System of Promoting Appropriate National Dynamism
for Agriculture and Nutrition

About Us

The objective of the initiative 'System of Promoting Appropriate National Dynamism for Agriculture and Nutrition' (SPANDAN) is to undertake research on understanding the linkages between agriculture, nutrition and health in India. SPANDAN is supported by a grant from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Institute of Human Development, National Institute of Nutrition, IRIS Knowledge Foundation and a few independent researchers are collaborating with faculty from Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research on this initiative.

The initiative is going to assemble existing data and fill knowledge gaps through two mechanisms. First, it proposes to use a novel methodology connecting separate sectoral data sets. Second it will build a new integrated survey for understanding the pathways from agriculture to nutrition. As a result this will help along three dimensions.

  1. Test the strength and relative importance of pathways from agriculture to nutrition so that we can understand the impact of policies and make recommendations for better policies in order to bridge the gap towards improving nutrition outcomes.
  2. Investment in building the tools and models and capacity for integrated research on pathways from agriculture to nutrition
  3. More effective advocacy on why and how we need to strengthen the pathways from agriculture to nutrition simultaneously


Among other things, SPANDAN will address the data limitations and suggest some ways to overcome the data disconnect. Thus, the initiative will strengthen and increase the evidence base for understanding the strength and dynamics of the multiple pathways between agriculture and nutrition. It will provide policy analysis and tools for decision makers and advocate inclusion of relevant indicators into data collection efforts to evaluate program and policy impact. The research initiative led by IGIDR seeks to:

  1. Build the Evidence Base to Better Understand and Strengthen Agriculture-Nutrition Pathways in India
  2. Evaluate Impact of Specific Agricultural Interventions and Policies on Nutrition Outcomes
  3. Advocacy: Bring Evidence on Strengthening Agriculture-Nutrition Linkages to Existing and New Stakeholder Policy Platforms


The distinctive element of the proposal is the close interaction between development economists, agricultural economists, applied econometricians, clinical nutritionists, and gender specialists building upon the knowledge of all partners in order to address common issues of interest. Each partner and collaborating researcher has independently worked on the issue of agriculture, consumption, gender, and nutrition and has built a body of knowledge. However, the work has been conducted in separate silos and these bodies of knowledge do not interact sufficiently with each other. As a result of the proposed close collaboration, it is expected that the final output would lead to a better understanding of the underlying issues and policy makers would be able to better appreciate the interplay between agriculture, consumption and nutrition outcomes.