“Evidence” isn’t the first word that comes to mind when you think about food systems. But the question of evidence comes up in most conversations about food systems transformation. On the one hand, people ask questions like: Do we have enough evidence? What does the evidence show? Where is the science to support that decision? On the other hand: There is ample evidence. But evidence for whom? Evidence for what? When it comes to food systems transformation—and other interconnected issues like climate, biodiversity and health—the importance of evidence cannot be underestimated.
Typically, food and agriculture outcomes are narrowly defined by data like crop yield and productivity. Yet the bigger picture of food systems is inherently more complex and requires a different way of measuring success or understanding impact. After all, food systems sit at the nexus of multiple, overlapping systems: ecological, financial, human and social. Consider, for instance, the role of food in cultural traditions, in gender roles and livelihoods, or, indeed, in issues of conflict and migration. These interconnections need to be considered when making decisions about the future of food.
So why does this matter to funders? Read more