Through multidisciplinary research and policy engagement we bring new understanding and action on critical issues around health and health systems, and how they overlap with other systems such as food, as well as nutrition, sanitation, epidemics and zoonotic diseases.  Enhancing understanding of how to ensure healthy lives for all is a vital part of the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Agenda 2030) and has been an integral focus of IDS’ work since its inception.

Our research and analysis on innovations in health services and systems – including work on identifying effective strategies to address the challenges of antimicrobial resistance – is accelerating progress towards achieving universal health coverage in Asia and Africa. Our work on nutrition spans the spectrum from dietary transition and globalisation of food systems, through to responding to the ways that marginalisation and inequity drive high child malnutrition rates.  We bring vital social knowledge to aid effective preparedness and response on pandemics. We show how direct impacts on the spread of diseases such as Ebola can be achieved by bringing learning from research on social issues and contexts to the right people in the right organisations at the right time.  Together with our global partners, we are generating and sharing new knowledge and evidence to identify the underlying causes of poor health and social inequalities, and the progressive policies and practices that can help bring about transformative change.

Programmes and centres


Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS)

Together with partners around the world, we strive to ensure Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) goes to scale with quality and in a sustainable and inclusive manner.



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 ...

Recent work

Sort results by

Filter results by

Showing 1–12 of 1014 results


Pro-life or pro-choice? Pro-rights

With the recent passing of an abortion bill in the state of Ohio’s House of Representatives, and the imposition of the Global Gag Rule in 2017 which stopped funding for services providing abortion advice and care overseas, the US is undermining women’s rights both at home and abroad. Debates...

5 December 2018


Water and Sanitation challenges and impact on health in informal settlements

Access to water is one of the major challenges faced by residents of Freetown, Sierra Leone, and informal settlements are no exception to this problem. Communities’ sources and access to water vary by location. The rapid urbanisation and over population is part of the reasons for the water...

1 December 2018


Waste management challenges in Freetown’s informal settlements

Waste management has been a challenge in the Freetown municipality of Sierra Leone for a long time, underpinned by the limited capacity of institutions responsible for waste collection and depositing. These challenges come with a huge cost to human health. The situation is even worse for people...

1 December 2018


The State of healthcare access in Freetown’s informal settlements

Unequal access to healthcare exacerbates poor health due to their living conditions of those living in informal settlements across Freetown. This issue brief provides an insight into the current state of healthcare provision in Freetown’s informal settlements. The Sierra Leone Urban...

1 December 2018