Academia and Research Institutions

New case studies showcase the importance of partnerships with academia and research institutions


19/06/2020 - 

Owing to the expertise of their highly-skilled scholars and researchers, academia and research institutions have developed knowledge and capacities that make them uniquely able to assist the Members of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

FAO created a dedicated unit to negotiate, facilitate and strengthen corporate partnerships with academia and research institutions in 2014. Currently, the Organization has more than 80 partnerships with academia and research institutions, which have been developed to tackle a wide range of challenges in areas that include capacity development, climate change, management of natural resources, scientific innovation, plant and animal health, and many more.

Now, a new series of scale-up notes highlights the most important achievements of FAO’s partnerships with academia and research institutions. These two-page documents showcase the areas of collaboration, contributions towards achieving the SDGs, geographical areas of work, key results and the potential for scaling-up of the partnerships.

The first set of scale-up notes focus on the collaborations with Ankara University (Turkey), Mississippi State University (United States of America), the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (Africa) and the University of Louvain (Belgium). Together, these four partnerships contribute to nine of the 17 SDGs: SDG 1: No Poverty; SDG 2: Zero Hunger; SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being; SDG 4: Quality Education; SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities; SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption; SDG 13: Climate Action; SDG 14: Life Below Water; SDG 15: Life on Land; and SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals.

The partnership with Ankara University has focused on capacity development and advocacy, enhancing awareness at a national level on topics such as food security and safety, natural resource management and rural development. Further activities reflect how studies on Syrian refugees, developed under the umbrella of the partnership, are contributing to the development of projects which will focus on capacity development and resilience building.

The partnership between FAO and Mississippi State University has enabled joint capacity development and strategic awareness-raising activities to enhance aquaculture management. The collaboration has facilitated exchanges of expertise, development of innovative knowledge tools, and increased political awareness on the economic, security, trade and public health impacts related to aquaculture which contribute to improved food and nutrition security and alleviation of poverty through safe and sustainable aquaculture practices.

The note on the partnership with the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (also known as RUFORUM) highlights how the combination of efforts from the two organizations contributes to strengthening the capacities of RUFORUM’s member universities and their students, particularly in the areas of food security and nutrition, sustainable agricultural and food systems, reduction of rural poverty and achieving the SDGs. The partnership helped to increase knowledge exchanges between academia and rural communities,  and uptake of the innovative approaches and methods in rural areas as a result of the community-based field placements programme, which was implemented in Benin, Uganda, Kenya and Lesotho.

The partnership with the University of Louvain (UCLouvain) centers on fostering climate change mitigation and adaptation and combating desertification, through the development of sustainable management, restoration of dryland forest and agrosilvopastoral systems, and the use of statistics and satellite imagery. Activities in support of the Great Green Wall, locust and transboundary pests and diseases, and disaster impacts affecting agriculture and human health are highlighted as examples of key results.

In the coming months, additional scale-up notes will be published and made available on the website dedicated to partnerships with academia and research institutions.