Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half of all deaths in children under five globally. Beyond the tragic loss of life, malnutrition also has hugely detrimental social and economic effects and thwarts efforts to reduce poverty. These deaths and damage are preventable. The world can put an end to the nutrition crisis by 2020, but it needs to make sustained funding for nutrition programmes a priority in order to provide the $10 billion a year required.

Women in Chad with palm oil

Until recently malnutrition was a neglected issue. However, it has recently begun to rise up the global political agenda. IDS has been working with partners worldwide such as the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, Public Health Foundation of India, the University of Nairobi, Save the Children, Action Against Hunger, Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) to ensure that the momentum and political will to put an end to malnutrition is sustained.

IDS brings the critical perspectives of development to the heart of contemporary debates on nutrition by drawing on our research in poverty, governance, food insecurity, agriculture, value chains, health, gender, climate change, conflict and fragile contexts.

Our research, evaluation and knowledge mobilisation activities generate and communicate evidence for how to accelerate and scale up direct and indirect nutrition interventions. We focus on building the wider political and financial enabling environment necessary to create and sustain momentum for tackling malnutrition, in order to help people around the world achieve better nutrition.

This enabling environment forms an overarching frame for our work and comprises three interrelated themes that are critical for reducing malnutrition:

  • Building political commitment: How do we move nutrition higher up the development agenda in both national and international contexts? How do we sustain this commitment over time? What is the role of civil society and social movements?
  • Mobilising resources for malnutrition reduction: How do we build and sustain the financial, human and systemic resources required to tackle malnutrition globally, including leveraging new forms of resources? What types of institutional investments and capacity building activities yield the best systemic and strategic capacity for nutrition within national and subnational actors?
  • Framing, generating and communicating knowledge and evidence: How do we shine a spotlight and generate attention for nutrition in different contexts? How do we stimulate greater demand and capacity for evidence, and how do we get this evidence into use to create a real and lasting impact? What types of evaluations and operations research are most useful at different stages of nutrition investments programmes?
< previous 1 2 next >
Photo of Dolf te Lintelo

Dolf te Lintelo - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Elise Wach, Evaluation and Learning Advisor with the Impact and Learning Team

Elise Wach - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisor

More details
Photo of Ewan Robinson

Ewan Robinson - Research Officer

More details
Photo of Inka Barnett

Inka Barnett - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Jessica Gordon, Nutrition Evaluation Programme Manager

Jessica Gordon - Nutrition Evaluation Programme Manager

More details
Jessica Meeker is the Nutrition Convenor, Knowledge Services

Jessica Meeker - Nutrition Convenor

More details
Photo of John Humphrey, IDS Globalisation Team Research Fellow

John Humphrey - Professorial Fellow

More details
Photo of Julia Powell, Communications Manager, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team

Julia Powell - Communications Manager

More details
Photo of Karine Gatellier, Health Convenor in IDS Knowledge Services

Karine Gatellier - Nutrition Convenor

More details
Photo of Kat Pittore

Katherine Pittore - Nutrition Convenor

More details
Photo of Leah Plati, Administrator, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team

Leah Plati - Programme Coordinator

More details
Photo of Nick Nisbett, IDS Research Fellow in the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction team

Nicholas Nisbett - Research Fellow

More details
Rajith Lakshman photo

Rajith Lakshman - Research Officer

More details
Photo of Richard Longhurst, a Research Associate with Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team

Richard Longhurst - Research Associate

More details
Photo of Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers - Research Associate

More details
Photo of Samantha Reddin

Samantha Reddin - Communications Manager for Transform Nutrition

More details
Photo of Shandana Mohmand

Shandana Mohmand - Research Fellow

More details
Photo of Spencer Henson, Globalisation Research Fellow

Spencer Henson - Professorial Fellow

More details
Photo of Stephen Devereux, IDS Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Research Fellow

Stephen Devereux - Research Fellow

More details
IDS staff or research student

Tanvir Ahmed - Research Officer - Teaching and Training

More details
< previous 1 2 next >
< previous 1 2 next >

Accelerating Progress in Reducing Hunger and Undernutrition

This programme will focus on how agriculture can deliver better nutrition outcomes by developing evidence-based policy options and tools for businesses, governments, NGOs and donors. More details

AFSPAN (Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition)

Aquaculture is widely considered as important for enhancing food security, alleviating poverty and improving nutrition. However, little information is available concerning the direct and indirect impacts of aquaculture on food security and poverty alleviation in most developing countries and LIFDCs. More details


AgriDiet is an Irish Aid funded research programme consortium, led by University College Cork in Ireland. The overall goal of the programme is to contribute to poverty reduction through the identification of policies and interventions that can make a positive impact on the nutritional status of vulnerable rural households. More details

Aid for Nutrition - How Much is Being Invested?

