Action Against Stunting Summit

Our co-lead organisation, the London International Development Centre (LIDC) held an Action Against Stunting Summit on 23 April 2018.

This brought together researchers, policymakers and civil society to discuss and debate the role of disruptive research in global child nutrition. It also identified leverage points where research findings could inform policy and practice.

First an academic panel explored ‘next-generation’ research – looking at the whole child – that aims to prevent stunting and reverse certain aspects of it. Panel discussions covered epigenetics (biological mechanisms that switch genes on and off), parasites, the gut microbiome, early child development, strengthening food systems, Senegal’s approach to tackling stunting, behavioural changes in nutrition, values-based approaches and reducing stunting in Indonesia.

Next came a roundtable with decision-makers. This explored approaches to addressing malnutrition and stunting by the World Health Organization, the Global Challenges Research Fund, the World Food Programme and Save the Children, among other organisations.

The summit finished with an interactive workshop in which participants were invited to identify mechanisms to implement solutions on the ground quickly. Attendees stressed the need for effective collaboration and communication, mechanisms in place to assure speed, flexibility and opportunity and joint ownership of the research agenda.