Investing in knowledge: IDRC and The Rockefeller Foundation launch new research partnership

November 23, 2020

The Rockefeller Foundation and IDRC are pleased to announce a new five-year, CA$11-million research funding partnership. “Catalyzing change for healthy and sustainable food systems” aims to improve quality of life for low-income and vulnerable people in East Africa who face the double burden of malnutrition and environmental threats like climate change. 

 

 

Photo of a woman selling tomatoes at a market
Marcel Crozet / ILO

“Our food systems are failing to protect and promote human health and the health of our planet, and the most vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected,” said William Asiko, Managing Director for the Africa Regional Office of The Rockefeller Foundation. “Through this partnership with IDRC, we aim to build and leverage research to build healthy, equitable and sustainable food systems and increase demand and consumption of protective diets in East Africa."

The partnership will look at ways to improve understanding of the complex interplay between the market competitiveness of different foods, individual and household vulnerabilities, and drivers of food purchasing habits in East Africa. Specifically, funded research will aim to equip policymakers with clear evidence on which policies and interventions promote greater consumer interest in purchasing nutritious and sustainable food, and by extension, contribute to healthier and more sustainable food systems.

“African agriculture is significantly impacted by climate change, with projections anticipating increasing pressure in coming years,” said Kathryn Toure, IDRC’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “Without significant global action to reduce carbon emissions and improve the climate resilience of food production, Africa faces severe threats to its food security. We need fresh thinking to transform outdated systems to sustainably and affordably deliver healthy, nutritious, and diverse foods.”

Building on the collective experience of IDRC’s and The Rockefeller Foundation’s investments in research in low- and middle-income countries, this partnership will support researchers and stakeholders in East Africa to build more equitable and sustainable food systems while promoting healthy diets. The research funded through this initiative will be high quality, interdisciplinary, and accessible. It will also be driven by local expertise and rooted in principles of social and gender equity, cultural sensitivity, and economic viability.

Learn more about Catalyzing change for healthy and sustainable food systems.