Year in Review: Catalysing Systemic Change for Rural Development and Food Systems Transformation

2021 was an eventful year for the Platform, both at an operational level within the Secretariat and with external engagement. The Platform created a new Strategic Plan for the 2021–2025 period and a results-based work plan for the year. Tristan Armstrong from Australia stepped in as one of the co-chairs for the Platform’s Board, next to Conrad Rein from the European Commission. The Secretariat of the Platform has also been fully staffed. The three thematic working groups of GDPRD have been highly active and productive in drawing attention to the importance of rural youth employment, land governance and tenure and SDG 2.

The Global Donor Platform engaged with the food systems agenda by working towards the Food Systems Summit in September 2021. Around the time of the Summit, the Platform held a high-level food systems event on The Role of Donors in Food Systems Transformation to launch its flagship product, the Stocktaking Report on Donor Contributions to Food Systems. The Platform Board released a Donor Declaration of Intent before the Summit, which presented seven priority areas for a food systems approach to donor engagement. This became the basis for the White Paper. A Senior Managers Meeting for the member organisations was organised to discuss the future engagements of the Platform with food systems and the rural development agenda. Before the end of the year, a roundtable was held on donors’ support to country-level food systems transformation pathways.

Highlights of platform events:

  • New Strategic Report and results-based work plan

  • Australia stepped in as co-chair

  • Independent Dialogue for the UNFSS: African Youth as Drivers for Decent Job Creation in Sustainable Food Systems

  • Senior Managers Meeting

  • Launch of the Stocktaking Report

  • High-level food systems event on The Role of Donors in Food Systems Transformation

  • Declaration of Intent

  • Meeting between the co-chairs of the working groups

  • Co-organised event with Thematic Working Group on Rural Youth Employment (TWG RYE) and the Global Donor Working Group on Land (GDWGL)

  • Donor roundtable on Supporting Country-level Food Systems Transformation Pathways



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Maurizio Navarra

Secretariat Coordinator at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Rome/Italy


Michelle Tang

Secretariat Communications at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Rome/Italy