The Micronutrient Forum serves as a global catalyst and convener for sharing expertise, insights and experience relevant to micronutrients in all aspects of health promotion and disease prevention, with special emphasis on the integration with relevant sectors.
A world where all people have optimal micronutrient status for health and well-being.
To promote dialogue and collective action on vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients across multiple sectors by bridging nutrition science, policy, programs, and responsible business practices for health and well-being.
Connecting Knowledge and Impact Across Disciplines and Sectors
Micronutrients are diverse and have complex interactions on health. As technical micronutrient knowledge continues to evolve, the micronutrient field has acknowledged that biological issues represent only part of what drives outcomes, and even those need to be better understood. To increase impact on vulnerable populations, the field must empower researchers, policymakers, and practitioners who work on food systems, agriculture, economics, education, and health across both the public and private sectors to prioritizes and address micronutrient malnutrition.
The Micronutrient Forum’s strategy is predicated on the fact that stakeholders in the nutrition field need a sound micronutrient technical resource, and that conversely scientific research should be informed by the needs of stakeholders such as policymakers, implementors, and funders and investors. However, knowledge without action is insufficient. The Micronutrient Forum must also identify knowledge gaps, prioritize, and coordinate and collaborate with others to fill those gaps, and effectively disseminate this new knowledge.
Strategic Goals and Tactics
The following goals and tactics create a framework for the Micronutrient Forum’s activities. The implementation of this strategy will create both push and pull mechanisms for engagement, but the strategy positions the Micronutrient Forum as a hub for multi-sectoral and cross-discipline engagement to prioritize and directly or indirectly fill knowledge gaps.
Within each goal, the tactics create an ordered process for action. While any given project might fit within one or more goals, and accomplish one or more tactics, this framework offers a lens to develop programmatic work and communicate the activities of the forum externally.
With these goals in place the Forum will build on its track record of delivering the following three products:
Most importantly, this strategy demands that the Forum take a multi-sectoral and cross-disciplinary approach. Working to link knowledge to impact means that the Forum will champion micronutrient evidence by bringing together key stakeholders, from researchers to policymakers to implementers, to translate research into actionable recommendations and guidelines for implementation at the regional- and country-level.
Products: A Closer Look
Based on the needs of the ecosystem and the Forum’s strengths, the organization seeks to serve in both a proactive and responsive role to ensure that micronutrient knowledge is available and used, and that interventions that address micronutrient status are prioritized. To do so, the Forum will offer the following products:
Micronutrient science and evidence can be challenging to navigate for even the most experienced and dedicated policymakers. The community needs to synthesize and disseminate knowledge in an accessible and strategic manner to promote the uptake of effective and emerging recommendations.
The Micronutrient Forum has a broad and diverse network and a strong track record of successfully addressing open questions about micronutrients by engaging leading experts in creating frameworks and roadmaps for action. As organizations take a more holistic approach to nutrition, a trend that the Micronutrient Forum supports, the nutrition ecosystem needs a credible and responsive technical expert hub.
The Micronutrient Forum will continue to use technical consultations to shape and set collaborative agendas across its network, to inform and deliver advocacy, and to respond to priority questions from implementors and policymakers eager to move evidence to action. Deliverables include publications, presentations, tools such as websites or survey modules, and policy briefs.
Bringing together multi-sectorial and cross-discipline audiences is fundamental to planning and scaling interventions. The Micronutrient Forum creates the space and an environment where knowledge and ideas can flow between technical experts, implementors, and policymakers, in both directions.
The Micronutrient Forum has produced five successful biennial global conferences, using the location, theme, and tracks to highlight and address key issues among the micronutrient community.
History and Impact
The Micronutrient Forum was first established in 2006, merging the International Nutritional Anemia Consultative Group (INACG) and the International Vitamin A Consultative Group (IVACG). Funding for these groups and this transition was provided by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). These organizations brought more than 30 years of global experience in research, policy and program issues related to iron and vitamin A to the Forum.
Two Global Conferences were convened by the Forum: in Istanbul in 2007, and in Beijing in 2009.
In 2011, after a period of dormancy, individuals with common interests in diverse issues related to micronutrients met to assess the long-term viability of the Forum. Its usefulness as a means for exchanging scientific, programming and policy information on micronutrients among scientists and public health professionals led to its renewal, with the recommendation for a continued focus on effective scaling up of programs and improved biomarkers, monitoring and evaluation, and multi-sector integration of micronutrient activities.
Three additional Global Conferences have been convened: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2014, Cancun, Mexico in 2016 , and the virtual CONNECTED Conference in 2020 (originally planned for Bangkok)
The Micronutrient Forum is built on a broad foundation of technical and financial support. Leadership is provided by the Executive Director, Dr. Saskia Osendarp, and an international Board of Directors. Board members are actively involved in issues related to micronutrients from academia and diverse normative, policy and implementing organizations across the globe