October 13, 2020 | Virtual
12:00pm-2:30pm Central Time
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is reorienting its strategies, partnership models, and program practices to achieve greater development outcomes and strive toward a future where foreign assistance is no longer necessary. The approach, outlined in the Agency’s Policy Framework, emphasizes the concept of “self-reliance”—defined as the capacity and commitment of a country to plan, finance, and implement solutions to solve its own development challenges in an effective, inclusive, and accountable way.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), an advisory committee to USAID, will convene a public meeting to better understand the concept of economic transformation—how underdeveloped and agrarian-based countries shift from subsistence agriculture to a commercially oriented economy with diverse agricultural, manufacturing, and service sectors—and how it contributes to a country’s resilience to shocks, such as COVID-19, and its progression toward self-reliance. Authors of a BIFAD-commissioned study will share preliminary findings and lessons learned on emerging success stories in agricultural and economic transformation and will discuss the implications of this evidence for USAID’s agricultural and food security development and social safety net priorities and programming.
This meeting is open to the public and will be livestreamed via Zoom. On the basis of testimony, including public comments shared at this meeting, BIFAD will provide formal findings, conclusions, and recommendations to USAID on best-bet operational and programmatic investments for catalyzing agricultural productivity and economic transformation. The meeting recording, along with meeting minutes, will be available in archive form following the meeting.
September 14, 2020 | Virtual
10:00am-12:30pm Eastern Time
Check back soon for the meeting minutes!
This convening follows the June 4, 2020 181st BIFAD meeting, Food Security and Nutrition in the Context of COVID-19, to provide an update on the impacts of the pandemic on nutrition outcomes and to discuss USAID’s response. The COVID-19 crisis risks backsliding on nutrition gains with irrevocable impacts on mortality and lost potential. Initial projections show likely significant increases in wasting and forthcoming analyses will quantify the potential impacts on small for gestational age, micronutrient deficiencies, stunting and declines in breastfeeding. Field reporting indicates significant reduction in coverage of key nutrition interventions. These will all translate in loss of life and development gains if not countered with adequate action on nutrition as global decision makers focus on response and recovery.
The meeting provides dedicated time to discuss how the global community can work together to protect and advance nutrition outcomes across sectors during COVID-19 response and recovery. In real time, researchers and implementers are gathering evidence to better understand the impacts of the pandemic, and learning how to respond.
The meeting will be organized to achieve three objectives:
The meeting is intended to help support decision making by USAID and its partners and stakeholders working to advance food security and nutrition at global, regional and national levels. On the basis of testimony, including public comments, shared at the meeting, BIFAD will provide formal findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the Agency on best-bet operational and programmatic investments.
BIFAD is a seven-member, presidentially appointed advisory board to USAID established in 1975 under Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, as amended. The provisions of Title XII concern bringing the assets of U.S. universities to bear on development challenges in agriculture and food security, and the BIFAD’s role is to help carry out this function.
June 4, 2020 | Virtual
1:30pm-3:30pm Eastern Time
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and measures put in place to stop its spread will have impacts on all intermediate results of the U.S. Government Global Food Security Strategy, including agricultural productivity, livelihoods, markets, trade and policy actions, food consumption and nutrition, hygiene and resilience. The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), an advisory committee to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), convened a virtual public meeting to share the thinking of leading experts in food security and nutrition that relates to COVID-19 impacts. This included consideration of the most promising short-, medium-, and long-term responses across several key areas: farm-level productivity, markets and trade, access to finance, nutrition, safe and hygienic food systems, gender, and national and local policy. The meeting included presentations of credible modeling data about the scale and breadth of anticipated food security impacts in the developing world and a summary spanning near to longer-term interventions and guidance that may help to mitigate COVID-19 impacts. The meeting also provided leading sources of curated information (e.g., landing pages for information related to the crisis and response). The meeting was intended to help to support decision making by USAID and its partners and stakeholders working to advance food security, nutrition, and resilience at global, regional and national levels.
USAID Acting Administrator John Barsa gave opening remarks and IFPRI’s Director General, Johan Swinnen, will provided an overview of food systems and food security impacts from COVID-19. Panelists included:
October 15, 2019 | Salons A-C | Downtown Marriott | Des Moines, IA
8:30am-12:30pm Central Time
Click here to view the final linked agenda
At the request of USAID Administrator Mark Green, the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) convened their 180th Public Meeting to examine issues around agriculture and food security in fragile and conflict-affected contexts, including issues around displacement and its effects on food systems.
Today, addressing food insecurity means operating amidst conflict and fragility. Last year, every country in a protracted food crisis was also engaged in violent conflict (FAO 2018). There is an urgent need to understand the unique challenges of improving the agricultural sector and food security in conflict-affected and fragile contexts—including those in which large populations are displaced—in order to strengthen investments in evidence-based food and agriculture programming tailored for these contexts.
