Intercultural models to improve nutrition and health of indigenous populations through gender-sensitive agroforestry practices in Peru

Lead Research Organisation: University of Greenwich
Department Name: Natural Resources Institute, FES

Abstract

High levels of food insecurity and malnutrition persist in Peru, particular amongst remote indigenous populations. The Government of Peru has expressed its commitment to addressing this inequity, through inclusive health services which accommodate cultural diversity. For indigenous people in the Peruvian Amazon, local health systems often reflect an integrated understanding of the world. Many households practise agroforestry, in which trees are included in agricultural systems. This not only provides income and supports local ecosystems, but also influences human nutrition and health.

Potential positive and negative effects of agroforestry on human nutrition and health have been described, but there has been little research to document these impacts. Beyond the products derived from trees, crops and livestock, agroforestry systems can also support wild biodiversity of plants and animals which contribute to food and nutrition security in various ways across seasons. There is a particular need to understand how women's involvement in agroforestry affects their nutritional status, time use, care-giving behaviours and household diets.

The goal of our research is to work with indigenous communities involved in coffee- and cocoa-based agroforestry, and with local public health, agriculture and forestry institutions, to co-develop options to improve nutrition and health in the Peruvian Amazon. Our approach will focus on strategies which are appropriate to local conditions and cultures, and which respond to the priorities and interests of women.

The early stages of our project will build an in-depth understanding of the social and ecological setting (including how this has changed in recent decades) and community members' perceptions and priorities relating to nutrition and health. We will develop an inventory of agroforestry practices, including the roles of men and women; the spectrum of local plant and animal biodiversity which contribute to food and nutrition security; and the ways in which these contribute to food and nutrition security at different times of the year. We will also document the roles and time spent by women in agroforestry and other household activities, including care-giving and food preparation.

Through a study of children under five years and their mothers, we will measure nutritional status (including height, weight and anaemia status), and the nutritional adequacy of diets during the rainy and dry seasons. We will evaluate the influence of agroforestry practices, use of wild biodiversity and women's time use on the nutritional status and diets of women and children. Our research aims to use the information collected to map the multiple pathways by which agroforestry systems, and their associated biodiversity, are linked to human nutrition and health, and how this relates to environmental sustainability.

The final stages of our project focus on devising effective and acceptable strategies to address identified nutrition and health challenges. We will formulate food-based recommendations to be trialled with women of different cultural groups, and develop context-appropriate extension materials to guide households in following these recommendations. At community workshops, research findings will be presented and discussed, and collaborative approaches used to co-design, prioritise and evaluate different strategies to improve nutrition and health.

This project responds to the Peruvian Government's priority to better meet the nutrition and health needs of indigenous populations, and to increase the holistic and inclusive nature of national health services. By combining diverse research expertise with community knowledge and interests, and by building an evidence-based understanding of how to harness agroforestry systems in support of nutrition and health, this project has the potential to inform sustainable strategies using approaches which may be replicated in other regions of Peru.

Technical Summary

For indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon, agroforestry is widely practised and contributes to livelihoods, natural resource management, nutrition and health. This interdisciplinary project will use participatory approaches and intercultural models to co-develop gender-sensitive agroforestry options with the potential to sustainably address high levels of chronic undernutrition and anaemia in indigenous populations.

The study will be conducted along a transect of coffee and cocoa-based agroforestry systems which support the livelihoods of indigenous groups in the Peruvian Amazon. Research activities will be conducted in the Amazonas Region on the Cenepa River Basin (4 native Awajun indigenous communities) and on the La Jalca district (4 migrant indigenous communities or 'colonos'). An initial census will identify households that practice agroforestry and contain a child <=5 years of age. Random sampling will be used to enrol 200 Awajun and 200 colonos households.

Research activities will involve five steps, starting with (1) a participatory appraisal of socio-ecological contexts; and (2) a survey of agroforestry practices and local biodiversity contributing to food security across seasons. These two steps will inform (3) an observational study to evaluate the influence of specific agroforestry practices, use of local biodiversity, and gender, socioeconomic and cultural factors on maternal and child dietary adequacy (i.e. individual nutrients & mean probability of adequacy over a range of nutrients), anthropometric outcomes (i.e. height-for-age & weight-for-height in children, BMI in women) and anaemia status.

