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Call for Scholars

African Futures - Call for Scholars [pdf]

 

The Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) established its African Futures Research Leadership Program in Fall 2019. The competitive visiting scholar program will target early career women researchers from the 10 AAP member universities to travel to Michigan State University (MSU) for one year to be jointly supervised by faculty members from MSU and their home institution in research for impact, writing of scholarly and/or policy publications, dissemination of research results and grant proposals. Early career researchers will also participate in a structured academic advancement program while building bridges and lasting connections with MSU and across their cohort. They will also participate in an off-site leadership retreat, which will provide them with training in the areas of thought leadership, team development, research development, engagement and collaboration. The home institution mentor will visit MSU for one week of collaboration discussions. Towards the end of the program, MSU faculty mentors will spend one week at the early career researcher’s home institution to continue research collaboration with the researcher and their African co-mentor.

This year, the cohort will be centered around two themes: global health and climate change. These priority global challenges require global solutions that are addressed through multiple disciplinary approaches (interdisciplinary, multi-disciplinary and transdisciplinary), that provide different perspectives on problems, inform comprehensive research questions, develop consensus, and provide innovative solutions. Five scholars will be selected for each theme.

Applicants will submit a proposal that includes a CV, letter of interest, endorsement from their department chair and AAP focal point, writing samples, and letters of reference, along with their preference of MSU faculty mentor. Successful applicants will work with their mentor over a one-year period at MSU. AAP will provide scholars a salary during their time at MSU, and will cover airfare and visa application fees. Scholars will also receive a small grant for their research and professional development activities, to be spent in coordination with their mentors. Eligible scholars will be current early career Academic Staff at AAP member universities who have received their PhD within the past ten years.

Eligibility

  • Must be an early career woman researcher
  • Citizen of an African country in which AAP operates
  • Completion of a PhD degree within the last 10 years
  • Employed as an Academic Staff member at one of the 10 AAP African consortium universities including Egerton University, Makerere University, University of Dar es Salaam, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Botswana, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, University Cheikh Anta Diop, University of Arts and Humanities, Bamako, United States International University-Africa, and University of Pretoria
  • Have documented approval of leave or sabbatical to participate in the program for one year
  • Have a mentor at their home institution that will serve as a collaborator and mentor when they return to their home institution
  • Research must be in one of this year's thematic areas: climate change or global health

MSU Faculty Mentors

Please review the following faculty mentors' CVs and research projects to determine which would be the best fit for you. You will indicate your preferences in your application.

Climate Change

Peilei Fan.pngPeilei Fan - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Urban environmental challenges of African cities: Health and equity under a changing climate

This project will examine urban environmental impacts, particularly air pollution, urban heat island (UHI), and possibly urban flooding, in mega cities in Africa (locations TBD based on discussion with the mentee).   Urbanization unfolded rapidly in Africa, with almost half of the population (47% on average in 2020) living in urban areas and urban land expanding extensively. Urban environmental changes, such as air pollution, UHI, and urban flooding, in Africa have been directly associated with urban land transformation, which has been co-evolved with other major socio-environmental transitions in demography, diet/lifestyle, health.   This project will (1) assess spatio-temporal patterns of air pollution, UHI, and possibly urban flooding under complex global climate change, economic development, and population growth of African cities, (2) analyze drivers, particularly urban land use change (including changes of green space and water body), population change, and infrastructure development (highway, public transit) leading to these environmental changes, and (3) investigate the health impacts on human well-being, disparity in accessing resources to mitigate/adapt to these environmental impacts, and how planning and policy may help to enhance the resilience to extreme climate events (heat waves, flooding) for vulnerable communities.

First, this project will first extract data on urban land and urban green spaces of the selected cities to characterize their spatio-temporal changes, as well as urban environmental data on air pollution of PM2.5 and NO2 and UHI, mostly from remote sensing imageries. For example, land surface temperature (LST) from the thermal band (band 6) of selected cloud-free Landsat images will be extracted for UHI characterization.  Second, it will investigate how the important drivers, i.e., urban land transformation and green space, together with other societal changes, have contributed to air pollution and heat in cities. Third, to analyze the health impacts, both socioeconomic data (census) and public health data (if accessible) will be used.  A special focus will be on marginal communities and residents in peri-urban areas. It will also provide insights to planning and policies, for example, how to improve access to certain resources, such as green space, public transit, for disadvantaged groups, such as elderly, children, and low-income groups.

