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

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Nicholas Nisbett

Cluster Leader Research Fellow

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Tom Barker

Senior Health & Nutrition Convenor

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Annie Wilkinson

Research Fellow

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Linda Waldman

Director of Teaching and Learning

Image of Inka Barnett
Inka Barnett

Research Fellow

Programmes and centres



Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform

The Social Science in Humanitarian Action Platform aims to establish networks of social scientists with regional and subject expertise to rapidly provide insight, analysis and advice, tailored to demand and in accessible forms, to better design and implement the social and communication...


Mexico – Prosperity Fund Better Health Programme

The Prosperity Fund's Mexico programme aims to reduce poverty, improve gender equality and support inclusive economic development. It also aims to produce greater opportunities for global trade and investment, including between Mexico and the UK. The programme will help increase productivity,...

Recent work

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Transforming Food Markets for Social Good

Business, Markets and the State Position Paper 4

Access to nutritious food is a human right, for which households increasingly rely on the functioning of markets. However, food markets and the value chains that supply them are in transition in many parts of the world. IDS is leading research on food systems, within which the Business, Markets...

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Evert-Jan Quak & 2 others

29 April 2020


IDS affirms partnerships for improved responses to humanitarian crises

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) has established a formal Memorandum of Understanding with two longstanding and valued partners, Anthrologica, and The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), to help strengthen global responses to humanitarian crises such as Covid-19,...

28 April 2020


Safety of sanitation workers should not be overlooked

While the Covid-19 pandemic has driven many of us into our homes to seek safety and shelter, sanitation workers remain an indispensable part of our frontline workforce. On World Day for Safety and Health at Work, it is important to recognise and address sanitation workers’ vital need to...

28 April 2020