4th Regional Course on Nutrition in Emergencies

Date:  27 Oct - 7 Nov 2014

Venue: Chiang Mai, Thailand



Climate change, conflict and global economic volatility are all contributing to an increased frequency of humanitarian emergencies worldwide. Emergencies put affected populations at a much higher risk of becoming malnourished, and this in turn leads to an increase in disease and death. Yet, malnutrition is not an inevitable consequence of emergencies; effective strategies exist for preventing and treating malnutrition in these settings. Implementing such strategies requires people on the ground who can anticipate and respond to nutritional needs of communities, even when working in demanding and constantly changing environments. It also requires coordinated action by those working in a range of sectors, including health, food security, livelihoods, water, sanitation and hygiene and logistics.

One of the biggest challenges facing Governments, UN agencies and NGOs in their attempts to prevent and treat malnutrition in emergencies is that there are simply not enough people who are trained in nutrition. In response, the Institute for Global Health (part of University College London), the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center in Thailand, and the University of Makerere in Uganda set up the Nutrition in Emergencies (NIE) regional training project. The objective of this initiative is to boost capacity in NIE, particularly in the regions that are most susceptible to humanitarian emergencies.


Our intensive courses in Nutrition in Emergencies have been designed to help equip participants with the expertise needed to lead or support nutrition responses. They are intended to build the skills of anyone who has an involvement with emergency nutrition, including health and food security staff, and general programme managers. In addition to providing the most up-to-date technical theory of NIE, we employ a range of training techniques to help participants to think more practically about what they would need to do to prevent and treat malnutrition during an emergency. The course materials are based on the NIE Harmonized Training Package (HTP) which has been developed by international experts on behalf of the Global Nutrition Cluster. The HTP is the most up-to-date training resource for emergency nutrition. Courses are run in Lebanon, Uganda and Thailand and are tailored to meet the specific needs of each region.


Each course includes modules on the causes and types of malnutrition as well as the main areas of focus for nutrition professionals in emergency settings:

  • Surveys and surveillance
  • Therapeutic and supplementary feeding
  • Infant and young child feeding in emergencies
  • General food distributions
  • Micronutrient assessment and intervention
  • Monitoring and evaluation
  • Humanitarian standards and coordination
  • Emergency preparedness

We also support participants to put together a professional development plan to guide their learning and practice following completion of the training. During the 12-day courses, we include additional topics relevant to NIE, such as: working with communities, and advocacy and communication in emergencies.


Course sessions are led by experts in the fields of nutrition and emergency nutrition programming. We aim to have a combination of regional and international experts involved with each course. In addition, we encourage participants to contribute their own experiences to help support the learning of the whole group.


Our courses have been specifically designed to help develop practical skills that will enable participants to support emergency nutrition responses more effectively. We provide the most up-to-date technical information about a wide range of nutrition interventions. Crucially, our courses enable participants to get to know others working in this sector and to know where to go for guidance and technical updates.

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the various forms of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies that occur during emergencies
  • Demonstrate how to take anthropometric measurements and to calculate nutritional indices
  • Describe the conceptual framework for the causes of malnutrition and explain how different types of emergencies affect nutritional status
  • Explain the links between nutrition, health, food security and livelihoods in emergencies
  • Design and undertake an appropriate assessment to determine the severity of malnutrition and to identify its causes
  • Interpret and summarise nutrition assessment results accurately and concisely
  • Describe the types of interventions that are used to treat and prevent malnutrition in an emergency, when they might be used and the main steps for implementation
  • Critically review the quality and appropriateness of emergency nutrition responses
  • Describe the roles and responsibilities of Government, UN agencies and other organizations during an emergency and the mechanisms for coordination of nutrition-related activities


We welcome applications from professionals working in the humanitarian and development sector who would like to improve their knowledge and understanding of emergency nutrition. The courses are suitable for nutritionists, health and food security staff but might also be of interest to general emergency program managers, logisticians and even journalists. We will also accept applications from individuals who have no relevant work experience but who have a relevant graduate-level qualification. A firm understanding of spoken and written English is essential.


  • Course Package A US$2,575 without accommodation and breakfast
  • Course Package B US$3,485 with accommodation and breakfast
  • Both fees (A & B) covers the tuition fee, daily meeting package with lunch and refreshments, non-refundable registration fee of US$250, training kit and all course materials. Participants are also responsible for all of their travel expenses and incidentals such as medical insurance, laundry, personal phone calls, faxes, internet, and shipping of personal items from the course. Please refer to the Course Application Form for more details.


It is best to apply electronically. If you have access to an electronic version of this form, save it as a file on your computer, complete your information, save the file and email a copy together with a copy of your CV to and copy to If you have received this information in printed form, please return by fax or regular postal mail.


Applications should be submitted as soon as possible and the deadline of applications will be on 17 October 2014. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the course is full. Course organizers will review applications and we will let you know as soon as possible if you have been accepted onto the course. Upon registration and receipt of payment, applicants will receive detailed information concerning pre-arrival preparation.


Janette Lauza-Ugsang
Senior Project Manager
Public Health in Emergencies (PHE) Department
Tel: +66 2 298 0682-92
Fax: +66 2 298 0012-13
Mobile: +66 81 815 8001