Leveraging knowledge-policy interfaces for food systems transformation in the UK: lessons from civil society

In the UK, a wide range of knowledge and evidence supports the development of food policy. And yet the relationships between knowledge, research, evidence, and policy are only partially understood.

The term, ‘knowledge-policy interfaces,describes the power-laden processes, spaces, and structures of knowledge exchange amongst policy actors, including but not limited to academic researchers, policymakers, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), and industry.

But how do these interfaces operate? How do different organisations navigate them? And ultimately, how can we best use different forms of knowledge and evidence for food policy change?

This new report examines how Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) approach and navigate knowledge-policy interfaces in the context of UK food policy. Specifically, it examines how different types of CSOs produce and use evidence, build and maintain relationships, and mobilise narratives to leverage food policy change.

In doing so the report aims to make visible and share lessons between Civil Society Organisations working to enhance UK food policy through knowledge and evidence, and to identify valuable lessons for academic researchers on realising policy impact.

Dr Christopher Yap, co-author of the report, said:

“This report aims to shine a light on the dedicated, practical, and day-to day work of Civil Society Organisations in the UK to support the development of more ambitious and impactful forms of food policy. We hope that the report offers some useful insights on informing food policy and enhances the case for further close collaboration between academic institutions and civil society organisations to bring about food systems change”.

The report was co-authored by Dr Tanya Zerbian (Spanish National Research Council), Dr Christopher Yap (City, University of London), Dr Rosalind Sharpe (University of Hertfordshire), and Dr Christian Reynolds (City, University of London).

The research was conducted through a collaboration between the FixOurFood and H3 research projects funded by the Transforming UK Food Systems Strategic Priorities Fund (TUKFS). The collaboration was made possible through a grant from the TUKFS Annual Project Synergy Fund.

You can read and download the full report here:

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