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Call for bids – PDF version

The World Public Health Nutrition Association (the Association) organises international conferences every two years, beginning in 2012. This call is for hosting the WPHNA’s World Nutrition 2016 conference, to be held in the second half of 2016.

Timeline for the call:
Call announced: 12th November 2014
Deadline for bids: 31st January 2015.
Selected host announced: 28th February 2015

Bids should be sent electronically to secretariat@wphna.org.

Requests for more information should currently be addressed to the Conferences Secretary, Sarah Kehoe, at sk@mrc.soton.ac.uk, and the External Affairs Secretary, Fabio Gomes, at fabiodasilvagomes@gmail.com.

Hosting the conference will raise the profile your institution and we are sure it will be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. Candidates are asked to provide answers to the questions below, to help the Association’s selection panel make a decision and to ensure transparency in the process.

General policy

Overall responsibility for Association conferences, including overall operation and their programmes, rests with the Association, together with an International Operational committee and an International Programme committee set up for these purposes. The Operational committee is responsible for operational matters. The Programme committee devises the programme overall and in detail, and selects and invites speakers, in conjunction with the local host’s Programme committee. The Association recognises that the success of its conferences depends on strong national and local presence of plenary and parallel themes and speakers.

The local host must be formally established as a limited liability company. It is responsible for all administration, including securing the venue, hiring support staff as needed, including translators, catering and other facilities, booking and locating accommodation, booking and advising on transport, supplying all materials for the conference, and all other administrative matters. The local host will also set up, chair and find members for National Operational and Programme committees, to work in liaison with the corresponding Association International committees and to ensure balance between overall and local needs, priorities and preferences.

Association conferences will be for three full days, and will have a number of special features.

  • Science – Policy – Action.  Each conference will be designed with the purpose of translating public health nutrition as a science, into public health policy and action.
  • Theme.  Each conference will have a theme, which will be developed in many of rhe sessions. A product of the conferences will be an agreed statement on this theme, which may take the form of a Declaration agreed by those present at the conference.
  • Interactivity.  All other than plenary sessions will be interactive. These sessions will be organised to be as interactive as possible and to involve as many participants as possible. Interactivity can take the form of debates, workshops that continue throughout the conference, and other sessions that have plenty of time for discussion. Consideration will be given to involving people in conference discussions who are not physically present.
  • Profile of participants.  The conferences will be organised to ensure an unusually high proportion of speakers and participants who are relatively young, who are female, and who come from lower-income countries. Speakers will also include people who are not public health nutrition researchers but who have a deep and sustained interest in public health and in nutrition.
  • Food.  The meals and other food and drink available at the conferences must be nourishing and healthy. Preference will be given to locally sourced food and drink, and to locations with rich traditional and established food cultures.
  • National recognition of the event.  Conferences will be devised so as to attract attention at high political level in the host country. Specialist journalists and writers will be invited to report on the conference and also to make presentations.

One essential function, to be the shared responsibility of the Organising committees, subject to final decision by the Association, is agreement on registration fees. Marketing and promotion of the conferences is the joint responsibility of the Association and the host’s Operational committee, who will join forces as appropriate. The host will act as treasurer of the conference, subject to the Association’s rules. The host takes responsibility for any possible financial loss of the conference. Surpluses after all expenses are deducted up to the equivalent of $US 20,000 are shared 25 per cent to the Association, 75 per cent to the host, and above that amount are shared equally.


  • Scope. Public health nutrition is an integral part of public health, as well as being a biochemical discipline. As stated in The Giessen Declaration, it needs to be based on ethical and also evolutionary, ecological, and equitable principles, and to take history and tradition into account. Its dimensions are social (including political and cultural), economic, and environmental, as well as biological and behavioural.
  • Collaboration. All relevant actors need to work together, and agree rational policies in the public interest, designed as the basis for effective actions. World Nutrition Conferences should be an occasion for debate and discussion, and also for agreements to be carried forward, rather than a meeting at which experts speak at audiences. This should be reflected throughout in the structure and nature of the congress programme.
  • Interaction. There may be a place at the congress for podiums and lecterns. But all formal presentations should include and protect substantial time reserved for interactive contributions and discussion, and many sessions should be interactive throughout. The congress should include simultaneous translations in English and host’s native language, when they differ. When possible it should include the facility for interactive remote access to the plenary sessions.
  • Independence. The congress should be funded by registration fees, government and other public bodies, and private companies with no commercial or other interest in food and nutrition. The Association’s rules exclude sponsorship or any other material or programme support from any entity whose interests do or may conflict with those of public health. Such entities include food and drink manufacturers and associated bodies. Sponsorship from UN and similar international agencies, national, regional and municipal governments, professional and civil society organisations, and other public and other independent entities, is welcome.
  • Empowerment. The congress should be committed to empower future leaders in the profession of public health nutrition, and also to recognise and promote community and other grass-roots workers. It should ensure that students and young professionals, and also community workers, are fully involved in its programme, as they already are engaged in its planning. This process is also designed to be amplified after the congress is concluded.

Questions for potential hosts

Any entity interested in hosting an Association conference should respond to the following questions, and supply other information as appropriate.

1. Business plan
Submit an outline business plan. This should include:

  1. Details of experience you have of successfully hosting an international meeting. Please provide information about numbers attending, financial summary, and evaluation from participants.
  2. Special reasons why you should host the meeting, bearing in mind the aims and objectives of the Association? (For these please access www.wphna.org).
  3. An outline budget, sources of local and national support, and justification of expenditure, including proposed conference management structure.
  4. Confirmation that you have or will establish a limited liability company or organisation that will be responsible for the budget.
  5. Confirmation of a suitable venue to host a meeting of around 800-1,500 people.
  6. Details about availability, variety and cost of local accommodation within easy access of the venue. If accommodation is not within walking distance of the venue, what options are there for transport? What will this cost per person per day?
  7. Details about access to local affordable restaurants and bars nearby?
  8. Describe the cultural, entertainment and other attraction the venue proposed offers. Can these be secured at preferred rates?
  9. Details about cost and ease of access of the venue for overseas and local travel

2. Special features
Within the business plan, or as separate notes, please comment on the special features for Association conferences specified above, and show how you can support these, one by one.

3. Other points
Please feel free to make other comments and observations that you think are relevant, and that may guide the selection committee’s decision. If you have concerns about anything that is specified in this note, or if your advice in any area would be to do things differently, it is important that you say so.


Call for bids – PDF version

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