Accelerating progress in reducing hunger and undernutrition

Progress in reducing food insecurity, hunger and undernutrition vital to achieving the MDGs, yet has slowed and in some cases been reversed in the wake of food price spikes and the global economic downturn.

Acceleration hunger programme - Robert McNamara and Uma Lele

Led by Dolf te Lintelo, this DFID supported four-year programme develops:

  1. Evidence-based policy options that enhance linkages between agriculture and nutrition, in particular, to support agricultural value chains that work for poor people and are sensitive to their nutrition requirements.
  2. Real time monitoring methods using SMS technology for rapid and reliable assessment of hunger and nutrition statuses, enabling timely policy interventions.
  3. Innovative metrics to monitor governments’ political commitment to reduce hunger and undernutrition. This work develops a Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index, which is further supported by Irish Aid and Oxfam India.

The programme will enable policymakers to support greater private sector investment, respond more quickly to hunger crises and facilitate civil society to more effectively monitor national and international commitments on undernutrition and hunger reduction and keep governments to account for delivering on these.

IDS is also a key member of the two recently launched DFID supported nutrition research programme consortia: Transform Nutrition and LANSA and is working with GAIN and USAID on how agri-food value chains can have a bigger nutrition impact. Lawrence Haddad is the UK representative on the UN Committee on World Food Security's High Level Panel of Experts. He was one of the Lead Experts on the UK Government's Foresight's Project on the Future of Food and Farming.

Hunger and nutrition has long been a particular focus of IDS and its Centre for Social Protection programme.

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CDC Longitudinal Development Impact Study

The CDC Group plc is a Development Finance Institution (DFI) wholly owned by the UK government. Its mission is to support the growth of businesses and infrastructure development throughout Africa and South Asia in order to create jobs and make a difference to people’s lives in some of the poorest areas of the world. More details

PASTRES: Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience

PASTRES (Pastoralism, Uncertainty and Resilience: Global Lessons from the Margins) is a research project which aims to learn from the ways that pastoralists respond to uncertainty, applying such 'lessons from the margins' to global challenges. More details

Knowledge, Evidence and Learning for Development (K4D)

A five-year DFID-funded Evidence and Knowledge for Development (K4D) programme consortium led by IDS. 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

Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Mixed-Methods Study to Inform Policy and Programs

The goal of the Challenges and Opportunities for Rural Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa study is to strengthen and deepen knowledge of: the employment dynamics of rural young people, and the relationships between these dynamics and welfare; and the socially and spatially differentiated perspectives of rural young people on work, employment and livelihoods. Research is taking place in Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Niger and Burkina Faso. More details

Scaling-Up Early Child Development Interventions in Rwanda

This project aims to establish a long-term partnership between the IDS, Save the Children UK (SCUK) and Save the Children International Rwanda (SCI-R) to analyse, evaluate and scale-up (in partnership with the Government of Rwanda) a unique holistic programme (First Steps) that supports families of children aged 0-3 in the district of Ngororero in Rwanda. More details

Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities (SDIC)

The “Capacity Building for Smart Data and Inclusive Cities” (SDIC) project aims strengthen technical and institutional capacities by working directly with municipal authorities participating in the Smart Cities Mission in four secondary cities in India: Bhopal and Jabalpur (in Madhya Pradesh) and Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi (in Kerala). More details

Accountability for Health Equity Programme

Since the publication of the 2004 World Development Report a range of different attempts have been made to make the design, prioritisation and delivery of health services more accountable to different stakeholders. However, complex politics and power dynamics can limit or skew people's abilities to access services or hold them to account, particularly for poor and marginalized people. More details

Handbook of Financialization

Financialization has become the go-to term for scholarship that studies the vastly expanded role of finance in contemporary politics, economy and society. The goal of this handbook is to provide a comprehensive overview of the scholarship on financialization as it stands today, almost twenty years after the concept was first embraced by social scientists More details

‘Seeing’ Conflicts at the Margins: Understanding Community Experiences Through Social Research and Digital Narrative in Kenya and Madagascar

In a context of unprecedented investment in natural resource developments, this project bridges the social sciences, the humanities and community-based participatory research to ask how different ‘communities’ of actors ‘see’ and experience resource conflicts in Kenya and Madagascar. We use social science alongside a variety of participatory multimedia methods to open up conflict research to more diverse framings and voices, which can offer new insights on the drivers of resource conflict and pathways to peace. More details

Coptic Culture Conservation Collective

The Coptic Culture Conservation Collective initiative will create a narrative and visual archive of contemporary Coptic intangible cultural heritage. More details

Requirements for a Sustainable Bioeconomy in the Context of SDG Implementation

A sustainable bioeconomy can potentially do its part to replace the era of fossil resources and supply a growing world population. The transformation to such a sustainable bioeconomy is characterized by economic, ecological and social opportunities, but also by risks. These potentials and challenges of the sustainable bioeconomy are specified by this project for the German Environment Agency (UBA). More details

The Urban Land Nexus and Inclusive Urbanization in Dar es Salaam, Mwanza and Khartoum

