Food Systems and Nutrition Webinar Series

The overall aim of the Food Systems and Nutrition Webinar Series is to contribute to dialogues amongst Irish development organisations on some key food system challenges in the run-up to the UN Food Systems Summit. The three key issues to be addressed are the impacts of covid-19 on food systems, the affordability of nutritious foods, and women’s empowerment and nutrition. The webinars will present the latest evidence and research on these issues, highlighting work being done by Irish development institutions, generating discussion on how to move forward. The webinars will provide insights and ideas on how Irish development organisations can contribute to the development of more sustainable food systems.

Webinar 1. Food Systems and Covid-19 – Irish development organisations’ role in building back better: Friday 26th March, 11am.

The aim of this webinar is to present evidence of the food security & nutrition impacts of Covid-19 and discuss how Irish development organisations can work to “build back better”. It will present examples of applied research and of development actions in response to covid-19 undertaken by Irish and other research institutions and development organisations. The webinar will highlight vulnerabilities in food systems exposed by covid-19 and identify key elements of strategies to “build back better”.

Webinar 2. Access to Nutrition – How can we make nutritious food affordable for all? Friday 16th April, 1pm.

The aim of this webinar is to identify ways of addressing the problem of widespread lack of access to nutritious foods due to lack of affordability. This is a major challenge for the global food system: recent research has estimated about 3 billion people globally cannot afford a healthy diet. This has huge implications for achieving SDG2, and is a major focus of Action Track 1 (AT1) of the UN Food Systems Summit. The webinar will provide an overview of the global extent of the challenge, and will present case study evidence from projects involving Irish and other NGOs. Discussion of potential solutions will be guided by some of the “Game changer” ideas being developed in the AT1 process.

Webinar 3. Women’s Empowerment and Nutrition – making the connections: Friday 30th April, 11am.

The aim of this webinar is to discuss how programmes promoting women’s empowerment can contribute to improved women’s nutrition and health. The concept of nutritional empowerment as a method to identify barriers to increased nutrition will be presented. UCC has recently undertaken research in Tigray Region to measure economic and nutritional empowerment. The webinar will present findings from this research and case studies from Irish and other NGOs undertaking projects focussed on women’s empowerment. Discussion will explore lessons for programme design and implementation of development interventions which can simultaneously contribute to women’s empowerment and food security and nutrition to ensure a better future.