Social Protection

Undernutrition is responsible for nearly half of all deaths in children under five globally – and at least two Billion people suffer from at least one form of malnutrition, including overweight and obesity and micronutrient deficiencies. IDS and partners use multidisciplinary approaches in research, policy and action to understand nutritional inequalities at the overlap of food and health systems. 

Women in Chad with palm oil

IDS brings a critical development perspective to the heart of debates on nutrition

Beyond the tragic loss of life, malnutrition also has hugely detrimental social and economic effects throughout people’s lives; traps people in poverty and transmits it to their children. These deaths and damage result from poor political, policy and programmatic choices and are entirely preventable. IDS takes a critical development perspective to shape and strengthen the response to these challenges.

Thinking about nutrition in relation to wider development challenges

Improving nutrition cannot happen in isolation from efforts to address other development challenges. IDS’ research on nutrition includes work on sensitising livelihoods development, social protection, systems of gender and care, water, sanitation and hygiene and agriculture and food security to the importance of nutrition. 

IDS is part of the partnership Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia, which aims to improve nutrition through understanding of how agriculture and agri-food systems can be better designed. In Bangladesh, IDS led an evaluation of a DFID programme that aims to improve nutrition outcomes by integrating the delivery of community nutrition support with livelihoods and social protection. 

Putting accountable politics at the heart of improving nutrition

Engaging with politics and placing those accountable for decisions at all levels is fundamental to pushing nutrition up the political agenda. IDS focuses on the politics and governance of nutrition by exploring policy processes and commitment towards tackling malnutrition and by developing new forms of community and political engagement via a range of innovative methods.

IDS produces the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index, which ranks governments and donors on their political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition. IDS is also part of the Transform Nutrition Consortium, which works to stimulate more effective action to improve nutrition via research on nutrition programming and policy; including via community accountability. 

Combining different approaches to strengthen our understanding of malnutrition

IDS’ nutrition work is underscored by a growing list of major, multi-methods evaluations. Using, developing and teaching innovative and multiple methods to conduct research is vital to our approach and understanding. 

Through leading on evidence mobilisation embedded within an impact evaluation in Nigeria, IDS highlighted many to barriers to women and children in improving nutrition. IDS is also co-leading a mixed methods evaluation to estimate the impact of DFID’s mNutrition programme. 

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Photo of Annie Lowden More details

Photo of Becky Mitchell More details

Photo of Cathérine Müller, Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction research team More details

Photo of Dolf te Lintelo More details

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Jean Pierre Tranchant is a Research Fellow with the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team More details

Jessica Meeker is the Nutrition Convenor, Knowledge Services More details

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Juan-Carlos Munoz-Mora photo More details

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

Photo of Kat Pittore More details

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

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

Rajith Lakshman photo More details

Photo of Richard Longhurst, a Research Associate More details

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Photo of Shilpa Deshpande, IDS More details

photo of Shilpi Srivastava More details

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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

African Farmer Game

African Farmer is a free, open source game that simulates the complex decisions and uncertainties faced by small-scale farmers living in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA)

Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) is a five-year, DFID-funded, research programme consortium which aims to produce new evidence and policy insights into different pathways to agricultural commercialisation in Africa and their differential outcomes for local people and economies. 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

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

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

Assessing the Impact of Conflict and the Effects of WFP Humanitarian Interventions on Moderate Acute Malnutrition and Other Developmental Outcomes in Mali

This project is a multidisciplinary research partnership involving IFPRI, PCD, IDS and WFP which builds on a unique pre-crises baseline conducted in early 2012 to provide rigorous evidence for policymakers on the effects of humanitarian interventions by WFP on child malnutrition in in Mali. More details

CIFF - Nutrition Advocacy Consortium

In partnership with Results for Development and Results ACTION Partnership, the Institute of Development Studies is part of a consortium that aims to build accountability, strengthen policy and foster leadership in nutrition. More details

