Purnima Menon is a Senior Research Fellow in IFPRI’s Poverty, Health and Nutrition Division, and is based at IFPRI’s Asia office in New Delhi, India. She conducts applied nutrition research in the South Asia region, with a focus on programs and policies to improve maternal and child nutrition.
Currently, Dr. Menon leads a team that is conducting impact and process evaluations of Alive and Thrive, a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-supported initiative to improve infant and young child feeding and child nutrition in Bangladesh, Viet Nam and Ethiopia. The Alive & Thrive evaluation portfolio includes a set of rigorous impact and process evaluations and cost studies of Alive and Thrive’s interventions to scale-up and improve community- and health system-based behavior change communications interventions to improve nutrition as well as policy process research methods to measure and document the influence of media, advocacy and policy support, on shaping nutrition policy landscapes. Dr. Menon also co-directs POSHAN (Partnerships and Opportunities to Strengthen and Harmonize Actions for Nutrition in India), a new 4-year initiative to build evidence, partnerships and communications to improve nutrition policy and program actions for nutrition in India and to document the impact of this initiative.
Dr. Menon previously was a Research Associate in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell University, where she co-directed a multi-country study to study policy and program strategies for mainstreaming nutrition in health policies and programs. From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Menon coordinated a collaborative research project to evaluate an integrated food and nutrition program with IFPRI, Cornell University, and World Vision-Haiti.
Dr. Menon holds a Ph.D. in International Nutrition from Cornell University and a M.Sc. in Nutrition from the University of Delhi.