GAIN Interview Cruncher - GAIN@20 The Journey to Better Nutrition for All

Global , 19 December 2022 - 

Join us for the latest episode of GAIN's Interview Cruncher!

Maame Ekua Manful: Hello, everyone! Welcome to GAIN Interview Cruncher « GAIN@20 the journey to better nutrition for all. »

On the ninth of May, 2002 GAIN was founded with the aim of tackling human suffering caused by malnutrition. Over the past 20 years, GAIN has been working with governments, businesses, and civil society to transform for food systems so that they can deliver more nutritional food for all people, especially the most vulnerable.

This episode of the Interview Cruncher aims at looking back on some of the achievements, as was as well as lessons learnt that GAIN and partners have made, and looking forward to the next 20 years. What is that to be done to ensure that everyone in the world has access to safe, affordable, and nutritious food?

Today we are joined by Lawrence Hadad, Executive Director, GAIN, Ndidi Nwuneli, Executive Chair, Sahel Consultant, Agriculture and Nutrition, Limited and Pawan Agarwal, Founder and CEO of Food Future Foundation and former CEO of Food Safety Standards Authority of India.

I am Maame Ekua Manful Doctoral Researcher, Technological University Dublin and Founder, Sweetpot Yoghurt and I'm also a member of GAIN Partnership Council.

So the first question would be to Lawrence and Pawan. GAIN was created with a laser focus on tackling malnutrition through ports of fine staple foods. Lawrence and Pawan what do you think are some of the learnings and achievements? And how are we moving forward from this?

Lawrence Haddad (GAIN): GAIN was founded 20 years ago, and, as you said, with this focus on food, fortification, and I think it's gone through three phases. The organization. The first phase was really, you know, for the first 5 or 6 years, focusing pretty much solely on fortification.

And over the last 20 years we've been able to reach well over a 1 billion people worldwide with staple food in a wheat, maize, corn, oil, edible oil, milk… and that, of course, provides essential micronutrients like zinc and iron and vitamin A, to families and especially young children and women who are really deficient in those micronutrients, and it's essential for their their development.

But GAIN has also focused - I think, of course, all of this with partners - has also focused on the quality of fortification. Before I joined GAIN, I used to think fortification was just add the premix and stir. Of course it's much more complicated than that, and the quality assurance issues are really very key, and our colleague Pawan, knows knows all about that. 

The second phase was okay fortifications important. But it's just one component of food going into, you know, improving the quality of food. It's really just improving the nutrient quality of staple foods. What about the non staple foods? What about the fish and the eggs, and the dairy, and the fruits and vegetables and pulses? Well, the second phase is all about what do we do to get value chains? For these kinds of foods working better, so that they are delivered to markets at a lower price for low income consumers? And there was a lot of experimentation and innovation around food loss and food waste, focus on small and medium enterprises, really interesting stuff. 

And then the third phase - it was the last for 5 or 6 years - when we said “Look, we've been working in food systems for the first 15 years of our lives. Let's embrace the food system as a framing mechanism, and and look at everything from from farm to fork, because by looking from farm to fork, we'll see where the opportunities are. We'll see where the bottlenecks are. We'll see how things are connected »

And so we have spent a lot of time adding components around Demand Creation trying to shift demand. And we added some components around policy, because policy is a good way to scale impact. So I think, in a nutshell, those are the 3 phases: fortification, moving into the value chain, and then moving into food systems wholeheartedly.

Pawan Agarwal: Thank you, Lawrence, for this opportunity, and let me congratulate GAIN for this fantastic 20 years of your existence. The journey has been really very enriching for the entire world in terms of not only fortification, but going beyond it and I personally had the opportunity of working with GAIN for the past 5, 6 years in my capital city as the CEO of India's Food Authority, where we are working very closely with GAIN as a value partner on food fortification. And the tremendous impact that GAIN could bring in through this partnership and scaling up - you know - fortification, particularly edible oil and milk is in many ways unique. 

