Hivos and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) have entered into a strategic partnership to provide insight, evidence and guidance for improving sustainable food systems and access to energy in developing and emerging countries. The Memorandum of Understanding was signed at our The Hague Head Office on January 22.
In recent years, Hivos and IIED have worked in the thematic Knowledge Programme, ‘Small Producer Agency in a Globalized Market’. This was an experience that was ‘highly energizing and really productive’, says IIED director Camilla Toulmin. She welcomes the new partnership as recognition of the added value of joint learning trajectories. ‘We need to bridge the unequal patterns of production and consumption through combining our knowledge and design an ambitious and do-able agenda,’ she states.
The premise of the partnership is to enable both organisations to innovate in their research and advocacy agendas, fostering new opportunities of green and inclusive projects. Hivos’ director Edwin Huizing is already looking forward to intensifying the collaboration: ‘Both organisations complement each other very well. We cannot influence the global green agenda on our own; together we can touch new areas, look forward and experiment to develop unexpected things.’
The strategic partnership is an opportunity to foster co-creation in the existing programmes of both organisations, based upon solid academic research and a well-grounded practitioner’s reality. It is envisioned to set up so-called ‘Change Labs’ in the food and energy domains, combining each organisation’s expertise and partner networks to contribute to transformation and change in these areas.
IIED is an independent, non-profit research institute, set up in 1971 and based in London, which provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development.
Hivos seeks to invest in and work with organisations that innovate and explore new avenues to meet real demands for more productive, diverse and sustainable means of agricultural production and for clean, affordable, renewable sources of energy with income-generating spin-offs.