LIDC research initiatives bring together sectoral and disciplinary experience from member Colleges to address international development problems. New initiatives arise at the inspiration of LIDC members or partners, or through LIDC workshops which bring together different research communities around a development issue for purposes of research collaboration. Well-established research collaborations become LIDC Research Themes that encompass individual research projects.
Theme 1. One Health initiative
It is recognised that health and well-being of humans, animals and environment are interconnected. Many emerging health issues are linked to increasing contact between humans and animals, intensification and integration of food production, and the expansion of international travel. Because most emerging human pathogens are of animal origin this means that zoonotic diseases (caused by infectious agents transmitted between animals and humans) pose a shared problem between the human and animal health sectors, and their control must be a shared objective.
LIDC facilitates and co-ordinates interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral approaches to address the existing and potential risks that originate at the animal-human-ecosystems interface. It brings together the expertise of biomedical, veterinary, sociological and economic researchers in its member Colleges to take a holistic approach to examine how natural and social environments affect the human and animal health. LIDC has started a Working Group on the One Health initiative.
Partnerships and capacity building in Africa
LIDC has developed a partnership with the Southern African Centre for Infectious Disease Surveillance (SACIDS) - a 'One Health' consortium of veterinary and public health institutions in Tanzania, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa. LIDC coordinates the input of RVC and LSHTM into Masters courses run by SACIDS and into the development of joint inter-sectoral research activities. LIDC is also helping SACIDS to organise inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary projects across its African member institutions. In 2011, for instance, LIDC facilitated a SACIDS strategic framework planning meeting in Tanzania, and organised a workshop on Research Leadership and Management at the SACIDS One Health conference in Johannesburg. Researchers from LIDC Colleges taught on a SACIDS One Health summer school held in Tanzania in August 2012.
One Health MSc
LIDC has facilitated the development of an interdisciplinary MSc in One Health, jointly delivered by LSHTM and RVC, which launched in October 2013.
LIDC has established a Working Group on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases that holds regular meetings.
Theme 2. Linking Agriculture and Health Research initiatives
In our rapidly changing world, an intuitive, simple and positive relationship between the production of food, its consumption and the generation of human health is proving to be neither intuitive nor simple, nor always positive. Decoupled policies and systems for agriculture and health are delivering low price food energy but are clearly not responding adequately to present global nutrition and health needs. The Millennium Development Goals to eliminate hunger and malnutrition-related deaths are falling badly behind target in some regions, while at the same time obesity and chronic diseases are soaring.
LIDC is using a new paradigm, agri-health, to establish a unifying approach and methodology for understanding the relationships between agricultural production and population health, and the factors which drive them both. This interdisciplinary initiative brings together research groups working on agricultural production; nutrition and public health; political and cultural dimensions of agriculture, food and health; and global change processes.
Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH)
LIDC established the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) with Leverhulme Trust funding to build a new inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary platform for integrating research in agriculture and health, with a focus on international development goals.
Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA)
A consortium including LCIRAH, Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia (LANSA), has secured funding for research that will examine and make recommendations on how agriculture and food-related interventions can be better designed to improve nutrition, with particular focus on children and adolescent girls. The six-year (2013 - 2018) research programme is funded through a grant from the UK government. Led by the MS Swaminathan Research Foundation in India, partners include: BRAC (Bangladesh), Collective for Social Science Research (Pakistan), Institute of Development Studies (UK), International Food Policy Research Institute (USA) and LCIRAH (UK).
Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition
In August 2013 LIDC was appointed as Secretariat for the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, funded through a grant from the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The purpose of the Panel is to provide global research and policy leadership to maximise the contribution of agriculture and food systems to improve nutrition and health outcomes, particularly of women and children.
Innovative Metrics and Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions
Innovative Metrics and Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) is a new research partnership funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and coordinated by LCIRAH. The aim of IMMANA is to accelerate the development of a robust scientific evidence base needed to guide changes in global agriculture to feed the world’s population projected to hit nine billion by 2050 in a way that is both healthy and sustainable.
