The Research Consortium is a global, multi-sectoral partnership of academic, scientific and technical institutions and individuals, to promote quality research on the health, nutrition, well-being, education and development of school age children and adolescents.
Academic, research and development partners are working together to fill the global knowledge gap in school health and nutrition.
Global health has never been as important for education as it is today. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in the worst education crisis in human history, with more than 1.5 billion children suddenly excluded from education, and has highlighted the need to build-back more inclusive, efficient, and resilient education systems which ensure the health and well-being of school children, so that they are able to attend school and are ready to learn.
There is a growing global effort to help countries re-establish, increase, and improve school health and nutrition programmes, with the goals of improving the health and well-being of all children, providing a safety net for a generation, creating human capital, supporting national growth, and promoting economic development.
To ensure that the programming is evidence based, LSHTM, with financing from the UN WFP and Dubai Cares, established the Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition. The Research Consortium is a global, multi-sectoral partnership of academic, scientific and technical institutions and individuals, to promote quality research on the health, nutrition, well-being, education and development of school age children and adolescents.
Together with its partners, the Research Consortium will develop a 10-year independent research strategy on school health and nutrition. The research agenda will aim to:
- Provide evidence on the effectiveness of school feeding programmes for learning, social and physical outcomes of children and youth across the world to make the case for investment in school-based health and nutrition programmes; and
- Provide policymakers with programmatic guidance on the optimal policies to be implemented with regard to health, nutrition and education.
The Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition is hosted by LSHTM and benefits from the School’s established multi-disciplinary platform of expertise in health, nutrition and development of children and adolescents. The Research Consortium Secretariat is governed by an independent Governing Board and Research Committee. Four Communities of Practice serve as the implementing structure for the Research Committee: Impact & Evidence; (ii) Analytics & Metrics; (iii) Health & Learning Lab; and (iv) Cultivating Talent.
The Research Consortium is collaborating with leading academic institutions to bring independent research into the policy space of decision makers, starting with three efforts:
- Academics at the University of Ottawa are updating a Cochrane/Campbell systematic review to assess the impact of school health and nutrition in the key education metrics that are used to select “smart buys” for the sector;
- Economists from the University of Oxford are assessing the impact of school health and nutrition interventions on learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS); and
- Economists from Harvard University, together with the Southern African Development Community (SADC), are quantifying the value-for-money of school health and nutrition interventions in the SADC region as well as in individual countries, starting with Malawi.
There is a growing recognition that the published literature has largely overlooked the importance of investing in school-age children and adolescents. Academic, research and development partners are working together to fill the global knowledge gap in school health and nutrition.
Join the Global School Health and Research Consortium at the following upcoming events:
- July 2021
Seventh International Conference on Poverty Reduction and Child Development, Beijing (Government of China and China Development Research Foundation) - 24th July
The conference will establish the factors that allowed China to declare the End of Absolute Poverty in December 2020. Professor Bundy to speak on a panel focused on child nutrition and food safety under the COVID-19 pandemic, and on the outcome of the 100 year “Compulsory Education Students Nutrition Programme”.
Food Systems Pre-Summit, Rome (UN Food agencies; planning for the UN Food Systems Summit, New York City, September) - 26th - 28th July
The UN World Food Programme to convene governments, agencies, and academia to solidify commitments for the School Meals Coalition, which will be launched at the UN Food Systems Summit in September 2021.
Global Education Summit, hybrid virtual/in-person conference - 28th - 29th July
The Global Partnership for Education is hosting a virtual summit featuring 70 presentations as part of the Financing GPE 2021-2025 campaign.
- August 2021
Annual Conference on Ensuring Food and Nutrition Security, M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, Chennai: from the originators of the Green Revolution - 9th August
Professor Bundy to present the keynote on nutrition security policies that support women and children.
- September 2021
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO Health Network Brunch): School as a platform for sexual and reproductive health and rights interventions - 2nd September
At the invitation of the FCDO, Professors Donald Bundy and Aoife Doyle will present on the role of health/gender policies to promote adolescent girls’ retention in secondary schools.
UN Food Systems Summit, New York City - Date TBD
The UN Secretary-General will convene the 2021 Food Systems Summit with the aim of maximizing the co-benefits of a food systems approach across the entire 2030 Agenda and meeting the challenges of climate change. The School Meals Coalition will be launched alongside the Summit.
- October 2021
LACA, Birmingham, the annual meeting of the UK-wide professional body representing school nutrition services; 550 organizations including local authorities, schools, academies, institutions and the private sector - 13th October
Professor Bundy to give the keynote presentation on the global impact of school meal service interruptions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
World Food Day - 16th October
In celebration of World Food Day, the World Food Programme UK Office, together with the Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition and the Chefs’ Manifesto, will host an event to develop and strengthen the network of school feeding stakeholders in the UK.
All Party Parliamentary Group on School Food Meeting, House of Commons, London - 21st October
Professor Bundy has been asked to provide an update on the structure, 10-year agenda and roles of the Global Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition.
- November 2021
Environmental Health Group Seminar, LSHTM - 4th November
Professor Bundy will participate in the EHG Seminar Series to introduce the Research Consortium on School Health and Nutrition and to highlight opportunities for academics focused on WASH in schools to engage with the Consortium.
- February 2022
ASSIT FM, Glasgow; Annual Meeting of the Scottish Local Authorities’ Food Management Services: recognizing the introduction of Universal Free School Meals for primary school children in Scotland - 17th - 18th February
Professor Bundy will present the keynote speech on the benefits of school food interventions worldwide, and the role in reopening schools and recovering from the COVID pandemic.
Virtual launch of the Global School Health and Research Consortium - 27th May
Read the annotated agenda of the launch of the global Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition
Read the research priorities identified at the symposium of the global Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition
Full recordings of the Launch and Symposium: