How we are working to achieve our goals

Our work towards achieving our five key goals (see right) involves initiating, running and reporting on a host of projects across the Society via joint initiatives, working groups and committees. (Further details of how we’ve broken down the goals into smaller projects and prioritised them can be found on page 18 of our Strategic Plan).

Responsibilities to drive these activities are currently allocated to the Secretariat and SISN’s Board, but ultimately many activities will be designated to an evolving portfolio of experts and ambassadors drawn from the Society’s diverse membership and beyond. We post such opportunities in the Get Involved section of this site and via our newsletter.

Goals, highlights and teams for our current initiatives can be found below (click on the + signs below to reveal the full details):

Joint Initiatives

KI3 was launched at the end of 2016 through a collaboration among the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Secretariat the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the SISN. The overall aim of this initiative is to strengthen the availability, access and utilization of implementation knowledge to accelerate progress in scaling up implementation and impact on nutrition.

In 2017, the initiative undertook a mapping exercise of implementation knowledge initiatives and organizations at the global level and scoped possibilities for strengthening the access to and utilization of implementation knowledge from these global sources in SUN countries. In 2018/19, the initiative will implement a series of activities whose overarching vision is to create a network of organizations at global and national levels willing and able to respond to the diverse needs and requests for implementation knowledge assistance from SUN countries and to help countries share knowledge, methods, and experience on implementation amongst one another. The work in 2018 has four objectives:

  1. Establish a Network of Implementation Knowledge Providers: KI3 will convene discussions with the United Nations Network for Nutrition, the Civil Society Network (CSN), the SUN Business Network and the members of the Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) project (MQSUN+, NI-TAN, ENN) to build on shared interests and priorities to strengthen the availability, access and utilization of implementation knowledge.
  2. Expand and Strengthen the Role of Civil Society Organization (CSO) and Alliances, and other actors at country level, in Technical Assistance (TA) and Knowledge Brokering (KB).
  3. Document and Share the Practical Realities and Good Practices of TA and KB, including the creation of an architecture for a SUN-specific toolbox to meet the identified challenges of SUN countries.
  4. Strengthen Implementation Research (IR).  Stakeholders will be engaged to identify ways to strengthen the capacity, practice and funding for context-specific IR and other ways to engage the research and academic communities in SUN efforts (e.g., via TA and KB).

The insights and progress emerging from these activities will be shared with the broader SUN movement through webinars in 2018/19, the FAO/IFPRI Global Event in Bangkok in November 2018 and the SUN Global Gathering in 2019.

Project Leader

David Pelletier

Project Team

Patrizia Fracassi (SUN)
Stuart Gillespie (IFPRI)
Isabelle Michaud-Letourneau (SISN –  Sr. Technical Expert)
Rajul Pandya-Lorch (IFPRI)
Roos Verstraeten (IFPRI)
Sivan Yosef (IFPRI)

Milestones and achievements:

2017

  1. SISN Framework and Classification Scheme for Implementation Science (IS) in nutrition developed (with input from a broad range of experts including many Founding Members).
  2. New framework shared via SISN communication channels, seminars and symposia eliciting very positive responses.

2018

  1. Minor amendments made to the framework and classification scheme in response to peer feedback.
  2. Paper on the new framework and classification submitted to peer review journal (publication to be confirmed).

SISN has partnered with the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) under a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) grant to improve implementation and scaling-up of anemia control programs for women in Kenya and Uganda.

The Implementation Science Initiative seeks to apply an implementation science (IS) approach and create a galvanized coalition of policymakers, program actors, and researchers in each country in order to strengthen anemia control programs during implementation. The initiative will provide the opportunity to learn how to build the capacity for and practice of IS through a facilitated process of learning-by-doing.  The goal is to strengthen program implementation by:

a)  closing a knowledge utilization gap by integrate existing evidence into policy and programmatic decisions through technical assistance, mentoring and knowledge brokering

b)  when necessary, conducting practical implementation research (IR) in the form of rapid assessments, operations research, process evaluation or other exercises, as appropriate to address the critical challenges facing implementers and policymakers.

