SHiFT hosts first research partner meeting

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The CGIAR Research Initiative on Sustainable Healthy Diets through Food Systems Transformation (SHiFT) recently held its first research partner meeting from November 28 to 30, 2023. The hybrid meeting was based in three locations—Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Hanoi, Viet Nam; and Wageningen, Netherlands.

The meeting provided an opportunity to share and reflect on SHiFT’s research results as the Initiative approaches its two-year anniversary. Attendees included 60 SHiFT researchers from the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT, Wageningen University and Research, and the International Potato Center. National partners from Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, and Viet Nam’s National Institute of Nutrition, the Institute of Policy and Strategy for Agriculture and Rural Development, and Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences joined on the last day of the meeting.

After beginning with a welcome address from Dr. Inge Brouwer, SHiFT Lead, the meeting featured presentations on research findings from each of SHiFT’s Work Packages, with discussions highlighting how the Initiative is using this research to trigger outcomes in its target countries and how these achievements align with national agendas for food systems transformation.

The meeting also focused on solidifying SHiFT’s research agenda on interventions that could leverage food systems transformation toward sustainable healthy diets and opportunities to engage partners in Ethiopia and Viet Nam, in particular.

On the last day of the meeting, representatives from six national partners from Ethiopia and Viet Nam joined the meeting. This provided an opportunity for SHiFT researchers to hear more about the countries’ food systems agendas and how their priorities are quickly evolving. Through a panel discussion and breakout groups with SHiFT’s partners, attendees reflected on the Initiative’s country engagement strategy and its contributions to each country’s national food systems transformation agenda.

For more details on SHiFT’s first research partner meeting, check back in the coming weeks as we share key takeaways from each of the sessions. Bookmark this page—we’ll be updating it with the full agenda from the meeting and links to each of the session writeups.

Meeting agenda:

 Date Title Presenters
November 28, 2023 Work Package 5: Catalyzing food systems transformation

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Marion Herens and Brenda Shenute Namugumya
Work Package 3: Governance and inclusive food systems

  • Politics and processes of food system transformation – insights from a holistic framework
  • Who controls the means and modes of transformative change?

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Chris Béné, Abdul-Rahim Abdulai, Ellen Mangnus, and Simon Bush
Work Package 4: Trade-off scenario analysis

  • Model assessment of trade-offs in food system transformation towards sustainable and healthy diets in Bangladesh
  • Trade-offs of food system transformation policies and dietary change in rural Bangladesh

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Michiel van Dijk, Thijs de Lange, and Olivier Ecker
November 29, 2023 Work Package 1: Consumers and their food environments

  • Consumer motivations, abilities, and opportunities for healthy and sustainable consumption in (peri) urban Viet Nam
  • Diet quality and nutritional status among adolescents and their mothers in urban, peri-urban, and rural Viet Nam

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Jef Leroy, Harriette Snoek, and Phuong Nguyen
Work Package 2: MSMEs and the informal sector

  • What foods do vendors sell? Classification analysis
  • Preliminary results from the MSME and supplier surveys in Viet Nam

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Alan de Brauw, Ricardo Hernandez, and Francisco Ceballos
Progress update on SHiFT’s research agenda on innovations Jef Leroy and Alan de Brauw
November 30, 2023 Country-level engagement in the design and implementation of national food systems transformation agendas: Panel discussion with Strategic Partners

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Adinew Abate, Masresha Tessema, Mulugeta Teamir, Dao The Anh, Tran Cong Thang, and Truong Tuyet Mai


The International Food Policy Research Institute and the Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT lead SHiFT in close collaboration with Wageningen University and Research and with contributions from the International Potato Center. 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).

Header image: SHiFT researchers, Heleen Prins (left) and Brenda Shenute Namugumyu (center) participating in one of the breakout sessions during SHiFT’s first research partner meeting. Photo by Sydney Honeycutt, Communications Consultant.

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