Geographisches Institut


Virtual Food System Academy - Training, practising, and disseminating participatory food system assessments in Latin America and Africa

The Virtual Food Sustianability Academy (VFSA) is a network and online learning platform jointly developed by the Institute of Geography, University of Bern Bern, COMPAS, Bolivia, National University of Colombia, University of Nairobi, Kenya and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. Designed for students, academics, and practitioners such as government extension officers and NGO officers, the VFSA provides training materials and implements courses on participatory food sustainability assessments in different countries, and adapted to their specific contexts.

The VFSA focuses on the elaboration, application, and dissemination of an open-access training on the Food Sustainability Assessment Framework (FoodSAF) and tool for its empirical application through virtual-practical university courses on sustainable food systems with partners of the r4d network in Latin America, Africa and Switzerland. The participatory FoodSAF tool was developed jointly in the r4d project "Towards Food Sustainability" and has been applied in eight countries so far (Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, Kenya, Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Switzerland).

The VFSA provides the virtual space and website for the teaching materials and courses, field workshop documentation, exchange of experiences and dissemination of the FoodSAF tool. The Institute of Geography (GIUB) of the University of Bern manages the administration of project and the virtual platform.

Project Details

Team:              Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe (Institute of Geography, University of Bern), José Manuel Freddy Delgado Burgoa (COMPAS, Bolivia), Stellah M. Mukhovi (University of Nairobi, Kenya), Sarah del Castillo (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Chinedu Lilian Mba (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria), Chidi Thadeus Nzeadibe (University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria)

Duration:         2021 - 2022

Funding:         Swiss National Science Foundation

Contact:          Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe (GIUB, University of Bern)

Partners:        COMPAS, Bolivia

                       University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria

                       University of Nairobi, Kenya

                       Universidad Nacional de Colombia

Publications and Videos from the FoodSAF poject

Jacobi, J., & Llanque, A. (2018). “When We Stand up, They Have to Negotiate with Us”: Power Relations in and between an Agroindustrial and an Indigenous Food System in Bolivia. Sustainability10(11), 4001.

Jacobi, J., Mukhovi, S., Llanque, A., Augstburger, H., Käser, F., Pozo, C., ... & Speranza, C. I. (2018). Operationalizing food system resilience: An indicator-based assessment in agroindustrial, smallholder farming, and agroecological contexts in Bolivia and Kenya. Land use policy79, 433-446.

Jacobi, J., Mukhovi, S., Llanque, A., Toledo, D., Speranza, C. I., Käser, F., ... & Rist, S. (2019). Actor-specific risk perceptions and strategies for resilience building in different food systems in Kenya and Bolivia. Regional environmental change19(3), 879-892.

Jacobi, J., Wambugu, G., Ngutu, M., Augstburger, H., Mwangi, V., Zonta, A. L., ... & Rist, S. (2019). Mapping food systems: a participatory research tool tested in Kenya and Bolivia. Mountain Research and Development39(1), R1-R11.

Mwangi, V., Owuor, S., Kiteme, B., Giger, M., Jacobi, J., & Kirui, O. (2020). Linking Household Food Security and Food Value Chains in North West Mt. Kenya. Sustainability12(12), 4999.