A Start to the Foresight Process - Mapping the Food System of Jordan, Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh and Niger

Over the past year, the Foresight4Food Foresight for Food System Transformation – FoSTr team and our country partners have begun a foresight process in Jordan, Uganda, Kenya, Bangladesh, and Niger to support national food system transformation. As an initial step, a collective understanding of the food system in different contexts was needed. Hence, the Foresight4Food team in collaboration with our facilitators and research partners in each focus country, created comprehensive food systems reports mapping the dynamics, trends, drivers, and activities within the food system.

Being a lead on food system mapping, I’m sharing my reflections on the process in this blog.

We started with a scoping phase using the Foresight4Food foresight framework, which allows for flexibility and contextual adaptation. This phase involved identifying key stakeholders, understanding their interests, and assessing current and future concerns.

Our next goal was to foster a shared understanding of the food system’s key dynamics, outcomes, drivers, and activities to identify trends and uncertainties. This collective understanding forms the foundation for a participatory process using foresight and scenario analyses to support meaningful food systems change.

The second step, system mapping, was done in collaboration with country facilitators and research teams. We used the Foresight4food framework to identify key food system outcomes, activities, and drivers, considering their interaction with the broader environment. Data were compiled from national and global sources and generated through participatory workshops.

In addition to providing an overview of current status and trends, we conducted a deeper analysis using causal loop diagrams created with research partners during workshops. This approach helped identify trade-offs and synergies, informing actions to improve food system outcomes. We also noted recurring patterns that affect feedback loops, further clarifying the system’s structure.

These reports offer an initial snapshot of the current food system status and are intended to inform a more comprehensive foresight process. As the dynamics, trends, drivers, and activities within the food system continually change, these reports welcome ongoing reflection and discussion.

Read and download reports