On April 18, 2023, Foresight4Food held a virtual learning session as a part of the Foresight for Food Systems Transformation (FoSTr) programme. The session was attended by policy makers, researchers, partners and food systems stakeholders from five countries – Bangladesh, Jordan, Kenya, Niger and Uganda – where FoSTr programme is active in.
The virtual session focused on strengthening foresight capacities, developing a shared language and learning agenda on foresight, and on creating exchanges of practice on the process of foresight for food systems change. The session aimed to present update from the FoSTr programme to stakeholders in the five countries, generating inputs for cross-country learning agenda as FoSTr moves forward, and an energetic break out sessions where participants exchanged ideas and insights.
The highlight of the session was the video message by Minister of Agriculture of Jordan welcoming the FoSTr programme in the country. He spoke about the importance of foresight in relation to the Government of Jordan’s food system transformation and termed it as an important step towards improving the capacities and capabilities of the participants in fields of food foresight, scenarios and policy analysis in general, which will improve the decision-making process and achieve the best value for money.
There was also an insightful presentation by Marion Herens and Riti Herman Mostert from Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation, who shared the Dhaka Urban Food System case highlighting the process of how the project used foresight, bringing in multi-stakeholder dialogues, data models and participatory processes together.
After the three presentations, the participants went into break out groups to exchange ideas and insights, following 4 guiding questions:
- What are the 3 biggest issues your country is facing in terms of food systems transformation?
- How you think could foresight add value in bringing about food systems transformation?
- What key questions should underpin our cross-country learning?
- What ideas do you have about how to engage across countries?
As a reponse to these question, the groups shared their country perspective, which led to interesting commonalities and differences, how foresight can prove valuable in their own countries and contexts, potential future questions that can be address through cross-country learning revolve around, and various ways for continuing cross-country engagement.
Lastly, Bidisha Barooah from IFAD closed the session, hoping that there will be more sessions in future that generate buy-in and contribute to change processes. She appreciated the value of the session and insightful discussions, which showed that F4F can be a platform for cross country learning and assured that IFAD stands ready to support, in terms of funding but also in terms of capacities and expertise.
Under the FoSTr programme, Foresight4Food plans to organize many more insightful and engaging virtual learning sessions in the near future.