Introducing...the Nutrition Modeling Consortium (NMC)
It is widely recognized that good nutrition is essential for health. This message has reached policy makers who are intent on achieving sustainable development goals and other targets to improve public health in part through improved nutrition. However, prioritizing the most effective nutrition interventions within a population remains a challenge as the solutions that work in one setting may not be as efficacious or cost-effective in another. In order to help policy makers understand and prioritize among nutrition interventions, a number of modeling tools have been developed to help with address questions at various points in the policy decision-making cycle.
These tools have largely been developed and used independently of each other, but in 2017 with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the New York Academy of Sciences established the Nutrition Modeling Consortium (NMC) to bring together tool developers and end users with the goal of improving our collective understanding of the tool modeling landscape. In its first phase, the NMC has primarily focused on bringing individual tool developers together, familiarize them with other existing tools and encourage collaboration in countries of mutual interest. These efforts included the development of concise information on many of the tools and the preparation of several case studies on how the tools have been used to inform policy decisions (see the NMC’s website, www.nyas.org/NMC).
In its next phase, the NMC would like to further its engagement with the policymakers and end users of the information provided by the modeling tools. This will help ensure that potential users are aware of the utility of the tools in decision making processes and that the tools answer as many relevant questions as possible. This will be done in part by engaging with the data end users at a variety of upcoming events and conferences, including the Micronutrient Forum Global Conference and the ANH Academy Week.