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Expert Groups

SIANI expert groups are broad-based working groups established around SIANI’s vision and mission. The purpose of these groups is to convene experts on specific issues together in order to contribute to a holistic understanding of emerging issues in their field.

The expert groups consolidate knowledge and focus the interactions of different actors within the Swedish resource base.

African Biochar

Biochar has the potential to contribute to improved livelihoods for smallholder farmers, especially women, through increased soil fertility, farm productivity, energy efficiency, improved health and reduced drudgery, but it is a relative young field of research. Based on, and linking to, Swedish experiences, this project aims at developing an expert network for biochar in Africa, which will identify, compile and disseminate science-based knowledge on biochar of relevance for development in Africa.

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Agriculture Transformation In Low-Income Countries Under Environmental Change

There is a growing need to expand knowledge among different stakeholders about the need for a transition of the agriculture sector to a biodiversity and ecosystem services approach, based on local knowledge, creativity and initiative and combined with cross-learning over networks. This expert group has a broad focus on complex systems and aims to deepen Swedish policy dialogue with global implications.

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Agripreneurship Alliance

Adopting a pragmatic, action orientated, evidence based, youth focused and rapid prototype approach, this expert group, drawing skills, knowledge and expertise from non-profit, university and business sectors, will develop and pilot a cloud-based, blended learning educational course that will support young agripreneurs across Africa to develop their business ideas.

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Benefits of collaborative purchasing of local produce for women smallholder farmers in Kenya

Women smallholder farmers have less access to market due to time constraint, lack of transport and market information. The expert group seeks to research how digital services can lead to more business for women through collaborative purchasing and distribution. Can this be a low-cost solution to an expensive problem?

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Co-intentional Learning

Our overall aim is to examine how shortages of food and water lead to vulnerability to ill-health, abuse, and exploitation at the local level. To do this we have set up a cross-cultural information exchange to document in-depth knowledge from Kenya, Venezuela, and Sweden on irrigated kitchen gardening as a means of promoting both awareness of nutrition and human rights and the sustainable use of the scarce resources of water and land to enhance local food security. In addition, we emphasise a gender perspective.

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Commercialising Agricultural Sector in Kenya

The scope of work is to highlight the issues holding back commercialization of agriculture, with special focus on food and nutritional security:
1) What is the current status of the agricultural sector in Kenya?
2) Why is the sector the way it is?
3) How can stakeholders harness the sector’s potential and remove obstacles to commercialisation?
Focus is on the producer segment of the agri-value chain in the context of markets for both inputs and outputs.

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Food Security and Energy Access

Energy and food security are often dealt with separately, yet energy is directly and indirectly embedded in food production and preparation.This expert group will consider the linkages, synergies and conflicts between energy security and food security, focusing on household and local level issues for rural populations but recognizing connections to national policy as well as regional and international trade.

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Food Waste Prevention Strategies for Global Food Chains

This Expert Group is a collaborative effort to gather expertise to devise food waste prevention strategies to increase food security and resource efficiency by exploring:
1. Terms and conditions for how to work together within the food supply chain to reduce food waste
2. Collaboration for innovative technical solutions for reduced food waste
3. Measures for increased sustainability in global food chains (e.g. appropriate labelling, appropriate business models, consumer information etc).

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Higher Education for Sustainable Agriculture (HESA) in Southeast Asia

This group aims to assess and strengthen capacities of Higher Education for Sustainable Agriculture (HESA) and food systems in Southeast Asia. It will implement SDG2 by enhancing multi-stakeholder knowledge, interdisciplinary cooperation, policy dialogue, curriculum innovation, research-extension linkages and collaborative planning for rural poverty reduction, food/nutritional security, small farmer sustainable livelihoods and environmental protection. It will also contribute to ASEAN Work Plan on Education, 2016-2020 activities and outputs while addressing SDG4 on Education as well as links to SDG2.

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International Swedish Agricultural Resource Base

This Expert Group focuses on building and strengthening linkages between the Swedish resource base active in the CGIAR research system and the Swedish resource base in higher education and research institutions, addressing the agriculture for development agenda. The current level of collaboration is low and there are many un-utilised opportunities that can be explored if these two groups have stronger connections. This initiative intends to reinforce joint research excellence opportunities through joint meetings, funding proposals, publications, and through building awareness about Swedish R4D in Sweden and internationally.

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Land, Livestock and Livelihoods; the Triple L research initiative

Development in dryland Kenya, and in much of SSA, is often dominated by a transition from nomadic pastoralism to sedentary livestock based agro-pastoral livelihoods. This is the research and action areas of Triple L, including biophysical and socio-economic research as well as interactions with different stakeholders, the local policy sphere, NGO’s and CBO’s.

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Mekong Expert Group on Agroforestry for Food and Nutrition Security, Sustainable Agriculture and Landscape Restoration

The Group will compile and share knowledge with Swedish and Southeast Asian governments, NGOs, research and training bodies and practitioners on the development of agroforestry for food and nutritional security, sustainable agriculture, smallholders’ livelihoods, climate-change adaptation and mitigation, and landscape restoration towards achievement of SDG 2.

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Linkages between Water, Sanitation and Food and Nutrition Security

This group aims to explore the transfer of nutrients and contaminants between water, sanitation and food (WSF) systems, and identify best practices and policy options for integrated management.

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Moving Africa Towards A Knowledge Based Bio-economy; How Can Sweden Assist?

The development of knowledge based bio-economies is increasingly seen as a pathway towards a sustainable economic growth based on renewable resources, moving away from the fossil fuel economy and responding to pressing local and global challenges, including climate change. This expert group aims to Identify how Sweden best could support countries in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in developing a knowledge based bio-economy.

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Rural Change Captured Through a Youthful Lens

The group emphasises the use of video narratives to illuminate younger community members’ lived experiences of their spaces vis-à-vis the issue of food. We concentrate on villages with an agricultural tradition that undergo transformations. This means, we focus on such villages that can be traced back to an agricultural tradition. In doing so, video narratives are suggested be useful to understanding social change and social impacts of rural-urban transformations on the community members.

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Restoration Of Rural Landscapes For Food Security

Pulling together scientific knowledge, developing policy and societal change will be needed for sustainable restoration of degraded drylands. The role of this expert group is to bring research results and questions to a broader set of stakeholders and policy makers as well as to broaden the geographical perspective of expert representation.

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Strengthening collaboration at the WASH, food and nutrition nexus to build community resilience in low income countries (WASHnut)

We aim to address two key challenges identified: the need for guidance on: 1) how to link WASH, food and nutrition security sectors; and 2) ways of operationalising resilience within development projects. Both challenges require concrete evidence, which we aim to provide by examining case studies from a cross-sectoral and resilience perspective.

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Urban Animals: Balancing Good and Bad

Currently about 50% of the worlds´ population lives in cities and the proportion is expected to increase to almost 70% in 2050. Thus there is a market opportunity for the urban poor to work with animal farming within the cities. The overall aim of the group is to develop and to provide knowledge about pros and cons of keeping livestock in urban and peri-urban settings in low income countries and to communicate this knowledge to decision makers at various levels and places.

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