The event specifically addressed the following questions: What is the state of knowledge on the relationship between conflict, fragility and food systems? What are the implications of this relationship for food security? How can food security and agricultural investments be most effective in preventing conflict or accelerating recovery in post-conflict settings? What are the unique needs of affected populations?
A public comment period was held from 12:00pm-12:25pm CST.
2:30pm-4:20pm Central Time
Click here to view the final linked agenda
In the afternoon session, the Board presented a commissioned study on "How the United States Benefits from Agricultural and Food Security Investments in Developing Countries." The session included opening remarks from USAID Administrator, Mark Green, an overviews of key findings, as well as a keynote from the Director of IFPRI, Shenggan Fan.
Also in this session, the Board honored the 2019 winners of the BIFAD Award for Scientific Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab. To learn more about this year's winners, please visit our BIFAD Awards Page.
April 9th, 2019 | Online
The final agenda can be viewed here.
The minutes from the meeting can be accessed here
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), an advisory committee to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), convened a virtual public meeting on April 9th, 2019 from 2:30 PM-5:00 PM EDT to solicit feedback from the U.S. university community on their experiences implementing the regulations that govern USAID funded Exchange Visitors (EVs) and Participant Training (PT), as per the Automated Directives System (ADS) 252 and ADS 253. The ADS contains the organization and functions of USAID, along with the policies and procedures that guide the Agency’s programs and operations. The meeting included presentations by DeAndra Beck, Associate Dean for Research for International Studies and Programs at Michigan State University; Tim Dalton, Director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Sorghum and Millet, and Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University; Grace Lang, Higher Education Division Chief for E3/ED at USAID, and Jennifer Nupp, Supervisory Program Analyst in the Office of Private Sector Exchange in the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA/EC) at the Department of State. A public comment period was held from 4:15 PM to 4:45 PM EDT.
October 16, 2018 | Downtown Marriott, Davenport & Dubuque Rooms | Des Moines, IA
The agenda with links to the recorded live-stream can be viewed here
Minutes from the meeting can be accessed here
The Board for International Food and Agriculture were pleased to hold a public meeting on Private Sector Engagement in Improving Nutrition was held from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm CDT on Tuesday, October 16, 2018 in the Davenport & Dubuque Rooms at the Des Moines Downtown Marriott in Iowa and via livestream. Dr. Mark Keenum, BIFAD Chair, presided over the meeting. The objectives of the meeting were to explore opportunities and challenges for private sector engagement and market system linkages across the food system to advance nutrition outcomes. The meeting examined public sector and private sector relationships at different points in the food system to improve the demand, availability, accessibility, and affordability of high-quality diets for vulnerable populations. Discussions addressed how to build a business case for private sector involvement in improving diet quality for vulnerable populations and how the public sector needs to engage to support and incentivize that business case.
The meeting also included the announcement of the winners of the BIFAD Prize for Scientific Excellence. The first award went to Senior Researcher Dr. Hillary Egna and her research team from the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Aquaculture & Fisheries, led by Oregon State University. This team includes six other prominent scientists from the U.S., Vietnam, Kenya, the Philippines, and Bangladesh. The AquaFish Innovation Lab team has focused on finding low-cost alternatives to fishmeal as a protein source in aquaculture diets for both small-scale and medium-scale farmers. The second award for graduate student research was given to Mr. Mohammad Mokhlesur Rahman, a PhD candidate in genetics at Kansas State University. The award recognized Mr. Rahman for his pivotal role in establishing Bangladesh’s largest wheat testing nursery, where over 1,800 candidate lines have been tested. This has helped identify promising heat-tolerant varieties for the country’s wheat farmers. The meeting also included an update by Dr. Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow for the International Food Policy Research Institute on a BIFAD-commissioned study on the U.S. benefits and capabilities leveraged of USAID investments in developing country agriculture and food security. After an introduction by Dr. Rob Bertram, Chief Scientist, USAID Bureau for Food Security, 2018 Food Prize Laureate Dr. Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director of the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) gave a keynote address, followed by framing remarks on diet transformations by Dr. William Masters, Professor of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
Two panels that expanded upon the topic followed. The first panel, moderated by Beth Mitcham, Director of the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis, addressed aspects of the enabling environment that can help accelerate private sector engagement in nutrition, including the role of market infrastructure, research and development, and enabling trade policy. Panelists included Richard Tracy, Vice President for International Programs at the Global Cold Chain Alliance; Betty Bugusu, Managing Director for the International Food Technology Center & Director of the Food Processing and Post-Harvest Handling Innovation Lab at Purdue University, and, via teleconference from Kenya, Gladys Mugambi, the Advocacy, Communication, and Social Mobilization Officer for the Kenya Ministry of Health. The second panel, moderated by Heather Danton, Director for the USAID Advancing Nutrition at JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc., examined key drivers of private sector engagement to improve diet quality, including aspects of labeling, marketing, standards, and accountability systems. Panelists included Godfrey Bahiigwa, Director of Rural Economy and Agriculture with the African Union Commission; David Dayhoff, Vice President of Programs and Operations at Partners in Food Solutions; Karin Lapping, Director of the Alive and Thrive Program at FHI 360; and Jean Pankuku, Group Food Technologist at Universal Industries Limited. A public comment period was held from 11:45am-12:10 pm CDT.