This project, funded by Action Against Hunger (AAH) includes a literature review of effectiveness of current nutrition spending, with a focus on which activities (and composition of activities) are required to meet 2015 targets and how these are currently defined by different donors. More details

AllAfrica and IDS development reporting initiative

IDS and AllAfrica have teamed up to produce and distribute compelling multi-media content on critical issues for Africa’s future, as part of a development reporting initiative. More details

Analysing Nutrition Governance

The project examines what factors enable governments to commit to national nutrition strategies and deliver appropriate nutrition policies in the long run. More details

Analysis of Maharashtra’s Decline in Childhood Stunting

UNICEF and IDS are collaborating to undertake an in-depth analysis of the factors that may have led to the 16% decline in child stunting in Maharashtra evidenced in surveys covering the period 2006-2012. More details

Evidence Matters - a briefing series providing syntheses of impact evaluation

Evidence Matters is a policy brief based on one or more systematic reviews on international development. More details

HEART (Health and Education Advice and Resource Team)

HEART is a consortium of leading organisations in international development, health, nutrition and education. IDS Knowledge Services work together with these organisations to support the use of evidence and expert advice in policymaking. More details

Home Grown School Feeding Mali

This study aims to evaluate the impact of school feeding programmes sourced from small-holder farmers on small-holder food security, as well as on school children's education, health and nutrition in Mali. More details

Hunger And Nutrition Commitment Index - HANCI

HANCI measures and ranks governments’ political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition on an annual basis. More details

Impact Evaluation of DFID Programme to Accelerate Improved Nutrition for the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh

The DFID Programme to Accelerate Improved Nutrition for the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh aims to improve nutrition outcomes for children, mothers and adolescent girls by integrating the delivery of a number of nutrition specific (or direct) interventions with livelihood support provided to extremely poor people by three existing programmes in Bangladesh. 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

Maximising the Quality of Scaling Up Nutrition Programmes Framework (MQSUN)

MQSUN aims to provide DFID with technical services to improve the quality of nutrition specific and nutrition sensitive programmes. Services will be provided on a call down basis to DFID country offices over a period of four years. More details

Operational Research and Impact Evaluation (ORIE) Northern Nigeria

One million children under five die every year in Nigeria, 35% of them due to causes attributed to malnutrition. This makes Nigeria one of the six countries that accounts for half of all child deaths from malnutrition worldwide. In the north of Nigeria, half of all children under five are stunted, and one in five suffers from acute malnutrition. More details

Participatory vulnerability assessment and climate adaptation planning for food security and nutrition in East Africa

In collaboration with Bioversity International, the Climate Change Team at IDS is designing a participatory vulnerability analysis toolkit. The work builds upon a toolkit that IDS created for Mexico’s National Commission for Protected Natural Areas (CONANP), in work funded by GIZ (documentation currently in Spanish only). It will be field-tested in Tanzania in September 2013. More details

Partnering for Better Food

This project aims to identify and support scalable public-private innovative partnerships in developing countries that bridge the gaps between agriculture and nutrition programmes to improve nutrition for the poor and undernourished. More details

Political Commitment to Hunger Reduction Index

The HRCI aims to make the extent of political commitment to hunger reduction, among both developing and developed countries, more transparent to all. More details

POSHAN Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonise Actions for Nutrition

POSHAN is a 4-year initiative which aims to build evidence on effective actions for nutrition and support the use of evidence in decision-making. It is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and led by IFPRI in India. More details

Programme Partnership between Irish Aid and IDS on Hunger Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation

Four years on from Irish Aid's landmark Hunger Task Force Report, hunger reduction remains an enormous challenge. This will become more difficult in the context of resource scarcity, climate change, and an increased demand for food in the emerging economies. More details

< previous 1 2 next >
< previous 1 2 3 4 5 next >
ER99 Front Cover

The HANCI Donor Index 2013: Measuring Donors’ Political Commitment to Reduce Hunger and Undernutrition in Developing Countries

This report presents the Hunger And Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) 2013 for donor countries. More details

This is the cover to IDS Working Paper 450, 'Reframing Undernutrition: Faecally-Transmitted Infections and the 5 As'.

Reframing Undernutrition: Faecally-Transmitted Infections and the 5 As

The dominant nutrition discourse concerns access to adequate food and its quality. It now includes food security, food rights and justice, governance and agriculture. More details

IDS publications on international development research

"The Constitution Lies To Us": Securing Accountability for the Right to Food in Kenya

Factors rooted in Kenya’s history and political economy have dampened citizen expectations of the state, thwarted popular mobilisation and generated weak state responses. This raises a question of responsibility. In this paper, we explore the failure and efforts to overcome them, before considering how accountability for hunger can be made the norm. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Hunger Revolts and Citizen Strikes: Popular Protests in Mozambique, 2008-2012

In February 2008 and September 2010, the cities of Maputo and Matola were the scene of violent protests against the rise in the cost of living, undertaken by groups of ordinary citizens. Immediately afterwards, these protests were replicated in some other Mozambican cities, but on a much smaller scale, and they were quickly brought under control by the police. More details

Boy stand by a burning car in the 2008 Mozambique riots.

