How We Work

Bridging to Better Policy

Bringing people back into the policy process.

Bringing People Back Into the Public Policy Process

We aim to improve practices and policies that affect our food system, and to generate positive impacts on public health, the environment, economic development, and social/cultural traditions, with a focus on low-income, marginalized communities, and equity.

To do this work, we are bridging the worlds of academia, industry,philanthropy, non-profits, governance, community and culture. We look at connection points across pillars of our food systems such as hunger and malnutrition; obesity and diet-related disease; agriculture and the environment; and food safety and food defense, to create real-world policy and practice solutions.

We believe that only a small proportion of research has the policy and practice impact it might have. Most academic researchers are not trained to create policy and practice impact from their work, engagement with policy makers or practitioners is not encouraged or rewarded in most settings, and the communication of scientific findings occurs within the academic community but rarely outside it.

We seek to change that dynamic at Duke through a systematic way of looking at academic research and incorporating community & stakeholder engagement. This bridging helps to focus next steps on real gaps in knowledge important to policy and practice decisions.

Bridging, Connecting & Convening

We focus on bridging, connecting & convening to address opportunities in fill gaps in knowledge, improve practice and policy, and maximize stakeholder engagement.

Narratives of People's Lived Experiences

We bring narratives of people's lived experiences into policy development--on equal footing with research and analysis.

Drawing Insight from History

We draw guiding context from history to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past and reinforcing structural inequality.

Disrupting Structural Drivers of Inequality

The driving impetus of our work is disrupting structural drivers of inequality across the food system.

Strategically harnessing research and engaging change agents

We strategically harness research to guide policy development, and engage change agents to create impact.

Creating Best Bet Recommendations

We seek to create best bet recommendations for policy and practice through rigorous assessment, evaluation and metrics.