Food systems governance

Food systems governance


Food Systems Governance facilitates resilient and just food system transformations which can advance access to safe and healthy diets for all. All stakeholders should be inclusively and effectively participant in local decision-making.

Good governance of food systems facilitates equitable, coherent, coordinated, and transparent design and review of mechanisms and processes such as policies, legislation, planning, finances, monitoring and coordinated implementation. Evidence, action and sharing experiences across a diversity of economic, social, health and environmental fields as well as government spheres is urgently needed (HLPE, 2020; OECD, 2021; Herens et al., 2022). While "changing diets, technology, urbanization, and climate change are shifting how national governments address the food system" (viii, Teft et al., 2021), it is increasingly, recognised by governments, UN entities, city networks, academia, GAIN, FAO, World Bank and others, that this process must more inclusively involve local governments and multiple stakeholders.

These stakeholders should come from public and private sectors, with representatives from multiple areas such as health, agriculture, environment, and trade, as well as non-governmental and community representatives. By doing this, it is possible to better align and coordinate the different priorities of national and local government spheres, and formal and informal sectors. Furthermore, this facilitates enhanced equitability in just food systems transformation and access to safe and healthy diets for all.

GAIN’s Food System Governance programme focuses on local food systems and nutrition-related policies, planning and implementation. It supports locally led, effective inclusion of local governments and other stakeholders such as, community based organisations and informal food sector workers. Particular attention is given to those often excluded, such as people living on low incomes, women, youth, traditional markets, and street vendors.

Supporting activities include: promotion of accessible, local food systems data and nutrition mobilised communities; leveraging external networks, such as the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact, city networks and UNFSS coalitions, such as the Coalition on Sustainable and Inclusive Urban Food Systems; sharing local experiences of reshaping food systems, for example on the Food Action Cites, smart search platform; as well as raising global awareness and momentum through advocacy.

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