Climate Change and Child Malnutrition in Zimbabwe: Evidence to Action


  • Zvitambo Institute for Maternal and Child Health Research

Project summary

Zimbabwe faces a significant burden of malnutrition: over a quarter of children under-five years are stunted. Although it is generally recognized that climate change can have profound health impacts, the specific effects on malnutrition are understudied and remain poorly understood. The goal of this project is to generate evidence to understand the effects of climate change on child malnutrition in Zimbabwe and to use this learning to generate a community-driven response that addresses climate change policy. Under this project, an interdisciplinary team of researchers and policy experts will:
- Examine the relationship between climate change in rural Zimbabwe and patterns of malnutrition
- Explore community understanding of the relationships between climate change and malnutrition
- Co-develop and refine climate-smart strategies that address the effects of climate change on malnutrition with agricultural and health cadres
- Develop a communication plan with policymakers to disseminate findings about the relationship between climate change and child malnutrition

The project team will use a two-pronged mixed-methods approach that combines environmental data and national-level survey data on livelihoods and malnutrition alongside community knowledge to co-produce an improved response to climate change. The team will then synthesize their findings and co-develop a refined climate-smart communication strategy with the specific goal of reducing child malnutrition in the context of climate change.