Flexible Voluntary Contribution (FVC)

Governance innovation for sustainable development of food systems


To support more coherent and effective cross-sectoral and multistakeholders programming and planning for sustainable development and transformation towards more sustainable, equitable and resilient food systems.

The project will support Indonesia, Uganda and Tanzania in developing/strengthening innovative governance mechanisms for better coordinated interventions, policy integration and participation to advance food systems transformation and healthy diets for all. The sub-programme aims to engage all relevant ministries with responsibilities across different food systems components and ensure continuous participation of key national and sub-national stakeholders for evidence-based decisions related to identified key drivers for food systems transformation. 

Status of the subprogramme:

The sub-programme is currently ongoing in the following three countries: Indonesia, Uganda and Tanzania. 

Major results

Results of the project:

In all countries, the sub-programme ensured deployment of FAO multidisciplinary expertise for the consolidation of evidence, analysis and technical advice related to food systems, allowing for the engagement of a wide range of stakeholders, and advancing their common understanding on challenges and opportunities for realizing sustainable, and resilient food systems.

In particular, the sub-programme provided technical and financial assistance to the realization of national dialogues organized as part of the preparations of the UN Food System Summit (UNFSS), identified challenges and priorities for food systems at national and decentralized levels reflected in pathways for food systems transformation. The dialogues improved coordination among concerned national and decentralized institutions as well as engaged a wide range of actors. As a result, the three countries have broadened their approaches for agri-food systems and are reviewing their national planning, as well as concerned sectoral policies and strategies reflecting the food system approach and related recommendations/commitments reflected in the national transformation pathways.

Some National Food Systems Summit key figures:


In Uganda, under the leadership of the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) as the convener alongside the National Planning Authority (NPA) and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) as co-conveners, a total of eighteen (18) dialogues were held across the country, with 2 National official and 5 regional dialogues at regional levels focusing on state and non-state actors around the 5 Action Tracks.  It is estimated that the process engaged around 3000 people representing national and decentralized governments, farmer associations, youth and women organizations, business, NGOs, researchers.


In Tanzania, under the leadership of the Minister of Agriculture, 2 National Dialogues and 11 multi-stakeholder thematic dialogues drawing from a diverse range of stakeholders were conducted between May and August 2021 and reaching out over 2000 participants in national and decentralized dialogues, in the mainland and Zanzibar, representing wide range of stakeholders concerned by food systems and including farmers organizations, consumers, NGOs, institutions at national and decentralized level, business, research and development partners. In addition, the sub-programme provided technical and financial assistance to the organization of the National Agriculture Policy Conference, organized annually and engaging around 300 participants.


In Indonesia 2 national dialogues and 6 sub-national dialogues were organized under the leadership of the Ministry of National Development planning (BAPPENAS) and the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) as co-convener. FAO and the RBAs led technical support in close collaboration with the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), a national research partner. The dialogues engaged over 2000 representatives of a wide range of national and local stakeholders including women, youth, producers (large and small scale), business (multi-national and SMEs) and research institutions. 


The sub-programme results are achieved in close collaboration with several actors:

  • National institutions such as BAPPENAS in Indonesia, Ministry of Agriculture in Tanzania and MAAIF, Prime Minister and Planning Authority in Uganda: main institutional partners leading national efforts for food systems transformation.
  • 4 major research partners, notably The Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel (Kiel University), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), and the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA): providing innovative modelling and analysis supporting national decision making to translate commitments of the National Pathways submitted to the UN Food System Summit into concrete policies and interventions on the ground.
  • UN, including RBAs, UNEP and UNDP: particularly in support to the preparations and follow-up to the UN Food System Summit.  


The sub-programme supports innovative modelling and analytical methods based on emerging sustainability science combining multisectoral technical modelling, providing map of potential synergies and trade-offs across policies and interventions, with political economy and governance analysis, providing indication of political feasibility of identified priorities and interventions. This innovative analytical work is being implemented in two of the three countries (notably Indonesia and Uganda) and expected to be replicated in other countries in the future.


The sub-programme became operationally active in May 2020. It is implemented by the Governance and Policy Support unit in the Office of Chief Economist (DDCG) operating as lead technical unit, in close coordination with the Food Systems and Food Safety Division and with the bold engagement of concerned country offices. The programme has organized its support through “One FAO” teams that include Regional and sub-regional offices, HQ Technical officers as well as dedicated national experts, working closely in support to lead national institutions.


Upon request of the lead national institutions, FAO currently conducts further technical and political economy analysis in partnership with worldwide known research institutions. This analysis intends to help the Government and stakeholders identify the more effective and politically feasible mix of policy interventions and programmes with the biggest transformational potential towards sustainable food systems. and to identify the appropriate cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder institutional arrangements to support implementation of agreed interventions. 

  • Finalization of the Food Systems and political economy analysis in Uganda and Indonesia
  • Support to the consolidation of national workplans to operationalize the national pathways for food systems transformation in the three countries
  • Identification of priority actions in selected territories in each country, selected based on evidence produced.
  • Policy adjustments to allow for comprehensive food systems-based approaches
  • Institutional horizontal and vertical coordination mechanisms to support implementation of workplan identified.


As the sub-programme operationally started in May 2020, it has been highly impacted by COVID-19 crisis in its 2 first years of implementation. The pandemic made the initial scoping analysis challenging and the country level planned recruitments were delayed until late 2020 (Indonesia) and early 2021 (Uganda and Tanzania). Strong and reliable support from the country and regional offices and close coordination with the HQ enabled to identify adjustments and achieve the expected results, capitalizing on ongoing programmes, as well as benefiting from the ongoing Food System Summit preparations in the three countries, allowing for minimal delay in delivery.

One of the most important lessons learned in 2020 has been the shift to a new and highly cost-efficient delivery model through virtualized international and national collaboration. FAO experts engaged at national, regional and HQ level and dedicated technical experts at national level have been a key success factor to overcome challenges. 

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