Ruerd Ruben

Profile picture of Ruerd

Company / Organization / University

Wageningen University & Research

Role / Title

Professor Impact Assessment for Food Systems

Bio / Specialization

Ruerd Ruben is professor and coordinator of the research programs on food security, value chains and impact assessment at Wageningen Economic Research, the Netherlands. His research concerns the prospects for smallholder participation in tropical food value chains, the effectiveness of rural cooperative organizations and the impact of fair trade certification in value chains.
Ruerd is also Member Program Management Committee A4NH (CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health).

Ruerd lived and worked for 14 years in Central America where he was engaged in programs of land reform, cooperative development and smallholder agriculture. He later coordinated multidisciplinary research and training programs at Wageningen University on food security and sustainable land use in several sub-Saharan countries and was a visiting research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, D.C.

He was the director of the independent Policy and Operations Evaluation (IOB) department at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and professor in Development Effectiveness and Director of the Centre for International Development Issues (CIDIN) at Radboud University Nijmegen.


Key challenges for post-COVID food systems

The COVID-19 pandemic has a large and decisive impact on public health, and generates major consequences for social relationships, economic development and food systems. In this note, Ivo Demmers and Ruerd Ruben focus on four food system dimensions that are most critical for outlining the (likely) impact of COVID-19 induced changes on agri-food systems’ performance, and outline the main challenges that have to be addressed during the post-COVID-19 recovery period. »

Reverse thinking for finding Food Systems solutions

The recently agreed reform of the international research network CGIAR provides a unique opportunity for making new steps towards a more effective, responsive and inclusive approach towards food systems analysis. In this blog, Prof. dr. Ruerd Ruben states that, based on the unified governance envisioned to lead ´One CGIAR´, it is of foremost importance to support changes in the composition of the research portfolio and a more fundamental adjustment in research practices. »

Dutch Food Security Policies embrace Food Systems Approach

Dutch food security programs in the international development domain have been mainly focussed during the last few decades on increasing agricultural production and reinforcing international trade of tropical commodities. This focus is now gradually changing towards activities that devote key attention to gender and nutrition, circularity and climate resilience, and upgrading of agro-food value chains. Moreover, there is a growing interest in systematic learning from interventions by engaging researchers into development programs. »

Repairing food systems failures: Policies, Innovations & Partnerships

During the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, strong interest in Food Systems approaches was confirmed by policy makers and business leaders. Ruerd Ruben from Wageningen Economic Research joined the panel debate on “Accelerating the End of Hunger and Malnutrition” along with contributions from IFPRI, GAIN, GNR, SUN, and WBCSD. Read his blog about the meeting. »