Stories of Change in Nutrition

Stories of Change are a series of country-focused mixed-methods studies that aim to capture and explain key nutrition trends over time. They do so via analysing trends in data, documenting changes in policy and programmes, capturing experiential learning from those doing nutrition-relevant work in-country or in the region (policy makers, program managers, implementers, nutrition champions) and – in some studies – experience at the community level.

Stories of Change studies are intended to be of use to policy makers and programme implementers who want to know what has changed in nutrition, or what has the potential to change, what is not working – and why – and what might be learnt from these stories, to inform nutrition-relevant policies and actions in the study countries but also to offer comparative lessons that are applicable elsewhere.

The Stories of Change studies are led by Transform Nutrition West Africa (TNWA) partners and consultants in Burkina Faso (Institute Supérieur des Sciences de Population (ISSP)), Nigeria (consultant/Ibadan University) and Ghana (University of Ghana), supported by the TNWA team in Dakar and TNWA researchers in IFPRI and IDS, UK. All studies are currently in operation and will be reporting in late 2019 / early 2020.

When complete, we expect the full set of studies – which also include work from earlier rounds in Senegal, Ethiopia and Zambia – as well as work in South Asia – to offer unique and accessible resources for decision makers and implementers wanting to tap into rigorously triangulated experiential knowledge on how things change in nutrition – and why.

The TNWA Stories of Change studies build upon similar studies carried out under the Transform Nutrition research consortium in 2015-2016 in Ethiopia, Zambia, Senegal, Bangladesh, Odisha (India), and Nepal. To read more about these earlier studies, please see All of our country study resources are now available on one IFPRI platform which will continue to grow as more studies are added.

  • Trübswasser U, Verstraeten R, Salm L, Holdsworth M, Baye K, Booth K, Feskens EJM, Gillespie S, Talsma EF (2020) Factors influencing obesogenic behaviours of adolescent girls and women in low- and middle-income countries : A qualitative evidence synthesis. Obesity Reviews.
  • Swinburn et al., The Global Syndemic of obesity, undernutrition and climate change : The Lancet Commission report ; The lancet 2019;393;0791-846
  • Osei-Kwasi et al., The African Urban Food Environment Framework for creating healthy nutrition policy and interventions in urban Africa. 2021. PlosOne
  • Popkin, B. M., et al. (2012).Global nutrition transition and the pandemic of obesity in developing countries. Nutrition Reviews 70(1): 3-21.
  • Holdsworth M, Pradeilles R, Tandoh A, Green M, Wanjohi M, Zotor F, Asiki G, Klomegah S, Abdul-Haq Z, Osei-Kwasi H, Akparibo R, Bricas N, Auma CI, Griffiths P, Laar A (2020) Unhealthy eating practices of city-dwelling Africans in deprived neighbourhoods: evidence for policy action from Ghana and Kenya. Global Food Security,
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Childhood undernutrition remains a major global challenge, with profound consequences for the health, well-being, and long-term development of millions of people. Strategies to tackle malnutrition have often focused on small-scale programs and specific interventions. To improve nutrition outcomes at scale, nutrition policymakers and leaders need evidence on what works. Drawing on the experience of policymakers, nutrition leaders, and…

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A successful meeting was held on 16 December for the Stories of Change Nigeria Study. 24 participants from the Federal and State level took part and the study findings were well received with very engaged and productive discussions and useful contributions from the participants. Several key areas of the study findings were identified by participants…

Evidence Notes

This brief— based on research from the Stories of Change in Burkina Faso report—aims to tell the story of Burkina Faso’s success in nutrition, identify its challenges, and provide evidence-based recommendations to address challenges now and in the future.

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As nutrition policymakers and leaders grapple with the challenge of malnutrition in West Africa and elsewhere, many have voiced a demand for evidence on how nutrition improves, and how to proactively improve nutrition outcomes. It is a call for experiential learning that draws upon the experiences of policymakers, nutrition leaders, program managers, and implementers in…