Dr. Peilei Fan has been pursuing research on some of the most pressing environmental challenges at global scale, with experiences particularly in Southeast and East Asia, but also Europe and North America.  The mentee should have solid training in GIS, geospatial technologies, quantitative modeling, and remote sensing.  The mentee shall be interested in combining modeling and socioeconomic and policy analysis to provide policy implications for planning. This proposed project will not only advance our knowledge about African cities, but also inform policy decisions on how African cities can address multiple urban environmental challenges under climate change and socioeconomic transformation. Dr. Fan hopes that she can continue the research in the region with the collaboration of the mentee even after the program ends, helping build local capacity and sustain human resource development in Africa. She is very supportive for enhancing the local capacity through mentoring female scholars from Africa.

gasteyer-headshot.jpgStephen Gasteyer - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

My interest is in working with African scholars to grapple with the nexus of climate change, conflict, migration, and community development.  Africa, as much as any continent on earth, has already been gravely impacted by the combination of climate change and conflict.  Not only have the perennial conflicts between herders and farmers been exacerbated by changing weather patterns – specifically hotter summers and more frequent drought years – but Africa as the site of proxy wars between international military forces has suffered conflicts that created displaced populations that have themselves been placed in situations that exacerbate resources scarcity.  In short, there is a nexus of climate change, conflict, and migration that if not addressed has the potential to create a downward spiral of social disorder and deterioration of living conditions and wellbeing. 

I am proposing research that identifies the underlying drivers of these conditions, identifies the underlying social systems, and proposes interventions that improve conditions, and social interactions.  I would welcome the chance to work with a social scientist willing to engage in policy and/or community level analysis.  My aim is to develop a research agenda that builds interdisciplinary collaboration toward creating systems that foster solutions for a world that appears increasingly broken.  This will involve skills in peace making, provision of basic services (food, water, energy), individual and community empowerment.  I would hope that this collaboration could integrate the African scholar into an existing Interdisciplinary Team Building Initiative (ITBI) facilitated through ESPP that involves collaborators from multiple disciplines and colleges. 

The processes that led to global disorder unleashed in the first part of the 20th century – leading to marginalization and displacement of millions – were built over 40 years of the implementation of a global economic and neo-colonial agenda.  Creating better systems for development must involve the kinds of applied research that create opportunities for meaningful engagement and quality of life.  This will take time, but I believe that we can leverage existing efforts to intervene across multiple sectors. I hope for a collaborator in this process in the next year and for years to come. 

I should note that I have professional and personal relationships in Mali.  I speak some Bamana – at this point is really confined to greetings and salutations.  My French is fully conversant (I have recently given lectures in French in France).  I also serve as the dissertation committee chair for a Ghanaian graduate student currently doing her dissertation field work in Ghana.  And have some contacts in Tanzania.  My Arabic is also conversant, should that be helpful in pairing.

 

Pokhrel.Yadu_224_2 (1).jpgYadu Pokhrel - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Compounding impacts of socio-economic inequalities, climate change, and increased drought risk on water and food security in Africa

Background
Many regions in Africa are amongst those most vulnerable to increased drought risks globally. The populations living in these drought hotspots are also those most susceptible to the impacts of droughts because they are resource-poor and have low adaptive capacity. The rural populations that rely on subsistence farming and women are particularly vulnerable. Many drought events in the recent past have destroyed crops, killed livestock, and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. These deaths are related to malnutrition and starvation, which have also led to widespread human migration and sometimes armed conflicts. The high dependency of agricultural systems on water resources—which are being transformed by climate change—has led to increased vulnerability across society and economic sectors in the continent. A fast demographic growth that has led to increased water and food demands, combined with the depletion of land and environmental resources, is expected to aggravate population vulnerability, and exacerbate future drought impacts across the region. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop a better understanding of drought impacts on vulnerable African populations and develop adaptation strategies to help address region-wide water, food, and environmental crises.
Project objectives
The goal of the proposed project is to use advanced modeling tools developed in the host’s lab, emerging remote sensing data, and socio-economic information to better understand the complex interdependencies between climate change, droughts, socioeconomic inequalities, and water-food security in the region/country of the scholar’s interest. The scholar will work closely with the host as well as PhD students and postdocs in his lab to identify synergies between existing modeling tools and data in the host’s lab and scholar’s ongoing research efforts toward developing a manuscript on transdisciplinary integration of (i) climate change and droughts, (ii) socioeconomic systems, (iii) human mobility and migration, and (iv) water-food security. The scholar will be provided exposure to the models and other tools used in the host’s lab and the scholar is expected to bring new perspectives and research dimension for the proposed cross-cutting research integration. The eventual goal will be to identify measures to address water and food security issues in the scholar’s region of interest. The models and remote sensing data developed in the host’s lab could be applied to any region but require location-specific data and other information, which the scholar is expected to help with.
Publication and proposal plans
The scholar, the host, and other members of the lab will jointly work toward two collaborative publications: one led by the scholar and the other led by the host or a lab member. Emphasis will be placed on developing new and transdisciplinary integration of various disciplines for sustained research and workforce development in the scholar’s home institution and country.
We will also work on proposals for international research toward achieving the goal of sustained collaboration beyond the scholar’s term at MSU. We will particularly pursue two opportunities. First, we will work on a proposal for the Belmont Forum that currently focuses on “Integrated Approaches to Human Migration/Mobility in an Era of Rapid Global Change”. A team of MSU researchers is currently considering to responding to this call—this will be an ideal opportunity to engage the scholar. Second, I am currently the MSU lead on the USAID WADI II effort that has moved to the second stage. If selected by the USAID, our team may nave numerous opportunities to develop proposals in water, sanitation, and hygiene across Africa. The engagement of the scholar in this effort will be of utmost value and help achieve our long-term goal of sustained engagement in the region. I am to take these opportunities to secure larger projects, involving broader collaborators and stakeholders in the region – the scholar could help us build these connections for larger, impactful projects.

