Institute for Global Health


Dr Naomi Saville

Senior Research Associate

Institute for Global Health

Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

Joined UCL
2nd Jan 2018

Research summary

Current research interests:  -       Cluster randomised controlled trial in rural plains Nepal to determine the relative impact on birth weight of i) a behaviour change strategy through community mobilisation through women's groups alone, ii) unconditional cash transfers to pregnant women, iii) food transfers to pregnant women (both ii and iii combined with the same behaviour change strategy) and iv) usual government programmes.

-     Nutritional interventions to address stunting and other

indicators of undernutrition particularly during the first 24 months of life

and especially involving community mobilization approaches to improve maternal

nutrition, breastfeeding and complementary feeding after 6 months     

Assessment of food security, livelihoods, vulnerability

and nutritional status, particularly in relation to recent food price hikes in


Community-based interventions to improve maternal and child health, in particular to reduce neonatal mortality;


Social inequalities in relation to health, nutrition and

access to services   

Maternal mental health and the potential for community

interventions to address mental health issues in the community;   

Participatory approaches to development and action


NB: All research interests at present are focused in Nepal but involve partnerships with other research teams in S. Asia and Africa.

Teaching summary


of Naomi's current teaching is focused upon skill development of Nepali

colleagues working with her on research projects and implementing

community-based intervention for maternal and child health and

nutrition. Through mentorship and holding of training courses for team

members Naomi teaches about quantitative and qualitative research

skills, nutrition / anthropometry and maternal and child health.

Although not currently involved in teaching within UCL, Naomi has

co-coordinated the Nutrition in Public Health module of UCL Centre for

International Health and Development between 2007 and 2009, lecturing

specifically upon food security and livelihoods and ways of assessing

them. She also assisted as a demonstrator in ecology and zoology in

University of Cambridge Zoology Department between 1990 and 1993.


University of Cambridge
PhD, Ecology/Zoology | 1993
University of Cambridge
BA, Ecology/Zoology | 1988


Naomi joined the UCL
Centre for International Health and Development (CIHD) in 2005 as technical
advisor to a randomized controlled trial in Dhanusha district, in the plains of
Nepal, in partnership with Mother and Infant Research Activities (MIRA). The
trial, which ended in 2011, was testing effectiveness of participatory women’s
groups and of community-based neonatal sepsis management in reducing neonatal
mortality. Naomi has worked in research and overseas development throughout her
career and has 19 years experience of cross-cultural working based in
developing countries. Naomi has extensive experience in community development,
participatory action research, livelihood diversification, natural resources,
food security, nutrition and maternal and child health.

began her research career working on ecology of bumblebees in UK and
Norway in 1990-1993. After learning beekeeping as an apprentice to
beekeepers in Trinidad and Tobago, she worked in the field of
participatory rural development with a special focus on beekeeping and
non-timber forest products in Sierra Leone, Nepal, Somaliland and Kenya between 1993 and 2005. She then shifted into the field of maternal and child health and nutrition during 2005, but maintaining her interest in participatory and pro-poor approaches to improving the lives of people in low income countries, and especially Nepal.