​​International Conference on Nutrition & Early Human Development

​Nurturing Care: From Global “Pact” to National Action; From Thriving Childhoods to Sustainable Livelihoods​

October 24 - 26​, Aga Khan University, Karachi


Inaugural Address​

​​​Dr Francesco Branca, World Health Organization, Geneva 

Importance of Maternal and C​hild Nutrition and Human Capital 

Francesco Branca is the Director of the Department of Nutrition for Health and Development in the W​orld Health Organization, Geneva​. During his tenure, WHO has established a new nutrition guideline development process and has ​​​developed a Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition with six global targets. He has been leading the preparation of the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition.​

​He has been a Senior Scientist at the Italian Food and Nutrition research Institute where he was leading studies on the effects of food and nutrients on human health at the different stages of the life cycle and on the impact of public health nutrition programmes. He has been President of the  Federation of the European Nutrition Societies in 2003-2007.

Dr. Branca graduated in Medicine and Surgery and specialized in Diabetology and Metabolic Diseases at the ​Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma and  obtained a PhD in Nutrition at  Aberdeen University.​​​

Dr Hirokazu Yoshikawa, Ph.D., New York University, USA

Quality Early Childhood Development Programs and Policies: Global Evidence, Local Solutions

Dr Hirokazu Yoshikawa is the Courtney Sale Ross Professor of Globalization and Education at NYU Steinhardt and a University Professor at NYU. He co-directs the NYU Global TIES for Children Center. ​​​​

​​He is a community and developmental psychologist who studies the effects of public p​olicies and programs related to immigration, early childhood development (ECD), and poverty reduction on children’s development. He conducts research in the United States and in Latin America, the Middle East, and South Asia. His recent books includeCradle to Kindergarten: A New Plan to Combat Inequality(with Ajay Chaudry, Taryn Morrissey, and Christina Weiland, 2017). ​​

He leads the research and evaluation for the MacArthur Foundation 100&Change partnership between the Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee to provide ECD services in the Syrian refugee response region of the Middle East, and the Lego Foundation's partnership initiative with BRAC, Sesame Workshop and the IRC to provide ECD services to Rohingya refugee and host communities in Bangladesh. 

He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Russell Sage Foundation, and on the Advisory Board for the Open Society Foundations Early Childhood Program. He is an elected Fellow of the National Academy of Education, American Academy of Political and Social Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. ​​​​​


​Main Speakers

​Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta

Aga Khan University, Karachi & Centre for Global Child Health, the ​​​Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada​

Pakistan nutrition situation and changing epidemiology​

Dr Stanley Luchters​

Chair, Department of Population Health, Medical College, East Africa, Aga Khan University

Nutrition situation in Africa: A snapshot​

​Dr Kofi Marfo

Ph.D, Professor & Foundation Director, Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University

ECD’s Developmental trajectory as an interdisciplinary field: A​​dvances, prospects, and challenges

​Dr Aisha K. Yousafzai

Associate Professor of Global Health, Harvard University

What the evidence tells us about designing effective holistic packages of early childhood interventions: New directions for interventions research​

Dr Amina Abubakar 

Professor, Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University

Childhood disability: Epidemiological trends and recent developments in interventions​

​Dr Sughra Choudhry Khan 

Education Director, Aga Khan Foundation Pakistan

Towa​rd a holistic approach in ECD​

Dr Harriet Torlesse

UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia

UNICEF natrition and ECD prohrammes in the region​

​Dr Nadia Akseer

Harvard School of Public Health, Boston & Centre for Global Child Health, Toronto

Stunting exemplars: what has worked where?​

​Dr Jai K Das

Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health, The Aga Khan University ​​

Evidence based nutrition actions; what can be done?

Professor Feng Cheng

Tsinghua Univ​ersity, Beijing, China​

Improving outcomes with complementary feeding: the experience of a novel supplementation strategy (Ying Yang Bao) among poor populations in China

​Dr ​Robert Armstrong​

MD, Ph.D, Foundation Dean, Medical College, East Africa, Aga Khan University

Looking beyond 2030 for impact on the health and wellbeing of children with disabilities?​

Dr Marleen Temmerman

Professor & Director, Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health-East Africa, Aga Khan University, Nairobi

Adolescent health and nutrition and implications for development​

Dr Emily Keats​

Centre for Global Child Health, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

Multiple micronutrient deficiencies in adolescents, a review of the evidence and possible solutions


​Dr Rehana Salam

University of Adela​ide, Australia

Nutrition actions for adolescence; what does the evidence indicate? ​

​Dr Kun Tang

Tsinghua University, Beijing, China & Global Child Health Fellow, Centre for Global Child Health, Toronto, Canada

Reproductive health and nutrition outcomes; evidence from Asia and implications for the Belt & Road initiative

Dr Ghazala Rafique

Associate Professor & Director, Human Development Programme, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan

Connecting the dots in Early Child Development​

Dr. Shaheen Kassim-Lakha

Director of Strategic Partnerships, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

How unlikely partnerships spark change in resource poor settings​​

Ms Nadeen Alalami

Programmes Research Officer, Dubai Cares

Supporting Integrated ECD: reflections from Dubai Cares’ support to ECD programs, research and advocacy

​Mr Arif Neky

UN Philanthropy Platform, ​UN Campus, Nairobi, Kenya ​

Leveraging par​tnerships to strengthen service delivery system​

​Dr Rosalind Raddatz

Director, Office of the Provost, Aga Khan University

No safe place: Violence among unaccompanied refugee children see​king asylum in Kenya​

​Dr Matthew Kerby (Co-presenter with Dr. Raddatz)

Australian National University 

No safe place: Violence among unaccompanied refugee children see​king asylum in Kenya​​

​Hon Mehnaz Aziz

Member of Parliament, Government of Pakistan

State’s ownership of Early Childhood Education: From policy promise to implementation​

​Ms Aida Girma

UNICEF Representative, Pakistan

Title of UNICEF Rep for Pakistan pr​esentation​

​Meera Shekar

Global Lead for nutrition with the World Bank's Health​

​​Human capital and impact of nutrition