Using evidence to transform nutrition

Published on 21 July 2016

Last week the Institute of Development Studies and International and Food Policy and Research Institute’s Short Course Transforming Nutrition: Ideas, Policy and Outcomes 2016 addressed the biggest nutrition challenges. The Short Course included participants and speakers from different sectors all working on nutrition in some way. We interviewed them on the lessons that they will take back and put into practice.

Aryeh Stein, one of the tutors of the course and also a professor of Global Health at Emory University, explained that he wanted the participants to understand and realise the interconnectedness of nutrition and how it attaches itself to every factor of social and human development. He argued that good nutrition is a vital end point. We need to track and follow how nutrition is progressing, which would allow us to see how other social and human processes may or not be working in turn.

On the same trend as Aryeh Stein, Jacob Korir (Action Against Hunger) said that it is important to get workers from different sectors to unite and combat malnutrition together, to put all their knowhow and expertise together.

From the viewpoint of nutrition advocacy, Brie O’Keefe (CIFF) says that this course has enabled her to see more clearly which areas of the nutrition world where evidence is more clear and to spot the areas which lack evidence and thus require more intervention. With this in mind, she explained she will be able to choose which programmes to fund and which ones tend to be more effective.

Neerja Chowdhury, an independent journalist who has been covering nutrition based stories for the last 8 years, was surprised at how many different social and human factors there were to contribute to nutrition as a whole. The course further reinstated the idea that women considering to get pregnant need to be well nourished at the time of conception to avoid malnutrition for their babies.

Naveen Jain, from the Indian Administrative Service, summed up the short course, and what it hopes participants will take away with them. He was there to learn more about the successful and the not so successful nutritional interventions, in order to implement the findings to steer his own programmes in the right way.


The views expressed in this opinion piece are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IDS.


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