The field research under the AgriDiet project was completed in September 2015. The analysis is ongoing and the research findings will continue to be added to this site.

The AgriDiet site will also continue to provide updates on the latest research findings relating to agriculture and nutrition in Ethiopia and Tanzania via ELDIS

Agridiet Resource Centre

The Agridiet Resource Centre highlights a selection of the latest research on Agriculture and Nutrition in Africa from a broad range of research organisations - not just those involved in the Agridiet project. All the documents shown are freely available to download. This service is provided in partnership with IDS Knowledge Services using open data supplied by Eldis.

To suggest a document for inclusion in the Resource Centre please email eldis@ids.ac.uk or use the online document submission form.

  • Scaling Up Impact on Nutrition: What Will It Take?

    Despite consensus on actions to improve nutrition globally, less is known about how to operationalize the right mix of actions—nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive—equitably, at scale, in different contexts. This review draws on a large scaling-up literature search and 4 case studies of large-scale nutrition programs with proven impact to synthesize critical elements for impact at scale. Nine elements emerged as central: 

    1. having a clear vision or goal for impact; 
    2. intervention characteristics
    3. an enabling organizational context for scaling up
    4. establishing drivers such as catalysts, champions, systemwide ownership, and incentives
    5. choosing contextually relevant strategies and pathways for scaling up
    6. building operational and strategic capacities
    7. ensuring adequacy, stability, and flexibility of financing
    8. ensuring adequate governance structures and systems
    9. embedding mechanisms for monitoring, learning, and accountability. 

    Translating current political commitment to large-scale impact on nutrition will require robust attention to these...

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  • Understanding, enabling and building effective leadership in nutrition

    Transform Nutrition’s work on leaders in nutrition explores how effective leaders understand the systems which both shape and constrain their action; and are able to translate this understanding into action which spans the boundaries of sectors and disciplinary knowledge.
     
    Researchers within the Transform Nutrition consortium carried out a study of 89 individuals or representatives of organisations who had been identified as national level leaders within the field of nutrition in four countries: India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Ethiopia. Leaders here came from diverse backgrounds but were able to adapt strategically to the political landscape; spanning boundaries between sectors and disciplines and bring others along as their understanding of nutrition’smulti-sectoral nature developed.
     
    As what leaders do is more important that who leaders are, the researchers suggest a number of way in which leadership can be supported and built. A more structured effort is called for to build a cadre of leaders up to the challenge of working effectively to tackle undernutrition as a pressing global...

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  • Accounting for nutritional changes in six success stories: a regression-decomposition approach

    Over the past two decades, many developing countries have made impressive progress in reducing undernutrition. In this paper, the authors explore potential explanations of this success by applying consistent statistical methods to multiple rounds of Demographic Health Surveys for Bangladesh, Nepal, Ethiopia, Odisha, Senegal, and Zambia.

    The research finds that changes in household wealth, mother's education and access to antenatal care are the largest drivers of nutritional improvement, except for Zambia where large increases in bednet usage is the single largest factor. Other factors play a smaller role in explaining nutritional improvements with improvements in sanitation only appearing to be important in South Asia. Overall, the results point to the need for multidimensional nutritional strategies involving a broad range of nutrition-sensitive sectors.

    Hightlights:

    • asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries

    • improved sanitation is more strongly associated with height-for-age in South Asian countries

    • asset accumulation and parental education are important predictor of nutritional improvement in most countries

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  • Equate and conflate: political commitment to hunger and undernutrition reduction in five high-burden countries

    As political commitment is an essential ingredient for elevating food and nutrition security onto policy agendas, commitment metrics have proliferated. Many conflate government commitment to fight hunger with combating undernutrition. Here the authors test the hypothesis that commitment to hunger reduction is empirically different from commitment to reducing undernutrition through expert surveys in five high-burden countries: Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Tanzania, and Zambia.

    Findings confirm the hypothesis. The paper concludes that sensitive commitment metrics are needed to guide government and donor policies and programmatic action. Without, historically inadequate prioritisation of non-food aspects of malnutrition may persist to imperil achieving global nutrition targets.

    Hightlights:

    • nine key components of political commitment are identified

    • political commitment to reducing (a) hunger and (b) undernutrition is measured
    • research uses expert perception surveys in Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Tanzania, and Zambia

    • hunger reduction commitment differs from commitment to address undernutrition
    • commitment metrics must be sensitive to these differences to better guide...

