About us

The Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) was set up in 1996 by an international group of humanitarian agencies to accelerate learning and strengthen institutional memory in the emergency food and nutrition sector. The ENNs flagship publication, Field Exchange, was developed as the main means of achieving this - a tri-annual publication that collates programming experiences, summarises key research and shares topical news to support those working in the emergency nutrition and food security sectors.

Producing Field Exchange offers a unique perspective of emergency programming that continues to help identify ‘gaps’ and challenges in the field. This has informed the development of the ENN’s other activities including the production of three Special Supplements on cutting edge areas of programming, research, networking and meeting facilitation.

ENN annual report 2007/08

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Field Exchange

Field Exchange is produced online and in print copy and distributed to 119 countries worldwide. To receive print copy (free), subscribe online or contact ENN at the usual address/email/phone. To contribute field articles, research, news or letters, email your ideas to the editorial team.

Field Exchange is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Irish Aid and regular contributions of 21 UN agencies and NGOs.

Special Supplements

Three Special Supplements have been produced by the ENN to date and are included in this search database.


Production of Field Exchange over many years, coupled with the ENNs networking and information dissemination role, has lead to identification of key research areas in the emergency nutrition sector. The ENN undertakes research projects in collaboration with experts, academic institutions and key interest groups, including the Centre for International Health and Development (CIHD) at University College London, Save the Children UK, and Action Contre la Faim.

There are currently three main ENN research projects:

MAMI: A retrospective review of the current field management of moderately and severely malnourished infants under six months of age

The Management of Acute Malnutrition in Infants (MAMI) Project is a collaborative effort between ENN, The Centre for International Health and Development (CIHD) at UCL, London and Action Contre la Faim, funded by the UNICEF-led IASC Nutrition Cluster.

The lead research team is based at CIHD, London, supported by a Research Advisory Group (RAG), of leading academics, and an Inter-Agency Group (IAG), of international NGOs involved in emergency programming.

The aim of the project is to investigate the management of acutely malnourished infants under six months of age in emergency programmes, in order to improve practice. There is currently a very limited evidence base for assessing and treating this group. Key project outputs (July 2009) will include:

  • New ‘Best Practice’ interim guidelines
  • Identification of research gaps to be addressed in future work

The project has involved both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis in order to:

  • Establish what is currently is advised or recommended in the form of guidelines, policies and strategies by different organisations.
  • Determine what is carried out in practice.

Defaulter and Access Study

The Defaulter and Access Study aims to improve the design of programmes addressed to reducing moderate and severe acute malnutrition, by adapting them to the constraints faced by potential beneficiaries in a variety of emergency settings. The objectives of the study are:

  • To describe the baseline and nutritional characteristics of beneficiaries likely to default from nutrition programmes.
  • To understand the determinants of defaulting from nutrition programmes in a variety of emergency settings.
  • To compare the determinants of defaulting between different emergency settings.
  • To translate observations into strategy and policy recommendations to adapt nutrition programming in emergencies.
  • To develop field tools to understand defaulting in particular settings and respond with appropriate programme adaptations.

The subjects of this study are children between 6 to 59 months admitted to SFPs. This study intends to capture:

  • Frequency and baseline characteristics of patients who default (socio-demographic, nutrition status, evolution under treatment).
  • Unexpected events that trigger defaulting through change in family priorities (i.e. determinants that can only be collected post-hoc – once the event has happened).
  • Reasons for non-attendance of malnourished children to SFP (i.e. malnourished children who never enrol in an SFP).

Minimum Reporting Requirements for SFP

The Minimum Reporting Project will develop and implement a standardised Minimum Reporting Package on SFPs. It is hoped that this will help:

  • Provide a reliable way of monitoring and evaluating the performance of SFPs using approved and standard definitions.
  • Identify problems and where programmes need to be adapted.
  • Facilitate supervision of programmes for managers, officials at agency and country level and donors.
  • Provide a resource for evaluating the impact on efficacy of a change in protocol, or other change in the intervention context (e.g. a new influx of refugees, a change in season, etc.).
  • Support the implementation of a common set of accepted reporting standards, that will be key to enhancing accountability of programming to both donors and beneficiary populations.

The Minimum Reporting Package will involve development of three main tools:

  1. A set of guidelines and data collection templates
  2. Supporting manuals and training materials
  3. A database application for data entry, analysis and reporting based on the guidelines, and employing user-friendly software developed for this purpose.

An inter-agency central data repository will be created, where nutrition programme data can be stored and accessed, to enable programme comparison, strengthening of institutional memory, lessons learning and to inform research. The central repository will have a dedicated person to receive, clean and provide data that is readily accessible. It will produce regular programme performance reports and ad hoc analysis on demand from participating agencies.

ENN research focal points

MAMI Project: Marie McGrath, email: marie@ennonline.net
Prevention and treatment of moderate malnutrition in emergencies: Jeremy Shoham, email: jshoham@easynet.co.uk

For the latest information about our current research projects, visit www.ennonline.net/research or contact ENN directly.


IFE Core Group

The IFE Core Group is an international inter-agency collaboration concerned with developing policy guidance and capacity building on IFE since 1999. The ENN coordinates and acts as the institutional home for the work of the group. Current members are:

World Health Organization

Associate members:

Associate Members

Over the years, the IFE Core Group has worked with many other agencies and experts and directly with field teams, and welcomes collaboration. Work in policy guidance is reflected in the Operational Guidance on IFE. Work in capacity building through a range of activities that include development of training modules (Module 1 and 2 on IFE) and resources, international and regional  meetings/workshops, development of resources (e.g. IFE online library) and in supporting operational agencies with technical advice, such as the en-net online forum (below).

Recent IFE Projects have been supported by the UNICEF-led Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Nutrition Cluster, IBFAN-GIFA, and WHO, implemented in collaboration with experts, IFE Core Group members, and partnered with IBFAN-GIFA and the Nutrition, Policy and Practice (NPP) Group.

The ENNs coordinating role is supported by USAID/OFDA and the Canadian International Development Association.

For more information about the IFE Core Group, visit www.ennonline.net/ife

An update of Module 1 on IFE (include online/CD interactive lessons) will be available from August 2009. Visit www.ennonline.net/ife for the latest updates.

en-net online forum

En-net en-net is a free and open online forum to help field practitioners access prompt technical advice on operational challenges, for which answers are not readily accessible in guidance materials. It also provides space for informal discussions of approaches to challenging or atypical situations and innovative technical responses.

There are seven thematic areas under which field and headquarters staff from agencies can seek advice and post questions. The areas are:

In order to include practitioners who are unable to access the internet, topical discussions will be summarised and reported in Field Exchange.

en-net is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development/Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

To find out more about en-net and join the forum, visit www.en-net.org.uk or via the en-net link on the ENN home page.

Network with others

You can register your areas of interest and expertise, and where you work in the world, on the ENN website and search for others with similar interests and location. Visit http://www.ennonline.net/network/join.aspx

Meeting facilitation

The ENN is often asked to facilitate and report on international technical meetings.  This is a means of achieving speedier consensus on best practice and dissemination of findings to those in the field and/or responsible for programming at headquarters level.

Meeting reports produced by the ENN include: