e-Library of Evidence for Nutrition Actions (eLENA)

How to use eLENA

eLENA provides important information on nutrition interventions which is organized in an intuitive, user-friendly manner. Each page covering a nutrition intervention contains seven core features:

Plus a share, print and last update notification in the upper right hand corner of each page.

Intervention pages may also contain:


Navigation menu

Found on the upper left of every page, the navigation menu provides direct links to many features of the site:

eLENA: takes you back to the eLENA home page.

A-Z list of interventions: nutrition interventions are listed in alphabetical order.

Health conditions: interventions grouped by nutrition-relevant health conditions such as diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, obesity or diet-related NCDs.

Life course: interventions grouped according to the stage(s) of life which they target (e.g. the Breastfeeding - exclusive breastfeeding intervention is found under the Infants subheading, while the Complementary feeding title is found under both the infant and children subheadings).

Nutrients: interventions grouped by the type of nutrient(s) the intervention utilizes or targets (e.g. the Calcium supplementation during pregnancy for the prevention of pre-eclampsia intervention would be found under the Micronutrient subheading while the Macronutrient supplementation for people living with HIV/AIDS intervention would be found under three sub headings: Carbohydrates, Fats and fatty acids, and Proteins).

Intervention type: interventions grouped by the type of intervention (e.g. the Donor human milk for low-birth-weight infants intervention would be under the Situational subheading while the Vitamin A supplementation in infants and children 6–59 months of age intervention would be under the Supplementation subheading).

Interventions by Category: interventions grouped by assignment to Category 1, 2 or 3.

Please note that with the exception of the A-Z list of interventions and Interventions by Category, all interventions may not be represented in all groups (e.g. the Conditional cash transfer programmes and nutritional status intervention wouldn’t be found in the Health conditions, Life course or Micronutrients browsing groups).

About eLENA: provides background, historical, partnership and other information.

How to use eLENA: provides information on how to navigate and get the most out of the eLENA web site.

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Narrative text box

The narrative text can be found under the intervention title in the large gray box. The text provides very brief background on the intervention as well as the nutrition problem the intervention is designed to address. It generally includes limited biological information as well as one or two key statistics, a brief summary of the evidence of the intervention’s effectiveness and recommendations. For interventions requiring further research to assess impact and/or formulate recommendations, a statement indicating such is included in the text.

If a formal recommendation from WHO exists, it will be clearly presented within the box. Recommendations can come from guidelines or other guidance documents.

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WHO documents

The development of global guidelines and recommendations is one of WHO’s core functions. Where available, links to WHO documents offering relevant guidance are presented for each nutrition intervention title. The documents included in this section are grouped into two categories:

GRC-approved guidelines are documents containing formal recommendations that have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee (GRC).

Other guidance documents include guidelines, recommendations, official statements and other documents providing guidance that were established prior to the formation of the GRC or have otherwise not yet been approved by the GRC. Also included here are recommendations and other forms of high-level guidance that have been adopted or endorsed by the World Health Assembly.

Along with the title, the date of publication will be provided for all documents in this section as well as a link to more information about the guideline development process.

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Evidence

This section provides links to the evidence supporting the intervention in the form of systematic reviews. The systematic reviews are grouped into three categories:

Systematic reviews used to develop the guidelines are those reviews that provided the scientific evidence from which the recommendations presented in the guidelines were developed. Generally, these systematic reviews have been completed very recently, are limited in number and may have been conducted by the WHO secretariat, commissioned from external sources by WHO or recently deposited into the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. All systematic reviews supporting guidelines use the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) method of evaluating evidence.

If available, additional high quality systematic reviews not used directly in the guideline development process but covering the topic of the intervention will be listed under the subheadings as indicated below.

Related Cochrane reviews are systematic reviews from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews that are relevant to the intervention in question but were not used directly in the development of available guidelines.

(Other) related systematic reviews are high-quality systematic reviews published in peer-reviewed journals that are relevant to the intervention in question but were not used directly in the development of available guidelines.

The Evidence section also provides a direct link to related clinical trials registered in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform.

The Evidence section will be updated on a continual basis, however, due to space limitations not all published evidence on a given topic will be profiled.

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Category of intervention

Interventions are grouped into three categories:

Category 1 interventions are supported by guidelines that have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee (GRC). Category 1 interventions also include those supported by recommendations and other forms of guidance that have been adopted or endorsed by the World Health Assembly.

Category 2 interventions are interventions for which there are high-quality systematic reviews, but guidelines that have been recently approved by the WHO Guidelines Review Committee are not yet available.

Category 3 interventions are innovative interventions that have been researched, but do not yet have supporting systematic reviews and are not currently ready for scaling up.

Interventions supported by recently developed WHO guidelines or endorsement by the World Health Assembly will normally not include supplementary content such as a biological, behavioural and contextual rationale or a commentary. All other interventions will generally include both a biological, behavioural and contextual rationale as well as a commentary.

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Implementation

This section contains a link to information related to implementation of the intervention of interest provided by the WHO Global database on the Implementation of Nutrition Action (GINA).

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Related links

These links connect the intervention to other relevant information found on the WHO and partner websites. Some intervention web pages contain links to external resources offering specific, highly-relevant documents that provide important information complementary to that found in WHO resources. The type of material targeted by the link is indicated in bold type prefacing the title of the linked material and includes:

eLENA: links to other interventions on the eLENA web site

Health topic: links to web page of the relevant health topic (e.g. HIV/AIDS) featured on the main WHO web site

Nutrition topic: links to web page of the relevant nutrition topic (e.g. breastfeeding) featured on the WHO Nutrition Department web site

Fact sheet: links to a web page containing a summary of the relevant topic including key facts, statistics and a brief overview of the WHO response to the related health issue(s)

Publication: links to a document published by WHO

External publication: links to an external document

Additional links may be provided without bold type when it is evident what type of content the link is targeting, such as links to WHA resolutions, standards (e.g. WHO Child Growth Standards), etc.

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Biological, behavourial and contextual (BBC) statement

The biological, behavioural and contextual rationale statement explains the biological basis for each nutrition intervention. These short summary articles also take into consideration the various behavioural and contextual factors that may impact the effectiveness of the intervention. This information is useful in evaluating potential nutrition interventions for a specific context.

If you are interested in submitting a biological, behavioural and contextual rationale, please see the "How to contribute" page.

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Commentary

Commentaries are summaries of the systematic reviews that currently exist on each topic. They also provide opinion on the relevance of the evidence to under-resourced settings and give practical advice on the implementation of the intervention.

Commentaries are independent articles, written by nutrition experts, programme planners and/or field staff. The eLENA team at WHO is responsible for inviting the commentaries to complement the evidence currently available.

If you are interested in submitting a commentary, please see the "How to contribute" page.

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Contact us

eLENA team
Department of Nutrition for Health and Development (NHD)
World Health Organization
20 Avenue Appia
CH-1211 Geneva 27
Switzerland

E-mail: nutrition@who.int