Dr Robert Akparibo

BSc (Ghana), MSc (Denmark), MPH (Sheffield, UK) & PhD (Sheffield, UK), MEd (Sheffield, UK)

Population Health, School of Medicine and Population Health

Associate Professor/Snr Lecturer, in Global Health and Nutrition

Director of Students Experience (Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Robert Akparibo
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+44 114 222 4269

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Dr Robert Akparibo
Population Health, School of Medicine and Population Health
Room 2037, 2nd Floor
Regent Court (ScHARR)
30 Regent Street
S1 4DA

Robert Akparibo is Associate Professor in Global Health and Nutrition based within the Division of Population Health, at the School of Medicine and Population Health, University of Sheffield (UK). He is a Registered Nutritionist (Public Health) with the UK Academy for Nutrition (AfN), and Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academic (SFHEA). Dr Akparibo received his academic and professional trainings in nutrition, public health, and epidemiology at the University of Sheffield (UK), University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Imperial College London (UK), and the University for Development Studies (Ghana). He has also received management and leadership training from various institutions including at the Jagiellonian University School of Public Health (Poland), Rene School of Public Health (France), and more recently was selected to participate in the White Rose Consortium Universities’ (Universities of Leeds, York, and Sheffield) Vice Chancellors equity in leadership development scheme.

Dr Akparibo has considerable real-life experience in designing and implementing health and nutrition programmes to improve population health in the global south, particularly Africa. Prior to joining the University of Sheffield, Dr Akparibo worked with the World Health Organisation (WHO) European Office in Denmark, and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) in Ghana, as well as several other international and national non-governmental organisations including with Family Health International (FHI) in Senegal, Hellen Keller International (HKI) in Burkina Faso, and the Association of Faith-based Development NGOs (ACDEP) in Northern Ghana. During this period, he led the design and delivery of cost-effective interventions to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers, adolescents, and children. Therefore, his research is largely informed by his previous development work and intersects between public health and nutrition.

His current research focuses on addressing the double burden of malnutrition. Specific focus includes young children, adolescents’ and maternal nutrition, food security and food systems and policies in the global south. He is also interested in understanding how the food environment (including the school food environment) impacts on child malnutrition, and NCDs in adults. Since 2017, Dr Akparibo and his colleagues have been exploring the nutrition transition in Africa with the aim to understanding what drives this, and the link between unhealthy dietary behaviours among Africans and increasing burden of non-communicable diseases. In Ghana and Kenya for instance, Dr Akparibo and his colleagues have investigated the food environment and the influences of this on dietary behaviours and practices, and the implication of these behaviours on health. Evidence from their work has led to important policy decisions. For instance, the development of Ghana National NCD policy and implementation strategy (2022-2026), the development of the first ever Food-based Dietary Guidelines for Ghana, and the Food Environment Framework for guiding interventions development to tackle the double burden of malnutrition in Africa.

He is actively involved in influencing global policies, and was a member of the World Health Organisation-led technical working group that developed a Policy Paper to help Ukraine reintroduce and expand its Schools Meals programme which was shut following the Russian Invasion of Ukraine: https://iris.who.int/bitstream/handle/10665/376509/WHO-EURO-2024-9413-49185-73403-eng.pdf?sequence=1. He co-chairs the Global School Meals Coalition Research Consortium’s Nutrition Community of Practice, as well as Chairs the Global Special Interest Group on School Health and Nutrition set up by the UK nutrition Society. He is co-author of the Research Consortium White Paper on School Meals and Food Systems.

Dr Akparibo holds a visiting Adjunct Professorship position at the University of Allied Health Sciences, and the University of Development Studies in Ghana.  He has consulted for several organisations including work carried out for the WHO, the World Food Programme (WFP), the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC), The UK Department for International Development (DFID), OXFAM Great Britain, Feinstein International (USA), the UKAID, as well as the UK Public Sector Statutory organisations including the Sheffield City Council, and third Sector Charity organisations including the British Red Cross.

SFHEA  Senior Fellow of Higher Education Academy (SFHEA).
M.Ed. Master of Medical Education in Higher Institutions – University of Sheffield (UK).
MSc: Master of Public Health (Epidemiology and Biostatistics) - University of Copenhagen (Denmark).
MPH  Master of Public Health, University of Sheffield (UK).
BSc (Hons)  Public Health Nutrition, University for Development Studies, Ghana.
PGCert Postgraduate Certificate in Nutrition Epidemiology - Imperial College
PhD Public Health Nutrition – Sheffield
Research interests
  • Young children, adolescents, and maternal nutrition
  • Food security, and food systems and policy in the global south
  • Food environment and how these impacts on population health
  • Double burden of malnutrition
  • Systematic evidence review including realist synthesis and evaluation.
  • Capacity building

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Research group
  • Food and Nutrition Research Group, University of Sheffield.
  • Global Health and Policy Research Group, University of Sheffield.
  • Fellow of the Institute for Sustainable Foods, University of Sheffield.
  • Fellow of the Institute for Global Sustainable Development, University of Sheffield
  • Global School Health and Nutrition Special Interest Group, NS (UK)
  • Global School Health and Nutrition Research Consortium, London School of Hygiene. 