India has a very interesting and extraordinary experience of fortification, that without having to mandate fortification in edible oil and milk we have achieved a great deal. In fact, 70% of what could be fortified in edible oil is already fortified. And that is no main achievement. I think – we must -  place on record, sincere thanks on behalf of the entire nation for GAIN’s contribution in scaling up fortification in edible oil and milk.

We have made a beginning, you know, in staple fortification for rice which has been mandated for you know, safety net programs in India, which is again unique where GAIN’s experience of fortification in other stables is being very, very helpful.

So I think overall - you know - GAIN had a good run as far as fortification is concerned. Lot of interesting things are happening even in biofortification in India. And the challenge is how do we scale it up to the next level?

And I see that fortification story in India, If a history of fortification globally is written, and particularly in context of India, GAIN will figure very, very prominently in that story. So thank you GAIN and thank you, Lawrence for doing this fantastic work in India.

If a history of fortification globally is written, and particularly in context of India, GAIN will figure very, very prominently in that story. 

Maame Ekua Manful: Thank you, Lawrence and Pawan for the insights provided. So move to the next question, and that would be to Ndidi and Lawrence.

So in India, why is it important that we consider that gender, environment and social protection in our programs moving forward?

Ndidi Nwuneli: Thank you so much for this opportunity and congratulations to GAIN@20. 

There's no way that you can work in the food ecosystem without recognizing the gender, climate, and food nexus. What we have seen, especially on the African continents, is the direct correlation between climate change and the food challenges. Not only shortages but direct impact on malnutrition and hidden hunger.  

In the Nigerian context, in particular, what we've seen is that, with increased droughts and floods this has led to rising insecurity, displaced families, displaced communities, disruptions, and the hardest hit are the women and the children in the community.

We've also seen that the stresses caused by environmental degradation impacts farmer productivity, farmer outputs, food quality, and directly leads to challenges around purchasing power. And when families are under stress they downgrade what they eat: they eliminate meat and eggs and beans and other nutritious food from their diet, and they just focus on carbs, the cheapest, most available food in their society, which definitely impacts stunting and has a direct impact on rural communities but also urban communities with increased hidden hunger and so GAIN’s mandate is more relevant today than ever before. 

As GAIN tackles these challenges, recognizing that women are critical stakeholders not only as decision-makers in terms of the food quality and the food choices in their homes, but also front-line workers in the food, ecosystems that are critical for nutrition. Their own health, their own level of nutrition, affects their children's health, and if children's nutrition not only through the birthing process, but also through the first 1,000 days and the first 5 years of a child's life. 

So, that prioritization that nexus, that connectivity is critical, and, as GAIN has already adopted this multi-sectoral approach and a food systems lens to its implementation, I'm confident that the next 20 years will be even stronger with GAIN taking a leadership role in bringing unusual stakeholders to the table and ensuring that we work collaboratively to tackle the huge, huge, imminent challenges that are affecting our ecosystem.

Recognizing that women are critical stakeholders not only as decision-makers in terms of the food quality and the food choices in their homes, but also front-line workers in the food, ecosystems that are critical for nutrition.

My daughter has a quote which we heard repeatedly at COP, and we've been singing in our home since then, which says that « our generation is the first generation to be most impacted by the full weight of the climate disaster, but also the last generation that can do anything about it ».

And this is so relevant as GAIN takes on the next huge challenges in our ecosystem, recognizing that it's our generation that must tackle this, must be bold and courageous and corporate across different silos in an ecosystem. To truly take on the immense challenges of the climate gender nutrition nexus.

