<div class="title-block" style="border-bottom-color: #b56b79"><h1><img class="title-image" src="http://www.heart-resources.org/wp-content/themes/heart/images/education.svg">Education and Health</h1><div class="post-type-description"></div></div> – Health and Education Advice and Resource Team http://www.heart-resources.org Providing DFID staff and other development actors with health, education and nutrition knowledge and expertise from around the world Fri, 02 Mar 2018 13:10:49 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.4 “If we eat well, we can study”: dietary diversity in the everyday lives of children in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, India http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/if-we-eat-well-we-can-study-dietary-diversity-in-the-everyday-lives-of-children-in-andhra-pradesh-and-telangana-india/ http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/if-we-eat-well-we-can-study-dietary-diversity-in-the-everyday-lives-of-children-in-andhra-pradesh-and-telangana-india/#respond Wed, 27 Jan 2016 10:32:50 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=doc_lib&p=28558 Read more]]> This paper investigates young people’s and their caregivers’ experiences of food insecurity, diet and eating practices in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in India. It also provides original child-focused evidence on perceptions of government food programmes such as the Midday Meal Scheme and the Targeted Public Distribution System. The paper analyses three rounds of longitudinal qualitative data and one round of survey data from Young Lives.

The paper finds that:

  • access to good-quality food is a key preoccupation for children and families in low-income households;
  • there is widespread awareness of the importance of a good diet for health, nutrition and cognition (among children as well as caregivers), irrespective of their age, education or income levels;
  • the quality of diet is sensitive to the precarious economic circumstances in which families find themselves, and is affected by food price rises and drought;
  • food programmes, particularly school meals, are generally seen as valuable safety net interventions, although concerns emerged regarding the quality of the food provided, in private schools and hostels as well as in government schools.

The paper concludes that children’s experiences are important to take account of when public programmes are implemented, and that there are high levels of awareness of the importance of dietary diversity that could be built upon in health and nutritional programmes.

Those interested in this document may wish to read the Helpdesk Report on School Feeding available here



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School meals as a safety net: an evaluation of the midday meal scheme in India http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/school-meals-as-a-safety-net-an-evaluation-of-the-midday-meal-scheme-in-india-2/ http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/school-meals-as-a-safety-net-an-evaluation-of-the-midday-meal-scheme-in-india-2/#respond Wed, 27 Jan 2016 10:19:16 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=doc_lib&p=28557 Read more]]> Despite the popularity of school meals, there is little evidence on their effect on health outcomes. This study uses newly available longitudinal data from the state of Andhra Pradesh in India to estimate the impact of the introduction of a national midday meal programme on anthropometric z-scores of primary school students, and investigates whether the programme ameliorated the deterioration of health in young children caused by a severe drought. Correcting for self-selection into the programme using a non-linearity in how age affects the probability of enrollment, this study argues that the programme acted as a safety net for children, providing large and significant health gains for children whose families suffered from drought.

Those interested in this document may wish to read the Helpdesk Report on School Feeding available here



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The impact of the midday meal scheme on nutrition and learning http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/the-impact-of-the-midday-meal-scheme-on-nutrition-and-learning/ http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/the-impact-of-the-midday-meal-scheme-on-nutrition-and-learning/#respond Wed, 27 Jan 2016 10:10:47 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=doc_lib&p=28556 Read more]]> Food insecurity and poor nutrition remain a problem in many developing countries and can have profound effects on children’s health and their development. The Midday Meal Scheme in India is a programme covering primary school children to improve nutrition as well as increase educational enrolment, retention and attendance. This policy brief examines the effect of the scheme on nutrition (through testing height and weight) and on children’s learning (through testing vocabulary). The policy brief finds significant evidence of positive, protective effects, particularly for children growing up in communities affected by drought, suggesting there are substantial benefits of school feeding schemes for children’s learning and development.

