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Global Food Systems Institute

Global Food Systems Institute

Capacity Development for Food Systems (CD4FS)

The cross-cutting approach for CD4FS will focus on individuals and institutions in the following ways:

  • Support human and institutional capacity development to sustain interventions in the focal locales a) by investing in (young) stakeholders (particularly researchers) and equipping them with the knowledge and skills to contribute to a sustainable food system, and b) by ensuring institutions have the necessary administrative and financial structures in place to expand and diversify their research portfolio.
  • Build a cadre of young practitioner-researchers that are raised through the financial and mentoring support of GFSI including graduate students, postdocs, as well as research fellows in the US and abroad.
  • Explore innovative approaches to strengthen local institutional and individual capacity to support sustainable food systems.

We addresses the range of capacity development programming that GFSI undertakes regardless of the topic of focus or activity. CD4FS highlights the importance of human, organizational, and institutional capacity development and considers them as interrelated components of broader systems. Our programs focus on:

  • Investing in the ability of people, organizations and society as a whole to catalyze, create, adapt, and contribute to food systems.
  • Working with a wide range of food systems actors (local, state, national, regional and international) to enhance their research, Extension, practice, and education systems which may require involvement of policy makers.
  • Working with local institutions to improve their agricultural innovation systems which may require involvement of policy makers.
  • Building a network of young professionals (e.g., researchers, practitioners, Extension agents, educators, etc.) that are raised through the financial and mentoring support of GFSI.
  • Exploring innovative approaches to strengthen the capacity development of food systems in the long run. The co-creation of approaches is a long process requiring mutual understanding, learning, reflection, and adaptive management with the recognition that local systems (i.e., actors, networks, relations) are already in place. 

CD4FS will support capacity development programming at GFSI by:

  • Offering tools and methods to apply a holistic systems-wide approach to capacity development.
  • Guidance on how to support improved food systems institutional, organizational and institutional performance.
  • Serving as a mediator between UF and various stakeholders to align research, education, and Extension interests with capacity development needs of food systems.
  • Facilitating CD4FS network using organizational resources at UF and across partner organizations.

GFSI Leads for the CD4FS cross-cutting approach are Sandra Russo and Nargiza Ludgate