Findings from steps 1-3 will contribute to (4) determining the pathways through which agroforestry impacts diets and the nutrition and health status. This model will guide (5) the development of culturally-appropriate and gender-sensitive agroforestry options and food-based recommendations to address identified nutrition and health challenges.

Planned Impact

To ensure maximum impact, public health and agricultural agencies, development practitioners and indigenous community members will be engaged fully in the implementation of research activities, interpretation of findings and design of interventions. This will ensure that approaches and strategies are feasible and acceptable in the study setting, and that barriers to their use are recognised and addressed. National and sub-national public health and agricultural authorities will benefit through direct involvement in our research to better understand the determinants of undernutrition in indigenous communities and the extent to which culturally-appropriate and gender-sensitive agroforestry practices and food-based recommendations can impact upon nutrition and health outcomes. This information will support the development of integrated and multi-sectoral policies, programmes and interventions which have agroforestry, biodiversity, cultural sensitivity and gender dimensions at the core of their design.

Our study's iterative design, through a sequence of carefully facilitated participatory tools, aims to empower local men and women as sources of knowledge and agents of change, rather than recipients of information and beneficiaries of interventions, as occurs in 'top-down' research approaches. Besides evidence-based health and agricultural policies that respect their cultural identity, community members will benefit from being engaged in the research activities and the discussions generated by the participatory exercises. The learning process will also demonstrate recognition and respect for indigenous knowledge and perspectives, both within communities and by external researchers; and provide a space for societal debate on local norms, rules, and power relations. The study will particularly benefit women by applying a gender-sensitive approach which considers their roles and workloads in agroforestry systems, socio-cultural drivers of food choice, priorities and outcomes. Simple concrete measures will be taken to increase women's involvement in the research process, such as scheduling research activities to accommodate women's availability and preferences and engaging female community leaders.

In our research, we will work with local communities, public health and agricultural authorities and local students to study and develop techniques to bridge social and cultural divides for indigenous nutrition and health in Peru. This will create a pipeline of researchers and practitioners within Peru equipped with skills to conduct interdisciplinary research and employ participatory approaches to understand socio-cultural, environmental and economic factors underlying the varying nutritional and health status of indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

Globally, our results will aid researchers and public authorities in integrating disciplinary expertise from natural and social sciences with indigenous knowledge to promote nutrition-sensitive agroforestry practices. Currently, there is inadequate evidence on the influence of sociocultural norms on food and nutrition security. This project will assist public health agencies and development practitioners by demonstrating methods and outcomes of an approach which integrates traditional and conventional knowledge using approaches that harness local agroforestry systems, and their associated biodiversity, in support of good nutrition and health.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description In its first months, the project has made the following achievements:
1. Determining the impact of gendered food-related sociocultural norms, time use, and empowerment on food choices of men, women and young children by discussing local diets with community members in groups.
2. Understanding the roles, opportunities, constraints, priorities and outcomes for men and women working in cocoa- and coffee-based agroforestry systems of the Peruvian Amazon, using a culturally- and gender-sensitive approach. Participatory research appraisal tools such as community and institutional mapping and seasonal calendars helped build a mutual holistic understanding, between researchers and community members, of the context, the institutions and the processes affecting livelihoods in the communities.
3. Developing an inventory of local plant and animal biodiversity which contributes to food and nutrition security of communities in the Peruvian Amazon. After the development of preliminary food lists and picture cards, participatory pile-sorting exercises were used to evaluate consumption patterns, availability, importance across seasons, and perceived nutritional benefits.
In 2020, the project will achieve the following objectives:
1. Using a quantitative dietary survey and taking anthropometric measurements, characterise the nutritional status of women and young children in indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon, including the prevalence of stunting, wasting, short stature, overweight and obesity, and anaemia.
2. Evaluate indigenous women's time use and daily mobility and activity space in relation to food acquisition through the use of direct observations and participatory exercises.
3. Using individual questionnaires, group discussions and choice experiments, characterise the food environment and the various factors which influence food choices. in native and migrant indigenous communities of the Peruvian Amazon.
4. Develop an inventory of the exploited biodiversity of plants, animals and fungi in different types of agroforestry systems and identify the species, products and their uses.
5. Propose a categorization of different livelihood groupings based on the vulnerability of their health and nutritional outcomes to various risks and the strategies they implement differentiated by gender and generation.
Exploitation Route The intermediate benefactors of our research are public health and agricultural authorities (the Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture and the National Research institution in Agriculture), development practitioners (NGOs and donors), educational institutions and indigenous organisations ('Asociacion Interetnica de Desarrollo de la Selva Peruana' (AIDESEP) and 'Confederacion de Nacionalidades Amazonicas del Peru' (CONAP) at the national level. They will be invited to participate in two stakeholder workshops in April 2020, one at the Amazonas regional level and one at the national level in Lima to validate methodologies and workplans and ensure the relevance of planned research activities. Packaging and dissemination of findings generated by the project will be targeted to the needs and capacities of these multi-level and multi-sectoral groups. This will ensure that research outcomes contribute to the development of policies, programmes and interventions which have agroforestry, biodiversity, cultural sensitivity and gender dimensions at the core of their design.
We have employed and continue to employ local people from indigenous communities to assist in designing and implementing all research activities. This ground-up strategy will assist in identifying and overcoming barriers which might prevent effective uptake of food-based and agroforestry recommendations.
IIAP's scientists are based in the Peruvian Amazon and have been working with indigenous communities for over 30 years. IIN and Salud sin Limites have a significant amount of work in the area. We expect that our findings will be taken forward by them in future programs and initiatives.
Through the dissemination of our findings in international conferences and platforms in 2020 and 2021, we expect that globally, our results will aid researchers and public authorities in integrating disciplinary expertise from natural and social sciences with indigenous knowledge to promote nutrition-sensitive agroforestry practices.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Communities and Social Services/Policy

