Miscellaneous : books, papers and studies
no title Fiona Watson 02.05.97
Nutrition issues during emergencies in Europe and in the Middle East Fiona Watson 17.06.97
FAO relief and rehabilitation guidelines Veronica Tuffrey 26.08.97
Guatemalan refugees Naomi Cohen 07.09.97
Minimum Standards for Humanitarian Response Lola Nathanail 17.11.97
UNICEF's "State of the World's Children" Joanne Csete 30.12.97

Date: Sat, 3 May 1997 13:42:29 +0100

From: Fiona Watson <F.Watsonatich.ucl.ac.uk>


WHO is preparing an annotated bibliography under the title 'Caring for the nutritionally vulnerable during emergencies'. This will be accompanied by a review document considering implications for policy.

At the moment I am trying to assemble materials for the bibliography, and am interested in materials which fit under this title - particularly those which fall under the following headings:

- caring approaches to conventional relief interventions - either nutrition-related or non-food interventions;

- Care aspects of other interventions (for instance psycho-social interventions with children) which may fall outside the traditional portfolio of relief activities.

(I am particularly interested in nutrition-related interventions but, as non-food interventions so clearly affect nutrition outcomes, I would also welcome material on the the care aspects of non-food activities.)

Agencies are increasingly interested in participatpory or 'developmental' approaches to work in emergencies. Participants is perhaps more likely to be the entry point for implementing agencies wishing to examine process aspects of their approach to work in this field, and it seems likely that participatory approaches enhance the support of care-provision - within families or the community, or by agencies as direct providers themselves. Therefore, if material exists on participation as it relates to care-provision (indirect or direct) I would be most interested.

An explicit 'care' orientation appears to be a relatively new approach within the field of humanitarian assistance in emergencies. Therefore, if there are concepts or experience in other settings which could be transferred or generalised to emergency situations, I would welcome material on these - particularly under these headings:

1. caring approaches to service delivery

2. care needs assessment

3. evaluation of care provision

4. care and caring behaviours

I am interested in specific examples, conceptual work or review material.

Thank you


Fiona Watson

Date: Tue, 17 Jun 1997 15:53:33 +0100

From: "Fiona E. Watson" <F.Watsonatich.ucl.ac.uk>



I am currently compiling a document on nutrition issues during emergencies in non-developing countries and would like to contact individuals and agenceis who have experience of working on nutrition and food security related projects in Europe or the Middle East. The purpose of the document is to identify the major food security and nutrition issues in non-developing countries during emergencies, to highlight the differences between developing and non-developing countries and to examine the implications in terms of appropriate interventions (including nutrition surveillance methods). I enclose a brief background of the document proposal.

If you have think that you have relevant experience or know of an organisation who it would be useful for me to contact, could you please E mail me so that we can discuss the matter further.



Fiona Watson


Nutrition Issues during Emergencies in Europe and the Middle East



Research subject

Increasing levels of instability in countries in transition and the Middle East have led to a new phenomenon in the 1990s: the emergence of complex emergencies in comparatively wealthy nations. Emergencies, which vary in character and severity, have been provoked by political reform, ethnic conflict and economic disruption. Infrastructures have been damaged, affected populations have been subjected to a sudden decline in their standard of living, hyperinflation, loss of purchasing power and in some areas a sudden decrease in food supply. At the same time, there have been largescale movements of people.

The international community have responded by increasing the amount of humanitarian aid to these countries. In 1993, for example, Eastern European countries and the new independent states of the former USSR more than doubled their food aid receipts compared to 1992 and became the largest recipient region with 41% of total world deliveries (WFP, 1994).

The nutritional implications of these 'new' complex emergencies vary in a number of important respects from complex emergencies in developing countries. Firstly, pre-crisis health and nutrition status tends to be better than in developing countries and the prevalence of chronic, degenerative diseases and obesity is higher. Thus, famine is less likely in the short-term but micronutrient deficiencies may arise and undernutrition may occur in particularly vulnerable subsections of the population. Secondly, nutritionally vulnerable groups may be different. For example, findings from surveys conducted in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, and Armenia suggest that the elderly may be at greater nutritional risk than young children (Vespa and Watson 1995; Laumark and Welch 1992). Thirdly, food aid deliveries have been different both in terms of quantity and quality. Of particular concern is the distribution of infant formula in some Central European countries by humanitarian organisations (Robertson et al 1995).

Fourthly, the more sophisticated infrastructures and generally higher level of education of national professionals potentially allow better collaboration between international and national agencies working on food and nutrition issues.

Methods of monitoring nutritional status and food security, and types of nutrition-related interventions need to address the particular problems affecting populations living in unstable situations in countries in transition and the Middle East. While the experience gained from complex emergencies in developing countries may be useful in providing a conceptual framework, there is a need to develop appropriate forms of nutrition surveillance and promote appropriate responses to nutrition-related problems.

