Three SEAMEO RECFON’s initiatives for 2020 were approved during its 9th Governing Board Meeting (GBM) held on 22-26 September 2019 at Rancamaya Hotel in Bogor.
The initiatives include publication of a bi-annual magazine and a series of school-based nutrition promotion profiles of SEAMEO member countries, and becoming a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) for Food-based Approaches for Nutrition and Health in Southeast Asia.
The publication of a bi-annual magazine is aimed at disseminating programs and policies, research results in popular format, best practices and trends, case studies, and experts’ opinions related to food and nutrition in Southeast Asia. It will also feature regular updates on the Centre’s flagship programs on Nutrition Goest to School (NGTS) and Early Childhood Care, Nutrition and Education (ECCNE). The magazine will carry a specific theme and will call for articles per issue. During a roundtable discussion held on 22 September 2019, the Board agreed to contribute articles and promote it in their respective countries to generate article submission. The Board also agreed to name the magazine as “RECFON AWESOME” adopting the acronym of the expected outcome of its NGTS program i.e. Active, WEll-nourished, and Smart Of ME”.
As a follow up action from the Workshop on the Establishment of the Southeast Asian School-Based Nutrition Promotion (SBNP) Working Group held in March 2019, SEAMEO RECFON shall publish SBNP profiles of each SEAMEO member country starting next year. This publication is expected to provide a comprehensive documentation of health and nutrition status and dietary practices of school children at all levels, and SBNP national policies, programs, best practices, impacts, challenges, and prospects per country. The profiles are also intended to serve as reference materials in aid of policy development, research, and capacity building needed to improve health and nutrition of school children in the region.
SEAMEO RECFON’s desire to become a WHO CC is in recognition of its expertise and experiences in formulating food-based recommendations (FBR) from locally available and affordable food sources through linear programming approach. The Centre believes that being a WHO CC, it could strengthen linkages among research, academic, and development organizations to conduct research and build capacities to implement and evaluate FBR-related programs in nutrition and health in Southeast Asia.
The 9th GBM was attended by seven members/representative from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.