 
Description The project will contribute to, among others: SDG 1 - no poverty (particularly targets 1.2, 1.4 and 1.B): The project assumes a multi-dimensional approach to poverty and takes into account enabling capitals and contextual factors by focusing on improving the livelihoods of disadvantaged indigenous communities in Latin America. It also aims to contribute to the design of policy initiatives based on gender-disaggregated evidence. SDG 2 - zero hunger (particularly targets 2.2 and 2.3): The project is specifically targeted to codesigning agroforestry options and food-based recommendations to tackle malnutrition in the Amazon, especially as it affects indigenous children under 5 years of age and their mothers. SDG 5 - gender equality (particularly targets 5.4 and 5.5): The project explicitly recognises and intends to quantify the value and time burden of unpaid care and domestic work, particularly as it relates to food-related activities. It also investigates women's roles in household and village decision-making processes and their impact on nutritional outcomes. SDG 10 - reduce inequality (particularly target 10.2): The project focuses on improving the sustainability of nutritional and socioeconomic outcomes of traditional food systems in the Amazon through the adoption of intercultural approaches. Its activities are being deployed in an iterative participatory fashion in order to empower local communities and decision makers to become agents of change. SDG 12 - responsible consumption and production (particularly target 12.8): The project considers that the health systems of the diverse indigenous populations of the Peruvian Amazon are based on an integrated understanding of the world, whereby trees support plant and animal biodiversity, provide adequate resources for good nutrition and health and hold significant cultural value. In doing so, it is working towards developing options to enhance the nutrition contribution of agroforestry practices, while maintaining high levels of cultivated and non-cultivated biodiversity. and SDG 15 - life on land (particularly target 15.2): Agroforestry has potential to slow tropical deforestation and contribute to local and global diets. Despite its promise, agroforestry currently occupies a relatively small area compared to more extensive land uses. This project integrates natural and social sciences with local knowledge to co-develop strategies to improve species selection, crop production, value added opportunities and economic and nutritional benefits to indigenous communities. In regard to impacts related to gender equity, the study will particularly benefit women by applying a gender sensitive approach which considers their roles and workloads in agroforestry systems, socio-cultural drivers of food choice, priorities and outcomes. Simple concrete measures are being taken to increase women's involvement in the research process, such as scheduling research activities to accommodate women's availability and preferences and engaging female community leaders. Most of the individual surveys and research activities will be applied on a sample of women and their under-5 children. The study is collecting gender-disaggregated information on drivers of food choice, dietary choices and food-related perceptions and associated socio-cultural norms. The project mitigates risks to gender equality by developing and pre-testing detailed protocols on community engagement and providing appropriate training to all researchers and hired field personnel; the Peruvian institutions lead the engagement with indigenous organizations with the support of local health officers ('Red de Salud'). The project is promoting equality, diversity & inclusion in the impacts of the research itself by engaging community members in the research activities and the discussions generated by the participatory exercises. The learning process demonstrates recognition and respect for indigenous knowledge and perspectives, both within communities and by external researchers; and provides a space for societal debate on local norms, rules, and power relations. For example, through the use of photovoice, photographs taken by community members of their livelihood activities and dietary choices will be collaboratively interpreted through discussions in community groups, and narratives will be developed that explain how the photos highlight a particular issue. These narratives will then be used to promote dialogue to mobilize and help change-makers (i.e. policymakers) better understand and develop strategies to improve the livelihoods and nutritional outcomes of the community. Our approach will focus on developing strategies which are appropriate to local conditions and cultures, and which respond to the priorities and interests of women. In order to promote equality, diversity & inclusion within the research team all of the project's internal and external outputs will be made available to the team in both English and Spanish. Research packages and their activities therein will be co-led by individuals from UK and Peru institutions, methodologies will be jointly developed and shared for input from all partners and supervisory teams on the field will include researchers from institutions of both countries. The research team comprises a balanced combination of researchers from different genders, nationalities and ethnicities. Some of our researchers belong to Latin American indigenous groups, including Awajun (one of the groups the project works with) and have leadership roles in their communities.
First Year Of Impact 2020
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Government, Democracy and Justice
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Impact at international level
Geographic Reach Multiple continents/international 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact At the international level, we expect the project to contribute to shaping recommendations on the consideration of sociocultural factors and gender roles in the promotion of agricultural and agroforestry innovations that lead to sustainable nutritional and socioeconomic outcomes.
 
