Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance

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Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance

Jennifer Coates

Dr. Coates’s research focuses on the development of methods for improving the design, implementation, and evaluation of international nutrition and food security programs in both development and humanitarian emergency contexts.  Methods-related initiatives include the development and validation of: methods for scaling up global dietary data collection and use (INDDEX); indicators of the affordability of quality diets in Africa (IMMANA-IANDA); a standardized approach to malnutrition causal analysis and response assessment (ACF); methods for evaluating the micronutrient impact and functional health outcomes of national fortification programs (GAIN); dietary diversity indicators in emergency-prone contexts (WFP); and global experiential food security measures (FANTA). 

Science-Based Interventions for Child Malnutrition

This course will translate the evidence base for understanding the diagnosis, pathogenesis and therapeutic approaches to child malnutrition (stunting wasting) in developing countries.  The participation of protein quality and micronutrients will be emphasized including iron, vitamin A, zinc and folate.  Current interventions in the field will be analyzed and discussed with emphasis on program design effectiveness evaluation and meta analyses.

Nutritional Assessment

This course will provide an overview of the common nutritional and food security assessment tools. Laboratory and field methods for population wide nutritional deficiency assessment, nutritional screening and surveillance, dietary assessment, hunger and food security as well as diet diversity and food group indices will be examined. Clinical methods including body composition, biochemical and clinical factors related to macro and micronutrient deficiency will be discussed.

Nutrition in Emergencies Policies, Practice and Decision-Making

Required for students enrolled in the Master of Arts in Humanitarian Assistance Program. This course will examine the central role and importance of food and nutrition in complex emergencies. The implications of this for nutrition assessment, policy development, program design and implementation will be examined. This will provide an understanding of; the nutritional outcomes of emergencies (malnutrition, morbidity and mortality); and also the causes of malnutrition and mortality in emergencies (the process and dynamics of an emergency).

Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies

The intent of the class is to introduce students to a broad range of research and writing that constitutes our knowledge on humanitarian action in complex emergencies, and to give the student the skills to read research and keep abreast of  a rapidly evolving field. There is a strong emphasis on the practical application of this knowledge. The course simultaneously treats humanitarian action as a phenomenon to be understood and as a practice that urgently needs to be improved.

International Nutrition Programs

This intensive course provides presentations, readings, and exercises relating to the broad range of nutrition interventions utilized in international programs: growth monitoring and promotion, nutrition counseling and IEC, supplementary feedings and food-based income transfers, household food security and agricultural-based interventions, micronutrient activities, and breast-feeding. The course also covers malnutrition causality, nutrition and structural adjustment, social funds, economic and food aid, active learning capacity and the nutrition transition.

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