Independent Dialogues Generate Input for UN Food Systems Summit

Published on:

June 8, 2021

Community of Practice:

Cross-Cutting

The CCRP and thousands of other actors around the globe will participate in the United Nation’s Food Systems Summit Independent Dialogues. Compiled outputs from the dialogues will contribute to relevant conversations at the first-ever Summit this fall.

One of the CCRP Independent Dialogues was hosted by the farmer research network working group. Nineteen attendees representing different sectors and backgrounds tackled questions around three key issues:

  1. Public support for research and policies that support it
  2. Landscape-level research/practices and increased support for agroecological practices
  3. Grassroots co-creation and sharing of knowledge

Some commonalities emerged from the three different conversations, among them:

  • A desire exists to create new norms in the systems in which participants work. These norms may change who has power and influence, how people work together, and what is prioritized.
  • Co-creation is currently happening, and it’s working. Farmers must be part of the co-creation and agenda-setting process, and it’s essential to address in these processes the nuances of context, power dynamics, dissemination, digital access, and more. Power relations can take time to change, so current opportunities should be worked on when they arise. The bigger shifts will take time.
  • It is essential to create or support connections between different actors and spaces. Resourcing these connections means investing in networks, communities of practice, cross-institutional hubs, fellowship, and leadership programs, etc.
  • Widespread interest exists in metrics that better capture the changes participants are interested in seeing. Examples include metrics that look at well-being (not just production numbers) or vulnerability, possibly using alternative measurement approaches to capture data in new ways.

A second CCRP Independent Dialogue was held in conjunction with the West Africa CoP meeting. More than 100 participants attended, the majority from Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Key commonalities from the Dialogue are still being drafted, but participants explored the key questions below:

  1. What changes do you want to see in food and agricultural systems, including research to support those changes?
  2. How do you think we can change research to better serve agroecology?
  3. How can we create more alignment between AE science/movement/practice?
  4. Looking at the past 15 years, are there any changes, including institutional changes, that have already happened?

The CCRP’s Independent Dialogues serve multiple purposes. While they are a valuable data source to the UN Food Systems Summit, they also provide a unique opportunity for the CCRP and its partners to exchange ideas and learn about the work occurring in local and global food systems.