Photo of Richard Longhurst, a Research Associate

Richard Longhurst - Research Associate

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


Richard Longhurst trained as an agricultural economist at London and Cornell Universities. This started a long standing interest in food policy, nutrition and child health, and after two years working at the World Bank on nutrition policy, he 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 food and child undernutrition.

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 evaluations at the Commonwealth Secretariat and International Labour Office.

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

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

At IDS he was a core team member of the IDS/Gates Foundation programme, Agricultural Learning and Impacts Network (ALINe), helping to further his interests in evaluation methodology, and a member of the ‘Seasonality Revisited’ research team. He is now IDS team leader of the Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA) research programme, co-manager of the Impact Evaluation of DFID Programme to Accelerate Improved Nutrition for the Extreme Poor in Bangladesh (ENLIB) and a management team member of Operational Research and Impact Evaluation for Northern Nigeria (ORIE). These opportunities have allowed him to re-engage with his earlier work on policy approaches to eradication of child under nutrition. He advised ILO and UNAIDS on the implementation of external organisations evaluations, and was a manager of global and country evaluations in ILO’s International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC).

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.

More details

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.

More details


Building Evaluability Assessments into Institutional Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Frameworks

CDI Practice Paper 17 (2016)

This CDI Practice Paper by Richard Longhurst, Peter Wichmand and Burt Perrin discusses how evaluability assessments (EAs) can support the choice of evaluation approaches for determining impact, drawing on recent experiences of the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour of the International Labour Office. More details

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)

Fast forwarding from 1966: a personal odyssey

15 Dec 2016
By Richard Longhurst

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; Social Protection; Youth Employment and Politics.

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.