Description Influenced awareness of key regional stakeholders
Geographic Reach South America 
Policy Influence Type Implementation circular/rapid advice/letter to e.g. Ministry of Health
Impact At the regional and national levels, initial fieldwork activities have already had an important influence on stakeholders' awareness of the importance of gender roles and sociocultural norms in sustainable food systems and their nutritional and socioeconomic outcomes; and on the value of local biodiversity in traditional food systems and the necessity of consideration in national level policies, which tend to be uniform in their nutritional recommendations and approaches throughout the territory.
 
Description Training of local enumerators
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Our research is already demonstrating a positive influence on the building of local capacities through the training of local enumerators for the various fieldwork activities of the project, related to agricultural, nutrition and socioeconomic assessments. Our participatory research approach is expected to empower local community members to become 'active agents of change' and reflect on their own livelihood challenges and opportunities.
 
Description Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects 2019
Amount £49,500 (GBP)
Funding ID KF3/100167 
Organisation The British Academy 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 02/2020 
End 08/2021
 
Title Elicitation of food-related socio-cultural norms and knowledge 
Description The project is currently developing a research questionnaire which will contribute to the elicitation of food-related socio-cultural norms, such as cultural, regional, and ethnic identities that influence food choice, with emphasis on expectations related to class, gender, and age. The factors are included in studies which mostly follow an ethnobotany or anthropology framework, and thus, have rarely investigated the nutritional limitations of such practices. Improving the investigation of sociocultural drivers alongside nutritional outcomes can provide insight into barriers and incentives for adoption of different interventions, inform development of gender-aware or gender-transformative agricultural programs, and provide insight for tailoring nutrition and agricultural programs and messages. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Traditional food systems can provide strategies to combat malnutrition while ensuring sustainable Development. It is also now recognized that other food items such as small animals and wild foods must be considered as important in many areas where malnutrition is evident. Since indigenous peoples are tenants of traditional food system knowledge, interinstitutional initiatives will be more likely to contribute to the development of these resources if indigenous peoples are encouraged to participate. This project is expected to contribute to document this traditional knowledge by examining how cultural ideals drive food choice and preparation. 
 
