May 2023 – Foresight4Food under its Foresight for Food Systems Transformation (FoSTr) programme, held an engaging and participatory foresight orientation in Mushinganj, near Dhaka, Bangladesh. This orientation day was part of a workshop organized by FAO and GAIN, in preparation of the UN Food System Transformation Stocktaking Momen, to be held in Rome 24-26th of July. The foresight orientation was a part of FoSTr’s aim of enhancing the capability of government agencies and research organizations and in the focus countries to facilitate and support food systems foresight processes.
The workshop started off with an introduction to foresight and scenario analysis after which the participants engaged with the different steps in the Foresight4Food process. This included reviewing key trends via a gallery walk, identifying critical uncertainties, and based on these uncertainties, developing a 2×2 scenario matrix and visualizing each of these scenarios through rich pictures.
The participants then reflected on the implications such futures may have on a range of different actors in the food system. Using these scenarios, different pathways for change for the Bangladesh food system were explored. Finally, workshop participants were invited to ato give ther input to the proposed next steps for the FoSTr programme in Bangladesh.
During the workshop, important reflections were shared on the key trends in the Bangladesh food system mapping along with the need to ensure, that whenever available, government-approved data is used for food systems analysis.
High-level round table meeting with stakeholders
The visit of Foresight4Food FoSTr programme team in Dhaka was also marked by a high-level round table meeting on May 3, with Bangladesh government representatives and other key stakeholders from across the food system. The round table discussion aimed at deepening the understanding of foresight thinking and sharing the outcomes of the foresight analysis orientation workshop. During the round table, participants also discussed ways to take the work of FoSTr programme forward, and together explore a foresight agenda for Bangladesh food system transformation.
During their visit to Bangladesh, the FoSTr team also sat down with representatives from GAIN, CEGIS, ICCCAD, and the Dutch embassy to discuss the progress of Foresight4Food FoSTr programme and the next phase of its activities in the country. Foreseen activities include the co-design of an evidence-based participatory foresight process in line with the government policies, foresight capacity development for policy makers and researchers, further development of the Bangladesh food systems map and organization of more participatory multi-stakeholder foresight workshops, supported by rigorous foresight analysis and modelling.