The goal of the Platform is to promote and coordinate research on the two-way linkages between agriculture and health, with the aim of alleviating livelihood and food insecurity through enhanced policy and program effectiveness. Research areas, as prioritized by multiple stakeholders in the early start-up phase of the Platform, include: HIV/AIDS and agriculture; avian influenza, household livelihoods and food security; agriculture, nutrition, diet and health; food safety and growing food supply chains; water-borne diseases and water management; occupational health (including pesticides) and child labor in agriculture; and the links between animal and human health. Environmental change, with its linkages to climate change, will provide the dynamic backdrop to much of this work. Gender will be a key crosscutting issue that permeates all Platform activities, with research capturing gender differentials in linkages and in programmatic responses, and in effectively addressing barriers to women’s access to, and control over resources for productive agriculture and a healthy life.
AHRP objectives are:
- to develop partnerships with the health sector so as to draw on mutual strengths in filling major knowledge gaps at the interface between agriculture and health;
- to build on common ground between researchers, policymakers, and practitioners;
- to develop and adapt methodological tools to link agriculture and health in research, policy, and practice; and
- to communicate through publications and outreach.
The purpose of the multistakeholder platform approach is to provide a space or forum for the two sectors to come together, and to generate international public goods through research findings that have relevance not only across sectoral divides, but potentially across different regions. Recognizing context-specificity, the global platform will provide adaptable approaches, principles, processes, and options for responding to adverse agriculture and health linkages.
The following architecture has been created for the Platform:
- Core Research Group: A research-oriented group primarily charged with stimulating and forming small task forces to prepare joint agriculture and health research proposals on identified priority areas with guidance from the Management Team. This group comprises 21 members from involved CGIAR centers, WHO, FAO with other interested partners.
- Management Team. A small hands-on management team to manage the global platform activities, including the preparation of a master proposal, to draft guidelines/criteria for joint agriculture-health research proposals, fundraising, coordination, planning for major meetings, liaising with the Core Research Group and with the Advisory Panel, and to generally support ongoing activities. This team comprises five actively involved Platform members from IFPRI, ILRI, CIP and WHO.
- Advisory Panel. Panel members provide periodic technical and strategic advice to the Platform. They will be involved in peer-reviewing individual project and global platform proposals, identifying funding opportunities and generally advocating for the Platform. Initially drawn primarily from health organizations, the panel will become now become more broad-based and new members from agriculture research and development organizations will be recruited – assuring an appropriate thematic and geographical balance.