Municipalities stepping up to the plate: the emergence of integrated municipal food governance in the Netherlands (Lara Sibbing)

Lara Sibbing studies how municipalities in the Netherlands try to improve food systems through governance, thereby tackling issues such as obesity, food waste or environmental degradation. Lara is an external PhD researcher, who also works as a food policy adviser for the municipality of Ede, the Netherlands.

Why do Dutch municipalities engage in food governance? What goals, instruments and monitoring systems do they use? How do they institutionalize a food strategy in their organization, so it becomes more than a paper reality? And does collaboration between municipalities and other government levels lead to more effective food policies?

These are some of the questions Lara's research addresses. In her research she uses theories of policy integration, discursive institutionalism and collaborative governance.

Lara's research is a collaboration between the municipality of Ede and the Public Administration and Policy group. It  is therefore characterized by a strong connection between science and policy. Policymakers and politicians are actively engaged and research outcomes are actively communicated through presentations, infographics, member-check sessions, and newsletters.