Them Belly Full (But We Hungry): Food Rights Struggles in Bangladesh, India, Kenya

The green revolution and the global integration of food markets were supposed to relegate scarcity to the annals of history. So why did thousands of people in dozens of countries take to the streets when world food prices spiked in 2008 and 2011? Are food riots the surest route to securing the right to food in the 21st century? More details

IDS publications on international development research

Planning and Costing to Accelerate Actions for Scaling Up Nutrition

The Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement was launched in 2010 to reinvigorate efforts to address undernutrition globally. It brings together a diverse group of stakeholders to strengthen political commitments and improve accountability by providing a platform for collective action in which governments, civil society organisations (CSOs), businesses, donors and the United Nations can work together. More details

This is the image for the publication, 'Turning Rapid Growth into Meaningful Growth: Sustaining the Commitment to Nutrition in Zambia'.

Turning Rapid Growth into Meaningful Growth: Sustaining the Commitment to Nutrition in Zambia

The articles in this IDS Special Collection show how the commitment to nutrition has been built in Zambia, and provide some pointers and guides to the ways in which that increased commitment could be leveraged to raise resources and how to allocate these. More details

This is the cover for IDS Working Paper 449, 'Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility: Evidence from Two Communities in Pakistan'.

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility: Evidence from Two Communities in Pakistan

This report contributes to the Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility project by examining the impact of food price volatility on poor and vulnerable households through qualitative research conducted in 2012 and 2013 at ‘listening posts’ in a rural and urban area of Pakistan. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Report of the WINNN-ORIE Nutrition Stakeholders Engagement Event, 29 April 2014, Abuja

On the morning of Tuesday 29 April 2014, around 70 stakeholders discussed how to tackle undernutrition in Northern Nigeria, including staff from state and federal government, multilateral agencies, Nigerian research institutions, and domestic and international non-governmental organisations. More details

ER90 Front Cover

Policy Options to Enhance Markets for Nutrient-Dense Foods in Tanzania

There is an urgent need to reduce alarming rates of undernutrition in Tanzania. This report analyses options for policies and interventions to improve the functioning of markets that deliver nutrient-dense foods. More details

PB72 Front Cover

Ensuring that Food Fortification will Reach the Poor in Tanzania

Tanzania has introduced a mandatory food fortification programme to tackle the country’s high rates of undernutrition. Experience from other countries shows that fortification can add vital micronutrients into commonly eaten foods at a low cost. More details

This is the cover image of the report, 'Maharashtra’s Child Stunting Declines: What is Driving Them? Findings of a Multidisciplinary Analysis'.

Maharashtra’s Child Stunting Declines: What is Driving Them? Findings of a Multidisciplinary Analysis

Between 2006 and 2012, Maharashtra’s stunting rate among children under two years of age was reported to decline by 15 percentage points – one of the fastest declines in stunting seen anywhere at any time. More details

IDS publications on international development research

ORIE Nigeria: Quantitative Impact Evaluation Baseline Report

This report presents the findings from the baseline survey of the quantitative impact evaluation of the Working to Improve Nutrition in Northern Nigeria (WINNN) Programme interventions in Northern Nigeria. More details

This is the image for IDS Working Paper 447, 'What are the Factors Enabling and Constraining Effective Leaders in Nutrition? A Four Country Study'.

What are the Factors Enabling and Constraining Effective Leaders in Nutrition? A Four Country Study

Leadership has been identified as a key factor in supporting action on nutrition in countries experiencing a high burden of childhood undernutrition. This study of individuals identified as influential within nutrition in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and India examines why individuals champion nutrition policy, of their countries. More details

ER79 Front Cover

A Mixed-Method Impact Evaluation Design of a Mobile Phone Application for Nutrition Service Delivery in Indonesia

Child undernutrition remains one of the most devastating realities in many parts of the world. The use of mobile phone technology may offer innovative opportunities to tackle persistently high levels of child undernutrition. More details

ER76 Front Cover

Mapping Value Chains for Nutrient-Dense Foods in Tanzania

This report details the findings of an analysis of value chains for several nutrient-dense foods in Tanzania. It rapidly assesses the potential of ten commodities to contribute to reducing undernutrition and identifies three with particularly high potential. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Why Worry about the Politics of Child Undernutrition

Undernutrition affects over 2 billion people; but most of the global policy focus has been on technical solutions rather than an understanding of nutrition politics. This paper reviews existing literature on nutrition politics and policy. More details

ER75 Front Cover

Mobile Phones for Real-time Nutrition Surveillance: Approaches, Challenges and Opportunities for Data Presentation and Dissemination

Child undernutrition remains devastatingly high in many low- and middle-income countries Poor nutrition in early childhood (often combined with ill health) has been shown to increase the risk for early mortality, can have long-term and often irreversible effects on physical growth, cognitive and social development, and increases susceptibility to non-communicable diseases in adulthood More details

This is the image for the report, 'Help Yourself! Food Rights and Responsibilities'.

Help Yourself! Food Rights and Responsibilities. Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility, Year 2 findings

The second year results of a four-year study on how food price volatility affects everyday life uncovers the grassroots realities of the right to food. More details

< previous 1 2 3 4 5 next >

Find an IDS expert

Use our online directory to find an expert on research or by team.

Find a person

Sign up for e-alerts

Get e-alerts for Nutrition research updates