Lawrence Haddad (GAIN): Thanks, Ndidi. Let me let me pick up from from your excellent messaging, you know, if I was a Board Member of GAIN - if I was an uninformed Board Member of GAIN - I might be quite worried by your gangs nutrition organization. What are you doing about environment and social protection and gender? And my response it’s – it’s intrinsic, all of these things are connected. They're just sort of false divisions that we've created over the last few decades, and we need to break them down. So, for example, how can you deal with nutrition if you're not dealing with environment? You know, the environment creates really poor nutrition conditions and nutrition choices create really poor environmental conditions. So we they're interlinked.

Same on gender. Women are expected to be there. There's their assigned social roles, usually by men, there's an expectation that they will be shock absorbers for any kind of shock that happens, and yet women have are the most vulnerable when it comes to nutrients and nutrient requirements. So that's unfair. We have to find a way of of changing that and making that burden more equally distributed. But also, women are drivers of the economy : front line workers, but also entrepreneurs. Ndidi herself is a dynamic entrepreneur that enables other women entrepreneurs to come forward and and blossom and drive change. So you can't separate these two things out. 

Social protection is really important, because it's the main way we get income to the lowest, 10-15% owners or people in in the population, and we know that healthy diets tend to be more expensive at the moment than unhealthier diets, and we know that a lot of people cannot afford a healthy diet. So, social protection is an important platform of income to enable people to consume healthy diets. 

But it's not enough just to transfer income. You have to, employ demand creation schemes in addition to the income, to make sure the increased income is spent on the kinds of foods that are going to promote good health rather than junk foods which will just lead to diabetes, overweight, obesity, and hypertension.

Maame Ekua Manful: Thank you so much, Ndidi and Lawrence for your responses. It's a call in ensuring that better nutrition for all.

Could you highlight the importance of working in partnership?

Pawan Agarwal: I think the experience of GAIN in India and I'm sure elsewhere in the world, has been to work through partners in the countries: both the local government and as well as the national governments. In India fortification story would not have been successful if they had not worked with the food regulator and the national government, and also begin to work at State and provincial and district levels.

But even more important is partnership with other civil society organizations. That is becoming increasingly more important. Moving forward, these partnerships have to be multifaceted because the complex nature of the challenges that we face in our food system transformation.

So I think Lawrence has pointed out that GAIN’s portfolio of activities has grown in 3 phases. I think the next phase, the next 20 years, you know, we need to have more people, more partners on the table, with varied backgrounds and diverse interest, so that all complexity that we are confronted with, you can find the solutions to them and do them at scale.

Thank you.

Ndidi Nwuneli: When we think about the magnitude of the challenge before us. There is no way that one institution can solve these problems.

The problems are wicked problems. They're multifaceted. They require significant resources, political will, and corporation. They require humility, commitment to excellence the commitment to learning from failure. On learning, we learning and so many stakeholders need to buy into the vision of ending hunger and malnutrition in our lifetime.

And so we desperately need partners, and I think, under Lawrence's leadership, we've seen a commitment and an interest in reaching out across the divides, bringing unusual suspects, bringing youth to the table. We need young people, women, indigenous people, public sector, private sector, civil society, faith-based institutions. The list goes on and on. We recognize that we desperately need the financial institutions who are going to invest in this We need real innovation and technology to reduce the cost of nutritious food, to make it more accessible and available to the masses of people. So definitely it's a critical component of our current situation, for our future. And there's no alternative to partnerships. There's an African proverb which says, « If you want to go fast, Go alone. If you want to go far, go with others », and I've modified it because we must go fast and far together.

And to do that we need integrity, humility, and we need to leave that egos and logos behind. And I think that's why GAIN is so special because it's the Global Alliance from inception, the recognition that it's an alliance that it needs a huge tense with every stakeholder working collaboratively to solve these problems in our lifetime, and I'm convinced with that shared value of collaboration and corporation, and the humility to learn and unlearn, and to share the credit, we will move faster together.

Lawrence Haddad (GAIN): Thanks, Ndidi! And I am so glad to hear you say, talk about integrity and humility, because these are the two of the new values that are emerging and a new strategy. And we want to, you know, we want to embrace them in a in a really credible way, because I think they are absolutely vital for partnerships. 

