Spurring a Global Network to Tackle Post Harvest Loss of Nutritious Foods

GKI’s Role as the Knowledge Management Partner for GAIN’s Post Harvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN)

How might we foster knowledge exchange and problem-solving between value chain actors?

Challenge

Post harvest food loss (PHL) reduces the availability of nutritious foods all over the world. Estimates suggest that in low-income countries as much as 30-60% of food is lost in the journey from farm to market.  A complex challenge, tackling post harvest food loss demands improvements at the intersection of multiple sectors including agriculture, transportation, energy, environment, policy, trade, and public health. Yet, actors in these sectors working toward the same goals are often disconnected in their efforts, even within the same country.  This siloing leads to redundancy and ineffective solutions, and limits the amplifying effects that come from sharing knowledge and resources, as new innovations can come from anywhere.  Solutions to local challenges often exist; we just need to find and connect people with a challenge to those who have the resources and knowledge that can help solve it.

Solution

In late 2016, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) convened a global consortium of public and private actors working to address the complex challenge of post harvest loss of nutritious food.  This coalition, the Post Harvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), aims to coordinate action within and across value chains in low-income countries to more effectively reduce PHL and increase the availability of affordable, nutritious, and diversified foods.  Recognizing that knowledge exchange and collaboration are vital to the success of PLAN, GAIN invited GKI to serve as the Knowledge Management Partner for the PLAN network.  As the Knowledge Management Partner, GKI works closely with GAIN and PLAN members to organize activities that foster relationship-building, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration across the network.

In Nigeria, GKI designed a knowledge management strategy and created an online meeting place, or platform, which together serve as the foundations for knowledge-sharing activities. Over the course of 2017, the online platform emerged as a central hub of the PLAN Network—a place where members can share knowledge about global best practices in handling, processing, and cold storage for food; develop new relationships with members working in different areas of the value chain or in different countries; and stay up to date on the latest information pertaining to PHL.  GKI also leads more targeted knowledge-sharing activities based on specific queries raised by PLAN members.  For example, GKI facilitates learning webinars and compiles learning briefs that draw on the expertise of PLAN members and external experts in leading agricultural organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture, the Postharvest Education Foundation, the Global Cold Chain Alliance, and the Standards Organization of Nigeria.

We look forward to working with GAIN as PLAN continues to grow and expand into additional countries through 2017 and 2018, and beyond.

Results / Outcomes

  • Articulated a Knowledge Management Strategy for PLAN, building from a comprehensive analysis of key stakeholder interviews regarding members’ knowledge needs, collaboration goals, and engagement preferences
  • Officially launched, in partnership with GAIN, the PLAN Network in May 2017 through in-person and online launch events co-created by GKI
  • Designed, launched, and continuously manage the PLAN network platform, which continues daily to expand, gain traction, and provide useful information to members
  • Facilitated Learning Calls and authored Learning Briefs on topics of importance to PLAN members such as food safety best practices, accessing equity financing in Nigeria, and effective business models for proximate processing
Photo Credit: Adebayo O., International Institute of Tropical Agriculture