Title Recording of time use data 
Description We expect our work will improve current state-of-the-art methods to record women's time use and its variability over the year. The study of time use has recently become particularly relevant in Peru, where a national survey was undertaken in 2010 to obtain information on the distribution of the time spent by men and women in various activities and specifically the time dedicated to unpaid domestic work, for the implementation of social development policies with a gender perspective. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The need to address unpaid care work has gained traction on the global policy agenda. However, policy makers are constrained by a lack of understanding of both the issue and policy and programme solutions that work to address it. Time use data is usually collected through stylised questions or time-use diaries where the respondent self-records how they spent their time over a set period. The accuracy of the data generated by surveys tends to be low as simultaneous activities or multitasking are often missed. This project is currently testing novel ways of providing more accurate measurements of women's time use data. We expect that our results will be crucial to design policies and programmes that empower women and men to spend their time in more fulfilling and productive ways, such as paid work or study, quality time with their families (including sourcing and preparing nutritious foods), participating in their communities or resting. 
 
Title Interdisciplinary database of agroforestry practices, food choice drivers and nutritional outcomes 
Description As part of our work, we expect to create a dataset of 400 families of the Peruvian Amazon crossing data on agroforestry practices and outputs with food intake, health status, and food-related sociocultural practices. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We believe the novelty of this dataset will be to join different types of disciplinary information to examine unexplored pathways of agroforestry practices to nutritional impact. We also expect to generate valuable evidence on the factors that mediate this impact such as women's time use, women's empowerment, sociocultural norms and environmental drivers of food choice. This information will be crucial in shaping effective and equitable food-based and agroforestry recommendations. 
 
Title Models to measure drivers of food choice, indirect pathways to nutrition and sustainability of food systems 
Description We expect that our work will have a significant impact on novel methods or novel applications such as designing choice experiments to examine drivers food choice, conducting structural equation modelling to quantify direct and indirect pathways of agroforestry innovations to nutrition and health, and evaluating the sustainability of traditional food systems through the construction of a multidimensional sustainability index. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We expect that the quantification of the pathways from agroforestry practices to nutrition and health will help design more effective policies and investments that take into consideration not only productivity but also nutritional outcomes. It will also shed light on the importance of factors related to gender roles in mediating this relationship. Understanding what drives sustainability of indigenous food systems will have an impact on the co-design of recommendations that are not only effective but also sustainable after the project has finished. 
 
Title Qualitative methods to analyse dietary choices 
Description We expect that our work will make a significant contribution to the development of qualitative methods to document and reflect reality regarding livelihood activities and dietary choices in indigenous communities. 
Type Of Material Data analysis technique 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Through the use of photovoice by 20 local residents, we expect that community members themselves will bring new insights and perspectives which raise awareness of hidden or overlooked issues in these research themes. 
 
