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Enabling Environment

This cross-cutting approach aims to:

  • Explore enabling environments for increased adoption of more sustainable and productive alternative practices, technologies, and systems.
  • Translate evidence-based findings to policy makers at different levels as well as other stakeholders that can influence and catalyze change at different contexts (either state/regional or national level).
  • Engage with policy makers at different levels to inform research activities.

Sustainable and inclusive equitable food systems require an enabling institutional environment. An enabling environment can be defined as a set of formal and informal institutions, norms, laws, and regulations, which give actors the incentives to engage productively in the food system; reward norm compliance and penalize deviations; provide premium on food quality and safety; give voice to all groups and actors, including smallholders and vulnerable consumers; and create opportunities for innovation and synergistic collaborations. 

The aim of this team is to identify and foster enabling institutional environments for sustainable and equitable food production systems by: 

  • Identifying through dialogue and research enabling environments that support the increased adoption of more sustainable and productive food-related practices, technologies, and systems.
  • Translating evidence-based findings through appropriate language and channels that are accessible by policy makers and change-makers in different contexts and at different scales (local, state/regional and national level). 
  • Engaging with producer, processor and consumer groups and the private and non-profit sector in order to enhance their participation in research processes and enhance the dialogue between research and practice.  

The Enabling Environment team will work with thematic leaders, faculty, researchers and students to enhance our collective knowledge/resource/tool base across contexts and produce new evidence on key enabling institutional factors within food systems. We will also guide and support GFSI faculty and researchers in incorporating strategies for analyzing the enabling environment for the innovations they are pursuing, identifying appropriate assessment tools.  

Our team has experience in several areas, including:  

  • Translating research evidence to wider audience.  
  • Dialogue with decision-makers. 
  • Inclusive processes to identify bottlenecks and opportunities. 
  • Conducting platforms with producer and consumer groups. 
  • Co-sponsoring events on salient issues. 

We seek collaboration with experts, faculty and students, at UF and beyond, especially those focusing on political economy analytical tools, Florida food systems, training and sensitization at community level, and social and behavioral change communication (SBCC).   

GFSI Leads for the Enabling Environment cross-cutting approach are Andrea Bohn and Renata Serra