DInA's Small Grants Program

Small Grants Program for Micronutrient Data and Interventions that Support Vulnerable Populations 

In 2023, DInA launched its annual Small Grants Program to support its alliance members. This program invites eligible organizations or groups to apply for small grants of up to $15,000 USD. The grants aim to support organizations in low- and middle-income countries with capacity building activities and advocacy efforts for micronutrient data to be carried out over a 1-year period.

The program offers an opportunity for prospective grantees to apply for funding for initiatives that correspond with a range of activities outlined in the call for proposals. These activities include:

  • Hosting stakeholder meetings or building coalitions to advocate for micronutrient data collection
  • Designing micronutrient surveys or interventions
  • Disseminating micronutrient survey results
  • Expanding the capacity of a laboratory for micronutrient biomarkers
  • Increasing capacity for survey design or statistical analysis
  • Promoting science communication for micronutrient data
  • Performing additional analysis of micronutrient data.
To learn more about the program, please contact us at DInA@micronutrientforum.org

The 2024 Small Grants Program Recipients

Intake of fortified wheat flour and anemia and iron status in Colombia 

Country: Colombia
Organization: Observatory of Food Sovereignty and Food Security and Nutrition (OBSSAN),National University of Colombia

Micronutrient deficiencies, particularly iron deficiency, are high among children and women in Colombia, despite the existence of strategies such as a mandatory wheat flour fortification program. However, there is limited evidence on the impact of the fortification program. The objective of this project is to assess Colombia’s current wheat flour fortification program using data from the last national nutrition survey (ENSIN 2015) to examine the relationship between fortified wheat flour intake and the prevalence of anemia, iron deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia.
Determination of the serum folate threshold that indicates an increased risk of neural tube defects

Country: Ethiopia
OrganizationEthiopian Public Health Institute 

Currently, there is limited population-based data on red blood cell (RBC) folate concentrations. RBC folate reflects the average intake of folate/folic acid over the past 90 to 120 days and is consistently associated with neural tube disease (NTD) risk. On the other hand, the relationship between serum/plasma folate (which reflects recent intake) and NTD risk is uncertain. However, due to the high cost and technical complexity of measuring RBC folate concentrations, most population-based surveys use serum or plasma folate to assess folate status. If the relationship between serum and RBC folate can be established, it would be possible to rely on serum folate as an indicator of NTD risk in the population. The objective of this project is to determine the serum folate threshold that corresponds to RBC folate for predicting an increased risk of NTDs.
Micronutrients analysis of human breastmilk

Country: India
OrganizationLata Medical Research Foundation

There is a lack of comprehensive data regarding the impact of maternal micronutrient intake on the composition of essential micronutrients in human breastmilk. In this project, researchers will analyze levels of micronutrients in human breastmilk samples collected and stored as part of the Human Milk & Infant Nutrition (HMIN) longitudinal study, which was part of a larger trial of intrapartum Azithromycin treatment to prevent sepsis in mothers. The objective is to gain a better understanding of the association between micronutrients in human milk and infant growth.

Assessment of micronutrient gaps in Malawian women of reproductive age
In low- and middle-income countries like Malawi, there is a lack of regular collection and analysis of micronutrient status data for various reasons, including high costs for data collection and analysis. To address this issue, the project team aims to use the Comprehensive Nutrient Gap Assessment (CONGA) method to identify alternative sources of data to estimate the dietary nutrient gaps in Malawian women of reproductive age. Additionally, the team will identify the best food sources to address these gaps and potential research areas that require more data to better understand barriers to improved micronutrient nutrition.
Generation of national food consumption and micronutrients databases for Sierra Leone

Country: Sierra Leone
Organization: Sierra Leone Agricultural Research Institute (SLARI)

In Sierra Leone, micronutrient-related data are more than 10 years outdated, hindering the development of effective micronutrient policies and programs. The objective of this project is to conduct stakeholder meetings with experts to develop a proposal for a micronutrient survey in Sierra Leone that includes biomarkers and dietary intake. The proposal will then be used to advocate for the necessary funding to carry out the survey.

About DInA

The Micronutrient Data Innovation Alliance (DInA) is a diverse membership coalition driving collective action to strengthen the micronutrient data ecosystem. Hosted by the Micronutrient Forum, we are dedicated to tackling global micronutrient deficiencies and helping national leaders make data-driven health and nutrition program and policy decisions.

Interested in being in being part of a global community of micronutrient data advocates? Apply to be a member today! 

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