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Dr Naomi Saville
Dr Naomi Saville profile picture
  • Principal Research Fellow
  • Institute for Global Health
  • Faculty of Pop Health Sciences

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.

Research Themes
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.

Academic Background
1993   Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
1988   Bachelor of Arts University of Cambridge
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