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Primary school students in Madagascar enjoy their school lunch. Credit: WFP/Anna Yla Kauttu

Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition

Promote credible and independent research to facilitate evidence-based decision making on school health and nutrition for policy makers and program implementers.

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About us

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.

Research and publications

Academic, research and development partners are working together to fill the global knowledge gap in school health and nutrition.

About us
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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.
Who we are
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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.

Flowchart showing Research Consortium for School Health and Nutrition's four communities of practice (Impact & Evidence; Analytics & Metrics; Health & Learning Lab; and Cultivating Talent)
Research
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The Research Consortium is collaborating with leading academic institutions to bring independent research into the policy space of decision makers, starting with three efforts:

  1. 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;
  2. Economists from the University of Oxford are assessing the impact of school health and nutrition interventions on learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS); and
  3. 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.
Publications

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.

Publications
The Role of Health in Education and Human Capital: why an integrated approach to school health could make a difference to the futures of schoolchildren in low income countries.
Cohee L, Halliday K, Gelli A, Mwenyango I, Lavadenz F, Burbano C, Drake L and Bundy DAP
Journal of The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
COVID-19: Missing More Than a Classroom. The impact of school closures on children’s nutrition
Borkowski A, Ortiz-Correa JS, Bundy DAP, Burbano C, Hayashi C, Lloyd-Evans E, Neitzel J and Reuge N.
2021
Innocenti Working Paper 2021-01. Florence: UNICEF Office of Research – Innocenti
State of School Feeding Worldwide, 2020
UN World Food Programme
2020
The United Nations World Food Programme, Rome, 2020. 242 pp
Establishing Global School Feeding Program Targets: How Many Poor Children Globally Should Be Prioritized, and What Would Be the Cost of Implementation?
Drake L, Lazrak N, Fernandes M, Chu K, Singh S, Ryckembusch D, Nourozi S, Bundy DAP and Burbano C.
2020
Frontiers in Public Health, 8:530176.
Disease Control Priorities, Third Edition: Volume 8. Child and adolescent health and development.
Bundy DAP, De Silva N, Horton S, Jamison DT and Patton GC.
2018
Washington, DC, World Bank.
Re-Imagining School Feeding: A High-Return Investment in Human Capital and Local Economies.
Bundy DAP, de Silva N, Horton S, Jamison DT and Patton GC, eds.
2018
Washington, DC, World Bank.
School Feeding: a game changer.
Bundy DAP and Burbano C.
2018
Policy Options Politique, November 3 2018, pages 1-4. Montreal, Canada.
Investment in child and adolescent health and development: key messages from Disease Control Priorities, 3rd Edition.
Bundy DAP, de Silva N, Horton S, Patton GC, Schultz L, Jamison DT for the DCP3 Child and Adolescent Health Authors Group.
2017
The Lancet
The Evolution of School Health and Nutrition in the Education Sector in sub-Saharan Africa (2000-2015).
Bachir S, Fernandes M, Banham L, Bundy DAP, Drake LJ.
2017
In Frontiers in Public Health 01/2017; 4(2).
Global School Feeding Sourcebook: Lessons from 14 countries.
Drake L, Woolnough A, Burbano C and Bundy DAP.
2016
London, UK, Partnership for Child Development, Imperial College.
Rethinking school feeding: Social safety nets, child development, and the education sector.
Bundy DAP, Burbano C, Grosh M, Gelli A, Jukes M, and Drake L.
2009
Washington, DC, World Bank.
Events
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Upcoming events

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.

Past events

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:

Launch event

Symposium event