Ethics in the Nutrition Policy Process

The issue of power in food and nutrition governance is under-explored. This research looks at the power of international actors and the (lack of) participation of those experiencing malnutrition in the setting of nutrition policy, as ethical issues. More details

External evaluation of mobile phone technology based nutrition and agriculture advisory services in Africa and South Asia (mNutrition)

mNutrition is a global initiative supported by DFID, organised by GSMA, and implemented by in-country Mobile Network Operators to use mobile technology to raise the health and nutritional status of children and adults in the developing world. More details

GODAN Action - Enabling practical engagement with open data in agriculture and nutrition

GODAN Action brings together agriculture and nutrition specialists and open data experts and will support GODAN in its mission by building people’s capacity to engage with open data 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

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

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

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

Life in a Time of Food Price Volatility

Researching the impacts of, and responses to, volatile food prices in poor communities in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Vietnam and Zambia. 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

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

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

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PB150_Cover

What Are the Implications of Ageing and Demographic Change in Rwanda?

IDS Policy Briefing 150 (2018)

Having made rapid improvements in life expectancy and fertility as a result of significant investments in the health system and reductions in poverty, Rwanda faces the positive prospects of a ‘demographic dividend’. However, the projected growth in the number of older people over the next 30 years will present significant challenges. More details

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The Influence of Policy and Legal Frameworks on the Development of National Social Protection Systems

IDS Working Paper 501 (2017)

Social protection in low and lower middle-income countries is slowly but steadily becoming more systematised. Policy and legal frameworks are widely considered to be crucial for the creation of social protection systems. More details

Policy Brief entitled Cash Plus in Practice.  Integrating nutrition and access to services in the PSNP in Ethiopia.

Cash Plus in Practice: Integrating Nutrition and Access to Services in the PSNP in Ethiopia

The fourth phase of the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP4) was launched in 2015, introducing several innovations designed to strengthen the programme and its multiple impacts. More details

Research Report entitled Cash Plus - Integrated Nutrition and Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) Pilot in Ethiopia: Perceptions and Feedback from clients and service providers

Cash 'Plus' - Integrated Nutrition and Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) Pilot in Ethiopia: Perceptions and Feedback from Clients and Service Providers

The Integrated Nutrition Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) pilot project is embedded within phase 4 of Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Programme phase 4 (PSNP4), and is being implemented in four PSNP woredas, two in Oromia region and two in SNNPR. u More details

IDS publications on international development research

How to Make 'Cash Plus' Work: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors

The broad-ranging benefits of cash transfers are now widely recognized. However, the evidence base highlights that they often fall short in achieving longer-term and second-order impacts related to nutrition, learning outcomes and morbidity. More details

This is the front cover of the Midline Report entitled 'Evaluation of the UNICEF Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme in SNNPR, Ethiopia'

Evaluation of the UNICEF Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme in SNNPR, Ethiopia. Midline Report Final

Midline Report (2017)

This report presents midline findings for the Integrated Nutrition Social Cash Transfer (IN-SCT) pilot project in SNNPR in Ethiopia. More details

Wp489_FrontCover

Shame, Poverty and Social Protection

IDS Working Paper 489 (2017)

Despite long-standing conceptual considerations of shame in understanding poverty and debates about its moral, social and emotional qualities, the role of shame in poverty reduction policies remains largely unexplored. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Linking Taxation and Social Protection: Evidence on Redistribution and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia

ICTD Working Paper 61 (2017)

This paper aims to jointly assess the distributional effect of taxes and transfers, through social protection, using Ethiopia as a case study. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Improving Child Wellbeing and Care in Sub-Saharan Africa: The Role of Social Protection

Children and Youth Services Review 73 (2016)

This article presents findings from cross-country qualitative research regarding the impact of social protection on loss of parental care, support to foster or kinship care and quality of care and wellbeing in Sub-Saharan Africa. More details

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Strengthening Citizenship: Social Grants and the State–Citizen Relationship in South Africa

