ECEHH researchers working with Civil Society for engaged research
As a part of our work in Small Island Developing States, we have developed a strong partnership with Fiji-based FRIEND (the Foundation for Rural Integrated Enterprises & Development), a community development NGO. We met FRIEND in 2017, through our CFaH Project. FRIEND was involved in our methods development work in Fiji, in which they provided evidence based on their knowledge and experience of running community food production initiatives. Since then our collaboration with FRIEND and its Director, Sashi Kiran, has evolved substantially. In 2019, FRIEND was a partner in the design and delivery of backyard gardening interventions on the ICoFaN project, and is now a full co-investigator on the four-year NIHR-funded Global CFaH project.
The aim of this overall body of research is to better understand the potential of community food production for improving household diet, nutrition, and food security in SIDS. As a result of our partnership with FRIEND, we have greatly benefitted from their expertise, knowledge and relationships with local communities.
With FRIEND, we co-developed and applied a context-relevant toolkit for evaluating the impacts of community food production in Fiji. The learning through working with FRIEND informed the design of Global CFaH, in which we are jointly investigating the potential for improving household diet, nutrition, and food security, and reducing the burden of nutrition related diseases by promoting increased community-based food production (CFP) based on agroecological principles. Now FRIEND plays an integral part in that global programme of research, as co-lead on key work packages, including on community engagement and intervention co-design, and on engagement with local and national policy makers.