Women’s roles in agriculture has been widely proposed as key to achieving improved maternal and child health and nutrition. In low-middle income countries (LMICs), rural households depend on agriculture for their livelihood, in which women actively participate, while also being more vulnerable than men to economic and food availability stresses. As large-scale, multisectoral programs in LMICs focus on sustainable agricultural development by considering women’s roles and gender equity in agriculture, it is critical to understand the impact of these programs on women’s empowerment and decision making, production diversity and dietary diversity. Research supported by the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition in Nepal, Tanzania and Uganda investigates apparent influences of gender, diversity and specificity of household food production, and food purchasing patterns on women’s dietary diversity and adequacy. Women’s empowerment, in terms of ownership and decision making in cash crops, is examined as a means to improve child and maternal nutrition and health outcomes. Please join us to learn more about the research findings and policy and programmatic implications from the studies conducted on women’s diets, roles in agriculture, health, and nutrition.
Dr. Eileen Kennedy - Eileen Kennedy is a former dean of the Friedman School. Currently a professor at the School, Kennedy's research interests include assessing the health, nutrition, diet and food security impacts of policies and programs; nutrient density and diet diversity; and agriculture nutrition linkages. She has been a member of the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition of the UN Committee on World Food Security and a member of the UN SCN Advisory Group on Nutrition. She founded and was the first Executive Director of the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. She created the Healthy Eating Index which is used as a single summary measure of diet quality.
Dr. Keith West - Keith P. West, Jr., Dr.P.H., M.P.H., R.D. is the George G. Graham Professor of Infant and Child Nutrition, and Director of the Sight and Life Global Nutrition Research Institute in the Department of International Health at The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland. He completed his dietetic internship at Walter Reed General Hospital and earned his Masters’ and Doctoral Degrees in Public Health at Johns Hopkins. Dr. West has worked in Southern Asia (Indonesia, Bangladesh and Nepal), the Western Pacific (Philippines and Micronesia) and SubSaharan Africa (Malawi and Zambia), conducting collaborative research to prevent health consequences and reduce mortality due to micronutrient deficiencies in infants, children and women. He has served as the Johns Hopkins sub-award lead for Nutrition Innovation Lab activities, designing a nationally representative, multiyear, surveillance system (PoSHAN Studies) to assess pathways from agriculture-to-nutrition in Nepal. Professor West has authored over 260 scientific publications, and is a recipient of the International Nutrition Prize, a Fellow and is the current Director At-Large for Global Nutrition in the American Society of Nutrition.
Dr. Nassul Kabunga - Nassul Kabunga is an Evaluation Research Economist affiliated to the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University. Nassul Kabunga holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and Rural Development from Goettingen University (in Germany), an MSc from Hannover University (in Germany), and a B.Sc. from Makerere University Kampala (Uganda). Over the past year, Nassul has been working as a Consultant at the Uganda National Information Platforms for Nutrition to build capacity of national institutions in compiling and analyzing existing datasets so as to provide evidencebased policy and program interventions to improve nutrition outcomes in Uganda. Previously, Nassul was a Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) where he supported various research analyzing the impact and cost effectiveness of interventions geared towards reducing poverty as well as maternal and child malnutrition.
Alexandra Bellows - Alexandra Bellows is a nutrition PhD student in the Department of International Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She completed her undergraduate studies in Human Biology, Health and Society at Cornell University, and she has a Master of Science in Nutritional Epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Her research focuses on how to measure and improve diets and food systems. She is specifically interested in exploring linkages between agriculture, the food environment, and diet quality.