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Leading CGIAR’s strategic response to COVID-19

In response to demand from donors and partners, IFPRI partnered with the International Livestock Research Institute and the CGIAR System Organization to prepare a document with input from across CGIAR on its strategic response to COVID-19 and COVID-19’s impacts. In June, the CGIAR System Council approved the establishment of a COVID-19 Hub hosted by the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH) to support national response and recovery work across CGIAR research themes, harnessing knowledge for emergency response, recovery, and resilience. Updates on the latest progress can be found on the CGIAR COVID-19 Hub website.

IFPRI’s COVID-19 activities inform global policy discourse

In March, IFPRI began curating a series of blog posts analyzing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on national and global food and nutrition security, poverty, and development. The series is edited by IFPRI Director General Johan Swinnen and A4NH Director John McDermott. Interest in these posts skyrocketed, with views peaking in April at more than 400 percent higher than average IFPRI blog viewership, and remained consistently more than double the normal readership throughout the year. In August, IFPRI launched the e-book COVID-19 & Global Food Security, which brings together the groundbreaking blog series on the impacts of COVID-19 and the policy response. IFPRI initiated a series of virtual events on COVID-19, attracting large audiences for each of the 44 events held since March. The full set of blog posts, publications, events, data tools, and more are available on IFPRI’s COVID-19 spotlight page.


IFPRI and partners are making a difference around the world

IFPRI released an updated IFPRI Making a Difference brochure in June, highlighting how the Institute’s research has informed policy decisions and investments made by governments, development organizations, and other partners around the world to contribute to better outcomes for food and nutrition security and poverty reduction.


COVID-19 lockdowns, income distribution, and food security in South Africa

In a study published in the September issue of Global Food Security, Channing Arndt, Sherwin Gabriel, Sherman Robinson, Lillian Anderson, and colleagues found that the strict lockdowns in South Africa caused large reductions in wage income, especially for low-skilled workers. Initial policies also jeopardized food security of low-income households dependent on labor income. The authors highlighted the value of transfer policies that support vulnerable households in the event of such shocks.

Impact of Ethiopia’s 2015 drought on child undernutrition

A study by Kalle Hirvonen and colleagues in the July issue of World Development found in Ethiopia that  chronic  undernutrition rates increased in areas that have poor road networks and were exposed to the 2015 drought. As there was no evidence that the drought led to wide-spread increases in child undernutrition, the authors suggest that investments in road infrastructure may have contributed toward greater resilience against droughts.

Stakeholder-designed scenarios for global food security assessments

In a paper in the March issue of Global Food Security, David Laborde and colleagues constructed the FOODSECURE scenarios — a set of global scenarios to explore global food security up to the year 2050. In a participatory process with stakeholders, the authors presented projections for key drivers, which can be used as an input into global simulation models.

Patterns of intrahousehold decision-making in rural Senegal

In a study published in the January issue of World Development, Tanguy Bernard, Melissa Hidrobo, and colleagues found that decision-making typologies drive outcomes related to the gender of the decision-maker. While decision-making is often used as a proxy for empowerment, the authors found that characteristics beyond the gender of the decision-maker — such as whether the person is the most informed household member — influenced outcomes in dairy-farming households.

Practices to co-deliver food security, climate change mitigation, and adaptation

Ephraim Nkonya and colleagues found that most cli- mate mitigation practices can be applied without competing for available land and have the potential to provide multiple co-benefits. The paper, published in the March issue of Global Change Biology, assessed 40 practices to address global land challenges.

More publications featuring the work of IFPRI and the EC are available here.


Crowdsourced data reveals threats to household food security under COVID-19

In November, Gloria Solano Hermosilla and Fabio Micale of the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and colleagues published an IFPRI guest blog post on the benefits and challenges of crowd-sourcing approaches for food price data in emergencies and more generally. The piece described how food price data in northern Nigeria during a four-week pandemic lockdown period showed important variations for staple foods.

Ethiopia’s agrifood system: Past trends, present challenges, and future scenarios

An October blog post featured a book launch held in September, which analyzed changes in Ethiopia’s agrifood system and the agriculture sector in the context of the country’s evolving economy. The discussions focused on the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) as well as effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dominique Davoux of the European Union Delegation and participants highlighted opportunities to refocus existing public investment in agriculture and pro-poor programs.

