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International Development Research @ Cambridge


Nyovani Madise is Director of Development Policy and Head of the Malawi Office of the African Institute for Development Policy. Her role involves research leadership and strengthening the capacity among policymakers and researchers for evidence-informed decision-making to accelerate the achievement of the SDGs in Africa. Her personal research is focused on maternal and child health, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health and rights, food security and population dynamics. Her previous roles were as Professor of Demography and Social Statistics at the University of Southampton where she also served as University lead for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusivity, Associate Dean (Research), Deputy Head of School of Social Sciences, Director of Public Policy and Director of the Centre for Global Health, Population, Poverty, and Policy. Nyovani’s other previous roles include Senior Research Scientist at the African Population and Health Research Center in Kenya and Lecturer of Statistics at the University of Malawi. Nyovani has over 100 peer- reviewed publications focusing on the analysis of large surveys and untangling the relationships between poverty and health in the areas of maternal and child health, adolescent sexual and reproductive health, food and nutritional security.


Nyovani has provided advice on international development issues to the UK Foreign, Commonwealth Office, UK Department of Health and Social Care; the Dutch SRHR programme of NWO-WOTRO, UK Research and Innovation committees (Global Challenges Research Fund and Medical Research Council Applied Global Health Board). She served on the WHO Strategic Advisory Group on Malaria Eradication, WHO advisory group which developed guidelines for a rights-based approach to family planning; and currently is among the 15 scientists appointed by the Secretary General of the United Nations to write the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals Report. Nyovani has advised many governments including Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the UK. She is a trustee on several boards.

Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Interdisciplinary Research Centre (IRC) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


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