It's the height of arrogance to assume that an organization of 320 people can can change the world on its own. Of course it can't. We have to work with partners, and as indeed he says, alliance that is, was in the name, right from the beginning, and I think we we are very faithful to that. We can't get anything done in fortification without our alliances between government businesses and civil society and researchers, and it's pretty much the same in any other part of the food system. And so we have global alliances, and we have national and subnational alliances. We have thematic alliances. We have a Workforce Nutrition Alliance, a Demand Generation Alliance, we have alliances of finance organizations. So we have alliances of cold chain providers. So we have alliances a lot. What does Alliance get you? It gets you scale, it gets you credibility, because if it's just a bunch of external organizations coming in, the domestic and and subnational organizations will rightly view you with skepticism. And it gets you unusual skills, unusual perspectives, and it's very important to work with unusual partners and unusual suspects. That's very important. So easy just to work with the same organizations. You get the same skills and the same viewpoint that you do.

I'm very proud that GAIN, right from the beginning, has never been apologetic about working with the private sector. The private sector is highly problematic in nutrition. They are responsible for some of the worst excesses in the malnutrition and poor nutrition space. However, the food system is almost entirely comprised of the private sector. They grow the food, process the food, transport the food, store the food, advertise the food, market the food, retail the food, and help dispose of the food. We have to engage with them. We have to engage with them in a way that's smart with our eyes wide open.

And we have to have done our due diligence on them ahead of time, and if they behave badly we have to call it out and be be brave about doing that. But the bravest thing is to engage with them in the first place, and i'm really proud of gain stuff, because it's not easy to do this. Sometimes they face criticism.

And I think the final thing I want to say is, we really value working with partners in the 10 program countries that we have offices in, and we're always looking to strengthen the offices. The offices are always headed up by a nationals of the country. We work in but we don't strengthen the offices to eclipse local partners. We strengthen the offices to contribute to the ecosystem, to contribute to what local and national partners are doing, never to take away. But I need to add, alliances are vital to GAIN, and I believe they're vital for everyone who wants to get things done.

Governments always have to be in the lead. But these problems, a whole of society problems, and therefore partners from all of society have to be brought in and brought together. Thanks.

Maame Ekua Manful: Thank you, Pawan, Ndidi and Lawrence, for highlighting how important partnerships and alliances are in achieving a better nutrition for all.

Lawrence over the past 20 years a lot has happened in the nutrition landscape. How has it changed since 2002?

Lawrence Haddad (GAIN): Thanks for that Maame, and I I think you know, after I've had a a made a comment or 2, I think it'd be great if Pawan and Ndidi would could come in on this.

You know It's hard to answer that big question in a short period of time. I think the first thing that I would notice is that - and it's gonna sound strange to say it - but food has made a comeback. 

There was a phase about 20 years ago where food was seen - as you know these things always go in cycles - there was a phase where food security was equated with malnutrition. So if you get food right, you get nutrition right. And of course we know that's not the case If you get food right, especially if you're only focusing on calories. There's no way you're necessarily going to get malnutrition right? Because malnutrition depends on food, quantity and food quality. It depends on water, sanitation, health, care, and parental care. So it depends on lots of things.

And so there was sort of a swing against food in the nineties, and then over the last 20 years, food has gradually come back in to the nutrition space, but in a selective way and sense of "We want nutritious foods, and we want to promote nutritious foods and the affordability and availability and desirability, and we want to kind of restrict and curb the desirability and access to really unhealthy food which are mainly highly processed ultra-processed foods that don't really look like food."

So I think food coming back is a you know, coming back in a in a more subtle, nuanced way, I think the second thing is - and I look back at the early 2000s -  there was a you know, post Berlin wall falling down, there was a big peace dividend. It was just, you know, 9/11 had just happened, and that was going on. That sort of preceded a period of lots of volatility of lots of shocks, global shocks.

