Toronto, ON – December 5, 2016// Press Release
This week, from December 5-9, 20 people from 12 countries will participate in the first-ever training workshop about the SMART (Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transition) methodology in Canada.
These health professionals and epidemiologists from governments, academia, the UN and civil society organizations will learn how to collect and analyse health information using SMART in this high-demand training.
Internationally recognised as the reference and standard survey tool among humanitarian and development stakeholders in 50 countries, data collected and analysed using SMART is used to determine the magnitude of malnutrition and mortality rates in vulnerable populations.
Throughout the course of the week, participants will have an opportunity to share field and best practice experiences in this rigorous 5-day training led by the SMART Global Project convenors, Action Against Hunger Canada.
This project, operated out of Toronto since 2013 (Montreal since 2009), has provided trainings in SMART to more than 1,600 individuals in the methodology. The two facilitators of next week’s event, Victoria Sauveplane, Senior Program Manager, and Alina Michalska, SMART Program Manager, have also provided technical advisory services to 50 governments and agencies world-wide in how to conduct standardized assessments (including linked to the Syria crisis).
Based on 2016 estimates from the World Health Organization, the World Bank and UNICEF, more than 50 million children under five suffer from life-threatening acute malnutrition. They are nine times more likely to die from common infections than their better-nourished peers. An additional 156 million children suffer from chronic malnutrition, leading to an annual loss of 11% of GDP across Africa and Asia, greater than what was lost annually world-wide during the 2008-2010 financial crisis.
Fortunately, prevention and treatment of malnutrition is simple and effective – more than 70% of those treated are cured, but less than 20% are accurately diagnosed and able to access the treatment they need.
SMART methodology balances simplicity (for rapid assessments of emergencies) and technical soundness – and provides decision makers with timely, high-quality data to make better investment choices based on good quality information. This improves the way resources are allocated – for example, towards life-saving health interventions including health care centres and community awareness – for treatment and prevention of malnutrition for millions of girls, boys, women, and men worldwide.