Health and Nutrition

Our health and nutrition work brings new understanding and action on health tackling epidemics, antimicrobial resistance and zoonotic diseases. We generate new evidence and analysis on nutrition issues including dietary transition, globalisation of food systems, and responding to the ways that marginalisation and inequity drive high child malnutrition rates. Our focus is on bringing a critical social science perspective to how people, especially the poor, address their health and nutrition-related needs and on how governments and other groups influence the performance of these sectors.

There are five overall themes that our Health and Nutrition cluster focuses on:

  • Understanding the political economy of health and nutrition (mapping knowledge and narratives; politics and governance; individual capacities and resources
  • Engaging with health and nutrition markets in low and middle-income countries
  • The politics of regulation, health and nutrition in the new knowledge economy
  • Malnutrition and the rising prevalence of non-communicable diseases
  • Health system responses to major outbreaks and (re)emerging infections.

Across these themes, through research and engagement our work aims to:

  • Understand and share how people address their health and nutrition needs in a rapidly changing context
  • Identify the range of stakeholders including government, private organisations and civil society with an interest in meeting these needs
  • Support different sectors and groups to scale up innovative interventions aimed at substantially increasing availability and access to safe, appropriate and affordable food, nutrition, drugs, health and sanitation services
  • Help hold these actors to account for delivery at scale and contributes to mutual learning between countries.



NIHR community engagement and involvement learning package

IDS staff worked alongside NIHR staff to develop a package of tailored e-learning resources and activities (the “Toolkit”) to strengthen community engagement and involvement (CEI) within the NIHR Research and Innovation for Global Health Transformation (RIGHT) programme (“NIHR RIGHT...


UNICEF Zambia Study

Nutritional intake is particularly important for gestation and breastfeeding periods of mothers and in the first 1000 days of a child’s life. Building on the positive experiences in other regions, and in view of already ongoing similar projects in this region (including Kenya, Ethiopia, and...

Recent work

Journal Article

Social Science Approaches to Infodemiology: Understanding the Social, Political, and Economic Context of Information

Global Health Promotion

Embedded within the COVID-19 pandemic is the spread of a new pandemic of information – some accurate, some not – that can challenge the public health response. This has been termed an ‘infodemic’ and infodemic management is now a major feature of the World Health Organization’s work on...

11 March 2022


Call for applications for a social science and humanitarian Fellowship

The Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform (SSHAP) is launching Phase 3 of its Fellowship Programme to begin in May 2022. Funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and the Wellcome Trust, SSHAP is looking for future leaders in social science to be able apply their...

7 March 2022