IFAD and Oxford University sign contract for three-year food systems foresight programme

On June 17, Oxford University and IFAD signed a contract for a three-year food systems foresight programme, supporting participatory foresight and scenario processes in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. This “Enabling National Processes of Foresight for Food Systems Transformation (FaST) Programme” provides country-level support as a follow-up to the United Nations Food System Summit.

Foresight and scenario processes can play a key role in supporting food system transformation pathways by helping to identify practical scenarios for change and generating the necessary stakeholder buy-in and political will. To help take forward such foresight work, the FaST programme will support in-depth foresight processes in five focus countries and provide an umbrella support mechanism to assist foresight activity across a wider set of countries.

The programme will be delivered through the Foresight4Food network, in collaboration with IFAD. As host of the Foresight4Food secretariat, the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute (ECI) will manage the programme in partnership with Wageningen University and Research. National institutions will be supported to deliver the in-country work with technical backup from regional and global research bodies.

The aim of the FaST programme is to enable evidence-based foresight and scenario analysis to be used as a foundation for improved food system policies and strategies, across both the public and private sectors. In the focus countries, FaST will provide a flexible facility to support work that aligns with the priorities and interests of national governments and other key stakeholders. Globally, the programme will synthesize food systems scenario work and support collaboration and learning across providers and users of food systems foresight analysis.