This action-oriented research project will use the urban land nexus and its politics to provide the entry point for analysing the cities of Khartoum, Dar es Salaam and Mwanza and as integrated city systems. The overarching objective is to identify, research, and stimulate policy debate on actionable changes that are politically feasible and scalable within existing urban systems, and will foster more inclusive and welfare-enhancing urban transitions. 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

Myanmar Pig Partnership

The Myanmar Pig Partnership is focusing on the risks of zoonotic disease emergence associated with the rapid growth and intensification of livestock production in Myanmar in recent years. More details

Programme of Implementation Research to Inform the Effective and Sustainable Scaling-Up of Integrated Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control Initiatives

COUNTDOWN brings together an innovative multidisciplanry partnership from from the UK, USA and sub-Saharan Africa to support cost-effective scale-up, sustainable control and elimination of NTDs as a public health problem. More details

Strengthening and Broadening Community-Led Total Sanitation at Scale

The Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) Hub works in collaboration with practitioners, policymakers, researchers, and others in the development, sanitation and related communities, and in governments, international agencies, civil society, research institutes and other organisations. More details

Advisor for the World Development Report 2017

Prof. Patricia Justino is working on the World Development Report 2017 as an advisor to the lead author of the chapter on "Security, Conflict and the Absence of Violence", as well as producing a background paper for the WDR chapter. More details

Independent Evaluation of the Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in Kenya Programme

An evaluation of a programme in Kenya to avert maternal and neonatal deaths through nationwide life saving skills training for health professionals, and integrated health system strengthening in selected counties. More details

DFID Innovation Prizes for Environment and Development

Running innovation prizes that will improve poor people's resilience to climate change. More details

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IDS publications on international development research

Ethical and Methodological Challenges in Large Qualitative Participatory Studies

Participatory research studies utilizing qualitative data drawn from large, diverse samples appear increasingly common in the social sciences, particularly in international development. More details

What constrains renewable energy investment in Sub-Saharan Africa? A comparison of Kenya and Ghana

World Development 109 (forthcoming)

Policymakers in Sub-Saharan Africa face several choices to increase levels of access to electricity under severe budget constraints. First, they need to prioritise technologies that can supply electricity at a low cost. Second, they need to design and implement appropriate policies to attract private investment. On the first choice, renewable energy is becoming increasingly competitive with fossil fuels. Moreover, it contributes to energy security and environmental sustainability, while providing access to new sources of (sustainable) finance. On the second choice, developing countries typically face a multitude of constraints to attract investment to their energy sector. It can be daunting and expensive to address them all at once. More details

The Impact of Solar Mini-Grids on Kenya's Rural Enterprises

Energy for Sustainable Development 45 (forthcoming)

Off-grid, renewable based electricity systems are becoming increasingly competitive for remote rural communities. When the electricity supplied is used productively by micro and small enterprises (MSE), it has the potential to contribute to income generation and poverty reduction. MSE are prevalent in rural Kenya to complement agricultural activities. However, most of them struggle to survive and they provide insufficient income to escape poverty. This paper investigates if the provision of electricity through solar mini-grids could contribute to improving business performance in rural Kenya. More details

Non-IDS publication

Welfare Spending and Political Conflict in Latin America, 1970-2010

World Development 107 (forthcoming)

In this article we study an age-old question in political economy: does government spending on welfare ensure peace? This question was at the heart of the European Welfare State model of the early 20th century, and remains relevant today in face of rising inequalities and political conflict. More details

Future Health Systems - Innovations for equity

Climate Change Induced Food Insecurity of the Children Across Social Layers: A Comparative Case Study from Indian Sundarbans

Future Health Systems Issue Brief 1 (2018)

The Sundarbans, the mangrove forest delta shared both by India and Bangladesh, is among the worst hit regions of climate change in the world. Even though food insecurities due to climate change are felt across the region, the distribution of vulnerabilities is largely uneven depending upon existing climatic and social intersections.Within the context of socio-cultural and political dynamics, and rapid globalization, efforts to respond to, mitigate, or adapt to climate change needs to address issues of equity and social justice, posing both challenges and opportunities. More details

Future Health Systems - Innovations for equity

In From the Cold: Shifting the Discourse on Informal Providers in Bangladesh and India

In Bangladesh and India, informal healthcare providers (IHPs) have long been part of the countries’health systems. However, formal recognition of their existence is sensitive, partly due to resistanceand concern from professional health bodies. Research by Future Health Systems (FHS) partners ICDDR,B and IIHMR has been instrumental in bringing the issues to discussion tables. Consequently,stakeholders have begun to recognize and work with IHPs – something previously unheard of. More details

Future Health Systems - Innovations for equity

Integrating Actions to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance into Strategies to Achieve Universal Health Coverage

Future Health Systems Issue Brief 10 (2018)

It is critical that ensuring people’s access to effective treatment for common infections is aligned with efforts to reduce the risk of emerging antimicrobial resistance.The Institute of Development Studies, a Future Health Systems partner, is influencing policy agendas to give greater focus on the need for the just and sustainable use of antimicrobials. More details

Participation in Economic Decision-Making: A Primer

This primer is designed to help programmes that aim to build participation into economic decision-making to better understand what ‘participation’ means. More details

