Global Alliance for the Future of Food (GA) – Phase II

Lead Organization:

New Venture Fund




This project will support three areas of the Global Alliance’s work, namely: 1) Core Support: The McKnight Foundation’s annual participation fee, which funds the operations of the Global Alliance, will strengthen the Global Alliance to be effective in leveraging its core competencies, the resources and networks of members in order to transform food systems. 2) True Cost Accounting: Support for the community of practice as well as research and action to establish a True Cost Accounting Knowledge Hub will further advance efforts to make visible the full costs of food including nutrition, livelihoods, productivity, and equity by investing in efforts to identify, measure, and value the positive and negative environmental, social, and health externalities of food and agricultural systems, and to deploy innovative strategies to effect associated policy and market change. In particular, the work has potential for impact through participatory, collaborative research between farmers, researchers, NGOs and government. 3) Emerging Opportunities: Support new and emerging work provides opportunity to be creative and adaptive when unexpected opportunities emerge and have the potential to transform food systems toward towards greater sustainability, security, and equity. Taken together with other efforts of the Global Alliance’s work, these efforts will lead to a food system that is:- Renewable – it addresses the integrity of natural and social resources that are the foundation of a healthy planet and future generations in the face of changing global and local demands – Resilient – it supports regenerative, durable, and economically adaptive systems in the face of a changing planet – Equitable – it promotes sustainable livelihoods and access to nutritious and just food systems – Diverse – it values the rich and diverse agricultural, ecological, and cultural heritage of humanity – Healthful -it advances the health and well-being of people, animals, the environment, and the societies that depend on all three – Interconnected – it honors the implications of the interdependence of food, people, and the planet in a transition to more sustainable food and agricultural systems. The areas of focus align with the Collaborative Crop Research Program’s Collaboration, Learning, and Communication component of the Theory of Change. Specifically Objective 1 (Core Support) links to the ‘integrated collaborative networks across research and development’ component of the CCRP’s Pathways to Change, and has the potential to contribute to the outcome of creating ‘AEI-supportive changes in policies and practices among various actors.’ Objective 2 (True Cost Accounting) links to the CCRP’s iterative cycles of adaptive action as well as innovative frameworks, tools, concepts and principles that advance AEI and leads to increased collective understanding, action, and influence. It also supports the process of Changing Knowledge and Norms in support of Agreoecological Intensification. Finally, Objective 3 links to creating an opportunity to utilize the fourcomponents of the pathways of change related to collaboration, learning, and communication.

Grant Aims:

The overarching goal of this work is to realize healthy, equitable, renewable, resilient, and culturally diverse food systems to enhance the productivity, nutrition, livelihoods and equity for smallholder farmers, their families and communities. In order to advance transformation of the food system, theGlobal Alliance will direct funding from McKnight Foundation toward three core objectives: – Objective 1: Strengthen the Global Alliance: Sustain a diverse roster of engaged members, a strong operational model, a well articulated strategy, supported by a wide stakeholder network to catalyze local and global change, informed by cutting edge learning and evaluation. Key activities include: quarterly member calls and in-person member meetings; implementation of a member recruitment strategy to diversify membership and update the Alliance’s operational model to meet its more ambitious goals, based on recommendations from the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force as well and the Financial and Operational Model Task Force; and apply developmental evaluation, principles focused evaluation, and Blue Marble evaluation to document developments, outcomes and impact of the Alliance and the Impact Areas. As well, mapping the funding strategies of Global Alliance members so they can more effectively leverage each other’s grantmaking and impact investing strategies to advance transformation of food systems. – Objective 2: Establish the True Cost Accounting Knowledge Hub: Support the convening of the True Cost Accounting Community of Practice and work toward establishing a Knowledge Hub that serves as a platform to amplify true cost accounting knowledge, frameworks, and tools so that farmers, business, policy leaders, and researchers can use the insights of true cost accounting to advance local and global action to transform food systems in ways that support AEI. Key activities include both online and in-person convenings of the community of practice; developing an inventory on existing TCA work on food systems, as well as an inventory of KPIs and metrics; completing a systematic literature review, creating a reference database, and developing application tools; testing tools via pilot applications and analyzing the pilots; as well as creating the knowledge hub platform. – Objective 3: Innovate for Transformational Change: Cultivate new and emerging work in response to the changing environment, new knowledge and strategic opportunities that align to the Global Alliance’s priories and goal to transform food systems together. Key activities will include ongoing dialogue with GA members and external stakeholders: using insights from our developmental evaluation approach to identify new insights and opportunities; and remaining adaptive and creative in order to come up with innovative programs and strategies that advance the goal of transforming food systems through research, convening or catalyzing local-global action.