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Nicholas Nisbett

Cluster Leader Research Fellow

Nicholas Nisbett is a Senior Research Fellow at IDS, where he co-leads the Health and Nutrition Cluster of researchers and teaches on development and nutrition.

His work explores the political economy of nutrition policy and programming in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and he has published research on national and international nutrition governance and policy processes, community level drivers of nutrition and community accountability. He has led major multi-methods evaluations of nutrition and livelihoods programmes as well as research focused on state, district and local level constraints to implementation of programmes at scale. Prior to joining IDS, Nisbett worked for the UK government, where he led teams on agricultural trade policy; agricultural policy reform and land and marine based natural resource management; and led a major international policy research programme, the Foresight Project on Global Food and Farming Futures. Nisbett has also focused on transformations related to internet use and IT-based employment in India and has published a monograph on middle class youth aspirations in this field: ‘Growing up in the Knowledge Society’

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Bangladesh Initiative to Enhance Nutrition Security and Governance (BIeNGS)

Despite significant improvements over the last two decades in poverty reduction and human development, the ultra-poor constitute 17.6% of the Bangladeshi population (HIES 2010) and the country continues to experience a high burden of undernutrition (stunting 36%, wasting 14%, underweight 33%) in...


Transform Nutrition West Africa

Transform Nutrition West Africa is a  regional  platform  to  enable  effective  policy  and  programmatic  action  on  nutrition. The  problem Despite  limited  progress  to  date,  we  now  see  a  growing  political  commitment  to  address  the  high  rates ...




The Political Economy of Food

IDS Bulletin 50.2

Any analysis of food systems needs to include power as an aspect of political economy, in order to understand how power relations develop over time and how they affect different food system actors. This issue of the IDS Bulletin examines a range of perspectives on power in food systems, and...

23 October 2019

Journal Article

Understanding the Nourishment of Bodies at the Centre of Food and Health Systems – Systemic, Bodily and New Materialist Perspectives on Nutritional Inequity

Social Science & Medicine;

That nutritional inequalities continue to proliferate at a global level requires new insight from all disciplines, given their formation at the intersection of broader inequities in food, health and other systems. This paper argues that critical social scientific perspectives are needed to...

4 March 2019

Nicholas Nisbett’s recent work


New IDS Bulletin on the political economy of food

This new issue of the IDS Bulletin, edited by Jody Harris, Molly Anderson, Chantal Clément and Nicholas Nisbett examines a range of perspectives on power in food systems, and the various active players, relationships, activities, and institutions that play a major role in shaping them. It...

6 August 2019