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Roads to interdisciplinarity - working at the nexus among food systems, nutrition and health: 1st annual Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy Week, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 20-24 June 2016

Roads to interdisciplinarity - working at the nexus among food systems, nutrition and health: 1st annual Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy Week, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 20-24 June 2016

Picchioni, F. ORCID: 0000-0002-3456-386X, Aurino, E., Aleksandrowicz, L., Bruce, M., Chesterman, S., Dominguez-Salas, P. ORCID: 0000-0001-8753-4221, Gersten, Z., Kalamatianou, S., Turner, C. ORCID: 0000-0002-8091-1108 and Yates, J. (2017) Roads to interdisciplinarity - working at the nexus among food systems, nutrition and health: 1st annual Agriculture, Nutrition and Health (ANH) Academy Week, Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), 20-24 June 2016. In: Food Security. Springer, pp. 181-189. ISSN 1876-4517 (Print), 1876-4525 (Online) (doi:

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The development agenda over the next 15 years will be framed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), of which more than half relate either directly or indirectly to the agricultural sector, highlighting its importance in economic growth and development of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (FAO 2015). It is therefore imperative that agricultural systems are better understood, so that they may be strengthened and optimised to deliver outcomes in line with the SDGs. The interface between agriculture, nutrition and health is particularly multifaceted and complex, and the development of successful strategies will require an integrated and multi-sectoral approach (Dorward and Dangour 2012; Jones and Ejeta 2016).

‘Agri-health’ is an evolving paradigm seeking to unify research approaches and methodologies between agriculture and health. Research within the field encapsulates a broad range of disciplines, locations and actors, and aligns these into a common research agenda. In doing so, agri-health aims to transcend barriers imposed by the longstanding institutional and disciplinary silos. Much progress has been made in recent years in this regard (Harris et al. 2013; Kanter et al. 2014; Picchioni et al. 2015). However, more coordinated efforts are required to generate consensus and target strategic priorities amongst the many existing information gaps (Webb and Kennedy 2014). Understanding the linkages between complex issues such as globalisation, climate change, food systems, and evolving burdens of malnutrition is central to agri-health research.

The Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) was created in 2010 with a key focus on agri-health interdisciplinary research. LCIRAH includes experts from across the member colleges of the University of London: the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and the Royal Veterinary College (RVC).

The Agriculture, Nutrition and Health Academy (ANH Academy), was established in 2015 as a platform to facilitate learning, knowledge sharing, capacity building and collaborative partnerships among the growing global community of researchers, practitioners and policy makers working within agri-health. It was developed with support from the Innovative Metrics and Methods for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) research programme,Footnote1 led by LCIRAH and Tufts University, in partnership with the CGIAR Programme on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). Within this scope, the ANH Academy hosts an annual ANH Academy Week, building on the legacy of five agri-health research conferences organised by LCIRAH; as well as events and activities coordinated under the CGIAR A4NH.

The inaugural ANH Academy Week took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2016 and included two days of interactive ‘learning labs’ (training sessions on skills and methods across a broad range of disciplines in agri-health), followed by a three-day research conference. The conference included a mix of abstract-driven sessions, round table discussions, and keynote speeches from across the spectrum of agriculture, nutrition and health disciplines, and a wide range of countries.

Hawkes et al. (2012) developed a conceptual framework (Fig. 2, hereafter referred to as the Framework), outlining the key pathways through which agriculture may affect nutritional status in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs), as well as broader drivers of these pathways. Drawing on this Framework, this paper aims to provide an analytical synthesis of the ANH Academy week by mapping the research and debates presented during the conference.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Food Security
Uncontrolled Keywords: food systems, nutrition, health, food Security, low and middle income countries
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Faculty / School / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute
Faculty of Engineering & Science > Natural Resources Institute > Food & Markets Department
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 10:54
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

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