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Course on public policies and food security strategies ends successfully in Guatemala
- Participants strengthened their capacity to make decisions aimed at reducing malnutrition in the country.
April 30, 2021. After a month and a half of intense activity, on April 29, the closing session of the virtual course Public Policies and Strategies for Food and Nutritional Security in Guatemala was held.
The course addressed the conceptual, legal and institutional framework related to this topic, as well as the actions currently being carried out by the country to implement, monitor and evaluate national strategies in this area, focusing on information management systems.
This course was coordinated by the National Information Platform on Nutrition (PiNN) project, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by CATIE (Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center), in coordination with the Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SESAN, its Spanish acronym).
Martha María Pacay, public policy advisor for the PiNN project, commented that the objective of this course was to strengthen the capacities of participants in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and strategies being implemented in the country in the area of food and nutrition security, in order to improve decision-making aimed at reducing malnutrition.
Pacay added that the course focused on conceptual and strategic elements that could be considered in the process of updating the National Food and Nutrition Security Policy.
National experts from public institutions linked to food and nutritional security, as well as international experts from Mexico's National Council for the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL, its Spanish acronym), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and CATIE, assisted in facilitating the topics.
A total of 79 representatives from fifteen public institutions participated in the course, including the Ministry of Social Development (MIDES, its Spanish acronym), the Ministry of Education (MINEDUC, its Spanish acronym), the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance (MSPAS, its Spanish acronym), the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food (MAGA, its Spanish acrony), as well as the Departmental and Municipal Food and Nutrition Security Commissions of the department of Totonicapán, civil society organizations and international organizations such as World Vision and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
During the closing ceremony, Julio López, CATIE representative in Guatemala, highlighted the importance of strengthening knowledge to contribute to the updating of the National Food Security and Nutrition Policy, as well as the implementation processes of the Great National Crusade for Nutrition. She also mentioned that this course was a joint construction process with SESAN and member institutions of the National Food Security and Nutrition System (SINASAN, its Spanish acronym) and international organizations.
On the other hand, López stressed the importance of strengthening government management, the participation of communities and other strategic partners to contribute to improving the strengths already identified in areas such as food and nutritional security, with the joint vision of reducing the gaps or challenges that the country still faces in areas such as malnutrition and hunge
"We are grateful for the support of SESAN and the European Union, since this will consolidate actions that will improve public interventions in these areas, in addition to generating the necessary tools to have evidence on the critical points that still exist in the fight against malnutrition," said the CATIE representative in Guatemala.
Glenda Elizabeth Mérida, Administrative Undersecretary of SESAN, who delivered the Secretary's message to the participants, indicated that the balance of the participation was positive; she also thanked CATIE for facilitating the development of the workshop through the PiNN project and the European Union for its support and interest in strengthening the capacities of the institutions. Mérida urged the participants to continue their training and apply what they learned.
Finally, Yumara Soria, from MAGA, who participated in the course, said that it was enriching to address the issue of food security from an integral point of view. "This course came to reinforce and enrich the knowledge we had on the subject, leaving us a seed of options for improvement within each of the institutions," said Soria.
The Public Policies and Strategies for Food and Nutritional Security course is the first of several cohorts that will be held as part of the process of strengthening the capacities of entities linked to food and nutritional security in Guatemala, both at the central and territorial levels.
Martha María Pacay
PiNN Project/ CATIE