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PLATFORM | 14. JUNE 2022 | HYBRID EVENT, IFAD HEADQUARTERS, ROME, ITALY

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Session 1 – Supporting National Food Systems Transformation Pathways: Enhancing donor effectiveness and coordination at the country level in times of crises

Background

Low- and middle-income countries face a severe information gap that is holding back food systems transformation. Collectively, they spend around US$190 billion annually on agriculture to address food insecurity. Yet, the data to effectively target this spending or measure results is often patchy, outdated, or simply does not exist. Fewer than 10 per cent of countries globally have the capacity to collect or publish sufficiently disaggregated data on agri-food systems. As an example, data on small-holder farmers – a key indicator for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 2 on ending hunger – is available for income in 38 countries and productivity in only 11 countries. Data must underpin food systems transformation. Why? With accurate, accessible and timely disaggregated data, domestic planners and policy makers can effectively allocate resources and respond to ongoing crises. Farmers with data on environmental changes can know better when to plant and harvest. Donors can target funds to have a greater impact.

Yet, domestic policy-makers in low and lower-middle income countries who want more and better data on food systems face a range of barriers: lack of coordination among donors, limited data and statistical capacity and – most importantly – the lack of effective investment. The purpose of this session is to explore why optimizing the use of data in decision-making is a key element of implementing national pathways for food systems transformation and how more coherent and coordinated donor support for data and statistical systems can drive food systems transformation at the national level and a more coherent and effective global response to current crises.

Objectives

The discussion covered relevant topics, including:

  • coordination between donors and other actors at the national level;

  • responding to immediate effects of crises through supporting national pathways;

  • supporting countries to adapt national pathways to conflict response;

  • supporting national policy dialogues necessary for food systems transformation;

  • continued support for national-level partnerships and coalitions; and

  • ensuring short-term crises-response measures align with long-term targets of national pathways.

Outcomes

Coordination around the food systems transformation pathways can be considered in the following ways:

  • How can donors ensure that in-country investments align with country priorities and planning frameworks?

  • How can donors align their global and regional approaches, concepts and intervention strategies?

  • Is there potential to create joint initiatives for a critical mass of investment and reduced transaction costs?

  • Which common monitoring and reporting frameworks should be prioritized?

  • Can global and regional initiatives be aligned? For what purposes?

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