Current projects

  1. Co-PI: NutriShed Project Funded by the Innovative Methods and Metrics for Agriculture and Nutrition Actions (IMMANA). Adapting Food Shed Analysis for Nutrition Security Planning in Ghana. Co-PI: £285,000 (YR: 2023-2025)
  2. Co-I: Evaluating the impact of social enterprise interventions in improving food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa with the University of Maastricht. Co-I: 15,000 (YR:2020-2024).

Previous/completed projects.

  1. Co-PI: Erasmus Plus Knowledge Exchange Project funded by the European Erasmus+ Credit Mobility Fund. The project aims at strengthening the existing collaboration between the university of Ghana and the university of Sheffield through staff and students’ mobility for Knowledge exchange around teaching and research: Co-PI: £236,000 (YR: 2019-2023).
  2. Co-I: Drivers of Food Choice Competitive Grants Program funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This project investigated and mapped out the factors in the social and physical food environments that drive consumption of energy dense nutrient-poor foods and beverages, to identify interventions targeting women and adolescent girls throughout the reproductive life course. Co-I: $117,000 (YR: 2017-2019).
  3. Co-I: TACLED project: Transitions in African Cities Leveraging Evidence for Diet-related non communicable diseases This is a MRC-led Foundation Award to study the dietary transitions in African cities in Ghana and Kenya. The project involved interdisciplinary partnership of ten co-applicants from five academic institutions across Ghana, Kenya, and the UK. Co-I: £243,675 (YR: 2017-2019).
  4. Co-I: Systematic qualitative evidence synthesis on feasibility, acceptability, accessibility and sustainability, and the cost of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTFs) with low milk content (<50%) of protein coming from dairy products compared to the standard RUTF for treating uncomplicated severe acute malnutrition in children. Co-I: 43,000 (YR:2019-2020). 
  5. Co-I: Cooking as part of a Sustainable Food System – creating a wider evidence base for policy makers: Co-I: £52,000 (YR: 2019-2020).
  6. PI: Building research capacity for evidence generation to address the double burden of malnutrition in Ghana. Partners – University of Ghana, University of Cape Coast, Ghana: PI: £7000 (YR: 2019-2020).
  7. Co-I: Empowering Women through health literacy to address non-communicable diseases in low and middle-income countries’ (Empower) with the University of Massachusetts, USA, University of Ghana and University of Sydney, Australia. Co-I: 15000 (YR: 2017-2018).
  8. PI: Evaluating the effectiveness of nutrition interventions in humanitarian emergencies. PI: £50,000 (YR: 2016-2017).


  • Situational Analysis and evaluation of impact of school feeding interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa (2020-2021)
  • Impact evaluation of British Red Cross Community Connectors programme in the UK (2017-2019)
  • Impact evaluation of CRUSE Bereavement Service in the UK (2018-2019).
  • Impact evaluation of the Sheffield City Council Keeping People well in their communities’ programme (2015-2017).
  • Third Independent External Evaluation of the European Communicable Diseases Control (ECDC) programme (2018-2019).
  • Review of Stakeholder Views and management of the UK Department for International Development (DfID) Health Partnership Scheme in Ghana (2016).
  • Development and evaluation of community health and well-being programmes in Sheffield (2015-2016).
Teaching interests
  • Nutrition in Emergency management,
  • Food systems, Policy, and Food Sustainability
  • Food Security in the global South
  • Research methods
  • Health Needs Assessment,
  • Intervention Development and evaluation
  • Critical reflection in global health
Teaching activities

In ScHARR, I lead the development and delivery of teaching (as well as contributes to teach), of students pursuing the Masters of Public Health and MSc Human Nutrition programmes. Specific modules I lead/teach are listed below:

Module Leadership
- HAR6041: Health Needs Assessment, Planning and Evaluation (f2f)
- HAR6214: Nutrition in the Global South (f2f)

Teaching Contributions
- HAR686 Nutrition In emergency Situations (f2f).
- HAR685: Communicable Disease Control (f2f).
- HAR675: Key Issues in global Health (f2f and online).
- Year 2 MBChB programme: Global Perspective of public Health (f2f).
- HAR697: Using policy to strengthen Health systems (f2f and online).
- HAR682: Leading and managing Health Services (f2f and online).

In addition, I supervise Masters and PhD dissertations in my research interest areas.

Professional activities and memberships
  • Registered Nutritionist with the Association for Nutrition (AfN/UK)
  • Member, Nutrition Society, UK.
  • Member, Ghana Academic of Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Review of proposal of publicly funded bodies such as the Wellcome Trust, NIHR, MRC
  • Reviewer of various Journals – American Journal of Clinical nutrition, BMJ Open, Frontiers Public health, PLoS One Global Health,  Journal of Public Health, BMC Public Health, Social Science and Medicine, BMC Public Health nutrition, and others