As very little work has so far been carried out in this area, it is proposed that a useful initial step would be to produce a background document, collating relevant material and making recommendations for future operational research and action. A workshop, bringing together relevant institutions and individuals to discuss issues highlighted in the background document could then be considered as a second step.

Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 15:28:00 +0002

From: "Tuffrey, Veronica (ESNP)" <Veronica.Tuffreyatfao.org>

Subject: FAO relief and rehabilitation guidelines



For your information, I have been employed as a consultant by FAO for two months, to prepare guidelines on integrating household food security and nutrition objectives into relief and rehabilitation actions and programmes. The guidelines are intended for those programme managers, nutritionists and other technicians, consultants and field staff working for FAO, other UN agencies, NGOs and governments, who are actively involved in promoting nutrition and improved household food security in emergency and rehabilitation situations.

The guidelines will consist of two main parts:

1) a description of the general framework, and rationale for integration of food security and nutrition concerns into interventions

2) technical guidelines for activities such as assessments, implementation, monitoring, which incorporate nutrition and food security concerns and objectives.

The descriptions of methods should be intelligible to, and therefore useful for, non-nutrition experts. References will be provided to key FAO and other publications where more detailed information and advice can be found.

If you would like more details of the work of ESNP, if you have any suggestions as to the content of the proposed guidelines, and especially if you are willing to share your experience which could be used as case-studies, please contact us at the following addresses:


Veronica.Tuffreyatfao.org (until 30th September)



Florence.Egal atfao.org

in the Nutrition Programmes Service of Food and Nutrition Division, (ESNP).


Thanks, and hope to hear from you.

Date: Sun, 7 Sep 1997 20:27:23 +0100

From: Rhys <rhysatevacon.demon.co.uk>

Subject: Guatemalan refugees


To Whom it May Concern:

I would be very grateful if you could publicise the following message via your mailbase mailing list - or website if you have one.

Thank You,

Yours Sincerely,

Naomi Cohen


I would be pleased to hear from anyone who is interested in reading unpublished research findings on the above-mentioned theme, based on my experiences of work with Guatemalan refugees in Mexico who were preparing to return to Guatemala (1992-6). If you are interested in receiving any of this material, please contact me via Email: rhysatevacon.demon.co.uk

From: l.nathanailatscfuk.org.uk

Date: Mon, 17 Nov 1997 14:51:42 +0000

Subject: Sphere Project: Minimum Standards for Humanitarian


Dear NGONUT colleague,

I'm writing to let you know of an inter-agency effort to develop minimum standards for humanitarian response, and to ask for your help in identifying national (southern) partners/experts/government personnel who should be consulted during the process of drafting the minimum standards.. For those of you with whom I've had separate contact, then forgive me for repeating myself here (although you might like to read the section on progress so far).

First, let me briefly describe what the project is about:

The Sphere Project aims to improve the quality of assistance provided to people affected by disasters (whether natural or man-made) and to improve the accountability of agencies to their beneficiaries, their membership and their donors.

The goals are as follows:

Goal 1: To develop a humanitarian charter for people affected by disasters (in similar style to the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGO Code of Conduct).

Goal 2: To compile, from existing material and current best-practice, a set of minimum standards (or draft new ones if none presently exist) for the following sectors:- health services, water & sanitation, shelter & site selection, nutrition & food security. [Clearly, there is a great deal of overlap between the sectors, which will be dealt with during editing of the final outputs].

Goal 3: By sharing the process of developing the charter and minimum standards widely within the international humanitarian community, to ensure that the resulting products are acceptable to the community and that a high degree of ownership is felt towards them.

Goal 4: To formulate and embark upon a strategy for the widest possible dissemination and adoption of the charter and minimum standards throughout the international humanitarian community. This may require a second phase of activities organised under the auspices of the SCHR/InterAction collaborative mechanism.

The Project is a collaborative exercise, involving NGOs, donor governments, UN agencies and academics. It is being co-ordinated by the Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response (an alliance of voluntary action of: CARE International, Caritas Internationalis, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Save the Children Alliance, Lutheran World Federation, MSF International, Oxfam International and World Council of Churches) and InterAction (a coalition of over 150 US-based non-profit groups, working to promote human dignity and development in 165 countries around the world). In addition, the ICRC and VOICE have observer status.

I have been seconded from SCF to be the Nutrition Sector Manager, to manage the process for the compilation of the minimum standards in nutrition. Anna Taylor has joined me for five months, to support me in this role.

Progress so far in the nutrition sector:

If these standards are to be relevant and practicable, it is vital that the experience and thinking of those who have worked in emergencies is harnessed. To this end, we have established three separate groups for consultation:

- a working group of 8 (mostly HQ-based nutrition advisers from NGOs and UN) to contribute to the thinking and writing process;

- a peer group of 20 academics/consultants/experts (for specific questions and guidance on research findings etc; and - an e-mail group of contacts with emergency experience who could usefully comment on draft standards.

