  • Unit 2: Reviewing the Consequences of Malnutrition
  • Unit 3: Nutritional Needs in Human Life Cycle
  • Unit 4: Evidence and Programming Lessons

Block 2: Interventions for Reducing Undernutrition in Infant and Young Children

  • Unit 1: Nutrition Situation of Indian Children
  • Unit 2: Essential Interventions for Improving Infant/ Child Nutrition
  • Unit3: Importance of these Interventions
  • Unit4: Implementation and Scaling Up of these Interventions

 

Block 3: Interventions for reducing undernutrition in Girls and Women

  • Unit1: Nutrition Situation of Indian Girls and Women
  • Unit 2: Essential Interventions for Improving Girls’/Women’s Nutrition
  • Unit 3: Importance of these Interventions
  • Unit 4: Implementation and Scaling Up of these Interventions

Block 4: Project Work (practical exercises/case studies/field visits). Select any one.

  • Unit 1: Write a critical paper on “How to Expand and Improve Nutrition Education/ Awareness in the Community”
  • Unit 2: Conduct a Literature Review on “How Other Countries Achieved Nutrition Security and Lessons that would be the Most Helpful to India”
  • Unit 3: Review National Nutrition Policy Documents/Guidelines and Design an Action Plan for Reducing Malnutrition in India
  • Unit 4: Review the Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition, 2008 and write a paper on Evidence based Nutrition Programming
Evaluation System
The programme shall have the following components for evaluation:
Component Weight
Continuous Assessment through Assignments 30%
Term-end Examination 70%
Project Work Satisfactory Report
Counseling
There shall be 4-6 counseling sessions of one hour duration each.

Fee

1. Indian National :
The fee for the programme is Rs. 600/-

2.Foreign Student :

(a) Admission Fee

Foreign Student - US $40

Foreign National residing in India - US $40

(b) Examination Fee - US $10 for both categories.

Facility for online payment is available through the payment gateway (Axis Bank & Credit Card) being offered by the University for online programmes. Student can also pay through Demand Draft (in favour of IGNOU, NewDelhi).

 

ONLINE PLATFORM

The Leadership Course on Nutrition Security and Sustainable Development programme shall be available online on SAVE (Sustainable Action and Virtual Education) platform. It is a complete virtual learning environment suite covering all activities from registration to certification. The following features shall be available to the registered students:

1. Admission

Admission will be available throughout the year. There will be four cycles in an academic year i.e. February, May, August, and November. The two month period between each of the two cycles will be used for advertising the course and registration of the students for the next cycle. The registration form will be available online at www.ignouonline.ac.in/save. Registration will be confirmed only after verification of the certificates and payment of the required admission fee. Facility for online payment is available through the payment gateway (AXIS Bank and Credit Card) being offered by the University for online programmes. Students can also pay through Demand Draft (in favour of IGNOU, New Delhi).

2. Integrated Multimedia Courseware

Once registered, learners will have access to a personalised learning space (My Page). This includes self-instructional material, related audio/video, slides and self-check exercises, accessible on one platform.

3. Online Counseling and Mentoring

IGNOU offers web-based counseling. The counselors have experience in public health, nutrition and other related disciplines.

4. 24x7 learner supports:

Synchronous modes of interaction will be used to provide timely support to learners.

5. Group based online Seminar:

Blogs, chat rooms and discussion forums and web conferencing facility shall

6. Online project platform:

Templates shall be made available for synopsis submission, project uploading and evaluation. Viva voce will be conducted through a web-based video conferencing tool.

7. Online term-end examination:

Online examinations will be conducted in specified centers.