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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Addressing knowledge inequalities in research partnerships

International partnerships have played an important role in academic research about the African continent. While funding sources have diversified, a significant share of these partnerships are resourced through European and North American international aid and its renewed interest in...

24 May 2022


Needs and Vulnerability in Afghanistan

This paper draws on a series of events under the Afghanistan Strategic Learning Initiative (ASLI). Between December 2021 and February 2022, ASLI convened four workshops led by each of the partner organisations in turn, which brought together senior leaders, decision-makers, experts, researchers...

24 May 2022


Sexual harassment common among young women workers in Bangladesh

New research reveals that young female workers (aged 18 to 24) in Bangladesh often experience sexual harassment at work, but their concerns about it are going ignored. Most do not dare to challenge men when witnessing or experiencing sexual harassment because of feelings of shame, and a lack of...

24 May 2022

Past Event

Between the Lines Podcast

Podcast S04 Ep5: The Routledge Handbook of Smuggling

In this episode of Between the Lines, BBC journalist Sana Safi interviews Max Gallien, Research Fellow, at the Institute of Development Studies and Florian Weigand, co-director at the Centre for the Study of Armed Groups at ODI and research associate at LSE. Max and Florian are editors of the...

24 May 2022


Tackling Workplace Sexual Harassment

IDS Policy Briefing 195

Based on case study research with factory and domestic workers in Bangladesh and Uganda, this briefing explains how social and gender norms constrain young women’s voices and agency in response to sexual harassment.

23 May 2022