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.


Image of Gerald Bloom

Gerald Bloom

Research Fellow

Image of Hayley MacGregor

Hayley MacGregor

Research Fellow

Image of Nicholas Nisbett

Nicholas Nisbett

Cluster Leader Research Fellow

Image of Tom Barker

Tom Barker

Senior Health & Nutrition Convenor

Image of Annie Wilkinson

Annie Wilkinson

Research Fellow

Image of Linda Waldman

Linda Waldman

Director of Teaching and Learning

Image of Inka Barnett

Inka Barnett

Research Fellow

Programmes and centres

Recent work

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Household Food Security: Concepts and Definitions: An Annotated Bibliography

The concept of 'food security' is found as early as the 1970s, but the concept of 'household food security' is more recent: the bulk of the literature dates from the 1980s. This annotated Bibliography contains nearly 200 items which together trace developments in the concept of household food...

1 January 1993

Journal Article

Good Government?


It is little more than three years since the Berlin Wall began to crumble. In that time, the political context and content of development aid to the Third World has changed rather dramatically.

1 January 1993


Violence Against Women in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Sudan, Senegal and Yemen

This report focuses on gender based violence in Bangladesh and Pakistan as there is very little information available on the other countries. The social and political context of gender based violence is discussed in both countries. Specific forms of violence and issues relating to prostitution...

1 January 1993


Background Paper on Gender Issues in Ghana

How much autonomy do women in Ghana have? Does this equal that of men? Women in West Africa, and in particular Ghana, are often assumed to enjoy a greater degree of personal and economic independence than women in other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. While relatively speaking this may be true,...

1 January 1993