Photo of Richard Longhurst, a Research Associate

Richard Longhurst - Research Associate

Rural Futures; Health and Nutrition
T: +44 (0)1273 915751


Layla Ismail

Richard Longhurst trained as an agricultural economist at London and Cornell Universities. This started a long standing interest in food policy, nutrition and development and after two years at the World Bank on nutrition policy, completed a doctorate in development economics at Sussex University in 1980 with field work in northern Nigeria, studying the dynamics of the family farm operation, household allocation of labour and child malnutrition.

Thereafter he worked for FAO and the Ford Foundation and as a freelance consultant on agriculture, rural development, child health and humanitarian programmes until the mid 1990s. He then became a manager and implementer of evaluation studies at the Commonwealth Secretariat and the International Labor Office.

Evaluation work took him into a broader range of issues including aid policy, UN reform, gender, child labour, and mainstreaming human rights and performance management and measurement, leaving him with a realistic approach to the results based agenda in various thematic areas. He has also worked as a consultant for international organizations, being DFID, IFAD, IMO, UNAIDS, UNCTAD, UNICEF, WFP and WHO.

More by accident than design he has divided appointments between international organizations and universities including the Centre for International Child Health at London University and two periods at the IDS, where he has now works as a Research Associate. This has enabled him to integrate agency experience and policy with research in several areas.

At IDS he has been a core team member of the IDS project on Agricultural Learning and Impacts Network (ALINe) funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, helping further his interests in evaluation methodology, a member of the 'Seasonality Revisited' research team, re-engaged with his earlier work on policy approaches to eradicating child under nutrition, and advising ILO and UNAIDS on the implementation of external organizational evaluations. He also worked as a manager of global and country evaluations in ILO's International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC). Between 2001 and 2009 he was the Chair of the IDS Alumni Association.

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.

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This programme will assess the impact of new interventions and policy options across a range of policy areas.

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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.

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IDS publications on international development research

Seasonality, Rural Livelihoods and Development

Seasonality is a severe constraint to sustainable rural livelihoods, and a driver of poverty and hunger, particularly in the tropics. Many poor people in developing countries are ill equipped to cope with seasonal variations which can lead to drought or flood and consequences for agriculture, employment, food supply and the spread of disease. More details

Image Teaser for CDI Practice Paper 03, 'Implementing Development Evaluations under Severe Resource Constraints' by Richard Longhurst

Implementing Development Evaluations under Severe Resource Constraints

CDI Practice Paper 3 (2013)

Most agency evaluations are very short both on resources and in duration, with no proper opportunity to assess impact in a valid manner. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Evaluation: Why, for Whom and How?

IDS Bulletin 41.6 (2010)
IDS Discussion paper

Global Leadership for Nutrition: The UN’s Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN) and its Contributions

IDS Discussion Paper 390 (2010)

The SCN reached its 30th birthday in April 1977. It was established as a coordinating committee for UN agencies working in the area of international nutrition, building on earlier bodies: the Protein Advisory Group and inter agency sub-committees in the League of Nations. More details

The challenge of seasonality for the rural poor

13 Jun 2016
By Richard Longhurst

Four reasons to bring evaluability assessments in-house

22 Mar 2016
By Richard Longhurst, Peter Wichmand, Burt Perrin

IDS Pantomime - Murder in the 21st Century

19 Dec 2014
By Richard Longhurst

IDS Alumni Dinner in Geneva

05 Nov 2014
By Richard Longhurst, Milasoa Chérel-Robson

Thematic Expertise:
Agriculture; Children and Youth; Food Security; Nutrition; Vulnerability Hunger and Nutrition; Social Protection.

Related Programmes and Centres:
Centre for Development Impact; Centre for Social Protection; Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia.

Geographic Expertise:
Sub Saharan Africa; Gambia; Ghana; India; Nigeria; Sierra Leone; Sudan.