Action Area 4.1 Rebalancing Agency within Food Systems
This action area focuses on solutions that bring attention to equality, access to livelihoods, greater participation and rights of often excluded groups. These solutions seek to address the current imbalances within food systems. These imbalances are underpinned by varied, complex and often inter-related inequities and disparities based on identity, location, or wealth status. Within food systems people are often constrained by institutional and environmental factors beyond their control which impact their lives and livelihoods and the inter-generational cycle of poverty, discrimination, and food insecurity.
Agency is a person’s or a group’s ability to pursue and achieve goals. Rebalancing agency implies addressing power dynamics by strengthening the capacities of historically disadvantaged individuals and communities (of all identities in all livelihood groups) to define their desired food systems and nutritional outcomes, and to take action in securing them. Agency, then, captures the capacity of individuals or groups to make their own decisions about what foods they eat, how that food is produced, processed and distributed, and how the natural resources the food systems depend on are managed.
These solutions are about enabling, recognizing and strengthening the capacities of local communities; women, Indigenous Peoples, farmers, and other marginalized groups to have a greater role in shaping their food systems. This includes the need for people to have equitable access to information; to services; to land and natural resources; to safety and protection; to opportunities and choices; to accountability and transparency. Ultimately, rebalancing agency implies compliance to the right to food and other human rights.
Focal Points: Karl Deering, Cristina Timponi Cambiaghi, Phrang Roy and David Kaimowitz.
Game Changing Propositions Wave 1
4.04 Securing Land Tenure Rights for Resilient and Sustainable Food Systems by recognizing the inherent link between secure land for and with people urges respecting, protecting, and strengthening the land rights of women and men and communities particularly of those who are vulnerable and marginalized, to ensure that no one is deprived of the use and control of the land on which secure food systems are built upon.
4.06 Establishing or Improving Social Dialogue Mechanisms as Powerful Means of Finding Common Solutions to Problems, Advancing Decent Work and Social Justice and enhancing collective bargaining and negotiation, as platforms for giving plantation workers and small-scale producers a voice in social and economic development and ensuring that development is inclusive.
4.07 Strengthening Organization in the Agri-Food Sector by promoting policies and action that support the establishment, growth and functioning of rural workers’ organizations and guarantee the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining of all workers, building the capacity of cooperatives and other membership-based organizations of farmers, and empowering producers to organize into formal associations.
4.10 Bridging the Digital Divide and Increasing Access to Information and Services in Food Systems by ensuring socially equitable access to quality digital services for vulnerable communities and marginalized groups (in particular small scale producers and workers, informal food vendors and caterers, migrants and Indigenous people) and public and private actors interacting with them.
4.17 Farmer Field and Business School: a participatory, women-focused training and extension approach that helps farmers build skills necessary to increase production, access markets and sell at competitive prices; collaborate with each other and other stakeholders; and engage in beneficial and efficient decision making.
4.19 Integrate Gender Transformative Approaches for Equity and Justice in Food Systems through the systematic integration of gender transformative approaches (GTAs) in food systems interventions. Gender-transformative approaches challenge all development actors (including the private sector) to avoid exclusive focus on the self-improvement of individual women, and rather to transform power dynamics and structures that reinforce inequality.
2.6 Mobilizing civil society and lifting up youth-led initiatives
Mobilizing civil society and lifting up youth-led initiatives. The proposition is to set up an initiative in support of civil society interventions—particularly youth-created and youth-led—aiming at policy change, tracking progress and measuring impact.
2.17 National plans for the economic empowerment of women to achieve sustainable and healthy consumption
Women’s Economic Empowerment for Sustainable and Healthy Consumption Patterns: 50 countries create, finance, and implement national plans for the economic empowerment of women to achieve sustainable and healthy consumption patterns by 2030. The proposition elaborates on ways to empower women across the value chain. Including: enhancing women’s decision-making power; ensuring women’s access to land, education, markets, skills; addressing social norms and cultural practices that limit women’s healthy food consumption; strengthening women’s voice and knowledge as educated consumers; and more.
3.3 Strengthening Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ Rights to Management of their Territories
Strengthen the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples’ capacity to manage and protect their forests through greater recognition of rights over their lands, policies and support, payment for environmental services, strengthening traditional knowledge and fostering new indigenous and tribal organizations, with strong participation of women and youth.