Maximizing the nutrition impact of social protection programs in India: What will it take?

POSHAN and Transform Nutrition Delhi seminar: October 16th

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You can find the draft agenda, here

In the past decade, India has witnessed a rise in the coverage and uptake of social protection programs including the Public Distribution System (PDS), the Mid-day Meal Scheme (MDMS) and Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). Apart from ensuring greater equity, such programs have untapped potential to deliver nutrition outcomes because they directly address the underlying determinants of undernutrition such as food security, poverty, and education, among others.

With this in mind, POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities for Strengthening and Harmonizing Actions for Nutrition in India), Transform Nutrition, and 3ie are jointly organizing the seminar ‘Maximizing the nutrition impact of social protection programs in India: What will it take?’, which will be held on October 16th, 2015 in New Delhi.

The seminar sessions are built largely on findings from research currently being conducted both within and outside India, as well as a review of the literature around social protection programs in India and their nutritional linkages. The seminar is intended to bring together evidence that can inform and support policy initiatives aimed at maximizing the potential of social protection programs to deliver nutrition outcomes. It will offer a platform for the discussion of implementation experiences, research findings and policy mechanisms from across India, as well as an opportunity for the presentation of some important lessons from an international context. Within India, this seminar will be focused on the nutritional aspects of large scale Indian social protection programs such as the PDS, MDMS and MNREGA, on the ways in which these can be strengthened and improved. In addition, the event will also showcase global evidence from experiments with other transfer modalities.

By bringing practitioners and academics together we hope to throw some light on the following questions:

  • How have government policies, especially social protection programs, succeeded or failed in achieving nutrition goals?
  • What can be done to make the existing programs more nutrition sensitive in order to ensure faster progress in the future?
  • Are there any lessons India can learn with the global literature around social protection?

The Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index: An introduction


 How can we create greater government and donor accountability for ending hunger and undernutrition? What is political commitment and how can we measure it?

On Wednesday 19 February 2014 Transform Nutrition held a seminar which presented the Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI) which ranks governments on their political commitment to tackling hunger and undernutrition. The index was created to provide greater transparency and public accountability by measuring what governments achieve, and where they fail, in addressing hunger and undernutrition. The HANCI research team introduced their metric and methods and present the data and findings from the project so far. You can listen to the seminar again here as it was livestreamed.

Seminar: The Politics of Reducing Malnutrition

DSC_0078smOn Wednesday 22nd January Transform Nutrition held a seminar at the Institute of Development Studies. Stuart Gillespie (IFPRI ) and Nick Nisbett (IDS) talked about how  in recent years, political discourse on the challenge of undernutrition has increased markedly, leading to stated commitments on the part of many national governments, international organizations and donors. But they suggested that our understanding of what constitutes an “enabling environment for nutrition” is not well developed, and the nutrition research paradigm has routinely neglected the politics of reducing malnutrition.  This presentation derived from work conducted for the fourth paper from the Lancet Nutrition Series, released in June 2013.



Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture, Production Diversity and Nutrition: Evidence from Nepal

A recent Transform Nutrition Seminar was held at Institute of Development Studies on ‘Women’s Empowerment in Agriculture, Production Diversity and Nutrition: Evidence from Nepal’. Presented by Suneetha Kadiyala from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Suneetha presented the household survey data from Nepal and explains how it has been used to investigate relationships between women’s empowerment in agriculture and production diversity on dietary diversity and anthropometric outcomes of mothers and children. A podcast from the event is available here.

IDS Transforming Nutrition Seminar – Suneetha Kadiyala by Ids (Uk) on Mixcloud