SHiFT formalizes collaboration with partners in Ethiopia

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The CGIAR Research Initiative on Sustainable Healthy Diets through Food Systems Transformation (SHiFT) and three partners in Ethiopia recently formalized their commitment to strengthen the implementation of food systems transformation for sustainable and healthy diets in Ethiopia. The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), on behalf of SHiFT, the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), Ministry of Health (MoH), and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen cooperation and collaboration towards this goal.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Inge Brouwer, SHiFT Lead from IFPRI; Ms. Alemtsehay Sergawi, Head of the Food and Nutrition Coordination Office of the MoA; Mrs. Hiwot Darsene, Lead Executive Officer, Nutrition Coordination Office of the MoH; and Dr. Masresha Tessema, Director of Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate at EPHI.

SHiFT researchers from IFPRI, the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (the Alliance), Wageningen University and Research (WUR), and the International Potato Center (CIP), collaborate with different types of stakeholders that support demand, innovation, and scaling in Ethiopia. The MoA, MoH, and EPHI have a distinct role as SHiFT’s Strategic Partners. These three Strategic Partners hold an advisory role, ensuring that SHiFT’s activities are relevant to national food system transformation policy priorities and that stakeholder interests and concerns are included in consultations and SHiFT’s research. The Strategic Partners help accelerate the dissemination of innovative, robust solutions emerging from the Initiative’s work, which contribute to healthier, more sustainable dietary choices and consumption of sustainable healthy diets. Importantly, it is through this partnership that SHiFT keeps in step with country-led food systems transformation processes and brings evidence and other kinds of support where Strategic Partners think is useful and appropriate.

Ethiopia was an active participant in the 2021 United Nations Food Systems Summit (UNFSS) dialogues. The development of the Ethiopian Food Systems National Roadmap and the prioritization of 22 game changing solutions were direct outputs of that process. SHiFT is working with MoA, MoH, and EPHI plus emerging multi-stakeholder platforms in Ethiopia, in order to support the planning and implementation of activities supporting the food systems transformation process in the country.

SHiFT combines high-quality nutritional and social science research capacity with development partnerships to generate innovative, robust solutions that contribute to healthier, more sustainable dietary choices and consumption of sustainable healthy diets. It builds on CGIAR’s unparalleled track record of agricultural research for development, including ten years of work on food systems and nutrition under the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). IFPRI and the Alliance lead SHiFT in close collaboration with WUR and with contributions from CIP.

Header image:  Partners gather to recognize the signing of the MoU. From left to right are Mulugeta Teamir Sisay, senior nutrition-sensitive agriculture advisor, representing the Ministry of Agriculture; Dr. Inge Brower, SHiFT Lead; Adinew Abate, Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Program Manager, representing Ministry of Health, and Masresha Tessema, Director of Food Science and Nutrition Research Directorate, representing the Ethiopian Public Health Institute. Photo by Apollo Habtamu/ILRI.

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