3ie and SISN have partnered with URC in Uganda and FHI360 in Kenya to provide the implementation arena for the initiative. In each country, a core team was created and include a senior nutrition expert from an NGO, a senior Ministry of Health nutrition official, researcher(s) and a project manager/knowledge broker. More specifically, the core team members will work together to:

  1. Identify implementation bottlenecks in the selected program
  2. Facilitate access to and utilization of existing knowledge to address them, when possible
  3. Conduct IR and facilitate the use of findings, when necessary;
  4. Facilitate capacity building for IS/IR, through learning-by-doing
  5. Cultivate interest in IS/IR within the larger nutrition community in the country.

Project Leader

David Pelletier

Project Team

Marie-Eve Augier (3ie)
Anna Heard (3ie)
Isabelle Michaud-Letourneau (SISN Consultant)
Eva Monterrosa (SISN Treasurer)
Sara Pacque-Margolis (3ie)

SISN Working Groups

The role of the Communications Working Group of SISN is to formalize and diversely disseminate messages that succinctly capture the mission, vision and strategic plan of the Society and add value to it’s audiences. Specifically to:

  • Provide direction on the communications strategy and planning
  • Enhance the visibility and image of the Society and support the drive for membership and the delivery of value to the Society’s different audiences
  • Ensure that the Society is at the forefront of the IS/IR nutrition agenda and collects and disseminates up to date, high-quality and relevant information in an appropriate and timely fashion
  • Oversee the delivery of the communications activities with the development of relevant content for the Society’s communication channels.

WG Chair

Caroline Skirrow (SISN Consultant)

Project Team

Gilles Bergeron (SISN Councilor)
Naomi Cahill (SISN Consultant)
Manita Jangid (SISN Member volunteer)
Luz-Maria de Regil (SISN CIO)
Eva Monterrosa (SISN Treasurer)
Thuy Nguyen (SISN Member volunteer)
David Pelletier (SISN President)

Milestones and achievements:

2016

  1. A consultant was hired to develop a communications strategy and tactical plan for the Society and to lead a small, part-time communications team
  2. Communications WG was formed
  3. Newsletter and social media platforms launched and regular blogging commenced.

2017

  1. SISN website relaunched –  to provide a hub from which to disseminate information on all its activities. Large expansion of content.
  2. Newsletter frequency increased to quarterly newsletter – contents include news and events for the Society and key research and opportunities relevant to SISN audience
  3. Blogs posted monthly covering a variety of topics on the workings of the Society, the SISN framework and case studies illustrating the impact of IR in practice
  4. First two live webinars broadcast
  5. Expansion of activity on LinkedIn and Twitter  to extend our reach and visibility and to become more engaged with our followers and members
  6. Communications support of Board activities at events e.g. symposia at MNF, ASN.

2018

  1. Expansion of the webinar program
  2. Improvements in the quality and diversity of blogs
  3. Greater engagement with the membership in the provision of suitable content for blogs, guest writing and guest presenting in webinars
  4. Enhancements to the website, more resource pages, events
  5. Expanded presence at events with Board Cafe’s on niche topcis in IR/IS
  6. Increased frequency (and followers) on social media.

Coming in 2019

  1. Networking platform
  2. Enhanced website resources sections

The IS Working Group was convened to help oversee the appropriate management of grant funds, ensuring that the deliverables are completed in line with contractual obligations. Its mandate is to:

  • Support the production of a scientific paper delineating the methods and conduct of implementation science in nutrition (ISN)
  • Support the development of curricula and training materials to help learning organizations, NGOs, training institutes teach ISN in university courses, online modules, workshops, etc
  • Establish the bases of a grant program to promote future ISN research in areas of interest to the Sackler Institute (e.g. nutrition in the lifecycle, obesity prevention, etc.
  • Support the dissemination of implementation research findings through webinars, newsletter and other digital media, as well as conferences or other fora.

WG Chair

David Pelletier (SISN President)

Project Team

Peggy Bentley
Gilles Bergeron (SISN Councilor)
Eva Monterrosa (SISN Treasurer)
Gretel Pelto (SISN Councilor)
Isabelle Michaud-Letourneau (SISN Sr Tech Advisor)

Milestones and achievements:

2018

  1. Working group formed.

The Membership Working Group’s mandate is to:

  • Provide initiatives, advice and recommendations to the Board on matters related to membership, recruitment and engagement and ensure implementation upon receiving approval from the Board
  • To provide a platform for the creation, development and evaluation of membership engagement initiatives and activities to enhance the image and credibility of the Society.
  • Oversee the delivery of SISN’s membership-related activities
  • To provide members with excellent resources, value-added resources and opportunities for engagement
  • To review and sign off any membership related material in consultation with the appropriate Councilor.

