A mother and her two children taking part in the MASSIV trial in Bassee - Louis Leeson / LSHTM
What we do
We are falling behind in our efforts to tackle stunting. Failure to eradicate this preventable condition is seeing children, their families, communities and nations suffering both immediate and long term consequences.
We aim to transform current research on child stunting by incorporating the ‘whole child’ approach, looking at every aspect of a child's early development and understanding where interventions can be made to transform the lives of some of the most vulnerable children in India, Indonesia and Senegal.
The tools and approaches we develop in the Hub have the potential to change the lives of a million children worldwide.
We’re working with our partners to fundamentally change the way we support children already affected by stunting and implement more effective approaches to prevention.
Grant: £19.76 million
Funder: UKRI through the Global Challenges Research Fund
Project locations: India, Indonesia and Senegal
Team locations: 18 institutions in India, Indonesia, Kenya, Senegal and the UK
Lead organisations: London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the London International Development Centre
The whole-child approach to stunting
Research into stunting has tended to focus on finding a ‘silver bullet’ – a single, focused solution. But it’s a hugely complex issue that can’t be solved by any one intervention alone.
To tackle child stunting, we need to understand all its causes – everything that shapes a child’s prospects in life – how they interact, and how we can play a pivotal role in educating families, communities and local governments to make long-lasting positive changes.
We intend to transform the focus of the current research to the ‘whole child' approach - by looking beyond the one cause assumption of stunting.
Disruptive research into a critical challenge
We know that in order for change to take place we need to challenge and redefine existing child stunting research.
Here is how we plan to do this:
- We will explore the relationship between the biological, social, environmental and behavioural causes of stunting: the whole-child approach
- We will create a new typology to classify different types of stunting
- We will develop and implement effective interventions to tackle stunting
- We will create a decision-support tool for policy makers to collate project and national-level data and assess the impact of interventions both before and after the Hub’s timeline
- We will embed Hub research in the international development community
Who we are working with
We are working closely with communities across India, Indonesia and Senegal where the numbers of children who are stunted is increasing.
In Indonesia 20.1% of children under two are stunted (2022). In India, it is as high as 35.5%, and in Senegal, it is approximately to 17.9% (2021). These figures, though improving, can continue to increase without appropriate intervention mechanisms. Such interventions are now more paramount than ever to mitigate the effects of global conflicts, the climate crisis, and COVID-19.
We are therefore working together with organisations, from local governments to civil society organisations and community groups, to revolutionise how we can prevent stunting and intervene to support children already affected by it.