Providing safe, affordable, and highly nutritious food that prevents illness and improves livelihoods is an immense challenge in low- and middle-income countries. This challenge is expressed differently in an urban environment, where it is vital to increase the supply and demand for local, diverse, and agroecologically produced foods, and make food value chains more nutrition-focused.
The Nutrition in City Ecosystems (NICE) project was developed in response to this need by a public-private consortium comprising the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH), ETH Zürich (Sustainable Agroecosystems Group and World Food Systems Centre), Sight and Life, and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture.
Starting with 2 secondary cities each in Bangladesh, Kenya, and Rwanda, NICE connects the demand and supply side of food systems, engages women and youth through social business models, and builds local governance capacity. Sight and Life’s mandate within this context has been to lift demand through consumer insight research and social marketing campaigns.
This collaboration between authorities, local businesses, and civil society does not stop at a single, city-based success story, but promotes better nutrition in entire regions by creating a network of cities enabling the dissemination and scale-up of innovations in nutrition and food systems.