As part of Feed the Future Week 2018, a public meeting on the new Feed the Future Learning Agenda was held from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, September 12, 2018, at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, in Washington, DC and via livestream. Participants were asked to review and provide feedback on the draft Feed the Future Learning Agenda and Learning Agenda questions presented by USAID expert panelists (see below). This updated Feed the Future Learning Agenda focused on eight areas: (1) Nutrition (2) Water and Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), (3) Gender and women’s empowerment, (4) Youth, (5) Risk and resilience, (6) Market systems (7) Policy systems, and (8) Scaling technologies and practices. Analytical outputs from the work in these areas will feed into answering Learning Agenda questions. During this Meeting, BIFAD took this opportunity to welcome public input on these focus areas, the types of questions to be examined, and research underway that might help contribute. The meeting also included an update on a study commissioned by BIFAD and USAID on U.S. benefits and capabilities leveraged from strategic USAID investments in developing country agriculture and food security, led by Dr. Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The meeting was chaired by Dr. Mark Keenum, BIFAD Chairperson and President of Mississippi State University and featured updates on the U.S. Benefits Study, Commissioned by BIFAD and headed by the International Food Policy Research Institute's Dr. Joseph Glauber, as well as from USAID's Bureau for Food Security Chief Scientist, Dr. Rob Bertram, who outlined and introduced the Learning Agenda Framework. Presenters on the Learning Agenda Focus Areas included Julie MacCartee, Knowledge Management & Learning Advisor, Bureau for Food Security, USAID; Stéphanie Maurissen, Senior Project Design Fellow- Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Advisor, Bureau for Food Security, USAID; Farzana Ramzan, Monitoring, Evaluation, & Learning Advisor, Bureau for Food Security, USAID; Susan Pologruto, Senior Democracy Advisor, Bureau for Food Security, USAID; Jami Montgomery, Resilience Advisor, Center for Resilience, USAID; Tatiana Pulido, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Advisor, Bureau for Food Security, USAID; James Oehmke, Senior Food Security & Nutrition Advisor, Bureau for Food Security, USAID; Jessica Bagdonis, Human & Institutional Capacity Development Advisor, Bureau for Food Security, USAID.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) and USAID was pleased to invite Agricultural & Applied Economics Association members and other interested individuals to engage in a dialogue and provide feedback on a new study that is being commissioned by BIFAD and USAID. This study will analyze US benefits and capabilities leveraged from strategic USAID investments in developing country agriculture and food security. Participants, as well as a panel of experts in the field (see list below) were asked to review and provide feedback on a conceptual framework characterizing the channels by which USAID food and agricultural development investments in developing countries affect the American economy, as well as to identify the types and assess the quality of evidence available to estimate the importance of the channels, and to suggest other data sources for consideration in the study.
