LCIRAH is currently working on the following programmes:
LANSA is a new international research partnership that explores how agriculture and agri-food systems can be better designed to advance nutrition, specifically focusing on policies, interventions and strategies to improve the nutritional status of children in South Asia.
LCIRAH brings to LANSA a team of agricultural development economists and nutritionists who are well-versed in interdisciplinary research along the agri-food nutrition-health continuum. LCIRAH co-leads two research themes; agri-food value chains (strategies and policies) and pro-nutrition agricultural interventions. The LCIRAH team also makes a significant contribution to LANSA's capacity building activities.
IMMANA is a £7.2m research partnership funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and coordinated by LCIRAH. The IMMANA project aims to:
1) Develop scientific evidence to inform effective policies and investments in agriculture for improved nutrition and health
2) Engage with the research community to stimulate development of innovative methodological approaches and novel metrics
3) Train young researchers in developing and applying cutting-edge methods
4) Strengthen international interdisciplinary research collaborations for evidence-based policy making and programme design.
IMMANA consists of:
1) Research Grants to develop new interdisciplinary metrics and methods
2) Research Fellowships to support early career scientists
3) Global Research Network to serve as a platform for learning.
Innovative Food Systems Teaching and Learning (IFSTAL)
Cross-university, interdisciplinary food systems training to improve food security and environmental outcomes.
IFSTAL is an interactive training programme designed to improve post-graduate level knowledge and understanding of the food system. With core funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), it brings together expertise and experience of faculty and students from five leading higher education partners.
IFSTAL addresses the urgent lack of a workforce skilled in food systems thinking. It adopts a range of teaching methods and a virtual learning environment to link students with the complementary skills of the collaborating institutions. In addition, a comprehensive research placement and internship programme is being developed, strengthening links with potential employers and improving workplace skills. Through IFSTAL, students will be equipped with the knowledge, skills and opportunities needed for them to be more effective in the workplace. This will allow them to address the systemic failings in food systems which have resulted in the current challenges we're facing, such as one billion people being hungry, two billion lacking sufficient nutrients, and over two billion overweight or obese, as well as strain and damage to the ecosystem.
LCIRAH is an IFSTAL consortium partner and has a strong commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and training using various formats (e.g. online courses, seminars, workshops, etc.). IFSTAL therefore makes an important contribution to LCIRAH’s research strategy on integrating research in agriculture and health, interdisciplinary work, and its strategic focus on promoting education in food systems skills.
Future Diets and Health (FUDAH): how will environmental changes affect food availability, food consumption and health?
Over the coming decades, multiple environmental changes will likely lead to significant shifts in global food production and quality. So far, there is little understanding about how this will affect the nutrition and health of populations globally.
The FUDAH programme, led by Professor Alan Dangour from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with researchers from Imperial College London and Harvard University, is taking an interdisciplinary approach to map the links between environmental change, food availability, food quality, dietary intake, nutrition and health.
Researchers have designed a framework to capture pathways through which environmental changes may impact health and nutrition through the food system. This framework has been applied to create systematic reviews of the literature on the impact of environmental changes to yields and quality of fruit and vegetables, and will also be used to develop a macro-model showing how environmental changes may affect nutrition and health through availability of fruit and vegetables in the UK and India.
The project is identifying where policy-level interventions can have the greatest impact on different parts of the food system. This will develop knowledge and understanding to enable policymakers to better support the health of their populations over the next 20 to 30 years.