Description Engagement with in-country potential partners 
Organisation Government of Peru
Country Peru 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Awareness of interculturality, gender and sustainability dimensions of traditional indigenous food systems.
Collaborator Contribution Sharing of information of current policies and programs aimed at improving gender equality, rural development and nutritional outcomes in the project areas.
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary and includes experts from the following disciplines: economics, anthropology, forestry, medical sciences, botany, rural development and gender studies. During the course of the award, the project has engaged with several in-country potential partners through the various fieldwork activities and through meetings/workshops. These stakeholders span national, regional and sub-regional levels and represent institutions from the public, private and civil society sectors. We expect these institutions to become informants of the project's activities and to incorporate project's results and lessons within their own initiatives within and beyond the life of the project. We also expect to collaborate with some of these institutions in future research for development projects in the area.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership within the research project 
Organisation Health Without Limits Peru
Country Peru 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution My research team leads coordination of research activities in the UK institutions and serves as liaison with partners in Peru. We co-led with counterparts in Peru the design and implementation of work packages.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners manage staff and research activities in Peru, support postdoctoral students that work in the project, co-develop and implement research activities and lead the participatory engagement with local indigenous communities. ?
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary and includes experts from the following disciplines: economics, anthropology, forestry, medical sciences, botany, rural development and gender studies. The outputs that have resulted from the collaboration include so far: (i) project flyers; (ii) literature reviews of novel, largely unexplored topics such as the sustainability of traditional food systems of indigenous communities in tropical forests; (iii) stakeholder and policy mapping at regional and sub-regional levels; (iv) assessment of local livelihoods and institutional contexts; (v) local food listing and evaluation of factors affecting food choices; (vi) development of dietary data collection tools in accordance to local dietary practices and associated sociocultural norms; and (vii) development of culturally appropriate tools to measure time use in the target population. The outcomes that have resulted from the collaboration include so far: the Peruvian team increasing their capacities on the practical application of useful interdisciplinary research for development frameworks such as the sustainable livelihoods framework, food systems approaches and tools for collecting, analysing, and interpreting dietary data; and the UK team learning about livelihood transitions and nutritional challenges of indigenous Latin America and Amazonian ethnic groups in particular, local biodiversity in agroforestry systems and potential nutritional contribution of different food sources, and mechanisms to consider sociocultural aspects in the design of fieldwork protocols and research methodologies. Initiatives undertaken to build equality into the research partnership with project collaborators include: (i) translating all project planning and research outputs produced from English to Spanish and vice versa; (ii) holding regular virtual discussions among teams of researchers of the two countries around specific objectives; (iii) building theoretical frameworks and fieldwork protocols with inputs from researchers of Peru and UK; (iv) valuing equally and responding jointly to the views of ethical committees in Peru and the UK; and (v) creating a virtual repository of project's documents. As a result, mutual learning and knowledge exchange between partners has led to broadened perspectives and new solutions to the key challenges addressed and institutional and individual profiles and esteem has been improved.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership within the research project 
Organisation London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution My research team leads coordination of research activities in the UK institutions and serves as liaison with partners in Peru. We co-led with counterparts in Peru the design and implementation of work packages.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners manage staff and research activities in Peru, support postdoctoral students that work in the project, co-develop and implement research activities and lead the participatory engagement with local indigenous communities. ?
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary and includes experts from the following disciplines: economics, anthropology, forestry, medical sciences, botany, rural development and gender studies. The outputs that have resulted from the collaboration include so far: (i) project flyers; (ii) literature reviews of novel, largely unexplored topics such as the sustainability of traditional food systems of indigenous communities in tropical forests; (iii) stakeholder and policy mapping at regional and sub-regional levels; (iv) assessment of local livelihoods and institutional contexts; (v) local food listing and evaluation of factors affecting food choices; (vi) development of dietary data collection tools in accordance to local dietary practices and associated sociocultural norms; and (vii) development of culturally appropriate tools to measure time use in the target population. The outcomes that have resulted from the collaboration include so far: the Peruvian team increasing their capacities on the practical application of useful interdisciplinary research for development frameworks such as the sustainable livelihoods framework, food systems approaches and tools for collecting, analysing, and interpreting dietary data; and the UK team learning about livelihood transitions and nutritional challenges of indigenous Latin America and Amazonian ethnic groups in particular, local biodiversity in agroforestry systems and potential nutritional contribution of different food sources, and mechanisms to consider sociocultural aspects in the design of fieldwork protocols and research methodologies. Initiatives undertaken to build equality into the research partnership with project collaborators include: (i) translating all project planning and research outputs produced from English to Spanish and vice versa; (ii) holding regular virtual discussions among teams of researchers of the two countries around specific objectives; (iii) building theoretical frameworks and fieldwork protocols with inputs from researchers of Peru and UK; (iv) valuing equally and responding jointly to the views of ethical committees in Peru and the UK; and (v) creating a virtual repository of project's documents. As a result, mutual learning and knowledge exchange between partners has led to broadened perspectives and new solutions to the key challenges addressed and institutional and individual profiles and esteem has been improved.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Partnership within the research project 
Organisation Peruvian Amazon Research Institute
