Feed the Future
This project is part of the U.S. Government's global hunger and food security initiative.

Ask the Expert on Strengthening National Policy Systems: Bridging the Disconnect between the Evidence and Action for Food Security

Event Date: 
Jun 25, 2018
9:30 am to 10:00 am EDT
Online Event


Agrilinks will host a special 30-minute Q&A with food security policy researchers Suresh Chandra Babu and Duncan Boughton on what recent policy research shows us on the way forward in strengthening the national policy systems.

In most developing countries, there is a disconnect between the evidence generated by policy research and analysis and the policy making process. How do we overcome this gap in order to enhance food security and nutrition outcomes? The high cost of food security policy decisions made in the absence of evidence led the development community to invest heavily in evidence generation for addressing policy problems. Yet evidence generation does not guarantee sound policy making. Understanding the policy process and the capacity of the actors and players of the policy system is key for the effective conversion of research into policy and program action.

Over the last four years, the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy brought researchers and collaborators from several institutions and developing countries together to understand the role of policy processes for increasing the policy impact. It also helped to identify the weakest linkages at various stages of the policy process to speed up evidence-based policy making. 

This event will address:
Why, even with research and analysis, is the policy making process seldom evidence-based?
What constraints do policy makers face to incorporate evidence in decision making?
What capacities are needed to enhance the role of evidence in policy making?

This event is part of Agrilinks’ food security policy month this June.


Senior Fellow
International Food Policy Research Institute

Suresh Chandra Babu is a Senior Fellow and a program leader at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, D.C.

He is also an Extraordinary Professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Pretoria, South Africa. Before joining IFPRI as a research fellow in 1992, Babu was a research economist at Cornell University. He has published 20 books and monographs and more than 90 peer reviewed journal papers on food and agricultural policies in developing countries. He has been a researcher of food and agricultural policy in developing countries for the past 30 years. He is currently engaged in research on strengthening agricultural policy, research, and extension institutions and strengthening the capacity of the policy researchers and analysts in India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Brazil, Malawi, and Nigeria. Dr. Babu received his Ph.D. and M.S. both in Economics from Iowa State University, and completed his M.Sc. (Ag) in Agricultural Economics from the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and B.Sc.(Ag) from Annamalai University in Tamil Nadu, India.

Agricultural Economist and Professor, International Development
Michigan State University

Duncan Boughton has led Michigan State University’s work in Myanmar since October 2012.

He also directs the USAID Burma and LIFT funded Food Security Policy Project in collaboration with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). He has over 30 years of professional experience in policy analysis to raise smallholder farmer incomes in Southeast Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

His work has focused on agricultural research and technology transfer for smallholder farmers, value chain development, policy analysis and outreach to host country senior government decision makers, and capacity building of local staff. His recent published research has examined the constraints affecting smallholder farmers’ ability to participate in markets for different types of crop, and the need for complementary investments in crop productivity and market access. In Myanmar, Duncan has participated in an agricultural sector diagnostic, a study of the beans and pulses sector, and studies of rural household livelihoods in several regions. He has a joint appointment with the Agricultural Policy Unit in the Department of Planning of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. Duncan received his BSc and MSc from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, and his PhD at Michigan State University.


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