Exploring the pathways between animal health interventions and child nutrition in Tanzania Is system dynamics a useful tool?

Date and Time

Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 13:00 to 14:00

Event type



Upper Meeting Room, LIDC, 36 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0PD


Mieghan Bruce, Innovative Metrics and Methods on Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA)

Speaker bio

Mieghan Bruce is currently a post-doctoral fellow at Innovative Metrics and Methods on Agriculture and Nutrition Actions. Her project is investigating the use of system dynamics models as a tool for mapping the links between animal health and child nutrition in smallholder households. Mieghan’s doctoral research examined the impact of brucellosis in Albania, which focused on the economic, social and political determinants of the zoonotic disease and its control.


Animal-source foods (ASF) are some of the best sources of high-quality protein and micronutrients needed for healthy physical and cognitive development, especially among children. Livestock contributions to health and nutrition are complex, and are mediated through multiple pathways. Increasing intake of poultry, dairy and other livestock products can alleviate many of the nutritional deficiencies currently experienced in Africa, but raising the availability of these foods is difficult given the complex roles played by animals in African food systems, and the diverse biological and socioeconomic dimensions within food systems. The aim of this project is to explore the use of system dynamics modeling as a tool to investigate the different pathways from livestock production to child nutrition within smallholder households. Mieghan discussed the use of system dynamics modeling for complex issues such as agri-health. A proof-of-concept model was presented, using data from the “Strengthening food and nutrition security through family poultry and crop integration in Tanzania and Zambia” project in central Tanzania.

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