And I think we had the food food finance and fuel crisis of 2007, 2009, we had Covid, and then we've got the Ukraine conflict with other conflicts. Driving up prices of food and fertilizer and and price of money and the price of fuel.

I kind of feel that shocks are gonna become the new normal, and we have to and not only develop food systems that are going to be able to deliver nutrition food more affordably. But we're gonna have to develop food systems that are more resilient to shock. So I think I think those are the 2 things. 

The third thing would be the emergence of healthy diets and a recognition that healthy diets are really important for health, but they also good for the environment. 

So the idea of food systems as an integrator, as Ndidi said, across all of these different domains, and Pawan may want to talk about food safety. 

I think the world of food safety and nutrition are now moving together closer and closer. I think that there's still work to be done there, they are still seen as 2 separate tribes, if you like, but Pawan and his agency have done a brilliant job of integrating those two. 

I think India is a model for everybody else in in that domain. But so those are just a few quick reflections. But over to Pawan. 

Pawan Agarwal: Thank you, Lawrence. I think I'm personally very uncomfortable with this word « nutrition ». And by word nutrition, I would mean modern nutrition which basically talks about macronutrients, micronutrients, and a lot of things that we have come to know about how food works on human body.

But as we know more and more about nutrition, we realize that there is a lot that we do not know. And therefore in many other societies, and particularly, I would refer to India and Ayurveda, where it is not a reductionist view of food, but it is basically food in totality. 

I think this is a big change that is happening now. People are no more talking in terms of macro micronutrients, but in the way whole food works on human body and human and human environment on the planet.

I think this newfound understanding about the multifaceted nature of food, and the way it affects people and planet is going to be the new narrative which is embedded in the food system transformation as we move forward. I think, over the past 20 years much focus has been on maternal and infant nutrition a lot. They are obviously very, very important aspects of human nutrition. But I think now, increasingly, there is focus on adolescent nutrition.

They'll be moving forward focus on nutrition on the elderly and woman even at the poverty stage these days, you know their nutritional needs are very different from you know, a woman in child bearing and their nutritional needs need to be understood. I think, moving forward, it will become more new - you know. We will talk about food and nutrition in terms of you know life, throughout the life, rather than talking about only maternal and infant nutrition. And look at nutrition as a sub component of food overall and its impact on human beings and the planet.

Maame Ekua Manful: Okay, we would have a last but one question, and that would be about GAIN strategy. 

Lawrence Haddad (GAIN): So let me kick off. I mean, I think for the past year we've been developing a new strategy which is really an evolution of the current strategy. We've got input from our staff, from external stakeholders, from our Partnership Council, from our Board. Well over 200 inputs into the one year process, and it's really hard to boil all of that down into a crisp statement of what we're going to be doing. 

I think there are 4 things that are sort of emerging quite clearly. 

The first is, we are moving from our old mission statement, which is improving the consumption of safe and nutritious foods, to improving people's consumption of healthier diets. That may seem like a a nuance, but it's an important change, because it sort of speaks to the issues Pawan was talking about. It's saying, how do we make the whole diet healthier? We're not just adding some micronutrients to a staple food, we are changing the whole diet and how can we do that? That requires a more comprehensive approach. It's a more challenging change, but it feels as Ndidi said, it feels like it may be a bit slower, but it feels more fundamental and more enduring. 

If we can change diets rather than only adding micronutrients, we will still do that. But we want to make the diets transformed. And that means, as I said, not just increasing the good food, but it means curbing the bad food. So that's the first thing.

We are moving from our old mission statement, which is improving the consumption of safe and nutritious foods, to improving people's consumption of healthier diets.

I think the second thing is paying more attention to these other dimensions of well-being that are so important in the SDGs: environment, gender, poverty. We're always going to be a nutrition organization, but the challenge we've set ourselves and our stakeholders have set ourselves is by paying more attention to these other dimensions and making sure you don't drive them down.