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  • Championing nutrition: effective leadership for action

    The calls for strong leadership in the fight against global and national malnutrition have multiplied during the past decade. The role of nutrition champions in advocating for nutrition, formulating policies, and coordinating and implementing action in nutrition have increasingly been recognized in such countries as Peru, Brazil, Thailand, and the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. Global initiatives such as the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement, the African Nutrition Leadership Programme, and the European Nutrition Leadership Platform have invested in building up capacity for leadership among national governments, civil society, and the private sector. The World Public Health Nutrition Association’s guide on competencies needed to build up the workforce in global public health nutrition identified leadership as key. More widely, leadership within the field of public health has been highlighted as key to moving child or maternal health higher up on the global agenda and tackling critical issues such as HIV and AIDS at the national and community levels.

    While evidence within the nutrition and public health arenas points time and again to the role of leadership in successfully crafting nutrition policies and movements, little is actually known about the characteristics of leaders in nutrition: who they are, how they function, with whom they work, and what makes them effective.
     
    This chapter aims to answer some of these questions. It first reviews the literature on leadership within both nutrition and other disciplines. It then draws on interviews conducted with 89 influential decision makers in four countries with high burdens of undernutrition: Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, and Kenya. The chapter also highlights a case study on leadership from Zambia and 10 nutrition champions identified as part of a global selection process run by Transform Nutrition in 2015, in order to conveythe depth and breadth of the experience of these leaders.

    This paper is a chapter in Nourishing millions: Stories of change in nutrition. Gillespie, Stuart; Hodge, Judith; Yosef, Sivan; and Pandya-Lorch, Rajul (Eds.) Ch. 18 Pp. 161-172. Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute....

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  • Stories of change in nutrition: an overview

    After a period of relative success in generating political momentum to address malnutrition, there is an increasing urgency to focus on implementation and impact on the ground. This requires better documentation of the experiences of policymakers, nutrition leaders, program managers and implementers in making decisions on what to do in real time, such as coordinating and implementing multisectoral nutrition plans in dynamic country contexts.

    The goal of the Stories of Change (SoC) initiative is to foster and support such experiential learning by systematically assessing and analysing drivers of change in six high-burden contexts (Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Nepal and Odisha, India) that have had some success in accelerating improvements in nutrition. While recognising context-specificity, here the authors unpack the key pre-requisites (commitment, coherence, accountability, data, leadership, capacity and finance) that fuel and sustain progress.

    Highlights of this research:

    • political commitment is essential, but institutional commitment needed for action
    • leadership is transformational, and pivotal in triggering and sustaining change
    • Policy coherence, accountability, data, capacity and finance are other key...

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  • What drives and constrains effective leadership in tackling child undernutrition? Findings from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India and Kenya

    Strong leadership has been highlighted as a common element of success within countries that have made rapid progress in tackling child and maternal undernutrition. Yet little is known of what contributes to nutrition leaders’ success or lack of it in particular policy environments.

    This study of 89 individuals identified as influential within child and maternal undernutrition policy and programming in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Kenya and India sheds light on why particular individuals have been effective in contributing towards positive changes in nutrition policy, and how they operate in the wider policy/political sphere. The authors employ a framework working outwards from individual capabilities, knowledge and motivations, through to wider political economy considerations and the narratives and knowledge structuring individual capacity. The paper argues that only by locating individuals within this wider political economy can we begin to appreciate the range of strategies and avenues for influence (or constraints to that influence) that individual leaders employ and encounter.

    Highlights:

    • interviews with 89 leaders in four countries shed light on the incentives and constraints to effective leadership
    • understanding leadership entails studying the adaptive practice of leaders rather than their personalities
    • leaders studied operate within fluid boundaries set by local political-economies of nutrition
    • successful leaders (high adult development levels) are able to span boundaries and translate between disciplines and sectors
    • supportive action can develop leadership attributes in individuals and their networks in a number of ways identified...

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  • Equate and Conflate: Political Commitment to Hunger and Undernutrition Reduction in Five High-Burden Countries

    As political commitment is an essential ingredient for elevating food and nutrition security onto policy agendas, commitment metrics have proliferated. Many conflate government commitment to fight hunger with combating undernutrition. This study tests the hypothesis that commitment to hunger reduction is empirically different from commitment to reducing undernutrition through expert surveys in five high-burden countries: Bangladesh, Malawi, Nepal, Tanzania, and Zambia. The findings confirm the hypothesis. The paper concludes that sensitive commitment metrics are needed to guide government and donor policies and programmatic action. Without these metrics being available to guide policy, historically inadequate prioritization of non-food aspects of malnutrition may persist to imperil achieving global nutrition...

    Read more


  • Effect of multiple micronutrient supplementation during pregnancy on maternal and birth outcomes

    Given the widespread prevalence of micronutrient deficiencies in developing countries, supplementation with multiple micronutrients rather than iron-folate alone, could be of potential benefit to the mother and the fetus. These benefits could relate to prevention of maternal complications and reduction in other adverse pregnancy outcomes such as small-for-gestational age (SGA) births, low birth weight, stillbirths, […]

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