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What happened when low-income consumers, traders, traditional leaders, producers and government authorities joined together to discuss the local food system in Zambia? What started in 2015 as a dialogue among Hivos, IIED, and approximately 20 partners and stakeholders to address the limited crop diversity on Zambian farms and in local diets, eventually gave rise to the Zambia Food Change Lab.

Generating ideas for change

The Zambia Food Change Lab is a multi-stakeholder innovation process designed to generate ideas for change in the food system and test these innovations on the ground. Lab participants collectively mapped the food system and gained a better understanding of the issues through the lived realities from one another. Out of this process came small-scale solutions that led to concrete change - from the bottom, up.

Results and the way forward

Hivos and IIED have documented the Lab’s journey so far in a new publication, Taking Stock: Zambia Food Change Lab: Mobilising Diverse Actors to Advocate for Food Diversity. Alongside detailing the Lab’s results, the publication highlights important lessons learned from the Lab experience and acknowledges the way forward.

The Sustainable Diets for All programme takes a citizen-led approach to food research and policy making. Our Food Change Labs bring different stakeholders together and provide a forum in which they can discuss and act on their priorities and concerns.