CISDI for the EAT Asia Pacific Food Forum: Knowledge is Global but Implementation Must be Local
On 30-31 October 2017, the Indonesian Ministry of Health together with the EAT Foundation co-hosted the first ever EAT Asia Pacific Food Forum at the Shangri La Hotel, Jakarta. There were 800 delegates from 30 countries attending the forum that aimed to co-design the solution so the world could realise a sustainable food system. The forum was deemed imperative considering the urgency of implementing sustainability in all practices of food system as the world faces fundamental challenge to sustainably feed 9 billion people by 2050.

Center for Indonesia’s Strategic Development Initiatives (CISDI) was appointed as the forum’s official implementing partner in Indonesia following CISDI’s commitment in improving the status of nutrition in the society. Having managed a social movement on primary healthcare strengthening called Pencerah Nusantara, CISDI manifests its commitment on nutrition through empowering local primary healthcare centers. With on-field experience in nutrition improvement, CISDI brought that knowledge and understanding to cultivate the outline of EAT-APFF substance in the form of programme development as well as key actors and issues mapping. 

The forum presented more than sixty globally-acknowledged speakers that brought over their expertise to the stage. Some of the speakers were Vice President of Indonesia, H.E. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla; Indonesia’s Minister of Health, H.E. Prof. Nila Moeloek; the Founder of EAT Foundation, Dr. Gunhild A. Stordalen; Indonesia’s Minister of Finance, H.E. Sri Mulyani Indrawati; Indonesia’s Minister of National Development Planning, H.E. Dr. Bambang Brodjonegoro; UN Resident Coordinator & UNDP Resident Representative for the Republic of Indonesia, Anita Nirody; Professor of Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore, Prof. Tikki Pangestu; Medical officer for NCDs and Nutrition, World Health Organization, Dr. Alessandro Demaio; Founder of Semai Indonesia, Diva Indraswari; Executive Director of Food Frontier, Thomas King; UN Youth Advisor for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Indonesia, Angga Dwi Martha and many more.

Besides implementing the forum, together with the National Institute of Health Research and Development ofMinistry of Health, CISDI, co-presented a competence forum as part of the parallel breakout sessions. The competence forum further discussed the setting of research priorities on Asia Pacific Food Systems which strongly emphasized the challenge on up-to-date, evidence-based, and continuous innovation to address the challenge of universal food security. CISDI also facilitated the competence forum where participants were exercising the identification of research agendas with a focus on five components of food systems such as food production, food industry and retail, nutrition and diets, food environment and consumer behavior.

Diah Saminarsih, the Founder of CISDI and Special Advisor for the Minister of Health, concluded the forum as a gathering of all sectors to initiate collaboration that could accelerate the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals all over the country. She also added that the forum was intended to allow development actors to replicate any of the best practices showcased throughout the two-day forum and adjust the practices with local values so it can be implemented according to the needs of the society. 

Upon the conclusion of the forum, there were many ideas on how to further development in the Asia Pacific region, especially in Indonesia. Those ideas are globally acknowledged, and have been successfully implemented. However, local context and local understanding need to be thoughtfully included to enrichen the horizon before implementing them so we could get the best possible outcomes. As Prof. Tikki Pangestu said during his panel, “knowledge is global. But implementation must be local”.

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