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Working Groups are the driving force of the SCN. Through working groups, operating continuously, participating agencies take an active role in the work programme of the SCN, to achieve the harmonizing, information sharing, advocacy and review tasks in the substantive areas deemed of greatest importance by the collective SCN body.

Currently there are nine SCN Working Groups, they are listed in the table below. Reports of meetings, key presentations and documents, along with other information can be found by clicking on the name of each Group. Specific questions, or requests for more information about the work of any Group, should be addressed by EMail to the individual Chairs/Co-Chairs, or directly to the SCN Secretariat (scn@who.int).

Working Group Chair*/Co-Chair(s) EMail contact address
Breastfeeding and Complementary Feeding David Clark, UNICEF*
Isatou Jallow, WFP
Kay Dewey, UC, Davis
Capacity Development in Food and Nutrition Patrick Stover, UNU*
David Sanders, Univ. of the Western Cape, South Africa
Emorn Wasantwisut, Mahidol University, Thailand
dsanders@uwc.ac.za and lmartin@uwc.ac.za |

Household Food Security Florence Egal, FAO*
Hélène Deret - ACF, France
Jeanineke Dahl Kristensen, Denmark
Micronutrients Martin Bloem, WFP*
Jacques Berger, France
Gary Gleason, INF
Nutrition in Emergencies Caroline Wilkinson, ACF France
Zita Weise Prinzo, WHO (Joint Co-Chair with WFP)
Anne Callanan, WFP (Joint Co-Chair with WHO)
Caroline Abla, USAID

Nutrition, Ethics and Human Rights Margret Vidar (FAO)*
Flavio Valente, FIAN
Asako Hattori, OHCHR
Marlis Lindecke, GTZ
Marc Cohen, IFPRI: Rapporteur
Nutrition and HIV/AIDS Andrew Tomkins, Institute of Child Health*
Stuart Gillespie, IFPRI
Randa Saadeh, WHO
Bruce Cogill, UNICEF
Nutrition of School-Age Children Francisco Espejo, WFP*
Natalie Roschnik, Save the Children US
Lesley Drake, Partnership for Child Development
Francisco.Espejo@wfp.org  nroschnik@savechildren.org
Nutrition Throughout the Life Cycle Ricardo Uauy, IUNS*
Ana Beatriz Vasconcellos, Brazil
Chizuru Nishida, WHO
Ricardo.Uauy@lshtm.ac.uk or uauy@inta.cl


The purpose of SCN Working Groups (WG) include:

  • sharing information on latest scientific advances, programmes and innovations in the specific substantive nutritional area of the WG
  • through information sharing and networking, assisting in harmonization and alignment of agency actions, and reinforcing key agency actions in areas of mutual concern
  • identifying critical issues for further attention by SCN participating bodies. This includes identifying gaps in current policies, strategies, guidelines, norms and standards, and programmes, identifying relevant actors and suitable ways to address the gaps and to take the substantive agenda forward. Work may be carried out through dedicated task forces (see below) or other suitable mechanisms.
  • provide advice to the Secretariat and the SCN Chair, and perform tasks as necessary on technical issues related to the substantive nutritional area of the working group.

Structure, Composition and operating procedures

a) Each WG to have a chair, appointed by the SCN Chair for a two year period. The WG chair will generally be from a UN agency. The SCN chair may appoint a WG chair from among the civil society cluster or the bilateral cluster of participants in the SCN.

b) Responsibilities of WG chairs include:

  • engage the WG in preparation of a concise one-to-two year workplan for review by the SCN annual session
  • take leadership on the frequency, format and venue of WG workshops or other events
  • take leadership to organize a workshop on the substantive theme of the WG during the annual sessions and submit an agenda to the Secretariat by February 1st, in advance of the annual SCN Session. The workshop should include a review of latest scientific and programmatic advances in the field, a consolidated report of agency actions on the topic, with particular focus on regional and country actions, emerging issues for consideration and resolution, and a discussion of the workplan for the forthcoming year.
  • when additional mid-year workshops are planned, work with the Technical Secretary to find a host, raise funds if needed, and organise the workshop

c) Each WG to appoint one or more rapporteur(s), who, with the WG chair, serves as anchor for the group throughout the year, and is responsible for sharing information about the WG activities with participants and other interested parties. The rapporteur assists the chair with the preparation of agendas for workshops and other WG activities, prepares meeting reports and tracks follow up actions. The rapporteur liaises with the Technical Secretary to finalize and disseminate reports. The function of rapporteur can be assigned on a year-by-year basis at the annual meeting, and can be carried out by participants from any cluster in the SCN.

d) Each WG will have a core of members representing at least three UN agencies , as well as bilateral and NGO participants. Membership will be voluntary and open to all interested persons, but membership will consist of active participation in the functioning of the group during the course of the year. Each working group must facilitate the participation of persons in leadership positions in nutrition programmes in developing countries in WG activities.

e) Working groups will present their work programme for approval to the SCN at its business meeting. The WG may recommend that the SCN appoint dedicated task forces to carry out specific tasks on behalf of the SCN. Such task forces will have specified terms of reference, prepared by the WG rapporteur, which will specify concrete deliverables and a limited life span. Task forces will report to the SCN through the relevant working groups, and will be disbanded on completion of their task.

Working Group themes and lifespan

The SCN chair, in consultation with the Steering Committee, will keep under review the themes of the WGs, and make recommendations to the SCN business meeting regarding themes requiring new WGs. SCN participants can at any time submit proposals for working group themes to the SCN Chair for consideration. This will help to ensure that priority issues and relevant substantive areas are addressed. The continued existence of a Working Group is not automatic, but will be confirmed by the Chair, on the basis of the performance of the WG, after the annual session. Similarly, the SCN Chair will review the slate of WG chairs and make necessary adjustments, after consultation with the Steering Committee.