Those interested in this document may wish to read the Helpdesk Report on School Feeding available here


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Evaluating Commonwealth Scholarships in the United Kingdom: Assessing impact in the health sector http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/evaluating-commonwealth-scholarships-in-the-united-kingdom-assessing-impact-in-the-health-sector/ http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/evaluating-commonwealth-scholarships-in-the-united-kingdom-assessing-impact-in-the-health-sector/#respond Tue, 03 Nov 2015 23:14:22 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=doc_lib&p=28022 Read more]]> The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK (CSC),  a major international scholarship agency funded by the UK government, is responsible for disbursing scholarships, as investment in the skills, human capacity and higher education systems that developing countries need to devise their own long-term solutions to key global health issues. This report aims to assess the impact of these awards, particularly in the light of global health priorities. The report provides an outline of key development priorities in health and the role of Commonwealth Scholarships in development. The main body of the report considers all of CSC’s health-related alumni and the wider impact of health-related awards, before narrowing the focus to a selection of case studies and a group of survey respondents, and then looking in particular at five alumni who were interviewed in depth on the impact of their awards. The overview of priority areas in the health sector highlights a need for skills and expertise in areas such as maternal and child health, HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other infectious diseases. Many of CSC alumni, who studied in a variety of different disciplines and towards different qualifications, have had an impact in areas that directly contribute towards the Millennium Development Goals, in particular Goals 4, 5 and 6: reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases. The report concludes that the CSC’s alumni in the health sector are having considerable impact both within the sector, and also towards wider development objectives.

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The state of the world’s children 2015: reimagine the future http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/the-state-of-the-worlds-children-2015-reimagine-the-future/ http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/the-state-of-the-worlds-children-2015-reimagine-the-future/#respond Tue, 03 Nov 2015 13:46:47 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=doc_lib&p=27893 Read more]]> To mark the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the 2015 edition of The State of the World’s Children calls for brave and fresh thinking to address age-old problems that still affect the world’s most disadvantaged children. The report is inspired by the work of innovators around the world who are pushing boundaries and crafting solutions for local problems that reflect urgent global needs towards a future in which all children can enjoy their rights. Much of the content of the report is crowdsourced, emerging out of the experiences and insights of people who are actively working to make the world better for every child. The digital report includes an interactive platform that maps innovations in countries all over the world, and invites users to put their own ideas ‘on the map’.

The interactive digital report can be accessed here.


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Improving Health and Social Cohesion through Education http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/improving-health-and-social-cohesion-through-education/ http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/improving-health-and-social-cohesion-through-education/#respond Fri, 25 Sep 2015 13:25:16 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=doc_lib&p=27659 Read more]]> Today’s global policy climate underlines the importance of better addressing non-economic dimensions of well-being and social progress such as health, social engagement, political interest and crime. Education plays an important role in shaping indicators of progress. However, we understand little about the causal effects, the causal pathways, the role of contexts and the relative impacts that different educational interventions have on social outcomes.

This report addresses challenges in assessing the social outcomes of learning by providing a synthesis of the existing evidence, original data analyses and policy discussions. The report finds that education has the potential to promote health as well as civic and social engagement.

Education may reduce inequalities by fostering cognitive, social and emotional skills and promoting healthy lifestyles, participatory practices and norms. These efforts are most likely to be successful when family and community environments are aligned with the efforts made in educational institutions. This calls for ensuring policy coherence across sectors and stages of education.

This document may be accessible through your organisation or institution. If not, you may have to purchase access. Alternatively, the British Library for Development Studies provides a document delivery service.

