Science Forum on Nutrition and Health Outcomes of Agricultural Research

The CGIAR’s Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) will be hosting its 2013 Science Forum on September 23‒25, in Bonn, Germany. This year's Forum focuses on "Nutrition and health outcomes: targets for agricultural research," with the objective of identifying the research needs, scientific approaches, and partnerships through which the agricultural community can add most value to the delivery of nutrition and health outcomes. The draft agenda features plenary sessions that review the evidence surrounding the impact that agricultural programs, policies, and approaches have on nutrition and health, as well as side sessions on the role of the private sector in agriculture-nutrition-health links, how value chain analysis can facilitate systems research, and more.

The Science Forum series is a flagship event that serves as a means to reach out to scientists and scientific communities largely external to the CGIAR, but who have potentially important contributions to make to the CGIAR research portfolio and its system-level objectives of improving food security, human nutrition and health, alleviation of poverty and environmental sustainability.

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Independent Impact Assessment Report of 2020 Conference Released

Prior to the 2020 conference, IFPRI commissioned an independent impact assessment report in order to determine the impact of the Conference on individual participants, institutions, and professional discourse. Robert Paarlberg, B. F. Johnson professor of political science at Wellesley College, carried out the assessment, conducting pre- and post-conference surveys, interviews, and web searches over the course of 18 months. The final report has now been released. The impacts can be summarized as follows:

•       On individuals: The conference had positive short-term impacts on motivation and capacity for influence, but few changes in beliefs.

•       On institutions: The strongest institutional impacts came within institutions that wanted to integrate nutrition into agriculture  but were unsure of how, or how quickly, to move forward, such as the CGIAR, and within donor institutions that used the materials and energy generated by the conference to help push and guide a major expansion of bilateral funding into the agriculture-nutrition-health arena.  Direct impacts on national governments were small, as were impacts on private sector and NGOs.

•       On professional discourse: The conference helped “change the conversation” about agriculture and food security, bringing in more frequent reference to cross-sector impacts on nutrition and health.

The report provides a comprehensive overview of and how the agriculture-nutrition-health landscape is changing since the 2020 Conference as
well as lessons on how organizations can measure the impact of their events and build in monitoring and evaluation into program and event design.

Book review of 2020 Conference book released

A book review of the IFPRI 2020 Conference book Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health has been published in the journal Food Security. The review, authored by Jeff Waage, director of the London International Development Centre (LIDC), describes the book as "fascinating and multi-faceted" and as a "good introduction to anyone from any discipline wishing to quickly grasp the basic issues and arguments." The book review can be accessed here.

LCIRAH workshop on agriculture, NCDs and development

Following on the workshop it hosted in 2011 with IFPRI on cross-sectoral metrics, the Leverhulme Centre for Integrative Research on Agriculture and Health (LCIRAH) is holding an international workshop on “The Role of Agricultural and Food Systems Research in Combating Chronic Disease for Development.”  The event, held July 2-3, 2012, in London, will bring together researchers in health, food systems, development policy and agriculture in order to: frame non-communicable diseases (NCDs) as a development problem; explore how interventions in agriculture and food can influence NCDs in low and middle income countries; and develop an interdisciplinary research agenda to address the role of agriculture and food systems in combating NCDs. For more information, please visit:

Help rename CRP4 (also known as the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health)

The CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health management is seeking help in renaming its program. The management team is looking for a short and meaningful name that is easily understood. The name should portray how agricultural research, practices, interventions, and policies can help improve health and nutrition benefits and reduce health risks. A small token of appreciation will be offered to the selected submission. Deadline for submission is May 14, 2012. To submit a name(s), please complete this survey monkey.

Global Food Policy Report released

IFPRI’s first annual Global Food Policy Report has been released. In reviewing the major developments in food policy during the past year, the flagship publication identifies the nexus of agriculture, nutrition, and health as a major policy shift in 2011. The report describes the rise of agriculture, nutrition, and health on the development agenda and reviews key activities, from IFPRI’s own 2020 conference and the newly launched CGIAR Research Program 4 (CRP4) Agriculture for Improved Health and Nutrition to USAID’s Feed the Future and the World Economic Forum’s New Vision for Agriculture initiatives. The report can be downloaded here.

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Malawi Conference Report Released

A Conference Report for the first national-level follow up event to the 2020 conference, has been released. The report on "Unleashing Agriculture's Potential for Improved Nutrition and Health in Malawi," a consultation held in Lilongwe, Malawi last September, summarizes the main themes and issues discussed during the conference sessions. It also presents the main outcome of the conference, a Policy Action Note that calls for specific actions to be taken for making agricultural policies and programs in Malawi more nutrition-and health-friendly. The report can now be downloaded.

New IFPRI 2020 Conference Book: Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health

To commemorate the 1st anniversary of the Conference, IFPRI has compiled the background briefs originally commissioned for the event and subsequently peer-reviewed and revised. The 23 chapters in Reshaping Agriculture for Nutrition and Health, edited by Shenggen Fan and Rajul Pandya-Lorch, examine how much more agriculture could do to improve human well-being if it included specific policies, actions, and interventions to achieve health and nutrition goals; what kinds of changes would maximize agriculture’s contribution to human health and nutrition; and how human health and nutrition could contribute to a productive and sustainable agricultural system.

The full book can be downloaded, in its entirety or by individual chapters, here. A short booklet containing the preview of the book can be found here.

Uganda’s Nutrition Plan takes a multi-sectoral approach

Launched in October of this year, the Uganda Nutrition Action Plan (UNAP) is an example of recent country-led initiative to strengthen national nutrition. Built upon the importance of multi-sectoralism, the Plan was prepared in cooperation with several ministries.

The opening ceremony featured 2020 Conference speaker Robert Mwadime! Check out the official press release for more information!

17 West African countries gather for CAADP workshop to explore how nutrition can be woven into the agricultural agenda

Two weeks ago, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in collaboration with several other partners organized the West Africa CAADP (Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme) Nutrition Program Development Workshop in Dakar, Senegal in recognition of the dire need to integrate nutrition in national agricultural development plans. The workshop was unique in that it brought together, for the first time, representatives of the Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Finance and Economic Planning, and Civil Society from the 17 countries in the region. Workshop participants worked in country teams to develop agricultural action plans that integrated nutrition interventions aimed at addressing the country-specific nutrition problems.

"The event clearly showed that integrating nutrition objectives in agricultural development plans is urgently needed, but that it is challenging to do so. People from different departments have different objectives and agendas and speak different languages. I did notice, however, that the workshop participants were very dedicated to the task," says Jef Leroy, an IFPRI research fellow who presented at the workshop as well as attended the 2020 Conference in New Delhi.

View the complete workshop program!