Communities of Practice supporting the Dutch Food and Nutrition Security response to COVID-19
Dutch development organizations are working together to help prevent the emergence of food crises in LMICs as a consequence of COVID-19 measures and impacts. On the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands Food Partnership and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), several CoPs have been formed to support these efforts. The CoPs facilitate cooperation and support around areas that are deemed particularly essential for an effective response to the COVID-19 crisis: Markets, Supply Chains & Nutritious foods; Finance & Outreach; Digital Solutions, and Knowledge.
The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on food systems in Low- and Middle-income countries (LMICs) is rapidly growing and increasingly visible. Evidence shows that food and nutrition security is not threatened by worldwide food shortages, but especially by decreased access to nutritious foods, caused by severely reduced purchasing power and market failures following COVID-19 measures taken by national governments. As public and private actors identify short and longer term consequences, Dutch development organizations are working together to help prevent the emergence of food crises in LMICs.
Covid-19 response Communities of Practice
Together with the Netherlands Food Partnership (NFP) and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the Food and Nutrition Security team at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has initiated a dialogue with its partners to support these efforts. As a result, Communities of Practice (“CoPs”) have been formed to facilitate cooperation and support around four areas that are deemed particularly essential for an effective response to the COVID-19 crisis: 1) Markets, Supply Chains & Nutritious foods, 2) Finance & Outreach, 3) Digital Solutions, and 4) Knowledge.
In these CoPs, partner organizations identify concrete areas where joint action can provide added value to country-specific COVID-19 responses. GAIN and the NFP are in charge of the overall coordination between the CoPs. Next to that, the NFP provides support upon request, whereas the MoFA is involved in each CoP to ensure links to embassies and/or policy processes and to provide access to complementary networks. The conveners and scope of the CoPs are as follows:
- Markets, Supply Chains & Nutritious foods (Convener: The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, GAIN)
The scope of this CoP is to support COVID-19 response in “food value chains from farm to fork, including nutritious foods and reaching the most vulnerable”. Participating organizations include Wageningen University & Research, 2SCALE, SNV, Oxfam Novib and ICCO.
- Finance & Outreach (Convener: NpM, Platform for Inclusive Finance)
The focus of this CoP is finding financial solutions for (M)SMEs, cooperatives and Smallholder Farmers hit by the COVID-19 crisis. NGOs, TA providers, Impact Investors and Knowledge Institutes collaborate to provide financial access, and push liquidity in supply- and value chains of the Agri sector. Participating organizations include ICCO, SNV, 2SCALE, Agriterra, GAIN, Solidaridad, OikoCredit, OneAcreFund, Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation.
- Digital Solutions (Convener: 2SCALE)
This CoP focuses on the application of digital solutions to improve the effectiveness of interactions between stakeholders throughout the agricultural value chain, mostly notably between farmers, coops and SMEs and (end) clients, with a particular focus on how this can mitigate the negative effects of restrictions on movement due to COVID-19 Participating organizations include Solidaridad, SNV, ICCO, Netherlands Space office, CTA and Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation.
- Knowledge (Convener: Wageningen University & Research)
This CoP brings together food supply chain research on COVID-19 effects by organizations participating in the different CoPs as well as others to generate country level assessments describing: current food system impacts, priority issues, possible responses. Participating organizations include GAIN, SNV.
Participating in the CoPs
If you are interested in learning more about the activities of the CoPs, or would like to participate, please contact or visit the Theme page Food security and COVID-19 response.
Summaries of virtual round tables and CoP meetings
By clicking on the links below, you will get access to the topics as discussed in the various round tables and CoP meetings:
First virtual round table – 15 April 15, 2020
Second virtual round table – May 8, 2020
CoP meeting Markets, Supply Chains & Nutritious Foods – May 18, 2020
CoP meeting Finance & Outreach – May 20, 2020
CoP meeting Digital Solutions – May 19, 2020
CoP web pages
The web spaces for these four CoPs, where resources, meeting minutes and other outcomes are collected, can be found here:
|Food security and COVID-19 Communities of Pracice|