Food Security Group and USAID Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity, and Influence

The Food Security Group (FSG) promotes sustainable and inclusive agri-food system transformation through evidence-building, improving policy processes and influencing policy change at country, regional and global levels. Between July 2019 through December 2020, FSG’s flagship Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity, and Influence (PRCI), funded by USAID and carried out in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Cornell University, and the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes (ReNAPRI), was launched. During this same timeframe, PRCI’s successfully adapted to the deep disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Highlights of PRCI collaborative work include:

  • Competitive selection and funding of three African Centers for Policy Leadership (CPL) to join with ReNAPRI as the foundation of PRCI’s research and capacity building in Africa.
  • Selection of two Asian sub-regional leads to build a network and program of research and capacity building in South and Southeast Asia.
  • Launch of its research program with partners from the CPLs, ReNAPRI and the Asian centers.
  • Design and ongoing delivery of technical training programs for African and Asian partners.
  • Successful completion online of a 5-year strategic planning exercise with ReNAPRI that has helped launch its research and outreach efforts across the African continent.
  • Completion of intensive strategic planning exercises with two of the three CPLs that will guide their work over the next four years.

Highlights of FSG’s other work includes the launch in April 2020 of its COVID-19 site, which has received 2,900 pageviews and over 21,000 views of FSG faculty’s work on the topic. Additionally, PRCI is conducting a cross-country survey of COVID-19 impacts and generating research and policy outreach materials using the data, and analytical work in Mozambique to support the design of the country’s investment strategy.

Additional USAID funding was received for collaborative work in Myanmar and for continuation of earlier work in Tanzania to support a new agricultural policy think tank. A similar program in Malawi, funded by the Agricultural Transformation Initiative (ATI), is helping build a new policy think tank in Malawi. Finally, as the year closed, FSG received USDA-USAID funding to carry out applied research on changing food systems in Kenya and East Africa, as part of USAID’s development of future programs. Over the past 18 months, the FSG and PRCI have received $14.9 million from USAID and other sources.

This funding and the subsequent activities enabled FSG faculty members to continue their strong contributions to scholarship on agricultural and rural development, with 92 peer-reviewed journal publications since July 2019.

For more information on FSG and PRCI, please contact David Tschirley, PhD, at and/or Eric Crawford, PhD, at and