Skole_MG_5019_fs.jpgDavid Skole - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Trees Outside of Forests as Natural Climate Solutions in West Africa: climate change mitigation, and adaptation.

There is growing evidence that landscapes around the world are increasing tree biomass and are important potential sinks for carbon. The most important hotspots for this phenomenon are systems of trees outside of forests (TOF) in agricultural landscapes in Africa Recent studies have identified the occurrence of farmer-mediated and promoted increases in biomass in savanna and woodland landscapes in rural areas. For example, in one new analysis in West Africa, scholars have observe elevated tree biomass around village areas compared to natural savannas. A mechanism has been postulated for this: while changing climatic patterns is influencing increased tree productivity, farmers are also promoting enhanced tree biomass to capture the direct and indirect benefits of tree-based ecosystem services, especially from agroforestry. If this pattern is widespread or could be further enabled through policy and management interventions, it could have important implications for climate change mitigation and adaptation by carbon sequestration actions. In the context of international climate policy, it is gaining widespread interest under the concept of natural climate solutions.

This project will deploy a remote sensing method that combines very high-resolution satellite (VHR) data with ground measures of individual trees to map TOF landscapes in Africa. The aim is to estimate the area today, as well as examine its trend and future potential, and understand the social and economic drivers. The question is important because of the potential scale and magnitude of land area in African semi-arid lands that currently support TOF, and which could be increased through climate change policy and economic development interventions. The question is also important because TOF systems can have significant benefits to local communities through agroforestry and other tree-based production systems that bring higher economic returns to local livelihoods, and enhanced environmental benefits for land rehabilitation. Results of this study will be important to the international climate change mitigation policy community as they are actively seeking quantitative information on TOF as natural climate solutions, specifically as an example in emerging programs for Forest Landscape Restoration (FLR) such as AFR100 – the African-wide contribution to the Bonn Challenge. These results also support the emerging REDD+ agenda and new thinking about expanding the framework to include Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFoLU), thereby taking a landscape approach. Lastly, the work shall support international development communities and UN SDGs through its impact on agroforestry livelihoods.

This project is now underway in West Africa in collaboration with partners at the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar and the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) in Senegal with funding from NASA in the United States. The CSE is a prestigious international research center, with projects and a research mandate across many countries in West Africa. The co-investigator, Dr. Mbow, is the CSE Executive Director and faculty member at UCAD. The project would welcome a scholar from any country in Africa. The scholar’s role would be to participate in the study, and create a sub-study on mapping trees outside of forests on agricultural landscapes, and evaluating the role farmers are playing in actively promoting tree-based systems in agriculture. The work of the scholar would extend the research program of the project in three areas of analysis 1) geospatial information on mapping landscape carbon stocks in individual trees (Skole et al. 2021), 2) agroforestry and other tree-based systems for carbon sequestration (Mbow et al. 2014), and 3) improved farmer-focused strategies related to climate change mitigation and adaptation (Skole et al. 2021).