The meeting was held in Washington, DC on August 8th, 2018. Participants joined in person and via live-stream. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Mark Keenum, BIFAD Chairperson and President of Mississippi State University. The meeting featured Dr. Joseph Glauber, Senior Research Fellow from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and former Chief Economist of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), who is to lead the study. Panelists included Stephanie Mercier, Senior Policy and Advocacy Adviser at the Farm Journal Foundation, John Newton, Executive Director of the American Farm Bureau Federation, George Norton, Professor within the Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics at Virginia Tech, Melinda Smale, Professor within the Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics at Michigan State University, Keith Fuglie, Economist within the Resource and Rural Economics Division, Economic Research Service, at the USDA, and Carl Pray, Professor within the Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics Department at Rutgers University.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) and USAID was pleased to invite global development practitioners and researchers to participate in a discussion on resilience measurement and analysis. The purpose of this meeting was to share knowledge about theoretical and applied frameworks for resilience measurement and analysis and to identify opportunities to leverage U.S. university research capabilities to support resilience measurement and analysis. This event responded to priorities identified during the BIFAD meeting at the 2017 World Food Prize and the 2017 USAID Resilience Evidence Summit. The meeting was held in Washington, DC on May 9, 2018. Participants joined in person and via live-stream. The meeting was chaired by Dr. Mark Keenum, BIFAD Chairperson and President of Mississippi State University. The meeting featured thought leaders on resilience measurement and analysis from USAID, academia and the practitioner community. Speakers included Dr. Greg Collins, Director of USAID’s Center for Resilience and Dr. Mark Constas, Associate Professor at Cornell University, and Chair of the Food and Nutrition Security Resilience Measurement Technical Working Group.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) was pleased to invite the food and agricultural research community, global development practitioners and donors, and U.S. Government interagency partners to participate in a discussion on the evidence base on rural youth employment and livelihoods. The meeting was held in Washington, DC on May 8, 2018. Participants also joined via livestream. The purpose of the meeting was to develop a shared understanding of rural labor markets and youth-specific constraints, discuss the evidence base on programs that aim to improve rural youth employment and livelihoods, outline cross-sectoral opportunities to support and empower youth to take advantage of agricultural system market opportunities, and identify knowledge gaps on which U.S. university research partners can generate evidence to address.
October 17, 2017 | Des Moines Marriott Hotel Downtown | Des Moines, Iowa
The agenda with a link to the recorded live-stream can be viewed here.
Minutes from the meeting can be found here
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD), an advisory committee to the US Agency for International Development, held its World Food Prize side event on October 17 2017. The meeting, entitled Building an Evidence Base for Resilience Programming under the USG Global Food Security Strategy: Bridging the Gap Between Humanitarian and Development Assistance, included the awarding of the BIFAD Prize for Scientific Excellence, an update from USAID’s Bureau for Food Security, an overview of the impetus and rationale for elevating resilience in the Global Food Security Strategy, a progress update by USAID on resilience in the face of the current drought in the Horn of Africa, and an expert panel on the emerging evidence base on resilience. The panel discussed state-of-the-art approaches to resilience measurement, as well as what the evidence tells us about sources of resilience that enable households and communities to maintain their food security in the face of recurrent shocks such as drought and—more broadly—to sustainably escape and remain out of poverty in the face of complex risks.
The Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) held its public meeting, The U.S. Government's Global Food Security Research Strategy: From Upstream Research to Development Impact, on September 12, 2017 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm EDT in Washington, DC. The purpose of the meeting was to launch the new U.S. Government's Global Food Security Research Strategy and to highlight U.S. Government, university, international agricultural research center, and private sector collaboration and synergy on research to end global hunger.
October 12, 2016 | World Food Prize | Des Moines, IA
The agenda can be found here.
The session will feature the announcement of the BIFAD Scientific Award for Excellence in a Feed the Future Innovation Lab and a session entitled "Metrics for Accountability: Tracking Progress and Identifying Gaps in Development Investments." The purpose of the session is to examine results frameworks, assumptions, evidence, and M&E systems as a basis for tracking progress and learning, and adjusting investments towards achieving the 2030 development goals.
May 20, 2016 | North Carolina A&T University | Greensboro, NC
The theme of this meeting is "Collaboration: Leadership, Innovation and Sustainable Technology to Meet the Demands of Global Agriculture."
The agenda can be found here.
March 10, 2016 | National Press Club | Washington, DC
The theme of this meeting was "University and CGIAR Engagement in International Agricultural Research". The full agenda with links to videos of the Board, the panels, and farewell to former BIFAD Director Susan Owens can be found here.
October 20 - 21, 2015 | Purdue University | West Lafayette, IN
The agenda can be found here.
October 14, 2015 | Des Moines Marriot | Des Moines, Iowa
BIFAD hosted a panel on the impacts of nutrition in the developing world. The agenda can be found here.
April 10th, 2015 | Montana State University | Bozeman, MT
The agenda for this meeting can be found here.
October 14, 2014 | Des Moines Marriot | Des Moines, Iowa
The theme of the BIFAD Public meeting was "Feeding the World in 2050: Agricultural Research Capacity and Youth Engagement." In addition to the Public Meeting, BIFAD, along with USAID and APLU, held a dialogue on human and institutional capacity development on October 15.
January 30, 2014 | Washington D.C.
This meeting replaced the October 15, 2013, meeting at the World Food Prize that had to be cancelled due to the government shutdown.
March 15, 2013 | University Of Missouri | Columbia, Missouri
October 16, 2012 | Des Moines Marriot | Des Moines, Iowa
April 13, 2012 | National Press Club | Washington, DC
October 11, 2011 | Des Moines Marriot | Des Moines, Iowa
June 24, 2011 | National Press Club | Washington, DC