First Annual Meeting

Published: 10th June 2020

On the 9th and 10th of June 2020 the Hub held the first Annual Meeting. Representatives of the different workpackages and counties discussed the past year, the challenges and opportunities, and the way forward.

 

Prof Claire Heffernan, Opening Remarks

1 in 5. That’s how many children will not reach their full potential because they are growing up without the nutrition they need. Stunting is not just about impaired growth. It affects children’s cognitive development and has a significant impact across their life course. The ripple effects of stunting are astonishing at individual, national and global levels.

In the Hub’s First Annual Meeting, we took stock of where we are in our work to end stunting, globally. In total 83 Hub members from UK, India, Indonesia and Senegal joined the meeting on 9 and 10 June 2020, to discuss progress and the way ahead. What have we done so far? What has gone well and what can we improve? How can we tackle the unprecedented challenge of Covid-19?

Since the beginning, the Hub has focused on building a clear framework to guide the work to enable us to meet our goals and aspirations. The Country Hub teams have spent a tremendous amount of time developing and putting in place harmonised procedures. Fieldwork was planned to start in March 2020, but the outbreak of Covid-19 has caused an unexpected delay. The pandemic forced the Hub to switch its focus from the fieldwork to a range of activities from creating contingency plans and risk registers, to identifying mitigation activities. During this time period, we worked together to define a ‘new normal’ and to determine what elements of our work can continue despite the pandemic. Covid-19 is an unprecedented crisis that requires agility and a flexible approach but it equally may present the Hub with opportunities to better support our communities.

Looking ahead the Hub will enter a new stage and shift its focus. It will move from literature reviews to Hub publications, from engaging early career researchers to supporting their careers. Data and sample collection and analysis will commence and the Hub will develop an all-Hub data management repository. In addition, the Hub will work on building capacity locally. As we enter the second year of the Hub, we are confident that as a team we will be able to adapt to current global changes and remain on track to deliver on our goals.

 

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