PLZarnetske_300 (1).jpgPhoebe L. Zarnetske - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Advancing explanation and prediction of biodiversity responses to climate change

Overview: Rapid global change is threatening biodiversity and its ability to provide essential ecosystem services. Although ecological research has advanced understanding of the key drivers of biodiversity, relationships between biodiversity and ecological functions and services essential to global health, and linkages between aquatic and terrestrial systems, we lack robust models to predict these changes and inform conservation, management, and policy of Earth’s natural systems. In particular, knowledge gaps remain about how climate change affects different dimensions of biodiversity (i.e., genetic, taxonomic, functional, phylogenetic) and associated ecosystem services across different spatial and temporal scales. We are thus limited in our ability to forecast the effects of climate change. This project will focus on interdisciplinary approaches combining biodiversity science, community ecology, spatial ecology, natural history, remote sensing, climate science, and data science to help fill these knowledge gaps. This project will leverage insights from a new interdisciplinary field that MSU scientists are leading—macrosystems science. Macrosystems science draws on insights from biology, geography, earth science, computer science, mathematics, statistics and other disciplines to elucidate scale-dependent processes underlying observed patterns in natural and human dominated systems. The project will also embrace open science practices, tools, and techniques that are freely accessible around the world to ensure the science is widely accessible and inclusive, including: use of publicly-available data such as from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), US National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER), Open Traits Network, and NASA satellite imagery; use of R opensource software and GitHub; and research published as peer-reviewed open-access papers. The scholar will gain experience in these areas while contributing to collaborative research that involves scale-dependent species distribution modeling (statistical and/or machine learning approaches with R) of geographic distributions of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity, both for current conditions and for alternative future climate change scenarios. The project will explore different focal species groups, such as birds, mammals, plants, insects, fish, or amphibians, and while the focal region of analysis is North America (from local to ecoregion to continent scale), there is opportunity to apply the modeling framework to other regions or even globally.

Expectations and Outcomes: The scholar will be expected to collaborate on analyses in R and lead or co-lead writing a peer-reviewed manuscript. As part of this research experience, the scholar will gain experience in best practices in open science techniques and science communication. As a member of the MSU Spatial and Community Ecology Lab (SpaCE Lab) and the MSU Institute for Biodiversity, Ecology, Evolution, and Macrosystems (IBEEM), the scholar will expand their colleague network, join a cohort of IBEEM Postdocs from multiple MSU ecology and evolution labs, gain experience in collaborative and interdisciplinary research focused on climate change ecology, gain mentoring experience with students, have opportunities to contribute to grant proposal writing, present at conferences, co-lead peer-reviewed manuscripts with IBEEM Postdocs, and advance skills in research to improve research impact. Ultimately, this research and experience will provide more robust knowledge of climate change impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services to inform complex decisions surrounding climate change adaptation and natural resources management.

Global Health

Vangie2 web.jpgEvangelyn Alocilja - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Pathogen Extraction Using Magnetic Nanoparticles and DNA Detection Using Gold Nanoparticles

Unsafe food causes 600 million cases of foodborne diseases and 420,000 deaths worldwide, with 30% of the foodborne deaths among children under 5 years of age1. Contaminated foods are a constant threat to public health and a significant impediment to socio-economic development worldwide2. The most common sources of foodborne diseases are E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria monocytogenes which are usually isolated from animal-source food products3.

Foodborne diseases are preventable and rapid detection is one strategy that can be employed to reduce the mortality and morbidity. However, current detection systems are often laborious, expensive, and require laboratory facilities. They also lack the ability to quickly enrich and detect targets in large samples. Thus, there is an unmet need for rapid, low-cost, onsite, and accurate detection of foodborne agents in large samples.

Thus, the goal of this proposal is to rapidly monitor the temporal dynamics and drug-resistance of selected foodborne pathogens, such as E. coli and Salmonella spp. in biological matrices using a nanoparticle-based biosensor with capabilities for rapid and simultaneous enrichment, detection, and reporting of the contaminating agent. The research project will involve using glycan-functionalized magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) to extract and concentrate bacterial pathogens from complex biological matrices. These MNPs will also be used to detect these microbial organisms directly or indirectly. The project will also develop gold nanoparticle-based biosensor to detect DNA from extracted bacteria. The expected outcomes include data analysis for sensitivity and reproducibility. A technical publication is expected by the end of the project. If successful, the biosensor could be a tool in preventing foodborne diseases and in the preservation of precious lives.

