Supporting Program Design through Research on Agriculture to Nutrition Linkages
The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Nutrition pursues rigorous research that supports the goals of USAID’s Feed the Future initiative, while also building human and institutional capacity for analysis and policy formulation in developing countries.
The goals of the meeting were to bring together all our partners and collaborators to:
- Learn and synthesize findings across the different focus countries thus taking stock of the completed and ongoing research.
- Understand how these contribute to our shared research agenda and how these inform policy and programming within the context of USAID as well as globally at large
- Understand how our findings support practice and what needs to be done to better link research to practice as well as identify research gaps for future consideration
The sessions and structure of the meeting was to primarily focus on four domains:
- Evidence around agriculture to nutrition linkages, including pathways to resilience
- Innovations (agricultural value chain technologies, metrics and indicators)
- Institutional and Individual Capacity Building
- Research Gaps and Challenges to inform future directions
Global Research Framework and Objectives
The Nutrition Innovation Lab focuses on three major over-arching research questions:
Nutrition - Agriculture Linkages
- In what ways do investments in agriculture achieve significant measurable impacts in nutrition?
- What are the type of metrics that will be critical to assess resilience within the agriculture to nutrition continuum?
- As a corollary, can pathways to impact be empirically demonstrated?
- How can large-scale programs best incorporate such knowledge into cost-effective multi-sectoral interventions aimed at improving nutrition?
Program and Policy Processes
- How can policy and program implementation processes be enhanced to support both nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive actions?
Neglected Biological Mechanisms in the agriculture to nutrition continuum
- What are the major contributors/risk factors linked to pregnancy and early life, to infant and young nutrition outcomes focusing on issues related to WASH, water quality, aflatoxins, gut microbiota and environmental enteropathy, and animal source protein availability?
These three overarching questions form the framework for a host of nested studies that are generating concrete evidence that responds to priority developing country concerns while supporting the goals of USAID’s Feed the Future initiative. The research was pursued in ways to enhance policymaker’s understanding of how to overcome constraints in policy and program design and implementation and produce global public goods in the form of new scientific knowledge of relevant and diverse settings.