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Citizen-generated evidence for a more sustainable and healthy food system

Bill Vorley

Research report, 24 pages

Evidence generation by and with low-income citizens is particularly important if policy makers are to improve understanding of people’s diets and the food systems they use, in particular the informal economy. The informal food economy is the main route for low-income communities to secure their food, and is an important source of employment, especially for women and youth. The very nature of informality means that the realities of poor people’s lives are often invisible to policymakers. This invisibility is a major factor in exclusion and results in frequent mismatches between policy and local realities. This paper focuses on citizen-generated evidence as a means for defending and improving the food system of the poor. It clearly outlines a range of approaches to citizen-generated evidence including primary data collection and citizen access to and use of existing information.

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Through citizen action, IIED and Hivos are promoting diets that are diverse, greener, healthier, fairer and more sustainable.

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