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Early undernutrition is highly prevalent in low- and middle-income countries and if it is not addressed in the first 1,000 days, it can impact a child's development.  Coupled with climate changes and social policies there can be long-term and almost irreversible consequences. 

Whilst early childhood impacts are widely understood, there is little evidence about the impact of undernutrition and climate variations on poorer adolescents and young adult's life chances. Little is also know about whether deprivation in early life can be mitigated.  

This project will investigate the impact of undernutrition and climatic variations on foundational cognitive skills using a measure of child development, Executive Function, to predict educational success and correlate with non-cognitive skills development and risky behaviors.  

The team will examine the relationship between foundational cognitive skills in late childhood and early-life nutrition, climatic variations and social policies. They will also explore explore the impact of these foundational cognitive skills on adolescents' educational achievements, socio-emotional intelligence and risky behaviors.

The research will use data collected in 2013 for 4,000 children in Ethiopia and Peru and 2,000 of their immediate siblings using RACER (Rapid Assessment of Cognitive and Emotional Regulation), a novel touch-screen computer application designed to obtain skills measurements.

These data are unique, rarely available from low and middle income countries and not previously available for large samples. The project aims  to deepen understanding about:

  •  how early-life nutrition, climatic variations and other events affect foundational cognitive skills;,
  •  policy interventions that can help mitigate any effects 
  •  the impacts of late childhood foundational cognitive skills on adolescent outcomes,
  • the value of undertaking similar data collection and analysis at other ages and in other countries

This project falls into our Education and Skills research stream; click below to find out more.

Project Information
National Health Institute
January 2019 - August 2022
Principle Investigators
Co-Principle Investigators