Commitments to action

Food Systems Monitoring Project

Johns Hopkins University, FAO, GAIN, Johns Hopkins University, over 50 independent scientists

The Food Systems Monitoring Project is an independent scientific effort to develop a rigorous, science-based monitoring framework to track food systems and their transformation. Clear metrics and monitoring are necessary to support evidence-based policymaking and to support the work of those who hold decision-makers to account. Metrics and monitoring are similarly necessary to ensure accountability and progress towards timebound goals including the 2030 Agenda SDGs, and also the Paris Climate Agreement, and the forthcoming Kunming Biodiversity targets, all of which require food systems transformation to succeed.

To date, the scientists have developed a monitoring framework centered around five thematic areas related to (1) diets, nutrition, and health; (2) environment and climate; and (3) livelihoods, poverty, and equity; (4) governance; and (5) resilience and sustainability. Plans have been developed and will be implemented in 2021-2022 to vet the framework and select indicators through an externally adapted Delphi process.

In 2022, the scientists will analyze the proposed indicators and establish an independently assessed and peer-reviewed food systems baseline against which progress to the aforementioned goals can be assessed. Committed to consultative processes, inclusiveness, and transparency, the collaborators welcome contributions and new collaborators and are actively seeking to expand their disciplinary and experiential diversity. The scientists intend to produce a food systems baseline assessment in 2022/23 and biannually updated assessments and new analyses in subsequent years.

This is an entirely independent effort (from the UNFSS) and will remain so. The authors will track food system performance, not UNFSS commitments. Through biannual, peer-reviewed publications by independent researchers involved in food systems analysis, the project is intended to support all other accountability mechanisms associated with food systems, including the time-bound SDGs to 2030, post-UNFSS accountability for change, the Paris Agreement, biodiversity goals, and beyond.


Civil society

Action Area(s)

Nourish All People
Boost Nature-Based Solutions of Production
Build Resilience to Vulnerabilities, Shocks, and Stresses
Advance Equitable Livelihoods, Decent Work, & Empowered Communities
Means of Implementation



Key contact

Jessica Fanzo & Kate Schneider, Johns Hopkins University
[email protected]





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