Social health sciences

A holistic approach to complex, dynamic problems

Understanding the economics of pest management in the Andes. Demonstrating a link between providing orange-fleshed sweetpotato to ante natal clinics and reducing Vitamin A deficiency in Africa. Negotiating marketing agreements with supermarkets in Indonesia. These are just some of the interdisciplinary skills involved in engaging the social, economic and cultural dimensions that help research to deliver concrete results.

The root- and tuber-based systems that CIP targets are located in areas of extreme poverty, where communities are especially vulnerable to external forces and natural stresses such as climate change. We need a comprehensive understanding of those vulnerabilities if we are to develop resilient agro-ecosystems that can buffer shock and help people adapt to change.

To that end we bring together a diverse set of people: agro-economists working in a range of specialties from economic analysis to marketing and impact assessment, sociologists, anthropologists, statisticians, post harvest specialists, and health professionals including nutritionists and medical doctors.

These scientists work together, contributing to different programs at different levels of scale. Talking to each other, learning from each other within and across disciplines, and within the communities where projects are taking place, they develop the interdisciplinary skills, strategies, and tactics which add value to CIP’s commodity research.

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