Accelerating progress in reducing hunger and undernutrition

Progress in reducing food insecurity, hunger and undernutrition vital to achieving the MDGs, yet has slowed and in some cases been reversed in the wake of food price spikes and the global economic downturn.

Acceleration hunger programme - Robert McNamara and Uma Lele

Led by Dolf te Lintelo, this DFID supported four-year programme develops:

  1. Evidence-based policy options that enhance linkages between agriculture and nutrition, in particular, to support agricultural value chains that work for poor people and are sensitive to their nutrition requirements.
  2. Real time monitoring methods using SMS technology for rapid and reliable assessment of hunger and nutrition statuses, enabling timely policy interventions.
  3. Innovative metrics to monitor governments’ political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. This work develops a Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index, which is further supported by Irish Aid and Oxfam India.

The programme will enable policymakers to support greater private sector investment, respond more quickly to hunger crises and facilitate civil society to more effectively monitor national and international commitments on undernutrition and hunger reduction and keep governments to account for delivering on these.

IDS is also a key member of the two recently launched DFID supported nutrition research programme consortia: Transform Nutrition and LANSA and is working with GAIN and USAID on how agri-food value chains can have a bigger nutrition impact. Lawrence Haddad is the UK representative on the UN Committee on World Food Security's High Level Panel of Experts. He was one of the Lead Experts on the UK Government's Foresight's Project on the Future of Food and Farming.

Hunger and nutrition has long been a particular focus of IDS and its Centre for Social Protection programme.

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IDS staff or research student More details

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Building Resilience and Inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa through Social Learning around Climate Risks

Sub-Saharan Africa is particularly vulnerable to droughts, floods and other climate-related stressors and shocks. This research aims to contribute to greater understanding of the underlying drivers of risk, while also identifying pathways to improve the impact that climatic information may have on building resilience through bridging the 'usability gap'. More details

International and National Responses to Hunger Guided by Better Quality Metrics

The project aims to assess when, where, how amd why mobile phone technology might enable more effective and credible real-time monitoring of nutrition More details

mSTAR Real Time Data for Adaptive Programming Conceptual Framework

The project will focus on the growing importance of real-time data and in particular how digital tools can be used to generate information in support of more adaptive, contextually relevant, decision-making and programme management and implementation More details

Beneficiary and service providers’ perceptions assessment of the Integrated Nutrition and Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) Pilot, Ethiopia

The Centre for Social Protection at IDS, in collaboration with Rebret Business and Consultancy, has been asked by UNICEF Ethiopia to undertake a study assessing beneficiary and service provider perceptions and feedback of the Integrated Nutrition – Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) pilot in Ethiopia. This represents a qualitative study focusing on programme implementation and impact, particularly focusing on nutrition. More details

Set of Studies on Social Protection in Low- and Middle-Income Countries with Special Focus on Ghana

The Centre for Social Protection at IDS, UNICEF Office of Research, UNICEF Ghana and the University of Ghana are collaborating on a set of joint papers tackling topical issues in social protection. These include urban social protection, social accountability and citizenship and ‘cash plus’ models. More details

Making All Voices Count

Making All Voices Count: A Grand Challenge for Development (MAVC) is a four-year $45 million fund to support innovation, scaling-up, and research that will deepen existing innovations and help harness new technologies to enable citizen engagement and government responsiveness. More details

Knowledge Exhange Forum for Nutrition Curricula Development and Adoption in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania

IDS are working to design, develop and maintain an online knowledge exchange forum to facilitate consultation during development of training packages, to increase the nutrition capacity of frontline workers in East Africa. More details

Position Paper - Social Protection in Fragile and Humanitarian Contexts

This position paper lays out the Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) position on social protection and resilience building, with a particular emphasis on protracted crises and fragile and humanitarian contexts. More details

BEAM Exchange Program

The BEAM Exchange is a global knowledge exchange facility for market systems practitioners. It supports development programmes and private sector initiatives that fight poverty by working with businesses, governments and others to transform markets so they work better for poor people. More details

Youth in Fragile Settings

This project aims to build an evidence base that maps the role young people – particularly young women – have played in contributing to processes that sought to or did address fragility as well as examine gaps and challenges with the ultimate aim of increasing the voice and participation of young people around the world. More details

Participate: Participatory Monitoring and Accountability

The Participatory Monitoring and Accountability (PMA) programme marks a new phase of the Participate initiative. It aims to foster and support PMA learning processes that enable citizen participation for accountability to be embedded in development policy and practice. More details

EDOREN: Education, Data, Research and Evaluation, Nigeria

The Education Data, Research and Evaluation in Nigeria initiative (EDOREN) is designed to generate new evidence and understanding of how best to support equitable access and improved learning outcomes for all Nigerian children through innovation and the sustainable development of basic education systems. More details