IDS Working Paper 482 (2016)

This study uses a citizenship lens to consider the extent to which social grants strengthen or weaken the state–citizen relationship, examining the case of the Child Support Grant in South Africa. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Sustaining Impacts: Concern Worldwide's Graduation Programme in Rwanda

This briefing paper is based on the final evaluation report of the 'Graduation Programme', in the Southern Province of Rwanda. More details

IDS Policy Briefing 123 Front Cover

Towards Mutual Learning with the Rising Powers

IDS Policy Briefing 123 (2016)

Mutual learning is emerging as a new way of talking about the ‘how’ of development cooperation, particularly in contexts of rapid change, with countries increasingly recognising that they have much to learn from each other’s experience. More details

Front cover of IDS Evidence Report 202

Building Mutual Learning between the Rising Powers

IDS Evidence Report 202 (2016)

This Evidence Report provides a summary account of the Mutual Learning research initiative at the Institute of Development Studies, carried out from 2012 to 2014 as part of the Rising Powers in International Development programme. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Accessing the ‘Right’ Kinds of Material and Symbolic Capital: the Role of Cash Transfers in Reducing Adolescent School Absence and Risky Behaviour in South Africa

The Journal of Development Studies 52.8 (2016)

This article investigates how well South Africa's Child Support Grant (CSG) responds to the material and psychosocial needs of adolescents, and the resultant effects on schooling and risky behaviour. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Is Targeting Ethical?

Global Social Policy 16.2 (2016)

Targeting as a mechanism for allocating scarce public resources efficiently and equitably has recently come under sustained attack, for both pragmatic reasons and ethical reasons. Universalism is offered as a fairer and more inclusive alternative, although universal programmes are sometimes erroneously conflated with categorically targeted programmes. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Working Paper 465, 'Can Social Protection Increase Resilience to Climate Change? A Case Study of Oportunidades in Rural Yucatan, Mexico'.

Can Social Protection Increase Resilience to Climate Change? A Case Study of Oportunidades in Rural Yucatan, Mexico

IDS Working Paper 465 (2016)

This paper examines the linkages between social protection and resilience to climate change among poor rural households. To date there is a very limited understanding of the potential role of social protection programmes in contributing to an increase in resilience of the rural poor with respect to climate change. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Social Protection for Enhanced Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa

Food Policy 60 (2016)

This paper identifies several positive synergies between social protection programmes and enhanced entitlements to food. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People in Rwanda - Final Evaluation Report

This final evaluation report on the 'Enhancing the Productive Capacity of Extremely Poor People' project in Rwanda summarises and compares the findings from several rounds of surveys as well as qualitative fieldwork. More details

This is the front cover to IDS Research Report 80.

Social Protection and Safety Nets in the Middle East and North Africa

IDS Research Report 80 (2016)

Countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region face a number of challenges, including ongoing civil unrest with associated displacement of people and disruption of services, stagnant economic growth and high unemployment, food insecurity and rising malnutrition, exacerbated by import dependence and natural disasters. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Evaluation Of The Social Cash Transfers Pilot Programme, Tigray Region, Ethiopia – Endline Report

The International Food Policy Research Institute, together with its collaborators, the Institute of Development Studies and the Department of Economics, Mekelle University, has produced this fourth report on the evaluation of the Social Cash Transfer Pilot Programme (SCTPP) implemented by the Bureau of Social and Labour Affairs (BoLSA), regional Government of Tigray. . More details

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Poverty is also a psychosocial problem

20 Nov 2017
By Keetie Roelen

Global and national leadership in nutrition

12 Sep 2016
By Nicholas Nisbett

Graduation – how to do it responsibly

24 May 2016
By Stephen Devereux, Keetie Roelen, Rachel Sabates-Wheeler

Putting children at the centre of social protection in Nepal

23 May 2016
By Keetie Roelen, Helen Karki Chettri
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