Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy (FSP)
One of the main policy project from the Food Security Group is the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy.
What is food security?
The final report of the 1996 World Food Summit states that food security “exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
A family is food secure when its members do not live in hunger or fear of hunger. Food insecurity is often rooted in poverty and has long-term impacts on the ability of families, communities and countries to develop.
Policies for food security
Policies regulate socio-economic practices and can have either positive or negative effects on social and economic development. Policies can be powerful mechanisms to channel income from one group to another in response to vested interests. They set a context for strategic public investments, either enhancing or stifling their benefits. Understanding the political economic context and institutional constraints is critical to the successful design and uptake of policies and reform processes.
Researchers have an important part to play to scientifically inform a policy making process.
Data collection and analysis can demonstrate the positive or negative impact of a policy and guide the policy design process. Scientists can model possible scenarios and evaluate outcomes. Long-term empirical and theoretical research creates a pool of knowledge useful to propose sustainable and effective decisions. It can also alert against upcoming catastrophes and develop preventive and curative solutions. In a crisis, scientists can lead short-term research that focuses on the specifics of the situation. These different types of research are necessary and complementary.