Malnutrition and Poverty Traps in OIC Countries: Evidence and Policy Responses

This projects aims to study the links between malnutrition and poverty and between maternal and child malnutrition in OIC countries. More details

Strengthening Agri-food Value Chains for Nutrition

The project aims to help reduce undernutrition by informing policy and providing tools to make food and agricultural systems more ‘nutrition-sensitive’. More details

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change

Pathways to Inclusive Development through Innovation, Technology and Change is developing a framework to analyse alternative pathways that link different forms of technological innovation, and evaluate resulting structural change and inclusion outcomes in low-income countries. More details

Integrated Seed Sector Development in Africa (ISSD-Africa)

The goal of ISSD Africa Programme is to support the development of a market-oriented, pluralistic, vibrant and dynamic seed sector in Africa for providing both female and male smallholder farmers access to quality seed of superior varieties. More details

Green Growth Diagnostics for Africa

This project is looking into the heart of the electricity supply crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. More details

Understanding Implications of Household Risk and Social Protection in the Afghan Context of Conflict and Fragility

Patricia Justino will (i) co-lead research and authorship for a background paper (and related publications) on household risk, behaviour, and policy options in the Afghanistan context of conflict and, (ii) for a social safety net impact evaluation, contribute to instrument design, analysis, and interpretation of results, especially with respect to conflict-related issues. More details

Matasa Fellows Network

An exciting initiative to support young African scholars engage their research with policy on youth employment in Africa. More details

View all Research Programme's publications

Use this search to display this programme's publications and filter by journal, author, country and much more.


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What constrains renewable energy investment in Sub-Saharan Africa? A comparison of Kenya and Ghana

World Development 109 (forthcoming)

Policymakers in Sub-Saharan Africa face several choices to increase levels of access to electricity under severe budget constraints. First, they need to prioritise technologies that can supply electricity at a low cost. Second, they need to design and implement appropriate policies to attract private investment. On the first choice, renewable energy is becoming increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. Moreover, it contributes to energy security and environmental sustainability, while providing access to new sources of (sustainable) finance. On the second choice, developing countries typically face a multitude of constraints to attract investment to their energy sector. It can be daunting and expensive to address them all at once. More details

The Impact of Solar Mini-Grids on Kenya's Rural Enterprises

Energy for Sustainable Development 45 (forthcoming)

Off-grid, renewable based electricity systems are becoming increasingly competitive for remote rural communities. When the electricity supplied is used productively by micro and small enterprises (MSE), it has the potential to contribute to income generation and poverty reduction. MSE are prevalent in rural Kenya to complement agricultural activities. However, most of them struggle to survive and they provide insufficient income to escape poverty. This paper investigates if the provision of electricity through solar mini-grids could contribute to improving business performance in rural Kenya. More details

Non-IDS publication

Welfare Spending and Political Conflict in Latin America, 1970-2010

World Development 107 (forthcoming)

In this article we study an age-old question in political economy: does government spending on welfare ensure peace? This question was at the heart of the European Welfare State model of the early 20th century, and remains relevant today in face of rising inequalities and political conflict. More details

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Inclusive Urban Development in South Africa: What Does It Mean and How Can It Be Measured?

IDS Working Paper 512 (2018)

Inclusive development is the seductive idea that a more dynamic and productive economy can go hand in hand with reduced inequality and exclusion. This requires crafting together different values and realities, through cooperation and negotiation between different economic and social interests. This is particularly difficult in South Africa because of the deep-seated social divisions and stagnant economy. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Haiti: Who are the Ultra Poor? Fonkoze’s Programme for the Ultra Poor

The results testify to the ultra poverty of CLM households. They underline the importance of the graduation model in addressing poverty in Haiti and the case for its incorporation within the national social protection framework More details

This is the cover to the Modern Slavery Briefing.

The Modern Slavery Trap: Bonded Labour

IDS Modern Slavery Briefing (2018)

International enterprises, sex work, organised crime groups, and exploitative recruitment agencies have dominated the discussion on modern slavery in recent years. However, while this work is important, it is just the tip of the iceberg. More details

Maintenance Affordances and Structural Inequalities: Mobile Phone Use by Low-Income Women in the United Kingdom

This article shows the impact of “maintenance affordances” on women’s capabilities to use mobile phones to lead lives they value. More details

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Improving the Wellbeing of Syrian Refugees in Urban Jordan

IDS Policy Briefing 152 (2018)

While 20 per cent of Syrian refugees in Jordan reside in camps, the majority live elsewhere including in urban areas. Syrian refugees are experiencing high levels of insecurity, often due to challenges with legal status documentation. More details

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Wellbeing and Protracted Urban Displacement: Refugees and Hosts in Jordan and Lebanon

The war in Syria, now in its eighth year, has led to the mass exodus of the Syrian people. Lebanon and Jordan have achieved a remarkable feat by hosting millions of refugees, with many having located to urban areas, where the great majority of local populations are already situated. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 49.2, 'Accountability for Health Equity: Galvanising
a Movement for Universal Health Coverage'.

