On 14 June 2023, eight data collectors and two survey supervisors completed succesfully the first wave of data collection in the IMMANA-funded project “Activity Spaces and Household Exclusion from Food Environments.”

A grocery store captured during the IMMANA project as an example of the local food environment in the NutriLao study sites.

© Keomoukda Phommachan


Located in Ban Keun and its surrounding villages in Vientiane Province (Laos), the project studies how villagers navigate their local food environment, and how this reflects into measures of dietary intake of and exclusion from food available to them.

Community relationships, data collection tools, and survey data from the IMMANA project (pictured here during the team training) enriched the study opportunities for the NutriLao project.

© Marco J. Haenssgen

120 families participated in the first wave of the data collection, providing insights into their food sources, food security experiences, living conditions, and also following every family for 7 days to understand their daily activities and food practices. The unprecedentedly detailed data is now being entered, translated, and prepared for comparative analysis with study sites in Chiang Mai (Thailand), and it will be complemented by qualitative data from focus group discussions across all participating communities. A second wave is scheduled to commence in September 2023, which will enable yet further understanding of seasonal variation in food environments, villagers’ behaviours, and patterns of exclusion.

The project “Activity Spaces and Household Exclusion from Food Environments” is led by the University of Reading in collaboration with IRD Laos and Chiang Mai University and supported by a £249,000 award from the Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA) programme – coordinated by the London School for Tropical Medicine and Hygiene and co-funded with UK Aid from the UK government through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.