And, in fact, if you can drive them up by doing that, can you also move nutrition faster than you would have without paying attention. These are the three. And again, I think it's a big challenge. 

I don't think anyone has really figured out how to do that, but GAIN likes to be at the forefront, likes to take risks, likes to be applying here, and I think that you know it's challenge. We want to take on the third ambition and that third big change is scale. We are doing bigger projects. Now we are in Kenya, for example, we have a pilot program that's trying to improve the diets of a 1 million people, a 1 million Kenyans. That's a big. 

That's a big pilot program it's big because it pulls together, demand, supply and an enabling environment all in one place which is something we haven't done before, but it's still only a 1 million Kenyans. And so what can we do to scale even that big program via policy, via markets, via partnerships, via knowledge? Can we get to 10 million, for example, by being smarter on policy? So that's the third ambition is scale. 

GAIN likes to be at the forefront, likes to take risks

I think the fourth ambition, and the last one is: Can this current generation of leaders again leave in 2027, can we leave an organization that is much stronger than it is now. even, and will be more sustainable. So it means building a set of leaders in the organization that come from the 13 or 14 different places that we have offices. It means a much more diverse leadership.

It means a more diverse funding platform. We have about 45 different funders at the moment, who fund us at over half a 1 million dollars a year. But most of them are the same type of funder. Can we? Can we move into the high net worth individual space?

Can we move into the Development Bank space? So, we want to diversify funding, strength and leadership, build talent, diversify leadership, and as we are a growing organization, we also need to grow our reserves to protect against any future shocks. So I think those are the 4 things : focus on healthy diets rather than just nutritious foods, focus on some of these other dimensions that we in the past would neglect like environment, gender, and poverty, and then a third really being ambitious about scale, and fourth really making the organization strong post this this strategy, so it can go on to even greater and bigger things.

Maame Ekua Manful: Thank you, Lawrence.

Ndidi Nwuneli: I think that the real opportunity for GAIN here, is understanding the nature of the evolving problems, the severity of the impending crisis. We already think we have a crisis, but it's going to only get worse. The need for urgency, agility, and cooperation is really key. I mean, we have to stay agile. We have to stay relevant, and we have to stay connected, and I think Lawrence hits the nail on the head when he talked about the importance of local ownership, local leadership, and local partners. Nothing, nothing can replace that.

Recognizing that, yes, these problems are global in nature, but ultimately they can only be addressed at the local level. What GAIN brings to the table is the international brand, the reach, the best practices, the opportunity to connect the dots between countries, to learn and to scale best practices, ensuring that they are tailored to the local context, but the recognition that the problems have to be solved on the ground by local leaders. 

Empowering local organizations and local institutions to benefit from what GAIN can offer at the global level, but also tailoring the needs and the desires and measuring impact at the local level is critical. And so that for me is is paramount to GAIN’s future, and the next 20 years. 

The final thing beyond that is really what we've discussed over and over again, the recognition that these nexus are so interconnected right, but that at the forefront is really the next generation.

You know the the points. There's another famous climate change quote, a famous indigenous proverb, that basically talks about how ‘We don't inherit the earth from our ancestors. We borrow it from our children’. It's so pertinent today. We're building a world for future generations, and we want to leave this planet better than we found it by putting in place the building blocks, the systems and structures and the right culture that recognizes nutrition at the heart of not only the current generation's agenda, but the future generation's agenda. Ultimately, I mean addition has a quote: the President of African Development Banks, ‘stunted children today are stunted nations tomorrow’.

When you marry that quote with the one about we do not borrow from our ancestors, we do not inherit it from ancestors, we borrow from our children. It just reinforces the agenda around nutrition being the bedrock of future generations of healthy competence, productive adults who build nations that we can all be proud of. But if that foundation is flawed, their future is flawed. And so I really believe that, understanding that nexus that embracing the youth agenda, the local agenda, and the for cooperation agenda, where we stop working in silos, but recognize nutrition as pivotal to the future of our planet. I think we're in good stead, and I'm confident that under the right leadership, working with all of you, we will see GAIN continue to be relevant, impactful and generate great results, and say it is a model of an organization for other international organizations to emulate. And that's my prayer and hope for the organization.

