The goals of the Nutrition Innovation Lab are to generate empirical evidence on the effectiveness of integrated interventions targeting nutrition outcomes in vulnerable populations such as women, infants and young children and to generate human and institutional capacity at local and national levels to identify problems, apply appropriate research tools, assess intervention options, implement best practices, and document impact.
The Nutrition Innovation Laboratory pursues applied research that supports the goals of USAID’s Feed the Future initiative, builds institutional capacity for analysis and policy formulation in developing countries, and offers scholarships that support individual capacity development through formal degree education in the United States and elsewhere.
Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy has served as the Management Entity for USAID’s Nutrition Innovation Laboratory since October 2010. Tufts manages the activities and conducts research in close partnership with several US university partners – Tuskegee University, Purdue University, Johns Hopkins University, and Harvard University – as well as development partners such as Development Alternatives, Inc (DAI).
Additional partnerships have been formed around the research and capacity-building agenda in the US and in developing countries. These partnerships include government bodies (such as Nepal’s National Planning Commission, Uganda’s National Planning Authority), non-governmental actors (such as Helen Keller International, SPRING and International Food Policy Research Institute), academic partners (such as Makerere University in Uganda, Bergen University in Norway, and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom), United Nations agencies (such as UNICEF and FAO), and operational programs in the field (such as USAID Suaahara in Nepal and USAID Community Connector in Uganda).