Leveraging Existing Data and Insights into the Policy Process to Accelerate Progress toward Achieving Sustainable Diets in the Global South (EATS)

Start Date: 
May 1, 2017
End Date: 
Jun 30, 2020
Collaborator: 
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Summary: 

Graham Institute Transformation Grant

There is an urgent imperative to reshape human diets to safeguard human health, mitigate climate change, and sustainably use the planet’s natural resources. A major barrier to achieving sustainable diets is defining clear interventions points and approaches that will provide a net-positive systemic influence across sectors. Our proposed project seeks to overcome this barrier by addressing the following actionable research question: How can existing data and insights into the policy process be leveraged to inform decision making on where and how to intervene to effectively shift multiple axes of food systems toward enhancing the sustainability of diets? To answer this question, we will aggregate, synthesize, and analyze currently available data relevant to multiple domains of sustainable diets for two case study countries—Kenya and Vietnam. Through an iterative consultation process with national and sub-national decision-makers and experts in each country, we will identify critical decision making needs, data gaps, and insights into the policy process at diverse scales, and in response, generate unique information packages aimed at informing evidence-based, systems-level decision making on sustainable diets. Project outputs will be generated in collaboration with and explicitly designed for use by these stakeholders. We expect to: 1) generate new insights into the policy process in each country, how this process aligns with goals for sustainable diets, and the challenges and opportunities to enhancing this alignment; and 2) foster a clearer understanding of key food systems linkages and policy levers that contribute to or detract from the goals of sustainable diets.

Other research team members include:

Colin Khoury - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Evan Girvetz - CIAT
Stef de Haan - CIAT

Sponsor: 
University of Michigan - Graham Environmental Sustainability Institute