Professional development course

Transforming Nutrition: Ideas, Policies and Outcomes

Course details

From 15 July 2019 until 19 July 2019
Institute of Development Studies

Apply now

Secure your place on this course

Complete the online application form

Learn and network with leaders in nutrition policy and practice to develop more effective approaches to eliminating malnutrition in all its forms.

You’ll be guided through cutting-edge knowledge and evidence on nutrition globally. Using an interactive diagnostic approach, you’ll learn to apply such knowledge to specific national or sub-national situations to identify strategic areas for nutrition action. The course is designed to provide a base from which you can develop your own future leadership for transformational change in nutrition.

During the five-day course, you’ll interact with and learn from highly qualified, experienced professionals from leading organisations in the field, including Inka Barnett and Jody Harris (IDS),  Purnima Menon (IFPRI, India), Stuart Gillespie (IFPRI) and Lawrence Haddad (Director of GAIN, former co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report and one of the founders of the course).

Course aim

To equip development policymakers and practitioners with the knowledge and skills to more effectively design, improve and implement strategic approaches to address nutrition issues at regional, national and global levels.

Who should attend?

Mid- and senior-level professionals working in government, think tanks, bilateral or multilateral agencies, NGOs, media organisations, or community organisations, and others who want to accelerate and intensify their own efforts to address malnutrition and influence others in this area.

The course is not intended as a course in programme design or implementation, but will equip leaders to understand the data and evidence necessary for relevant situational diagnostics and strategic choice-making to craft appropriate policy and programmatic responses to malnutrition.

How you’ll learn?

Now in its eighth year, this professional short course has been shaped in response to the positive feedback from previous participants. The course is divided into modules where you will explore the nature, causes and consequences of malnutrition and ways of addressing malnutrition in all its forms. Individual and group exercises and discussions focus on helping you build a solid understanding of the nutrition situation at a global and country level, learning from examples of country-level successes in nutrition, interpreting data and evidence, and developing strategy.

Learning outcomes

After completing the course you will be better able to contribute to accelerating the reduction of undernutrition in your sphere of influence by deepening your understanding of the following concepts and issues:

  • The differences between undernutrition, overweight and non-communicable diseases, food insecurity, hunger and hidden hunger.
  • The distribution and causes of different forms of malnutrition
  • What works where in addressing malnutrition and its determinants through different sectors.
  • How to contribute to creating an enabling environment for nutrition, from policy to implementation.
  • Emerging new topics in nutrition including climate change, adolescent nutrition, food systems and digital technology.


Inka Barnett is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies. She is a nutritionist (LSHTM) and Epidemiologist (University of Cambridge). Inka is currently leading several projects for IDS on the use of digital technologies for nutrition service delivery in Africa and South East Asia. Previously she worked for Young Lives, a longitudinal study on childhood poverty in Ethiopia, India, Peru and Vietnam based at the Department of International Development, University of Oxford. For the last 15 years she has conducted research on health and nutrition-related projects, including projects on water and sanitation supply in West Africa, agricultural interventions for HIV/Aids infected communities in Africa and famine early warning systems in Ethiopia.

Jody Harris is a nutritionist with a research interest in nutrition policy and politics. She has ten years of experience in international nutrition research and practice in various contexts in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly Zambia. Jody is currently leading research into aspects of nutrition policy processes in various countries. She holds a visiting fellowship to Johns Hopkins University Global Food Ethics and Policy Program, under which she is investigating the ethics of international nutrition policy and the role of a ‘right to nutrition’ in national policy. She is also principal investigator to support the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Secretariat in understanding multi-stakeholder platforms (MSPs) for nutrition in order to improve MSP design in 59 SUN countries.

Lawrence Haddad is Executive Director of GAIN. Prior to this, he was Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in the Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division. From 2004-2014 Lawrence was the Director of IDS. He was also the UK’s representative on the Steering Committee of the High Level Panel of Experts of the UN’s Committee on World Food Security. Before joining IDS, he was Director of the Food Consumption and Nutrition Division at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).  Lawrence’s research focuses on a wide range of issues related to the wellbeing of the poor, including the design of policies and programs intended to reduce poverty and malnutrition, the impact of gender differences in accessing to resources on nutrition and poverty, the role of community participation in the performance of poverty programmes, and the challenges rapid urbanization poses for the poor. Lawrence Haddad has published extensively on these issues. Lawrence was the founding co-chair of the Global Nutrition Report from 2014 to 2016.

Purnima Menon is Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, and is based at IFPRI’s Asia office in New Delhi, India. She conducts applied nutrition research in the South Asia region, with a focus on programmes and policies to improve maternal and child nutrition. She directs POSHAN Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), a multi-year initiative to build evidence, partnerships and communications to improve nutrition policy and program actions for nutrition in India. She has worked on programme evaluations in countries as diverse as Haiti, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Ethiopia and Vietnam. She is a member of the independent expert group for the Global Nutrition Report, the Countdown to 2030 coverage measurement group and routinely advises policymakers in diverse contexts.