Accountability for Health Equity: Galvanising a Movement for Universal Health Coverage

IDS Bulletin 49.2 (2018)

This issue of the IDS Bulletin is based around three principal themes that emerged from the workshop as needing particular attention. First, the nature of accountability politics ‘in time’ and the cyclical aspects of efforts towards accountability for health equity. Second, the contested politics of ‘naming’ and measuring accountability, and the intersecting dimensions of marginalisation and exclusion that are missing from current debates. Third, the shifting nature of power in global health and new configurations of health actors, social contracts, and the role of technology. More details

DFIs and Development Impact: An Evaluation of Swedfund

Swedens Development Finance Institution Swedfund was established in 1979. Swedfund’s mandate is to invest in poor countries, through equity acquisitions in individual companies, through funds or through lending. The overarching objective is the same as the objective for Sweden’s international aid to create preconditions for better living conditions for people living in poverty and under oppression. More details

This is the front cover to the book 'Universities and Conflict: The Role of Higher Education in Peacebuilding and Resistance'.

Universities and Conflict: The Role of Higher Education in Peacebuilding and Resistance

This book uses a series of case studies to examine the roles played by universities during situations of conflict, peacebuilding and resistance. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Bulletin 49.1A, 'Inclusive Peace and Security'.

Inclusive Peace and Security

IDS Bulletin 49.1A (2018)

This IDS Bulletin Archive Collection reviews four decades of analysis and research on peace, security, and development, drawing on articles published in previous issues of the Bulletin throughout this timeframe. More details

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Urban Refugees in Lebanon: Housing, Residency, and Wellbeing

IDS Policy Briefing 151 (2018)

Lebanon hosts over a million Syrian refugees in addition to other displaced groups. These refugees have gravitated to urban centres, putting significant pressure on local infrastructure and services. More details

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Indirect Rule in Armed Conflict: Theoretical Insights from Eastern DRC

IDS Working Paper 510 (2018)

Recent literature has shown that the study of armed conflict can be highly informative to understand processes of state-building. One of the fundamental choices that states or other military actors face when occupying new territories and populations is whether to administer them by developing novel administrations (direct rule), or by devolving rule to pre-existing local authorities (indirect rule). More details

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Decentralisation, Devolution, and Dynamics of Violence in Africa

IDS Working Paper 511 (2018)

This research sets out to understand the effect of processes of decentralisation on violent conflict in Africa, and what entry points these provide for research and policy actors to engage in meaningful and effective governance, peace-building and conflict resolution. More details

Circular Economy and Power Relations in Global Value Chains: Tensions and Trade-Offs for Lower Income Countries

Resources, Conservation and Recycling 136 (2018)

The concept of the circular economy has gained significant traction among businesses, policymakers and researchers in recent years. The transformation of the current linear economic system to a circular one offers many opportunities to advance sustainable natural resource use, create closed-loop supply chains and implement sustainable recycling management. Circular economy strategies could help lower-income countries ‘leapfrog’ to a more sustainable development pathway that avoids locking in resource-intensive economic practices of the dominant linear consumption and production system. More details

Contract Farming for Improving Smallholder Incomes: What Can We Learn from Effectiveness Studies?

World Development 104 (2018)

Contract farming is a sales arrangement between a farmer and a firm, agreed before production begins, which provides the farmer with resources or services. Many governments and donors promote contract farming as part of agricultural development policies. However, there is serious concern whether smaller farmers can benefit from these arrangements. More details

Building Peace in the New Oil Frontiers of Northern Kenya

Since the discovery of oil five years ago in Northern Kenya, explorations have spread to more than 30 drilling and testing sites. This has brought foreign investment, and in turn, new work opportunities, corporate social investment in schools and health clinics, and options for personal enrichment through contracts and tenders. In an area long inhabited by pastoralists, this rapid development has created tensions, resistance, and conflict around both access to new opportunities and also the impacts on lives and livelihoods. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Christianity in North Africa and West Asia

This comprehensive reference volume covers every country in North Africa and West Asia, offering reliable demographic information and original interpretative essays by indigenous scholars and practitioners. It maps patterns of growth and decline, assesses major traditions and movements, analyses key themes and examines current trends. More details

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