Research Workshop: Co-creating for increased diversity in food environments as entry point to support healthy diets and inclusive livelihoods

  • Date
  • Time
    06:30 pm > 08:00 pm UTC+03:00
  • Location
    United Nations, Conference Room 4, Nairobi, Kenya

Thematic Areas: Resilient Landscape, Institutional Innovations, Healthy Diets, Gender & Inclusion

Globally, poor quality diets are associated with 11 million premature adult deaths, while healthy diets are not affordable for over 3 billion people.  Current investments in food systems transformations to increase production, incomes and livelihoods are insufficient to improve low quality diets. The strategic shift at CGIAR to focus on food systems, challenges us to consider how our innovations also contribute to improved outcomes for consumer households in rural and urban areas.  The role of the retail food environment is hereby crucial as it is one of the important drivers of food choices and consumption on the one hand and can be considered as the result of decisions all along production systems and value chains. In many contexts where we work, the market systems surrounding vulnerable farmers and vulnerable consumers are tightly linked through a dense, spatially dispersed, decentralized network of diverse, informal (SMEs, self-employed) food processors and retailers. The session will discuss how co-creation with producers, consumers, MSMEs and/or informal stakeholders in the Food Environment, can contribute to viable businesses selling more diverse, healthy and sustainably produced foods such as fruits and vegetables to improve producer’s and vendor’s incomes and livelihoods, but also increase the consumption of healthy foods which will contribute to better nutrition.   This is relevant across the CGIAR if we want to foster transformations towards healthy, inclusive and sustainable food systems that are economically viable and resilient in the face of external shocks such as climate change or pandemics.  

The 90 min session will start with 5 short (5-min) presentations on co-creating for diversity in food environments 1) in a rural, fragile dryland context, 2) through better food composition data of neglected and underutilized species, 3) through a food environment index for evidence-based decision making, 4) in an urban vulnerable settlement context, and 5) through market linkages.  This will be followed with comments from 2 implementing partners (Feed back To The Future and Diabetes Awareness Trust), after which a Q&A session will lead us into a guided discussion, where the value and challenges of co-creation as well as food environments as an entry point will be discussed.  Participants will have a chance to reflect on their own work and identify relevant food environment research questions for their work.  Finally, upon interest, opportunities for cross-center/cross mega program collaboration will be discussed.


  • Mark Lundy, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT; Food Environment and Consumer Behaviour global director
  • Christine Chege, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, moderator
  • Francis Oduor, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, Turkana FE
  • Gina Kennedy, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, Periodic Table of Food Composition
  • Tosin Akingbemisilu, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, Food Environment Index
  • Consolata Musita, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT, Kisumu settlements FE and consumers
  • Rosina Wanyama, Alliance Bioversity International and CIAT; market linkages
  • Hannah Kigamba, Diabetes Awareness Trust (DAT)