At GAIN, we believe that no one organisation or sector alone can solve the complex problem of malnutrition in all its forms. Malnutrition is created by many different factors and we need powerful partnerships and alliances to solve the issue.
We passionately believe in the importance of dialogue with all stakeholders across the food system, including those we may disagree with. Through multi-stakeholder dialogue, we engage with a variety of organisations and companies to debate, explain, advocate, challenge and support ideas that drive change in the food system, so that all people can have access to nutritious, safe and affordable foods.
However, we only actively partner with those organisations whose values and approaches are consistent with ours, and which comply with recognised international policies and standards. Such partnerships imply active collaboration, often with joint financing and legal obligations.
Before we engage in a formal partnership or join an alliance (a group of several stakeholders working together for a common goal), we follow a thorough review process. Our detailed guidelines and our procedure on how we apply them are set out in the GAIN’s Principles of Engagement and in the Procedure for the application of such principles.
By bringing key partners together around a common purpose we combine our own capabilities with the expertise of our partners, so that we can amplify reach and achieve impact. Our partners include a variety of sectors:
Governments and agencies
We partner and have formal operating arrangements with more than 20 governments - from Bangladesh and Indonesia to Tanzania and Nigeria. Governments are responsible for developing national nutrition strategies and for setting the conditions for how development organisations work. We support work to improve the availability and affordability of nutritious foods, often through national partnerships such as fortification alliances, or support to government engagement with business. We also provide support to ministries of health, agriculture, trade and industry.
Multilateral and international organisations
We have formal cooperation agreements with the major international organisations which lead policy and set norms around health, agriculture and food, such as the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).
The majority of our interaction is with national businesses, many of which are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the countries where we work. This includes 400 staple food and condiment processors through the GAIN ENABLE Platform (a global platform in support of fortification programmes), and 25 vitamin and mineral producers through the GAIN Premix Facility. We also have direct programmes on Workforce Nutrition in the tea sector (e.g. with Unilever), in garment factories (with VF Corporation in Bangladesh) and with the Global Cold Chain Alliance for work on Reducing Postharvest Loss. We have worked with over 350 SMEs in Africa through our Marketplace for Nutritious Foods programme and are expanding on that work to help unlock financing for agri-food SMEs, developing new relationships in the investment sector (e.g. Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs and Global Impact Investment Network). We are also working with the Access to Nutrition Foundation and the World Benchmarking Alliance to improve business reporting and accountability on nutrition.
Influencing business policies to favour nutrition is a central priority for us. We are in regular dialogue with business structures such as the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the US Council for International Business Foundation (USCIB), the International Food and Beverage Alliance (IFBA), the Consumer Goods Forum and others. We are also a participant of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), endorsing responsible business practice in support of sustainable development.
Together with the World Food Programme (WFP), we co-host the SUN Business Network with a presence in 11 countries. We also host the Amsterdam Initiative Against Malnutrition (AIM), the GAIN Nordic Alliance, and the Business Partnership for Nutrition Research (BPNR), all of which focus on public-private engagement.
Non-governmental and civil society organisations
Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs) play a crucial role in supporting the design and delivery of nutrition interventions and programmes. GAIN helped to establish the 1,000 Days partnership of NGOs, which encourages new investment and action to improve nutrition during the critical 1,000 days between the start of a woman’s pregnancy and a child’s second birthday. We also support the Zero Hunger Challenge, a campaign of the United Nations Secretary General to help build a world where everyone enjoys the right to adequate food.
In early 2019, we signed a partnership with the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), an African-led, Africa-based and farmer-centred institution working to put smallholder farmers at the center of the continent’s growing economy by transforming their farming from a solitary struggle to survive to a business that thrives.
Academia and research institutions
Given our focus on knowledge and use of evidence-based practice, we have formal arrangements with many academic institutions, as well as long standing collaborations and adjunct appointments of GAIN staff members. In addition, GAIN contracts over a dozen additional academic institutions for research/evaluations, mainly through competitive bidding processes. We have a partnership agreement with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), which is part of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), to improve and promote biofortified crops through the HarvestPlus programme.
Learn more about the GAIN-HarvestPlus Partnership on Commercialisation of Biofortified Crops, a major initiative aiming to make the benefits of these traditionally bred crops with high vitamin and mineral content available to consumers.
GAIN is also part of global policy networks and participates in multi-stakeholder platforms to improve nutrition.
Global policy networks
GAIN is a long-standing member of the Food Fortification Initiative (FFI) and the Iodine Global Network (IGN). We are also part of the working groups preparing for the Global Nutrition Summit to be hosted by Japan in 2020. With fortification alliance partners, we are supporting the 2nd Global Food Fortification Summit, which will be held in Thailand in 2020, and the Micronutrient Forum taking place in 2020. We also contribute to joint policy dialogue and advocacy, by supporting and participating in global policy networks such as the EAT Foundation, the Food and Land Use Coalition (FOLU), the World Economic Forum (WEF) and Food System Dialogues (4SD). We support the Global Nutrition Report (GNR) and the Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition (GLOPLAN). Our staff are actively engaged in relevant guideline development groups and hold leadership roles in many nutrition, agriculture, food safety and related professional associations.
We also support and participate in multistakeholder platforms working across sectors to tackle the underlying causes of malnutrition. Our Executive Director, Dr Lawrence Haddad, is part of the United Nations Secretary General's Scaling Up Nutrition Movement (SUN) Executive Committee, which leads collective efforts – from civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers – to improve nutrition worldwide.