Spurring Multistakeholder Networks to Tackle Post-Harvest Loss of Nutritious Foods

Estimates suggest that low-income countries lose as much as 30-60% of food in the journey from farm to market. Yet, 1 in 3 people worldwide remains malnourished. 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 work toward the same goals. are often disconnected in their efforts.  This siloing leads to redundancy and ineffective solutions and limits the amplifying effects that come from sharing knowledge and resources.

Recognizing that this systemic problem demands collaboration across multiple stakeholders within the food system, in 2015 the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) convened a global consortium of public and private actors, called the Postharvest Loss Alliance for Nutrition (PLAN), to collectively identify innovative solutions, exchange technical assistance and learning, channel financing into priority investments, and coordinate activities.

As the Knowledge Management Partner for the global PLAN network, GKI worked closely with GAIN and PLAN members to organize activities that would foster relationship-building, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration across the network. We built a Knowledge Management Strategy for PLAN from a comprehensive analysis of key stakeholder interviews regarding members’ knowledge needs, collaboration goals, and engagement preferences. In 2017, GKI supported the design, launch, and management of PLAN’s online network platform facilitated learning webinars, and authored briefs to support the network’s interest and to influence global policymakers.

In 2018, GKI mobilized a policy working group of influential stakeholders to develop guidance and champion supply chain businesses seeking to reduce the PHL of nutritious foods. Additionally, to promote PLAN’s values and approach with a wider audience, GKI coordinated a series of podcasts that invited global experts to discuss specific issues pertinent to PHL.

Today, the alliance continues daily to expand, gain traction, and provide useful information to members for the collective action of food system stakeholders in common issues related to PHL within and across food value chains.