Entry requirements

It is essential that participants have some experience of working in the field of nutrition and have a personal or organisational goal to accelerate and intensify their own efforts to address malnutrition and influence others in this area.

The course is taught in English. To derive the maximum benefit from the course, participants should be proficient in English and able to take an active part in discussions. Ideally, your English needs to be of an intermediate standard or higher; participants must have an International English Language Test System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or above, or a Common European Framework for Languages (CEFR)score of B2 or above.

Course Fees

Course fees are £2,995.

Fees includes tuition and all materials, lunch, refreshments, and two evening meals. It includes five night’s accommodation and local travel on the days of the training. It does not cover insurance.

Once you have received confirmation that your application has been approved, the fee must be paid in full before the course commences.

Scholarships and Bursaries

IDS Scholarship
One scholarship covering course fees only (£2,995) has been endowed by IDS.

Selection will be based on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate their previous outstanding action of nutrition in their home country and their potential to effect positive change.

Irish Aid Transforming Nutrition Scholarships
Four full scholarships up to the value of £4,300 have been endowed by Irish Aid.

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a national of and currently living in one of the following lower- or middle-income countries with a high burden of malnutrition: Ethiopia, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam, Zambia.

Selection will be based on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate their previous outstanding action of nutrition in their home country and their potential to effect positive change.

Transform Nutrition Leaders Scholarship
Two full scholarships up to the value of £4,300 are offered by Transform Nutrition – a global consortium which aims to strengthen the evidence base on nutrition and engage decision-makers and programme implementers in dialogue about how to tackle the nutrition crisis.

Applicants must fulfil the following eligibility criteria:

  • Be a national of and currently living in a low- or middle-income country (see our country list).And either:
  • Be a leader within national, provincial and local government institutions with a remit to tackle malnutrition, for example Departments of Education, Health or Agriculture, on policy formulation or delivery.
  • Be a staff member within civil society organisations; whether those organisations are focused upon programme delivery, research, advocacy or achieving changes in social norms relevant to nutrition.Or:
  • Be a journalist looking to significantly improve your coverage of nutrition in your own country and beyond.

Selection will be based on the applicant’s ability to demonstrate their previous outstanding action of nutrition in their home country and their potential to effect positive change.

Scholarship requirements and how to apply
Within 12 months of completing the course all successful applicants will be required to provide a short report to IDS on how they applied their learning and supported others to learn.

To apply for a scholarship, please complete the relevant section in the short course online application form. For all enquiries about scholarships for this course, please contact Leah Plati (l.plati@ids.ac.uk).

The scholarship application deadline is 25 March 2019.

IDS alumni bursary
We are pleased offer one bursary for IDS alumni. This single award, funded by IDS, is in the form of a 20 per cent course fee discount. It is subject to terms and conditions, and will be offered to one applicant on a first-come first-served basis. Please indicate on your application form that you wish to be considered for this bursary. 

How to apply

Before applying please read our short course Terms and Conditions (pdf) and Code_of_Conduct (pdf).

The application procedure is a three-stage process:

Stage 1: Apply by completing the online application form. Deadline for applications is 3 June 2019. The course code is is NH/18032.

Stage 2: You will be notified within one month as to whether your application has been approved or not. Successful applicants will receive the Stage 2 application form and an invoice for the course fee. Places on the course are not guaranteed until fees have been received.

Stage 3: Once fees have been received, you will be sent confirmation of your place on the course and a letter to support your visa application (if required).

You are responsible for organising your own travel and visas (where needed). Please note that UK visa applications can take months to process. Information about local accommodation will be provided by the course coordinator once your fees have been processed.

Past participants said:

“This course provides an excellent overview of global public health nutrition and of key policy developments. For me, it was a great opportunity to update my knowledge on the latest evidence of what works and to meet others working on similar issues. It was also a great opportunity to discuss challenges on the ground and exchange views of how best we can address these. I thoroughly enjoyed the week, including the social events organised by IDS, and felt re-energised by the end of it.” Silke Seco-Grutz, Human Development Adviser, DFID Participant 2012

“It’s really quite exciting, learning with people from other countries… what I’ve realised is that what we really need to look at is what we’re doing down there especially making sure we streamline our interventions based on evidence… I have learnt for instance, that water and sanitation has to be child centred. So my intention is to take this kind of evidence back to my programme and realign my own thinking, my own strategic and development plans, to make sure that they orientated based on evidence.” Kabir Aliyu, Director of Primary Health Care, Jigawa State in Nigeria Participant 2015

Teaching staff

Image of Inka Barnett
Inka Barnett

Research Fellow

Image of Jody Harris
Jody Harris

Post Doctoral Researcher

Lawrence Haddad
Purnima Menon


About this professional development course

Related content