William Cunningham - Institute of Global Health Team (lead mentor)

IGH Team Curriculum Vitaes [pdf]

IGH Mentor Team.png

Dear AAP Scholars:

Michigan State University and the Alliance for African Partnership (AAP) are excited to host you for a year of education and research.  As an Associate Dean for Global Health and the Director of the Institute for Global (IGH)my team and I can offer the visiting scholars many opportunities at the Institute for Global Health (IGH) and through our global partners to further develop their academic knowledge(https://ighealth.msu.edu/).

IGH has chosen to develop a team of researchers and educators to work with you throughout your tenure at MSU.  In addition, we have enclosed descriptions of the team’s curriculum vitato determine if we can meet your academic needs. 

I will be your principal mentor.  My background is in emergency medicine,and part of my practice has always been involved in education. As Director of the Institute for Global Health, I have developed many sustainable global partnerships with faculty worldwide that can be a resource for your training and research.

IGH is also partnering with most of the seventeen Colleges at MSU and has access to their faculty and research facilities to further enhance your training.  As a visiting scholar, you can also participate in the following programs that IGH offers throughout the year. 

    • Monthly Global health /One Health meetings 
    • One Health/One World global health conference 
    • Education and Research Consortium of the Americas (ERCA) with virtual institutes meeting quarterly on Infectious Disease/ Tropical Medicine, Health and Well Being, Psychosocial Determinant of Disease, and Water Quality (https://ighealth.msu.edu/?s=ERCA) 
    • Study Abroad opportunities with medical students and researchers in the following countries:  Egypt, Malawi, Peru, Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic, Republic of South Korea, and China 
    • Certificate in Global Health Studies at MSU (https://globalhealth.msu.edu/)

The team members that we have listed here are a sample of the faculty and researchers who will contribute to your scholarly activities at MSU.  If you have specific academic, research, and training needs, IGH will help you meet those goals. The following is a snapshot of the IGH team’s areas can support you with.  

    • Global health research project development with international partners; quantitative research methods in health data analysis.  
    • Grant development, planning for research grants, and research team building. 
    • Research studies with a focus on gender globally, migration, and refugees.  
    • Global health education program development and capacity building.  
    • Healthcare promotion, education, and prevention as systems.

We welcome you to Michigan State University and look forward to meeting with you in the future.

Sincerely,

William Cunningham, DO, MHA 
Director of Institute for Global Health 

Associate Dean of Global Health 

College of Osteopathic Medicine 

3 MASTIN Teresa 2022.jpegTeresa Mastin - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Mastin's primary research interests include media advocacy as a public relations tool, media coverage of health issues related to women and vulnerable populations, especially in regard to individuals residing in struggling urban communities and developing countries. She served as a Fulbright specialist in Rwanda and Kenya. Mastin has introduced media advocacy to non-governmental organizations operating in Rwanda, Kenya, and Vietnam for a purpose of helping them promote the core components of their mission and vision. She is an editorial board member for Health Communication and The Howard Journal of Communications. Mastin’s research has been published in a range of peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Black Studies; College Teaching; Communication Research Reports; Health Care for Women International; Journal of International and Intercultural Communication; the Journal of Transcultural Nursing; Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly; Newspaper Journal; PRism; Public Relations Journal; Public Relations Review. She is member of the 2021-22 Big Ten Academic Alliance Leadership Program Cohort and serves as a SQ Scholars Advisory Board member. Additionally, Mastin has been a board member for the following organizations: Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC); Midwest Association for Public Opinion Research (MAPOR); Community Counseling Centers of Chicago (C4); HerStory Centre, working together for self-reliance (Nairobi, Kenya). While the Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (2015 - 2018), she completed a Healthcare Executive Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program, sponsored by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), and was the School's Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) certified administrator. Mastin frequently presented diversity and inclusion and cultural competency talks, workshops, and grand rounds, LGBTQ safe space trainings, and taught sustained and intergroup dialogue courses that addressed hot topic issues, e.g., racial climate/privilege; sexual misconduct/harassment in the medical profession.