IDS publications on international development research

Narratives of Scarcity: Framing the Global Land Rush

Global resource scarcity has become a central policy concern, with predictions of rising populations, natural resource depletion and hunger. The narratives of scarcity that arise as a result justify actions to harness resources considered ‘underutilised’, leading to contestations over rights and entitlements and producing new scarcities. More details

Key Considerations: Burial, Funeral and Mourning Practices in Équateur Province, DRC

This brief summarises key socio-cultural considerations concerning events related to death, burial, funerals (rites or ceremonies), and mourning in the context of the outbreak of Ebola in the DRC, June 2018. More details

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Energy Protests in Fragile Settings: The Unruly Politics of Provisions in Egypt, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe, 2007–2017

IDS Working Paper 513 (2018)

How do popular protests about the basics of everyday life, specifically about energy, come about in settings where political authority is fragmented and conflict and repression common? How do state and political actors respond to protests which disrupt social and economic life, and undermine public authority? To what extent do such mass protests, often justified as inherently moral struggles over the basics of everyday life, empower the powerless or hold the powerful to account in such political settings? And how do external actors shape these events? More details

‘Cash Plus’: Linking Cash Transfers to Services and Sectors

Cash transfers have been successful in reducing food insecurity, increasing consumption, building resiliency against economic shocks, improving productivity and increasing school enrolment. Despite the many successes of cash transfer programmes, they can also fall short of achieving longer-term and second-order impacts related to nutrition, learning and health outcomes. A recent study highlights how so-called ‘Cash Plus’ programmes, which offer additional components or linkages to existing services on top of regular cash payments, may help address such shortcomings. More details

School Feeding or General Food Distribution? Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Educational Impacts of Emergency Food Assistance during Conflict in Mali

Innocenti Working Paper 2018-04 (2018)

We rely on a unique pre-crisis baseline and five-year follow-up to investigate the effects of emergency school feeding and general food distribution (GFD) on children's schooling during conflict in Mali. We estimate programme impact on child enrolment, absenteeism and attainment by combining difference in differences with propensity score matching. More details

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Representation and Inclusion in School Councils in Mozambique

IDS Research Report 84 (2018)

This study was conducted as part of the Citizen Engagement Programme (Programa Cidadania e Participação (CEP)) in Mozambique – an empowerment and social accountability initiative to improve the quality of education and health services by increasing citizens’ influence on the management of schools and health units, the formulation of education and health policies, and the provision of education and health services. More details

Money and the Message: The Role of Training and Coaching in Graduation Programming

The Journal of Development Studies (2018)

Graduation programmes are innovative because they combine regular cash transfers with livelihood promotion and – most innovatively – a combination of training and tailored coaching. The latter is sometimes considered the ‘X-factor’ in the graduation model, but little evidence exists regarding its role in affecting change. This paper presents findings from a mixed methods evaluation of a graduation programme in Burundi. We find that (i) training and coaching are important complements to cash and material support in achieving positive change, (ii) positive effects extend to the wider community, and (iii) continuous, tailored, and positively engaging modes of messaging are imperative for achieving change. More details

Transforming Systems of Consumption and Production for Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals: Moving Beyond Efficiency

Sustainability Science (2018)

The United Nations formulated the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in 2015 as a comprehensive global policy framework for addressing the most pressing social and environmental challenges currently facing humanity. In this paper, we analyse SDG 12, which aims to “ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” Despite long-standing political recognition of this objective, and ample scientific evidence both on its importance and on the efficacy of various ways of promoting it, the SDGs do not provide clear goals or effective guidance on how to accomplish this urgently needed transformation. More details

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Inclusive Urban Development in South Africa: What Does It Mean and How Can It Be Measured?

IDS Working Paper 512 (2018)

Inclusive development is the seductive idea that a more dynamic and productive economy can go hand in hand with reduced inequality and exclusion. This requires crafting together different values and realities, through cooperation and negotiation between different economic and social interests. This is particularly difficult in South Africa because of the deep-seated social divisions and stagnant economy. More details

This is the front cover for Working Paper 78, Regulatory Burdens in Tax Administration and Firms’ Compliance Costs in Africa

Regulatory Burdens in Tax Administration and Firms’ Compliance Costs in Africa

ICTD Working Paper 78 (2018)

This paper examines the effect of regulatory burdens related to tax administration on firms’ compliance costs in Africa. Using cross-country firm-level data, the results show that regulatory burdens related to tax administration significantly increase firms’ compliance costs compared to burdens related to other kinds of government regulations. More details

This is the front cover for Working Paper 79, What Explains the Recent Calls for Reinstatement of a Tax Considered Unpopular? An Analysis of Graduated Tax in Uganda

What Explains the Recent Calls for Reinstatement of a Tax Considered Unpopular? An Analysis of Graduated Tax in Uganda

ICTD Working Paper 79 (2018)

Successful decentralisation relies heavily on the ability of subnational government to generate its own revenue. In many African countries, subnational government is authorised to collect a variety of taxes and user fees including trade licensing taxes, property taxes, market fees, garbage collection fees and road user fees. More details

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