Theme 3. Impact Evaluation
Seminar series 'What works in international development'
LIDC and its partner 3ie have developed a joint programme of events, including a monthly seminar series ‘What works in international development’, and a workshop on evaluating small n interventions.
Short course in impact evaluation
The working group has developed a short course in impact evaluation, which ran for the first time in November 2014.
DFID’s Global Evaluation Framework Agreement (GEFA)
LIDC and two of its constituent colleges, the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), are part of a consortium led by consultancy firm Mott MacDonald chosen as one of the service providers in DFID’s Global Evaluation Framework Agreement (GEFA).
LIDC held a conference on ‘Measuring the Impact of Higher Education Interventions for Development’ and established a Working Group on Impact Evaluation that meets regularly.
Theme 4. Higher Education for Development
In March 2012 LIDC commissioned a study on ‘Examining development evaluation in higher education interventions’, supported by the UK Collaborative on Development Sciences. Subsequently, together with the Association of Commonwealth Universities, we organised an international conference ‘Measuring the Impact of Higher Education Interventions for Development’. Experts from higher education, impact evaluation and development sectors agreed on an urgent need to develop reliable metrics for higher education interventions at the individual, institutional and societal level. Following from the conference LIDC initiated a rigorous review of evidence for impact, supported by DFID, which was launched in April 2014.
LIDC has established a Working Group on Higher Education and Development that holds regular meetings.
Theme 5. Humanitarian Crises
Following an inter-collegiate workshop in 2014, LIDC established a new Working Group on humanitarian crises with researchers from Birkbeck, IOE, LSHTM and SOAS who were enthusiastic about the potential intercollegiate collaboration. The group, which includes NGO’s interested in research on humanitarian issues, has now met four times and begun interdisciplinary collaboration, including a project funded by LIDC’s interdisciplinary seed fund which examined and compared health and education interventions in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan. Working Group members have begun to develop an intercollegiate short course which will start in the spring of 2016. LIDC is also providing support to the long-running Humanitarian Debate Series organized by Birkbeck, LSHTM, and Medicins Sans Frontieres.
Activities outside Themes
Thinking Beyond Sectors for Sustainable Development (post-2015 agenda)
In early 2014 LIDC and University Colelge London (UCL) have joined forced to explore interactions between different areas of post-Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) goal setting. A cross-disciplinary group of researchers from six institutions across London is working together to examine ways of shaping the goal-setting process through adopting a cross-sectoral approach in order to create positive synergies for development. Read more about the project and the first workshop. This initiative builds on LIDC's established expertise in research on the MDGs, starting with the LIDC-Lancet commission report The Millennium Development Goals: a cross-sectoral analysis and principles for goal setting after 2015.
Working Group on Child Development
In summer 2014 LIDC organised its first workshop on Child Development and is currently exploring the possibility of starting a working group under that theme.
Bloomsbury PhD studentships
Until 2011 LIDC was supplementing the PhD studentships provided through the Bloomsbury Colleges Consortium to encourage research on topics related to international development, by contributing towards field work costs.
Starting in 2014, LIDC is helping Bloomsbury Colleges organise the Annual Bloomsbury PhD Symposium.
Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre Seminar Series in International Development
LIDC organises a seminar series on international development for the Bloomsbury Doctoral Training Centre (DTC).
LIDC holds inter-College workshops and conferences on various development-related topics.
These have included conferences on the Millennium Development Goals and on Water Governance, and a large variety of interdisciplinary workshops on various themes in development.
Ultimately, LIDC hopes that these workshops will lead to new interdisciplinary research collaborations and proposals, which LIDC can help to prepare and submit to funding agencies.
Previous and future workshops can be found in the Events section.
LIDC members may find additional material, e.g. powerpoints, on LIDC Moodle.
To join an LIDC Working Group, please contact Gek Kwan-Lim.