The research of the scholars will focus on media advocacy as a public relations tool, media coverage of health issues related to women and vulnerable populations, especially in regard to individuals residing in struggling urban communities in Africa. There will be opportunities for joint teaching at MSU and the African university as well as engagement and outreach around diversity and inclusion issues as it relates to healthcare.

sreevatsan_srinand.jpgSri Sreevatsan - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Bovine tuberculosis (BTB), caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis variant bovis (MBO), is one of the most damaging diseases in agriculture worldwide. The rise in BTB infected deer and cattle herds, in Michigan, has led to a state of urgency due to associated animal trade and movement restrictions. Controlling the disease in animals is a primary approach to preventing/mitigating spread of MBO into and from wildlife or human populations. Attenuated Mycobacterium bovis BCG has long been used as a vaccine against TB and BTB, and a recent meta-analysis of ~1,300 studies reported a relatively low direct protection of BCG against infection, with a pooled efficacy estimate of 25%, and significant reduction in the frequency and severity of pathology of BTB in vaccinated animals but did not eliminate infection. Thus, we propose a novel subunit vaccine design around a central paradigm of microbial pathogenesis that posits that immune responses against virulence factors, such as ESAT-6 and CFP-10 and Ag85c, are sufficient to protect animals against MBO infection. These highly conserved immunogenic peptides/proteins from M. tuberculosis Complex will be genetically engineered into the ubiquitous soil bacterium, Bacillus subtilis, to be expressed and displayed on its spores. Recombinant spores are heat- stable, easily stored, and easily administered mucosal (oral or intranasal) vaccine. Recombinant spores will be tested, in this study, for their ability to elicit anti-MBO cellular and humoral immune responses and ex-vivo tested for bacterial killing, after intranasal or oral immunization of calves.

tschirley_2017.pngDave Tschirley - Curriculum Vitae [pdf]

Buy-in Policy Engagement and Analytics Division - Collaboration with the Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity and Influence (PRCI)

The Bureau for Resilience and Food Security (RFS) is a global leader in policy research and change. Under this collaboration, we seek to partner with the Innovation Lab for Policy Research, Capacity and Influence (PRCI) to:

(a)    Establish the Bureau as a global leader on research-for-policy in food systems

(b)    Build policy coherence and evidence on food system transformation based on research that includes the full continuum of policy work -- analysis, formulation, implementation, enforcement, and evolution

(c)     Support the evidence on effective Large-Scale Food Fortification (LSFF) policy benefits, and contribute to its successful implementation with Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) partner countries

(d)    Build the capacity of established local partners to conduct food systems policy research, bringing it to the forefront of policy processes in their countries

In 2020, RFS launched its Food Systems Conceptual Framework to guide USAID’s investments towards effectively achieving the GFSS goals. The conceptual framework was also developed in response to the rapid food transformation observed around the world, but particularly affecting Low- and Middle- Income Countries (LMIC). The food systems framework clearly identifies diets, income, health, and nutrition, as well as environmental sustainability and resilience, as priority development outcomes.

Policy is an area of action or influence to achieve these development outcomes. Guided by the Food System Conceptual Framework and the GFSS, PRCI will contribute to build wide-ranging evidence in support to local government and research institutions, working together with the Center for Nutrition (CN) to discuss and make final decisions about best ways to implement results and recommendations.

Two main consequences of the food system transformation have been a rapid change in diets and the surge of longer supply chains. Rapidly changing diets in LMIC affect how people consume and purchase their food. Currently, in urban and rural areas in LMIC, a large proportion of consumers rely on markets for their food acquisition. In turn, this has influenced the type of food consumer purchases, which tend to be more processed, more perishable, and more prepared. Another consequence of food transformation has been longer supply chains. Currently, large urban populations demand more food and a greater variety of it. Similarly, rural population shifts toward market purchases continue, contributing to the need to draw from ever-widening production areas and longer value chains to satisfy demand.

In most LMICs, rapid food system transformation is driven in part by urbanization, income growth, and globalization of food markets. This transformation has had major implications for nutrition and human health. Although the challenges are numerous, we have evidence that using LSFF to decrease dietary micronutrient inadequacies is a cost-effective and proven technology to reach out to larger populations still struggling with malnutrition. Access to more processed and prepared food can contribute to the availability of fortified foods to a larger segment of the population. Similarly, accessing a diverse diet requires an enabling environment that supports all participants in the supply chain from farm to fork. Although policy is an important tool to address availability and affordability of healthy, nutritious diets, consumers and policymakers still face a critical lack of sound data and appropriately analyzed information on which to make their decisions.


Submitting a Proposal

Submit proposals here: https://msu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_7TWT12RhJz4yjpY

 

Application deadline extended to March 18, 2022

 

Additional program deadlines:

  • Final selection: March 31, 2022
  • Expected start date: August 15, 2022
  • Expected end date: July 31, 2023

Please note that these deadlines are tentative and subject to change due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions.

Please contact Jose Jackson-Malete at jacks184(at)msu.edu or 517-353-6989 with any questions.