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London International Development Centre

Development Matters: Assessing impact of malaria control on early cognitive development and educational outcomes for children in Mali and Senegal.

In May 2013 LIDC awarded its first Fellowship grants for interdisciplinary research in international development to three inter-college teams of academics from Bloomsbury Colleges. Nearly a year into the projects, LIDC talked to one of the teams: Martha Betson, Research Fellow in One Health at the Royal Veterinary College; and Julian Drewe, Lecturer in veterinary epidemiology at the Royal Veterinary College. The team are looking at how land use changes influence macaque behaviour and interactions with humans in Malaysia.

A team from the Royal Veterinary College, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and their partners have been awarded a grant to study the relationship between livestock value chains and nutritional status of women and children.

On 1 December we celebrate World AIDS Day. Between 2011-2015, World AIDS Day has the theme: "Getting to zero: zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS-related deaths."

Climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Among other effects, climate change is a major threat to human health. As a result, we live in a carbon constrained world. Emissions targets set at the multilateral level and high price of oil impose constraints on development, particularly severe for developing countries.

World Food Day 2012: Agri-Health – a new paradigm to tackle hunger and malnutrition?

In this episode of Development Matters, coinciding with World Food Day on the 16th October 2012, Anna Marry from LIDC talks to Bhavani Shankar, Professor of International Agriculture, Food and Health at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); and Alan Dangour, Senior Lecturer at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Registered Nutritionist, about how to align agriculture and health in order to feed the growing global population in a healthy and sustainable manner.

2nd Annual LCIRAH Agri-Health Workshop: The Role of Agricultural and Food Systems Research in Combating Chronic Disease for Development. London, 2nd-3rd July, 2012

Distinguished Lecture: “The Politics of Food: the View from 2012" by Marion Nestle; Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University (Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre)

2nd Annual LCIRAH Agri-Health Workshop: The Role of Agricultural and Food Systems Research in Combating Chronic Disease for Development. London, 2nd-3rd July, 2012

Welcome by Professor Andy Haines, LSHTM

2nd Annual LCIRAH Agri-Health Workshop: The Role of Agricultural and Food Systems Research in Combating Chronic Disease for Development. London, 2nd-3rd July, 2012

Session 1: Chronic Disease as a Development Problem: Expert perspectives from the health, agri-food and development sectors, followed by panel discussion. Chair: Jeff Waage (LIDC/ LCIRAH)

2nd Annual LCIRAH Agri-Health Workshop: The Role of Agricultural and Food Systems Research in Combating Chronic Disease for Development. London, 2nd-3rd July, 2012

Session 2: Value Chain Interventions and Chronic Disease

Intervening at multiple points within food value chains to modify the health profiles of food products and diets is a potential means to improving chronic disease outcomes via the food sector. This session will provide an overview, followed by three case studies, and will conclude with comments from discussants and audience. Chair: Marie Ruel (IFPRI)

2nd Annual LCIRAH Agri-Health Workshop: The Role of Agricultural and Food Systems Research in
Combating Chronic Disease for Development. London, 2nd-3rd July, 2012

What are the links between upstream policy initiated in the agri-food sector on downstream impacts on chronic disease in a development context? What are the priority research areas? This session will provide an overview, followed by two case studies, and will conclude with comments from discussants and audience. Chair: Corinna Hawkes (City University). Recorded on the 3rd July 2012, Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS.

Expert panel discussion: Global perspectives on the future direction of Agriculture and NCD research for development. Chair: John McDermott (IFPRI) Recorded on Tuesday 3rd July 2012 at the Brunei Gallery Lecture Theatre, SOAS.

LIDC-RAS Debate: 'Beyond Aid. Britain, Africa and Agriculture: Who benefits?'
Event held on the 17th November 2011 at the Houses of Parliament

LIDC and its partner Royal African Society (RAS) brought together an array of speakers in an interactive debate to spell out how Britain-Africa agricultural relations can work to mutual benefit.

28 November 2011, 6 – 7.30 pm, Elvin Room, Institute of Education
This event, organised jointly by LIDC and ONE, looked at how to bridge the gap between research, advocacy and policy for international development, using the format of an interactive debate.

Dr Val Curtis, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, describes how the simple act of handwashing with soap could save one million lives a year. She explains her key role in the creation of Global Handwashing Day, held annually on October 15, and how major companies are working together with academics as part of this unusual public-private partnership.

October 10: Kevin “Bananaman” Allen, of Banana Appeal, and Emmanuel Jal, rapper and former child soldier.

An interview with Guy Collender, Communications Officer of the LIDC

Mobile phones are revolutionising many aspects of life in Africa, from commerce to monitoring animal disease. Listen to a series of short interviews about some of the latest developments.

An interview with Ken Banks the creator of Frontline SMS, a text messaging service software for mobile phones.

October 9: Leon Benjamin, author of Winning By Sharing; Ken Banks, of FrontlineSMS; and Teddy Ruge, of Project Diaspora

The MDG1 targets aim to reduce poverty and hunger and increase gainful employment. Although there are substantial data and methodological difficulties in tracking the targets, it is clear that despite some significant achievements they will be missed in many parts of the world in 2015. It is very important to understand these achievements and failures, and their respective causes. Agriculture and food are critical to MDG1 in a number of ways, particularly in areas where progress has already been slow.

MDG 2, the achievement of universal primary education, has a target of ensuring that by 2015 children everywhere will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling. Net enrolment ratios have increased, with notable regional increases in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia. However, regional ratios disguise wide variations between countries. National ratios disguise variations in enrolment patterns across the grades of primary education and in the enrolment by grade patterns by income group, gender and location.

This presentation looked at the ways in which MDG3 was conceptualised as foundational to the other MDGs with an earlier target date. It highlights the debate as to whether this position enabled the MDG project to take a global agenda for women's rights further or contributed to a fracturing of the alliances built in the wake of the Beijing conference in 1995.

The intensity of international efforts to reduce child mortality has varied since global child mortality data became available. During the 1980s UNICEF spearheaded a “Child Survival Revolution” focused on simple, mainly vertical, interventions, yet in the 1990s interest waned as UNICEF focused on other issues and child survival seemed to disappear from WHO’s agenda. The MDGs have given renewed energy to the child survival movement, especially MDG4’s target to reduce under-five mortality by two-thirds. This is meant to be a global and regional goal, not a country-level goal.

Delivering a baby can be a time of great celebration, but is also a time of great risk. Two-fifths of maternal deaths occur from the start of labour until 24 hours later. Every minute a woman dies in childbirth or from complications during pregnancy. The current slow progress in achieving MDG 5’s target to reduce maternal mortality by three-quarters requires us to speed up the provision of good quality delivery care. There are also huge differences in coverage of such care between and within countries.

Progress is being made to achieve the targets for MDG 6 but there is more work to be done. Global trends for HIV show that the epidemic is beginning to plateau but the need for treatment and prevention continues to outpace current interventions. Malaria interventions with bed-nets and appropriate anti-malarial treatment for children under five are making inroads into reducing deaths.

This presentation provided some basic definitions of environmental sustainability. It also identified the players that can determine the pace at which sustainability may be achieved. It was shown that there are a number of different ways of 'knowing' sustainability and 'doing something about' bringing it about. The role of consumption was highlighted, and the challenges of changing behaviour in both the South and the North. This framework contributed to the analysis of MDG 7 and provided an explanation of outcomes and the basis of a critique.

This presentation covered three areas: 1) a short history of the MDGs and their rationale, 2) progress on MDG8 (ODA, debt relief and access to markets), and 3) current challenges in light of the financial crisis and the projected economic downturn.