Pawan Agarwal: I think Ndidi you have so beautifully articulated, and Lawrence, you put it so nicely about the vision of  GAIN for the future. I have nothing much to add, except saying that you are bang on, and we all hope that we all leave the world better!

You know, and food which has come on the centre stage and continues to be the same on the centre stage, because food is something which is very basic to our survival. Survival of human beings, survival of people, and survival of the planet. And I think that by encompassing a larger mandate for GAIN, that is very, very obvious in the changing landscape.

I'm just is somewhat amused. GAIN which is started 20 years ago with a laser focus on fortification has evolved so much that for somebody who is not part of this discourse would find, what Lawrence is stated, it was something fuzzy, you know something blurred, you know. So how do we really find concrete action from this? Very high-sounding statements that, or the vision and mission that, GAIN has crafted for itself?

I'll show that you will find ways of doing it. I would just like to add 2 more things, because, particularly in India, and maybe many other parts of the world diabetes, is becoming a very, very serious problem. And, it is not only about food, it is about an entire lifestyle. So how do we bring in, you know, the lifestyle issues, the physical activity, meditation, etc. ? You know, associated with this? 

This makes the mandate even more broader than what it is today. But looking at diabetes or hypertension, and noncommunicable diseases as something that will dominate in decades to come. How do we bring in that as, and that agenda into this scheme of things that GAIN has started for itself ? 

Second is about scale. And while the scale is fantastic, you know, I think you have achieved, and you plan to do things at scale, in Kenya you mentioned, and maybe in other countries. But my own experience of scaling up all, is standardization. You know, while it is good that we have. diversity of approach in different countries, and what we practiced in India was you know, we created a standardization, leaving scope for innovation at the local level. These are 2 somewhat contradictory concepts.

But when we talk of scale, some amount of standardization is therefore necessary. Some amount of branding is necessary, and in that respect, you know, Lawrence, I may, you know, share with you that the Food Future Foundation that we've started, we are looking at a concept of foundational food literacy, working on demand generation for healthier diet, as you mentioned, and we would be very happy to work with GAIN in, you know, across the world to bring in what we have learned over the last few years in terms of nutrition, education, and food literacy to the rest of the world.

Thank you very much for the opportunity.

Lawrence Haddad (GAIN): Thank you, Pawan. And our focus on healthy diet can allow us to dip our toes in the water when it comes to things like diabetes and hypertension, because I completely agree with you, we have to do it in a humble way, because we're not experts in that space. 

But if you're trying to improve the consumption of fruits and vegetables, then that's going to be good for for diabetes and hypertension, and if you're trying to curb the consumption of you know ultra-processed high salt, high sugar, high transat foods that's also good. 

But just wanted to reassure you and and the listeners, and Ndidi and Maame, that if we don't have impact on the ground, then we're just another think tank, and we're a very, very inefficient think tank. So having impact on the ground is the is the core currency of GAIN. 

If GAIN doesn't have impact on the ground then you shouldn't exist. So those money that's put into GAIN should go to other organizations that can. 

That's why I'm so insistent with all my colleagues that unless we have impact and can show, we have impact in a credible way we don't deserve to exist. No organization has the right to exist. It has to prove its existence every day, every week, every year, and every every decade. 

So rest assured we're totally with you, and Ndidi with you on that that particular principle. 

Maame Ekua Manful: Congratulations. Thank you to our speakers, Lawrence, Pawan and Ndidi and to our listeners at home for joining us in this Interview Cruncher!

Don’t forget to follow us on our social media channels, @gainalliance or Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition and make sure to check on our website at