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What is NutritionGroups?
NutritionGroups is an online forum designed by the ENN as part of our provision of knowledge management services to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement. It has been designed to enable those working to improve nutrition to better communicate and work together online, upload and share information and files, and get the latest updates.
Who is NutritionGroups for and how does it work?
NutritionGroups is designed for anyone concerned with the implementation of nutrition policies, programmes and research at any level. It starts with sending request to ENN to establish a Group. Once we receive a request and the Group has identified a Moderator, a Groups page will be set up and will go live. As NutritionGroups is a private space, only members accepted by the Moderator/s can have access to the discussions, threads and posts within the site. People can be members of more than one Group, they will either be a Moderator or a User in the Groups they are invited to.
Why is NutritionGroups needed?
Developments in recent years have led to the flourishing of new and diverse networks working on malnutrition at international, regional and country levels. This has created the need for dedicated online spaces that allow for efficient and regular engagement and connection between these groups– those who work together face-to-face and who work together remotely. Many of us rely on email or other forms of ad hoc communication, and social media sites when we need to share information or files, communicate and provide updates. The NutritionGroups site provides the functionality of well-known social media sites but has been set up as a dedicated professional page – to ensure that communication and collaboration can happen more efficiently and an “institutional memory” within groups of nutrition stakeholders can be built. Groups on NutritionGroups are private and only invited members of a Group can participate and access the content.
What kind of Groups are there on NutritionGroups?
Groups will be set up by request– and can include nutrition practitioners and stakeholders at any level. Some examples of Groups that might be formed at different levels:
> a country level Group might be “Zambia multi-stakeholder platform Group” with the SUN Focal Point and his/her team appointed as group Moderators. Users could include members of the multi-stakeholder platform in Zambia including members of the SUN networks and representatives from different sectors.
> a regional level Group might be a “West Africa WASH and Nutrition Group” with members from different research institutes, NGOs, SUN networks, and governments.
> a global level Group might be the “SUN Donor Network Group” consisting of members of the SUN donor network who use the Group to share information, documents and updates.
The possibilities are endless – NutritionGroups is a platform that enables real life networks of people working in nutrition to work together more efficiently.
What can I do on NutritionGroups?
Once logged in, NutritionGroups members can interact with content in their Group. The main Group page is a forum space divided into Discussion Areas, Threads, Topics, and Posts (for more information see the question below). In addition to viewing and making posts, both Users and Moderators can interact with one another through private messaging. Members can also upload files including word documents, pdf files, photos and spreadsheets. Past content, conversations and files within the Group can also be searched by key word.
How is the content organised on NutritionGroups?
The content within the Groups is organised in a simple forum hierarchy. All content is organised into Discussion Areas – there can be as many Discussion Areas in the Group as needed. Discussion Areas can be functional - i.e. “Meetings and events” or thematic i.e. “Food fortification”. Within Discussion Areas are Threads, Threads further organise content into sub-categories. Only Moderators can add Discussion Areas and Threads to the Group page.
Within Threads are Topics which both Users and Moderators can add. Within Topics all members can make individual Posts and upload files. The basic structure is:
Discussion area > Thread > Topic > Post
What is the difference between a Moderator and a User on NutritionGroups?
The NutritionGroups platform relies on nominated Moderator(s) to add Discussion Areas to the Group, and to add and invite members to the Group. The platform has been set up to be intuitive and easy to use, but ENN can also provide moderation support to help get a Group established and can also offer ongoing support to Moderators on the site.
Can I use NutritionGroups on my smart phone or tablet?
Yes! NutritionGroups is mobile and tablet friendly so can be used on the move, or sitting at a PC or laptop.
How do I contact ENN about NutritionGroups?
For more information or to request a Group page please contact SUNKM@ennonline.net. You can also find us on social media.
Can I embed a link to NutritionGroups on my own webpage to allow my Group members to access it and log in?
Yes, the site is hosted at www.NutritionGroups.org and the site can be linked to existing web pages and platforms.
Can I set up a Group in any language?
The website is currently set up in English but it can be used for Groups in other languages. For more information on this please contact SUNKM@ennonline.net. We can provide limited moderation support for Groups in French and Spanish.
How is NutritionGroups funded?
NutritionGroups was built through ENN’s work under the Technical Assistance for Nutrition (TAN) programme to support the SUN Movement. It is built with open source software so will continue to be available after the TAN programme has ended.
What is the difference between en-net and NutritionGroups?
Many people are familiar with ENN’s online forum en-net - unlike NutritionGroups, en-net is an open forum designed to help people working in programming to get a rapid response to technical or programmatic questions. en-net users can post questions to the forum which are then approved by the en-net moderator. Once questions are posted publicly, subscribers and peers can respond to it as well as behind-the-scenes expert moderators. en-net continues to be an important place for technical and programmatic questions that reaches and draws expertise from a wide network of people working in the nutrition sector.
In contrast, NutritionGroups is designed to support conversations among closed groups of peers working together, to facilitate collaboration, planning and sharing of information in a private space. It is moderated by leaders within the Group itself, rather than external moderators.