NGO-Academia Collaboration Forum: Poverty and Malnutrition in Low and Middle Income Countries

20 March 2019, 9.30 AM - 20 March 2019, 5.00 PM

On 20th March Bristol Poverty Institute and Development Initiatives hosted a successful NGO-Academia Collaboration Forum exploring issues around Poverty and Malnutrition in Low- and Middle-Income Countries, and how NGOs and academics can effectively work together to maximise the value of data held by NGOs to answer key development challenges. With over fifty registrants representing academia, NGOs, and private organisations, the event effectively brought together a cross-sector audience to explore and workshop these challenges, inspired by thought-provoking presentations from leading researchers and charities. Presentations can be downloaded below.  

The objective of the forum was to explore how NGOs and academic institutions can work together to strengthen the knowledge, concepts and measurements guiding researchers and research users in their work to tackle the most intractable development challenges faced by those low and middle-income countries. 

The forum focussed on the areas of poverty, malnutrition and food security. The key questions framing the forum included:

  • What can be gained from greater collaborative working between the NGO and academic community?
  • What knowledge and data gaps could potentially be filled through these collaborations?
  • What challenges are there to this collaborative working and how can these be overcome?
  • What are the future priority areas for tackling poverty, malnutrition and food security; and
  • How can NGOs and academics work effectively together to tackle these?

PROGRAMME available here:‌ NGO-Academia Collaboration Forum: Programme (PDF, 192kB)

Session 1: Setting the priority – Critical areas & methods for malnutrition research in the context of NGOs and LMICs

The opening session featured presentations from leading academics working in the fields of poverty and malnutrition. Speakers introduced critical themes, provided context and identified priority areas for research which helped frame the discussions on the day. Building on this, speakers then identified the areas in which NGO data can add value to academic research by providing knowledge from the field and key insights that could positively shape research projects ensuring the findings can be applied practically. 

Presentations from this session available here:

Chair: Professor David Gordon (University of Bristol)

Dr Lauren Winch (Manager, Bristol Poverty Institute, BPI) BPI (PDF, 493kB)

Professor Esther Dermott (Head of School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol)   Esther Dermott (PDF, 315kB)    

Mrs Harpinder Collacott (Development Initiatives)   Harpinder Collacott (PDF, 410kB)

Professor Peter Svedberg (Professor Emeritus, Stockholm University)   Peter Svedberg (PDF, 165kB)

Dr Marco Pomati (University of Cardiff)  Marco Pomati (PDF, 1,358kB)

Dr Jane Battersby (Research Coordinator, African Centre for Cities, University of Cape Town)   Jane Battersby, University of Cape Town (PDF, 2,778kB)

Session 2: Policy and practice perspectives

Led by Development Initiatives, the session explored the current data NGOs possess and how academics could strengthen this. Speakers from renowned charitable organisations identified important gaps and challenges they experienced which they believed could be addressed through partnerships with academic institutions.

Presentations from this session available here:

Chair: Mr Tony German (Development Initiatives)

Ms Anushree Rao (Concern Worldwide)   Anushree Rao, Concern Worldwide (PDF, 1,529kB)

Mrs Sheila Halder (Send A Cow)

Mrs Charlotte Martineau (Save the Children UK) Charlotte Martineau, Save the Children (PDF, 1,269kB) 

Q&A: Mr Tony German (Development Initiatives)

Session 3: Working together: challenges and benefits

Following a networking lunch, delegates reconvened into smaller workshop groups and worked on some critical questions. Building on the previous presentations, the workshop segment explored issues, such as: 

  • What can be obtained from greater collaborative working between the NGO and academic community?
  • What knowledge and data gaps could potentially be filled through these collaborations?
  • What challenges are there to this collaborative working and how can these be overcome?
  • What are the future priority areas for tackling poverty, malnutrition and food security, and how can NGOs and academics work effectively together to address these?   

Chair Shailen Nandy (University of Cardiff)

Session 4: Where next for poverty and malnutrition in LMICs?

The final session looked to the future and what approaches can drive forward more collaboration. Continuing in the workshop format, groups explored the next steps to building better working partnerships between NGOs & academic institutions. Following the second workshop session, Professor Hugo Melgar-Quiñonez (McGill University, Canada) gave a final keynote address summarising the main messages from the day, whilst Mrs Judith Randel (Development Initiatives) presented some closing remarks.

Attendees joined us for a networking reception afterwards.

for About US

Edit this page