More blog posts based on the work of IFPRI and the EC are available here.


The European Green Deal: The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy and Biodiversity Strategy

A July event co-organized by the European Commission (EC) and IFPRI — featuring Sabine Juelicher, John Clarke, and Humberto Delgado Rosa of the EC — explored the Farm to Fork Strategy and the Biodiversity Strategy, their roles in the European Green Deal, and their international implications. The strategies, together with ambitious goals to combat climate change, aim to make European food systems the gold standard for sustainability. The event’s discussions were also summarized in a July blog post.

Thought-provoking perspectives on child stunting

In November, IFPRI hosted a webinar in Ethiopia with the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) to discuss new perspectives on using linear growth and stunting as measures of global development, as well as policy implications. The webinar attracted a wide variety of participants including policymakers, academics, development partners, and NGOs. The event recap is available on the NIPN website.

COVID-19 risk and food value chains

The CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) and the Food Security Portal (FSP) co-organized a webinar in December. Understanding COVID-19 effects on local and global food value chains is key in establishing effective policy responses to mitigate the harmful impacts. The webinar examined results of several recent studies from Ethiopia, India, and Nigeria on how various food value chains are responding to COVID-19.

More information on events featuring the work of IFPRI and the EC are available here.


Food Security Portal

The global Food Security Portal (FSP), facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), presents up-to-date data and information about dynamic developments in the world food system and increases policymakers’ ability to respond quickly and adequately to emerging food crises. The objective of the Food Security Portal (facilitated by IFPRI) is to contribute to better informed policies to improve 
food security and nutrition and enhance resilience to shocks. The Food Security Portal provides open access to comprehensive global and country-level information on food prices and policy developments. The Portal also features a comprehensive suite of  research- based capacity-strengthening tools and risk monitoring systems to help guide appropriate, timely policy responses, as well as an e-learning platform to further education on food and nutrition security. 

Reference: New flyer Global Food Security portal (2 pages)

The Africa south of the Sahara Food Security Portal

The Africa south of the Sahara Food Security Portal presents current information about agriculture, food security, and nutrition in Africa south of the Sahara and about dynamic developments in the region’s food system. It is facilitated by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and brings together a network of regional partners. 

Reference: New flyer  SSA Food Security portal (2 pages)

Food Security Portal (Phase 3) project policy dialogue events

IFPRI, in collaboration with local partners, organized a series of regional- and country-level policy dialogue events. In February, a policy dialogue organized jointly with the Economic Policy Research Network Rwanda (EPRN) and held in Rwanda explored building productive capacities for agricultural transformation, rural development, and food security. In September, a virtual policy dialogue organized jointly with the National Information Platform for Nutrition (NIPN) and the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) was held on COVID-19 impacts on childhood malnutrition and nutrition-related mortality. In October, a virtual regional policy dialogue event organized jointly with the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) was held on enhancing trade and food security through data. Also in October, a virtual policy dialogue event organized jointly with policy think tank REPOA was held in Tanzania on informal trade and implications for food security and resilience.

The Food Security Portal for food crisis risk early warning

In November, IFPRI and the Food Security Portal (FSP) co-organized a policy seminar focused on data, information sharing, and coordination to improve food security. Participants, including Conrad Rein and Philippe Thomas of the European Commission, discussed the role of the FSP in monitoring the drivers of food insecurity and food crises to inform policies. The event highlighted new tools and features of the FSP and the Africa South of the Sahara sub-portal of the upgraded website.



IFPRI has started three new projects with funding from the EC since January 2020:

  1. Building a COVID-19 Rapid Response and AG-FORESIGHT Team in Egypt by Establishing a Policy Analysis Team within the Digital Transformation Unit of the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation (MOALR) [Led by Clemens Breisinger]
  2. Monitoring Retail and Farm Gate Prices for Selected Crops, Fish and Livestock Products in Malawi [Led by Bob Baulch]
  3. Rwanda Strategy Support Program [Led by David Spielman]

IFPRI is continuing one ongoing project with new fund- ing from the EC since January 2020:

  • Climate-Smart Innovations to Improve Productivity, Profitability, and Sustainability of Agriculture and Food Systems in Malawi through Multidisciplinary Research [Led by Bob Baulch]

For more information on IFPRI’s partnership with the EC, visit IFPRI’s Funding Partnerships website.

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last update
11 February 2021

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