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Tim Martineau on the Health Systems in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States Working Group http://www.heart-resources.org/mmedia/the-health-systems-in-fragile-and-conflict-affected-states-working-group/ http://www.heart-resources.org/mmedia/the-health-systems-in-fragile-and-conflict-affected-states-working-group/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:54:05 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=mmedia&p=27153 Read more]]> Tim Martineau is a Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management (HRM) at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and leads a growing team working on health workforce issues. In this video, he talks about the Health Systems in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States Working Group, a subgroup of Health Systems Global which is a society for promoting health systems research.
According to Mr Martineau, the Working Group (which is run through the professional networking site LinkedIn) was created as a forum for discussion, knowledge-sharing, and research on health in conflict-affected and fragile countries. The Working Group has grown rapidly and now has over 300 members from a range of backgrounds, including NGOs, donors, researchers, and students. One of the Group’s key achievement to date has been the consolidation of existing research. The Group recently edited a special issue of the journal Conflict and Health entitled “Filling the void: Health systems in fragile and conflict affected states” with 11 papers, including two highly accessed ones. The special issue is available here. Mr Martineau mentions that the Group were engaged in a collaborative needs assessment and were hoping to host a webinar. Since this video was recorded, the webinar has taken place and is available to access here.


Follow Tim Martineau – @TimMartineau

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Successful Capacity Strengthening: Three Case Studies by the Capacity Resource Unit (CRU) http://www.heart-resources.org/mmedia/successful-capacity-strengthening-three-case-studies-by-the-capacity-resource-unit-cru/ http://www.heart-resources.org/mmedia/successful-capacity-strengthening-three-case-studies-by-the-capacity-resource-unit-cru/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:45:32 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=mmedia&p=27151 Read more]]> In this video, members of the Capacity Research Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, talk about improving the effectiveness of capacity strengthening programmes and present three case studies of such programmes. Speakers include: Imelda Bates (Head of Capacity Research Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine), Stefanie Gregorius, (Research Assistant, Capacity Research Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine), and Laura Dean, (Research Assistant, Capacity Research Unit, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine).

Professor Bates argues that capacity strengthening does not get the attention it needs. While the World Bank (2012) has identified capacity strengthening as the “missing link” in development because countries need home-grown scientists and strong institutions to build capacity to solve their own problems, generally the research on effective capacity building is scarce. The CRU aims to fill this gap and are now at the leading edge of innovative research and practice in planning, implementing and tracking capacity strengthening programmes in Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).

Funders include:
World Health Organization
Malaria Capacity Development Consortium
Seventh Framework Programme
The Royal Society

Professor Bates provides a set of examples of what the CRU can do to support DFID’s capacity strengthening initiatives as follows:
1) Up to date knowledge of the capacity strengthening evidence; a resource for practical help, tools and methods, including new ‘benchmarks’, for doing rigorous capacity strengthening needs assessments
2) Support to implementers to help them plan and monitor capacity strengthening activities at individual, institutional and national/international level
3) Input to DFID’s Calls and Guidance Notes for capacity strengthening applications
4) Advice to DFID’s reviewers about how to assess capacity strengthening applications
5) Broker between funders and implementers to develop useful, non-onerous indicators to track capacity strengthening activities and avoid pitfalls and tensions

She goes on to describe the 5-step process the CRU has developed based on published evidence with the aim to achieve autonomous, self-sustaining, problem-solving institutions and systems:
– Define the goal of the capacity strengthening and the pathway for change
– Use evidence to define the optimal capacity needed to achieve the goal
– Determine existing capacity; identify gaps compared to optimal capacity
– Devise and implement an action plan with indicators at the individual level, the institutional level, the national level, and the international level to fill the gaps
– Revisit the plan and indicators regularly

Dr Gregorius and Ms Dean present the following three recent interventions/case studies conducted by the CRU, and demonstrate how this 5-step process applies in each case:
– Strengthening laboratory capacity for Neglected Tropical Diseases (2012-16) NTD
Strengthening African Universities’ Research Infrastructures and Doctoral Training Capacity (2008-15) MCDC
Royal Society-DFID Research Capacity Strengthening Initiative: UK-Africa consortia (2012-18) The Royal Society

For an introduction to the CRU’s work, click here to watch the HEART Talk on Introducing the Capacity Research Unit (CRU): Strengthening Health Research Capacity around the World.

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Introducing the Capacity Research Unit (CRU): Strengthening Health Research Capacity around the World http://www.heart-resources.org/mmedia/introducing-the-capacity-research-unit-cru-strengthening-health-research-capacity-around-the-world/ http://www.heart-resources.org/mmedia/introducing-the-capacity-research-unit-cru-strengthening-health-research-capacity-around-the-world/#respond Wed, 22 Jul 2015 14:29:08 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=mmedia&p=27150 Read more]]> Professor Imelda Bates is the Head of the Capacity Research Unit (CRU), Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, the focus for an emerging international network with expertise in the evaluation of research capacity development. In this video, Professor Bates talks about the CRU’s work in health research capacity development in low and middle income countries (LMICs), particularly in Africa. According to Professor Bates, there has been accelerated interest in capacity strengthening or capacity building in the last few years but the evidence on how to do it effectively is very scarce. The CRU was created with a view to taking a more rigorous approach to capacity strengthening – from planning it, to implementing it, to measuring its impact. In health research, capacity development is important because it allows institutions and individuals to become more autonomous in research, to become leaders in the field, to choose and work with partners effectively, to apply for grants, and to produce high quality research.

The CRU is somewhat unique in its approach because it believes that in order to tackle complex capacity building interventions in health, a big pool of multiple disciplines needs to be tapped. For example, some of the CRU interventions may involve social scientists, laboratory systems experts, educational developers, health systems experts, etc. The CRU works closely with the University of Toronto and Manchester Business School on some of the theoretical aspects of capacity strengthening. Most of the work on capacity strengthening is done in partnership with LMICs, where local individuals and institutions are invited to participate in the process from the very beginning. Professor Bates concludes her talk with a call for further research into this under-researched but vital topic.

To learn more about the CRU’s work, click here to watch the HEART Talk, Successful Capacity Strengthening: Three Case Studies by the Capacity Resource Unit (CRU).

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Early childhood diarrhea predicts impaired school performance http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/early-childhood-diarrhea-predicts-impaired-school-performance-2/ http://www.heart-resources.org/doc_lib/early-childhood-diarrhea-predicts-impaired-school-performance-2/#respond Wed, 03 Jun 2015 14:20:48 +0000 http://www.heart-resources.org/?post_type=doc_lib&p=26950 Read more]]>


Diarrhea is a leading cause of mortality worldwide; however, its long-term morbidity is poorly understood. Recently, early childhood diarrhea (ECD) has been associated with impaired physical fitness, growth and cognitive function 6 to 9 years later. We studied the effects of ECD on school functioning in a shantytown in northeastern Brazil.


We administered 77 educational surveys. Complete diarrhea surveillance (ie, >90%) in the first 2 years of life and demographic and anthropometric information were available for 73 children. Age at starting school was calculated for 62 children, whereas age appropriateness for the current grade (AFG) was calculated for all 73 children who were >6 years old. Stepwise regression was used to examine the independent effect of ECD on school functioning after controlling for socioeconomic factors, maternal education, breast feeding, growth and cognitive functioning.


ECD correlated with age at starting school (r = 0.55, P = 0.0005) and remained a significant predictor even after controlling for family demographics, days of breast feeding, early growth and TONI-3 test of nonverbal intelligence. This was true despite significant correlations of ECD with growth shortfalls and impaired cognitive functioning. ECD also correlated with AFG (r = 0.38, P = 0.001). Only TONI-3 test scores explained this association, suggesting that ECD may hinder school performance, but only in part school readiness, by impairing cognitive function as measured by performance on the TONI-3 nonverbal intelligence test.


These findings document effects of early childhood diarrhea on later school readiness and performance and hence potential long-term human and economic costs of ECD, which warrant further attention and far greater investment for the control of ECD and its consequences.

 This document may be accessible through your organisation or institution. If not, you may have to purchase access. Alternatively, the British Library for Development Studies provide a document delivery service
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