Transforming Nutrition Ideas, Policy and Outcomes 2012

Monday 23 July 2012 - Friday 27 July 2012 09:00 to 17:00

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Why does nutrition need to be transformed?

Undernutrition affects 180 million young children and 2 billion adults. These children and adults are at greater risk of death and illness, are less likely to enter school, less likely to learn well in school, are likely to have lower productivity as adults and are more prone to diet related chronic disease later in life. The vast majority of undernutrition is found in 24 countries. Rates of undernutrition are declining at a historically slow pace despite growth in GDP per capita and increasingly open societies in many contexts.

The premise of this IDS short course is that an acceleration of undernutrition reduction requires a transformation in the way we think about it. This five day course takes the participant through new ways of thinking about undernutrition and what to do about it.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course participants will be better able to contribute to accelerating undernutrition reduction in their sphere of influence by a greater appreciation of:

  • The differences between undernutrition, malnutrition, food insecurity, hunger and hidden hunger
  • The distribution of undernutrition
  • The causes of undernutrition
  • The consequences of undernutrition
  • What works in addressing undernutrition at the immediate, underlying and basic levels and why
  • How to assess what works and why
  • How to contribute to creating an enabling environment for undernutrition reduction

Course Timetable

You can view the details and timings for the full course here: Transforming Nutrition Ideas, Policies and Practice Timetable (pdf)


Module 1: The nature of the problem (Day 1 and 2)

  • The differences between undernutrition, malnutrition, food insecurity, hunger and hidden hunger and how they are measured
  • The distribution of undernutrition: geographically, by age and gender, income group and ethnicity
  • The causes of undernutrition: immediate, underlying and fundamental
  • The consequences of undernutrition: on mortality, morbidity, productivity and poverty

Module 2: Knowing what to do about undernutrition and getting it done (Day 3 and 4)

  • What works in addressing undernutrition at the following levels:

– immediate: direct interventions aimed at improving the quality of diet and reducing infections
– underlying: indirect interventions aimed at making agriculture, social protection, women's status, sanitation and health systems more pro-nutrition
– basic: making economic growth, poverty reduction and the policy process more nutrition sensitive

  • How to assess what works and why

– review of experimental and non experimental techniques used in evaluating nutrition relevant interventions
– theories of change and indicators

Module 3: Knowing how to move nutrition up the development agenda (Day 4 and 5)

  • The politics of undernutrition reduction and how to politicise undernutrition
  • How to increase accountability for undernutrition reduction
  • How to build financial and human resources for undernutrition reduction
  • How to get knowledge about what works to be used and applied

Who is the course relevant for?

The course is relevant for policy shapers, policymakers and practitioners who want to accelerate and intensify their own efforts to reduce undernutrition and to recruit others to do so.

Participants will come from governments, bilateral and multilateral agencies, national and international NGOs, national and international media organisations and national and international think tanks.


Transforming Nutrition Ideas, Policy and Outcomes is a one-week learning programme that takes place from 23 to 27 July 2012, based at the Institute of Development Studies, UK. The course fee is £2,950 (including accommodation).

Course Leaders

The course will be co-led by Lawrence Haddad, Stuart Gillespie and Punima Menon.

Lawrence Haddad is the Director of the Institute of Development Studies and for ten years was the Director of the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute. He is the UK’s representative on the High Level Panel of Experts who support the Committee on World Food Security and was a member of the Advisory Group to the UN's Standing Committee on Nutrition, a member of the Irish Government's Hunger Task Force and a Lead Expert to the UK's Foresight Commission on the Global Future of Farming and Food. He has field experience in India, South Africa and the Philippines.

Stuart Gillespie is a senior research fellow with the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division of the International Food Policy Research Institute, CEO of the Transform Nutrition research programme consortium, and co-Research Director for the LANSA consortium (Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia). Since joining IFPRI in 1999, he has led multi-partner initiatives on HIV, food and nutrition, forging links between agriculture and health, and tackling the agriculture-disconnect in India. Both Haddad and Gillespie have published extensively on the topics covered in the course.

Purnima Menon is Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI's Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, and is based at IFPRI's Asia office in New Delhi, India. She conducts applied nutrition research in the South Asia region, with a focus on research to improve programs and policies to improve maternal and child nutrition, and is a core member of the Transform Nutrition team.

Currently, Dr. Menon leads the measurement, learning and evaluation team for Alive and Thrive, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported initiative to improve infant and young child feeding and child nutrition in Bangladesh, Viet Nam and Ethiopia. She also co-leads POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation supported program to build evidence on delivering and scaling up direct nutrition interventions in India, and to engage with policy and program audiences around the use of evidence. Dr. Menon has a Ph.D. in International Nutrition from Cornell University and a M.Sc. in Nutrition from the University of Delhi. She also holds the appointment of courtesy associate professor in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University.

Other course facilitators/tutors will include Shams Arifeen, ICDDR,B and other leaders in policy and practice from India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Brazil, the United Nations, UK Department for International Development's Transform Nutrition research programme, International Food and Policy Research Institute and Institute of Development Studies.

For more details email: