GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE FOR GLOBAL CHANGE

Nutrition

Undernutrition continues to afflict 180 million children worldwide and is responsible for in excess of 3.5 million maternal and child deaths each year. Until recently malnutrition was a neglected issue. However, it has recently begun to rise up the political agenda.

Women in Chad with palm oil

Events such as the London Hunger Summit that was hosted by David Cameron, and that IDS provided background research for, signify a welcome political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition.

The reality is that the world can put an end to this 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.

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 undernutrition is sustained.

IDS has particular experience and expertise in the area of nutrition and our work with partners aims to inform and shape current debate. IDS research and research uptake work is contributing to the effort to accelerate malnutrition reduction by showing how to define, support and evaluate enabling environments for sustained nutrition progress.

Accelerating Undernutrition Reduction

Our work is focused on three key themes which have been repeatedly highlighted as critical for accelerating undernutrition reduction:

  1. How do we build political commitment on nutrition? Through innovative research such as the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index we are investigating how to move nutrition higher up the agenda in national and international contexts, and sustain this commitment over time. We are also exploring how civil society and social movements contribute to building political commitment on nutrition and how wider political and policy environments constrain or enable progress.
  2. How do we mobilise resources for nutrition? We need to rapidly expand the financing and human resources available for tackling undernutrition. Our work focuses on how to mobilise these resources in global commitments and national budgeting, including leveraging the private sector and natural resource revenues. 
  3. How do we ensure research uptake for nutrition? To ensure that nutrition and development research has an impact on policy, we are identifying ways to increase demand for evidence and to build the capacity use it. Our work on nutrition spans the IDS research teams and IDS Knowledge Services. Nutrition is a core theme for the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team.
Photo of Dolf te Lintelo

Dolf te Lintelo - Research Fellow

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

Elise Wach - Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Advisor

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Photo of Ewan Robinson

Ewan Robinson - Research Officer

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Photo of Inka Barnett

Inka Barnett - Research Fellow

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Photo of Jessica Gordon, Nutrition Evaluation Programme Manager

Jessica Gordon - Nutrition Evaluation Programme Manager

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Jessica Meeker is the Nutrition Convenor, Knowledge Services

Jessica Meeker - Nutrition Convenor

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Photo of John Humphrey, IDS Globalisation Team Research Fellow

John Humphrey - Professorial Fellow

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

Julia Powell - Communications Manager

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Photo of Karine Gatellier, Health Convenor in IDS Knowledge Services

Karine Gatellier - Nutrition Convenor

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IDS staff or research student

Katherine Pittore - Nutrition Convenor

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

Nicholas Nisbett - Research Fellow

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Rajith Lakshman photo

Rajith Lakshman - Research Officer

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

Richard Longhurst - Research Associate

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Photo of Robert Chambers

Robert Chambers - Research Associate

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Photo of Samantha Reddin

Samantha Reddin - Communications Manager for Transform Nutrition

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Photo of Shandana Mohmand

Shandana Mohmand - Research Fellow

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Photo of Spencer Henson, Globalisation Research Fellow

Spencer Henson - Professorial Fellow and Team Leader

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

Stephen Devereux - Research Fellow

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Photo of Tara Shyam

Tara Shyam - Nutrition Programme Convenor

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Tom Barker is the Senior Nutrition Convenor, Knowledge Services Team

Tom Barker - Senior Nutrition Convenor

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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

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

Home Grown School Feeding programme

A new initiative that will support government action to deliver cost effective school feeding programmes sourced from local farmers in sub-Saharan Africa. 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

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

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ER66 Front Cover

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

This report analyses policy options for reducing undernutrition in Nigeria by improving the functioning of markets and the private sector in providing food. The report identifies specific constraints that inhibit businesses from providing these foods, and reviews experiences with five policy strategies to address this problem. More details

ER65 Front Cover

Mapping Value Chains for Nutrient-Dense Foods in Nigeria

This report details the findings of an analysis of value chains for several nutrient-dense foods in Nigeria. More details

ER64 Front Cover

The Role of Businesses in Providing Nutrient-Rich Foods for the Poor: Two Case Studies in Nigeria

This report presents case studies of two Nigerian food-processing businesses and analyses their efforts to produce nutrient-rich foods for undernourished populations. More details

Policy briefing 52 teaser image

Is Nutrition Losing Out in African Agricultural Policies? Evidence from Nigeria

Agricultural policies in many African countries focus on industrialising food value chains and substituting domestic products for imported ones. Yet experience in Nigeria shows that, by focusing on staple crops and neglecting vegetables, pulses and animal proteins, these policies are missing opportunities to address micronutrient undernutrition. More details

Evidence Report 52

The Role of Businesses in Providing Nutrient-Rich Foods for the Poor: A Case Study in Tanzania

This case study of a Tanzanian food processing business analyses the potential of mid-sized businesses to contribute to tackling undernutrition. Particularly among young children and pregnant mothers, undernutrition has lifelong consequences and impedes individuals’ health, wellbeing and life chances. More details

This is the cover to IDS Working Paper 437, 'Using Participatory Process Evaluation to Understand the Dynamics of Change in a Nutrition Education Programme'.

Using Participatory Process Evaluation to Understand the Dynamics of Change in a Nutrition Education Programme

With roots in approaches to popular education and participatory action research that place the learner and the ‘beneficiary’ of development at the centre of enquiry and action, the participatory visualisation methods associated with Participatory Rural Appraisal have been widely used as tools for learning and accountability. More details

This is the cover for IDS Policy Briefing 50, 'Non-Profit Food Distribution: Working with Businesses to Reduce Undernutrition in Nigeria'.

Non-Profit Food Distribution: Working with Businesses to Reduce Undernutrition in Nigeria

In Nigeria, undernutrition is causing vast social and economic damage. To address this, poor people must have better access to a diet rich in essential nutrients. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Analysing Nutrition Governance in Fragile Contexts: Lessons and Implications

This MQSUN Briefing describes lessons learnt and implications from a MQSUN assignment which main objective was to analyze the research and policy challenges for improving nutrition governance in a context of state fragility. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A State of the Art Review of Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages

This paper explores the latest evidence on the relationships between agriculture and nutrition in food-insecure regions. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Action on Under-Nutrition in Pakistan: Opportunities and Barriers

This brief is based on the study The Political Economy of Under-Nutrition in Pakistan. We highlight challenges faced for mainstreaming nutrition as an inter-sectoral development priority and provide strategic recommendations using Acosta and Fanzo’s nutrition governance framework. More details

This is the image for IDS in Focus Policy Briefing 11, 'Learning about Champions – Individuals Catalysing Social Change'.

Learning about Champions – Individuals Catalysing Social Change

As part of the Transform Nutrition consortium, we are undertaking research to (a) identify individuals who have been or could be influential in contributing to policy changes that can effectively reduce undernutrition, and (b) explore the attributes and characteristics of these individuals. More details

Non-IDS publication

Aid for Nutrition: Maximising the Impact of Nutrition-Sensitive Interventions

This paper develops a diagnostic framework to help prioritise nutrition-sensitive interventions in a situation where evidence is both limited and unevenly distributed. More details

Image teaser for Evidence Report 28

Policy Guidelines: Enhancing Markets for Nutrient-Dense Foods in Ghana

This report analyses policy options for promoting nutrient-dense foods to reduce undernutrition in Ghana. More details

Image Teaser for ER26

The HANCI Donor Index 2012: Measuring Donors' Political Commitment to Reduce Hunger and Undernutrition in Developing Countries

This second phase of the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) scrutinises donor government commitment to reducing hunger and undernutrition in developing countries. More details

Image Teaser for Evidence Report 25

The Hunger And Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI 2012): Measuring Political Commitment to Reduce Hunger and Undernutrition

Measuring the Political Commitment to Reduce Hunger and Undernutrition in Developing Countries. Supported by Irish Aid, DFID Accountable Grant and Transform Nutrition. More details

IDS publications on international development research

A Stakeholder Map for Nutrition Policy and Programming in Northern Nigeria

This summary highlights key findings from stakeholder mapping carried out to increase understanding of nutrition context, policy and programming in northern Nigeria. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Nutritional Status in Northern Nigeria, Prevalence and Determinants: a Review of Evidence

This summary outlines the approach, key findings and conclusions of a review of literature on the prevalence and determinants of child and maternal undernutrition in northern Nigeria, and direct and indirect interventions to tackle undernutrition, globally and in Nigeria, undertaken in 2012. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Nutrition Commitment Audit for Nigeria

This summary highlights key findings from an NCA designed and applied in Nigeria in 2012 in order to examine national and sub-national level factors influencing the country’s commitment to addressing undernutrition. More details

The Great Indian Calorie Debate: Explaining Rising Undernourishment during India’s Rapid Economic Growth

The prevalence of undernourishment in India - the percent of people consuming insufficient calories to meet their energy requirements - has been rising steadily since the mid-1980s. Paradoxically, this period has been one of robust poverty reduction and rapid economic growth. More details

IDS publications on international development research

The Politics of Reducing Malnutrition: Building Commitment and Accelerating Progress

In the past 5 years, political discourse about the challenge of undernutrition has increased substantially at national and international levels and has led to stated commitments from many national governments, international organisations, and donors. More details

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Undernutrition continues to afflict 180 million children worldwide and is responsible for in excess of 3.5 million maternal and child deaths each year
world can put an end to this nutrition crisis by 2020