Senior Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Advisor to ACIAR and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Jessica Evelyn Raneri is currently Senior Nutrition Sensitive Agriculture Advisor to both The Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) and to the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). She spent a decade working at Bioversity International as a nutrition researcher, leading research projects and programmes related to agrobiodiversity, sustainable diets, nutrition and systems research work mostly focused on sustainable local food systems, highlighting the role of local foods and agrobiodiversity for improving diet quality. Jessica’s work is now focused on guiding research and development investments aiming to improve nutrition and health outcomes of agriculture and food system initiatives, both by supporting research design and implementation, and by providing evidence-based policy and programming recommendations for more resilient and sustainable food systems.
Jessica is passionate about food and nutrition security data, including novel indicator development and testing, as well as supporting common indicator use to support global monitoring. She is a strong proponent and practitioner of participatory action research, whole-of-diet approaches, evidence-based policy and effective communication as key components of improved global public health and development.
Jessica is passionate about school food environments. In a world where diets are rapidly degrading to be less diverse, healthy and nutritious, and youth are less engaged in agriculture – working with teachers, children and their families provides an opportunity to actively engage and nudge dietary choices, preferences and behaviours towards being more healthy and sustainable, whilst also supporting local rural agriculture based livelihoods, and supporting local food systems. She is an executive team member for the Pacific School Food Network, and is interested in innovative solutions that both support small holder farmers and improve the quality of school food environments.
Jessica has worked in agriculture development in South America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, South East Asia, and the Pacific. She is currently completing her PhD in Bio-Science Engineering (Food and Nutrition) with the University of Ghent, Belgium.