Country Peru 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution My research team leads coordination of research activities in the UK institutions and serves as liaison with partners in Peru. We co-led with counterparts in Peru the design and implementation of work packages.
Collaborator Contribution Our partners manage staff and research activities in Peru, support postdoctoral students that work in the project, co-develop and implement research activities and lead the participatory engagement with local indigenous communities. ?
Impact The collaboration is multi-disciplinary and includes experts from the following disciplines: economics, anthropology, forestry, medical sciences, botany, rural development and gender studies. The outputs that have resulted from the collaboration include so far: (i) project flyers; (ii) literature reviews of novel, largely unexplored topics such as the sustainability of traditional food systems of indigenous communities in tropical forests; (iii) stakeholder and policy mapping at regional and sub-regional levels; (iv) assessment of local livelihoods and institutional contexts; (v) local food listing and evaluation of factors affecting food choices; (vi) development of dietary data collection tools in accordance to local dietary practices and associated sociocultural norms; and (vii) development of culturally appropriate tools to measure time use in the target population. The outcomes that have resulted from the collaboration include so far: the Peruvian team increasing their capacities on the practical application of useful interdisciplinary research for development frameworks such as the sustainable livelihoods framework, food systems approaches and tools for collecting, analysing, and interpreting dietary data; and the UK team learning about livelihood transitions and nutritional challenges of indigenous Latin America and Amazonian ethnic groups in particular, local biodiversity in agroforestry systems and potential nutritional contribution of different food sources, and mechanisms to consider sociocultural aspects in the design of fieldwork protocols and research methodologies. Initiatives undertaken to build equality into the research partnership with project collaborators include: (i) translating all project planning and research outputs produced from English to Spanish and vice versa; (ii) holding regular virtual discussions among teams of researchers of the two countries around specific objectives; (iii) building theoretical frameworks and fieldwork protocols with inputs from researchers of Peru and UK; (iv) valuing equally and responding jointly to the views of ethical committees in Peru and the UK; and (v) creating a virtual repository of project's documents. As a result, mutual learning and knowledge exchange between partners has led to broadened perspectives and new solutions to the key challenges addressed and institutional and individual profiles and esteem has been improved.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Focus group discussions 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact In November 2019, the project engaged with members of selected communities of the project in focus group discussions. The discussions were led by two members of the UK team and two members of the Peru team. The discussions were aimed at supporting community members to reflect about their livelihoods contexts, transitions, the importance of local institutions and the composition and drivers of their diets. A total of 86 informants were engaged in these research activities.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Interviews on agroforestry practices 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Parallel to the stakeholder interviews, in October and November 2019, 200 families were interviewed in the Amazonas region to generate a detailed characterization of: (i) the diversity of agroforestry systems found in the different land uses of each selected family; and (ii) their respective contribution to the area and total production of each farm.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project presentation visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Following the scoping visits, the project was formally introduced by another team formed by experts from the Peruvian institutions. The introductions were aimed at informing local community leaders and members of the specific activities the project will implement and to raise awareness of the contribution of agroforestry systems to nutrition security and the impact of sociocultural norms and gendered roles on this relationship. The project introductions gathered 160 community members from the project's target areas.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Scoping visits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact The project's first engagement activities consisted of scoping visits of the target areas in July 2019 by two members of the Peruvian research team. The objectives of these visits were to inform about the project's award, coordinate with local public and traditional authorities a convenient time for a formal presentation of the project to the communities, and to gather information on demographics, transport options and contacts of key stakeholders. The team met with 70 representatives of the communities, including government and traditional authorities, directors of hospitals and health centres, directors of educational institutions, representatives of government social programs, directors of local agricultural departments, members of farmers associations, etc.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Stakeholder interviews 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In October 2019, stakeholders were engaged at regional and sub-regional (province, district and community) levels during in-depths interviews. The interviews provided explored the relationships between stakeholders from the public, private sector, civil society and charity sector in the Amazon region of Peru. Stakeholders (n=27) were interviewed at the regional level (Chachapoyas), provincial level (Nieva, Rodriguez de Mendoza), district level (Huambo, Limabamba) and annex level (Nueva Esperanza). We gathered information about the programs and activities in relation with nutrition, agroforestry, coffee and cacao production and women empowerment. The meetings raised awareness among key stakeholders on the importance of certain dimensions such as sociocultural norms and gender roles to achieve nutrition security and sustainable and equitable agricultural development in the region.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Stakeholder workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Two workshops are being planned and will held in April 2020, one at the national level in Lima and one at the regional level in Chachapoyas (capital of the Amazonas Region). Each workshop will gather approximately 30 representatives from the public, private and civil society sector. The objectives of the workshops will be to: (i) promote the participation of various sectors interested in the implementation of the project, through the discussion and exchange of experiences and the issuance of suggestions related to the action plans and methodologies presented; (ii) strengthen, through the recommendations made by the participants, the action plans and the methodologies presented; and (iii) identify collective activities through which this project can support the identification and promotion of approaches to improve nutrition and health of rural communities in agroforestry systems of the Peruvian Amazon.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020