WG Chair

Eva Monterrosa  (SISN Treasurer)

Project Team

Laura Hackl (SISN Member Volunteer)
Caroline Skirrow (SISN Consultant)
Andrea Warren (SISN Member Volunteer)
Renee Wurth (SISN Member Volunteer)

Milestones and achievements:

2016

  1. Member value propositions determined.
  2. Application process agreed and set up on the website.

2017

  1. Working Group convened and volunteers recruited from the member base.
  2. Decision made to develop a member survey to evaluate SISN’s value to members and if needs are being met.

2018

  1. Final survey agreed (Survey to be disseminated to members Fall 2018).
  2. Member payment system added to the website. Collection of member dues commenced.
  3. Member application process reviewed (simplifications in progress)
  4. Development of strategies and plans for member-only benefits for delivery in 2019.

The Methods Working Group’s mandate is to:

  • Contribute to advancing the theory, methods and conduct of implementation science (IS) in nutrition by strengthening the methods for implementation research (IR).
  • To lead and cultivate the Society’s discussion and activities around the sound development and practice of methods of IS/IR in nutrition.
  • To enable a place for members to share their knowledge, understanding and experience in methods and types of methods for IR in nutrition, by enquiring, learning and reporting and curating information collected through surveys, questionnaires and other means as appropriate.
  • To enable a platform for the sharing and learning on methods used in IS and IR in nutrition among SISN’s members and to guide that process.
  • To provide members with excellent resources, tools, knowledge on the methods for IR in nutrition, and further provide opportunities for engagement to strengthen methods for IR.
  • To make the information on methods for IR available, usable and workable for purposes including but not limited to: reports, funding proposals, training, webinars, resource materials etc.
  • To oversee the delivery of SISN’s methods-related activities.

WG Chair

Gretel Pelto (SISN Councilor-at-large)

Project Team

Stephanie Martin (SISN Member Volunteer)
Sorrel Namaste (SISN Member Volunteer)
Barbara Reed (SISN Member Volunteer)
Roseanne Shuster (SISN Member Volunteer)

Milestones and achievements:

2017

  1. Methods Working Group established and volunteers recruited from the member base.
  2. Ideas for content of a SISN Methods Survey discussed in WG. Potential items and structure of the survey developed.
  3. Dr Gretel Pelto chairs SISN discussion group on Methods in IR  at ASN.

2018

  1. Draft of SISN Methods Survey finalized.
  2. Survey finalised and sent to member base, with invitation to complete it.
  3. Data analysis conducted.
  4. Report to membership on survey results
  5. Preparation of commissioned paper on methods in IR.

Coming in 2019

  1. Dissemination of commissioned methods paper.

SISN Committees

SISN Board members are elected every two years by all full members of the Society. The next Board term is Jan 2019 to Dec 2020.  The Election Committee is responsible for:

  • Overseeing the nomination process and reviewing and accepting the nominations
  • Administering the slating of successful candidates into a voting platform
  • Ensuring full engagement with SISN members at all relevant stages of the process using all appropriate communications channels.

Committee Chair

Eva Monterrosa (SISN Treasurer)

Project Team

Gilles Bergeron (SISN Councilor)
Stephanie Lee Martin (SISN Member Volunteer)
Marija Silinskiene (SISN Operations Coordinator)
Caroline Skirrow (SISN Consultant)

The role of the finance committee is to provide financial oversight for SISN. Typical task areas include budgeting and financial planning, financial reporting, and the creation and monitoring of internal controls and accountability policies. In addition to developing an annual budget, the committee also sets long-term financial goals.

Committee Chair

Mandana Arabi (SISN Vice President)

Project Team

Mark Fryars (SISN Member Volunteer)
Eva Monterrosa (SISN Treasurer)
Marija Silinskiene (SISN Operations Coordinator)
Suzanne Wisor (SISN Bookkeeper)

N.B. This information will be periodically updated to keep you posted on our achievements and mark our progress towards our goals.