All sectors in the Sphere project are organising the work using a logical framework scheme. This requires us to be clear about what it is we are trying to achieve ('purpose objectives') and how we are going to assess whether we have achieved it or not (' objectively verifiable indicators'). To make the structure slightly more workable, we have proposed setting standards for the nutrition sector under the following 'objectives' headings:

1. To ensure understanding of the nature of the emergency and its impact on nutrition;

2. To maintain adequate nutrition status in the population affected by a disaster;

3. To establish measures to correct any existing malnutrition

4. To provide nutritional support to at risk groups whose needs are not met by the maintenance programmes.

The nutrition working group has met once already, and will do so again next week, to continue the process.

We intend to complete a draft framework for the minimum standards in nutrition by December 10th. This will be sent to the e-mail contact group for comment by the 17th Dec. This is a very tight time frame - but since we are tasked to have the standards completed by April, it would be good to get the first round of feedback sooner rather than later. This will then allow more time for consultation, to ensure we end up with a document which has been widely discussed and contributed to by the maximum number of individuals who have relevant expertise.

If you feel your background is relevant to the project, then please let me know as I would be very happy to add you to the e-mail contact list. Also, as I mentioned at the beginning, if you know of southern nutritionists with experience in emergencies, then I would be most grateful to receive their contact details.

If you know of anyone who should be consulted during this process for any of the other sectors, then please let the other sector managers know directly:

John Adams Water/Sanitation jadamsatoxfam.org.uk

Harlan Hale Food Security hvhaleatmindspring.com

Jo Kreysler Health Services kreysleratifrc.org

Philip Wijmans Shelter/site selection wijma004atwxs.nl

or the Sphere Project manager, Susan Purdin: purdinatifrc.org

I hope this has given you an outline of the project. For more information I have attached a summary of the whole Project (zipped i.e. compressed, WP6.0 file). Please contact me if you would like to discuss the Project further.

Yours sincerely,


Lola Nathanail & Anna Taylor

SPHERE PROJECT: Nutrition Sector

Tel: 0171 703 5400 ext 2744, Fax: 0171 793 7626

Address: 66, South Lambeth Rd London SW8 1RH

From: l.nathanailatscfuk.org.uk

Date: Mon, 22 Dec 1997 16:23:52 +0000

Subject: *URGENT*


You will have received on December 10th the FIRST DRAFT OF THE SPHERE NUTRITION SECTOR STANDARDS. We were asking for a little of your time and expertise to review the draft and pass on to us your comments. We had a deadline for comments set for a week later - December 17th. The reason for such a tight time frame was because we want to allow the whole process of developing the standards as much opportunity for wide consultation as possible - only then will the standards be useful and applicable. The standards must be finalised by beginning of April and so by getting the first phase of review complete before Christmas we are allowing ourselves and the Working Group chance to consider your ideas, follow up on them and rethink the standards as appropriate before we come back to you with a second draft.

I realise everyone, particularly in the run up to the Christmas break is desperate to finish things off and time is short. However, WE WOULD STILL GREATLY APPRECIATE HEARING FROM YOU. If you think you will be able to take a look at the draft before January 5th - it's not very long and in the form of a table so there's not alot of dense text - please do let me know by return and then we will know to expect to hear from you.

With grateful thanks and good wishes for a happy holiday


Lola Nathanail & Anna Taylor

SPHERE PROJECT: Nutrition Sector

Tel: 0171 703 5400 ext 2744, Fax: 0171 793 7626

Address: 66, South Lambeth Rd, London SW8 1RH

Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 14:50:48 -0500

From: jcseteathqfaus01.unicef.org (Joanne Csete)

Subject: UNICEF's "State of the World's Children"


Dear members of the NGONUT network:

In case you missed reading one of the reviews or editorials in the print and broadcast media, we would like you to know that "State of the World's Children 1998", UNICEF's annual publication released this year on 16 December, focuses on nutrition -- the nature of the malnutrition problem, approaches that have worked to reduce malnutrition, new research that may affect nutrition programmes, and related topics. Examples of programme activities are highlighted in numerous panels throughout the report.

The full text and most of the graphics in the report are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.unicef.org/sowc98/. PDF files are available which can be downloaded. Hard copies may be obtained from Mr Aaron Nmungwun, UNICEF Division of Communication, 3 UN Plaza, New York, NY, USA, telephone 1-212-326-7309.

We hope this report will be a useful tool for advocacy and education. We would very much appreciate receiving any reviews or comments by members of the network on this year's report.


Joanne Csete, Nutrition Section (jcseteatunicef.org)

David Alnwick, Health Section (dalnwickatunicef.org)

Programme Division, UNICEF, New York.