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Ten Urgent Items at the Top of the Food and Nutrition Research Agenda

Lawrence Haddad Institute of Development Studies UK

Why is undernutrition stuck in South Asia?

1. How can agriculture contribute more to undernutrition reduction? 2. Social protection: conditional or unconditional? 3. Empowering women to reduce undernutrition: within or outside programmes? 4. Will increased social accountability improve service delivery? 5. How can political commitment for undernutrition reduction be built? 6. What is the role of the private sector in nutrition?

interventions in reducing the prevalence of underweight and wasting compared to stunting can be explained at least in two ways. The interventions considered may be better suited to addressing short-term undernutrition rather than chronic undernutrition. An alternative explanation is that the studies assessed impact shortly after the interventions had taken place and could therefore not capture long-term impact such as chronic undernutrition.

How can agriculture be made more pronutrition?

Table 3.5 Impact of interventions on nutritional status of children Study Stunting (height-forUnderweight age) (weight-for-age) Aiga et al. (2002) n.s ** Faber et al. (2002) n.s n.s Hoorweg et al. (2000) ** ** Makhotla and Hendriks (2004) n.s. n.s. Low et al. (2007) n.s. ** Olney et al. (2009) n.s. n.s. Schipani et al. (2002) n.s. n.s. Shmidt and Vorster (1995) n.s. n.s.

Wasting (weight-forheight) n.s n.s. ** n.s. ** n.s n.s. n.s.

Note: in the second column, n.s. is not statistically significant, * is statistically significant at the 10% level, ** is significant at the 5% level, *** is significant at the 1% level

Overall these results provide little support to the hypothesis that agricultural interventions help reduce undernutrition. However, they should not be interpreted as Source: Masset, Haddad et. of impact. Lack of significance can be the result of absence evidence of the absenceal. 2011 of impact as well of absence of statistical power (Borenstein et al. 2009), and many of the studies reviewed were conducted over small samples of children. In empirical research it is standard practice to set a null hypothesis stating, for example, the equality of the means of two populations. If a difference between the

Figure 1. Difference in school enrollment between those who received the E1 form to enforce conditionality and those who did not, among PROGRESA transfer recipients

Difference in Enrollment Rate,

by Receipt of E1 Form -.1 -.05 0

Social Protection: To Condition or Not?


Years of Completed Schooling

IFPRI Discussion Paper 00757 2008. Must Conditional Cash Transfer Programs Be Conditioned to Be Effective? The Impact of Conditioning Transfers on School Enrollment in Mexico. Alan de Brauw and John Hoddinott

Figure 2. Difference in school enrollment between those who received the E1 form and could

Where to target womens empowerment efforts?

Nutrition Determinant Basic Underlying Immediate Eradicate discrimination Voting rights Equalise access to farm inputs Equal access to fortified foods Positive promote catch up in womens status Quotas in governance and decision making fora Target social protection to women Nutrition programmes targeted to young girls

Citizen Feedback: Are Anti-Hunger Efforts Working?

Randomised control trial of community-based monitoring of public primary health care providers in Uganda Citizen report cards reduced child mortality by 33 per cent The study documents large increases in utilisation and improved health outcomes

Cost per child death averted was $300, well below the average of $887 for 23 other interventions.
Bjrkman, M and Svensson, J. (2009) 'Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community Based Monitoring in Uganda, The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol 124: 2, pp 73569

Measuring the commitment to reduce hunger

Country Government expenditure rank Policies and programmes rank HRCI (1 is best)

Finland Belgium Ireland Norway France United Kingdom Australia Netherlands Spain Germany South Korea Japan Canada Greece Sweden Italy USA Austria Switzerland New Zealand Portugal

6 9 5 2 11 14 16 10 4 12 23 8 13 21 7 22 18 20 15 17 19

9 7 11 15 6 3 2 8 14 10 1 17 13 5 19 12 18 16 22 20 21

2 3 3 5 5 5 8 8 8 11 12 13 14 14 14 17 18 18 20 20 22

Source: IDS at

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What is the role of the private sector in nutrition?

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What to do to get Agriculture moving in Sub-Saharan Africa?

1. Large farms or small? 2. Focus on more favoured or less favoured areas? 3. How seriously to take food price volatility? 4. Why is the impact culture in agriculture so weak?

Figure 3: Potential land availability vs. potential for increasing yields, developing countries

One typology to guide farm size strategy

Type 3

Type 4

Yield Gap


Invest in smallholder agric if non agric growth limited


Potential for large farmers with good governance







Type 1


Type 2
Larger farms exist, stronger property rights, minimise externalities



Agric growth is smallholder led


-5 0 Suitable relative to cultivated area (in logarithms) Suitable relative to cultivated area

Note: Dashed lines indicate average yield gap and 50th percentile for relative suitability. Source: Deininger et al. 2011

Invest in Less Favoured or More Favoured Agricultural Land?

How seriously do we take food price volatility?

Global real price indices for major agricultural products since 1960

Source: HMG (2010) Data sourced from UNCTAD, BEA

Why is the impact culture so weak in Agriculture?

65 59 53


Percent of Large donors agriculture projects (n=35) that..

describe how should do a M&E findings will household be used survey but are not do not outline impact evaluation plan explicitly target women in outcomes

describe how a mention control group selection bias in would be understanding established impact

The answers to these questions are vital for policy They are profound questions They are researchable, but require a bit of imagination They could unlock action to rapidly accelerate progress on MDG 1

Arigatou gozaimasu!