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.


Gerald Bloom

Research Fellow

Hayley MacGregor

Research Fellow

Nicholas Nisbett

Research Fellow

Tom Barker

Senior Health & Nutrition Convenor

Annie Wilkinson

Health and Nutrition Cluster Lead

Linda Waldman

Director of Teaching and Learning

Inka Barnett

Health and Nutrition Cluster Lead

Programmes and centres

Recent work

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Upcoming Event

Digital disinformation in Africa: Hashtag activism and state propaganda

In an era of hashtag campaigns and online organising, politicians and corporations are spending billions to disrupt dialogue and drown-out dissent online across Africa. Join this event to discuss these issues and more, explored in the new book Digital Disinformation in Africa: Hashtag Politics,...

30 April 2024


UK aid watchdog raises concerns about British International Investments

The International Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) has published a new report on UK Aid to India that it says ‘raises significant concerns’ on the lack of transparency, and governance processes of British International Investments (BII). The report is a follow up to the ICAI review of...

18 April 2024


Key Considerations: Child Engagement in the Context of Disease Outbreaks in Eastern and Southern Africa

SSHAP Briefing

Effective child engagement strategies are essential to optimise the response to disease outbreaks and minimise their impact while ensuring children's protection, well-being and resilience. When children understand disease outbreaks, they are better able to cope, contribute and recover. This...

Elena Reilly & 2 others

18 April 2024


Building trust: Community solutions for social assistance accountability in Somalia

Somalia is consistently among one of the most challenging environments for aid agencies and government entities to provide social assistance due to the ongoing conflict and limited government control. Aid providers struggle to reach people in areas not under government control, which exacerbates...

Louisa Seferis & 2 others

18 April 2024

Working Paper

Power, Trust, and Pre-Cooked Programmes: The Accountability of ‍‍‍‍‍‍‍Social Assistance in Somalia

BASIC Research Working Paper 22

Social assistance in Somalia has become deeply embedded in the country’s political economy and struggles with systemic diversion and corruption, which negatively affects how programmes on accountability of aid function in practice. This paper examines systems for accountability of social...

Louisa Seferis & 4 others

18 April 2024


Podcast: Reflections on Development with Melissa Leach

In this special episode of the IDS Between the Lines podcast produced with the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI). Andy Sumner, President of EADI and Professor of International Development at Kings College London interviews Professor Melissa Leach who...

17 April 2024

Why learn with us.

In an extraordinary time of challenge and change, we use more than 50 years of expertise to transform development approaches that create more equitable and sustainable futures. The work you do with us will help make progressive change towards universal development; to build and connect solidarities for collective action, locally and globally. The University of Sussex has been ranked 1st in the world for Development Studies for the past five years (QS World University Rankings by Subject).