Independent Review of Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa: ANA’s Key Takeaways

Independent Review of Activity and Nutrition Aotearoa: ANA’s Key Takeaways 

 ANA strives to meet the needs of its stakeholders and to ensure the organisation stays relevant and fit for purpose. To do this an annual sector survey is completed. To gain richer, in-depth data an independent review was completed by Anita Perkins Consulting in May 2019. Stakeholder interviews were conducted with 22 individuals. These stakeholders were from a range of geographical areas and workplaces and all actively involved in either public health nutrition or physical activity or both.  

 ANA wishes to acknowledge the contribution made by stakeholders to inform the research of this review. Its findings will help us continue to make a positive difference for the practitioners taking care of New Zealanders’ well-being in the physical activity and nutrition health sector. Below we set out ANA’s key takeaways from the independent report, as well as possible future work plan actions arising from it.  

 Key finding: 

  • ANA is perceived as a well-respected organisation with a positive reputation in the public health nutrition and physical activity sector and provides services targeted to the needs of this sector’s workforce.   
  • There is a strong desire that ANA should continue to focus on enhancing the knowledge and skills of the public health workforce. Without ANA, many of its stakeholders would not have access to professional development opportunities and networks, especially those working at grassroots. 
  • Most stakeholders want ANA to continue to focus on both public health nutrition and physical activity. 
  • Information sharing and professional development opportunities were mostly positively received, with the conference and the newsletter standing out as being of benefit, relevance and of high quality. 
  • There is a need to strengthen leadership roles. There is a variety of motivating factors cited by interviewees for being a member/past member of the ANA Executive Board. Interviewees suggested the Board should increase its strategic focus, review its make-up, member terms, and collective capabilities, and consider a direct connection between a clear purpose and ANA delivery.  
  • Given a dynamic environment, future leaders of ANA will need a diverse range of skills beyond the knowledge of the sector, such as business and strong networking skills.   
  • Taking innovative approaches is essential to move forward, such as utilising technology.  

Possibilities to consider for the future work plan: 

  • Investigate connections and links between physical activity and nutrition and wider environmental and social issues, such as the link between climate change and access to healthy food. Also, consider other innovative approaches such as the use of technology.  
  • Investigate how duplication within the sector can be reduced such as one newsletter rather than multiple. 
  • Explore opportunities for the future professional development including providing information specific to the needs of different cultures; cultural competency training; training in evaluation practices. 
  • Investigate what kind of role ANA should play in advocacy in the futureand how this relates to questions of future funding and partnerships to achieve wider sector outcomes. 
  • Consider funding models for the future in connection to future visions and operation and reputation.  This could be government or corporate or both.  
  • Consider the role and operations of the Board and the skills required for future leadership.