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Conference: Monitoring and Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Food Systems

Apr. 03, 2019 - Apr. 04, 2019

Photo: Shutterstock

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How can monitoring and evaluation can support the transition towards inclusive and sustainable food systems? This was the topic of our 2019 Monitoring & Evaluation on the cutting edge conference, which took place on 3 and 4 April. 

Understanding inclusive & sustainable food systems

In order to deliver on the 2030 SDG-Agenda, we need to improve on the performance of food systems. ‘Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals cannot happen without ending hunger and malnutrition and without having sustainable and resilient, climate-compatible agriculture and food systems that deliver for people and planet. (Source: UN Zero Hunger Challenge - ZHC).

Better understanding of and support for inclusive and sustainable food systems is needed for improved food systems. What effective role should monitoring and evaluation play in this? New evaluation approaches need to be developed to cope with the dynamic and complex nature of food systems, which feature multiple perspectives, multiple levels, multiple actors with multiple goals operating in multiple sectors.  

Key conference question

The main question of our conference is: “How should and can monitoring and evaluation support the transition towards inclusive and sustainable food systems?”

Sub-questions:

  • How should M&E support food system change, in all its multiple levels, with actors in multiple sectors with multiple incentives and goals?
  • How should M&E also engage with and assist the inevitable trade-offs between competing and perhaps contradictory consequences?

A working conference

The conference will be a working conference, where space is created to share, dialogue and co-create, so as to connect different perspectives, models and experiences on M&E that support inclusive and sustainable food systems. We will use a systems perspective and methods for pulling together ideas generated in the conference. This conference builds on the WUR SDG conference focusing on SDG2 and SDG 17, building alliances between different partners that work towards inclusive and sustainable food systems, where M&E can and should play a crucial supportive role.

The conference aims to generate practical ideas and partnerships for monitoring and evaluation based on principles that support of transition towards inclusive and sustainable food systems.

Contribute and engage

We will organise parallel sessions for interesting contributions. These can be in the form of a workshop, case description, presentation and discussion of theoretical framework and related methodologies for assessment etc. We will select cases based on relevance for the conference theme and conference questions. Sessions that specifically address complexity sensitive evaluation methodologies are also invited. The duration for a parallel session is one hour and 15 minutes. If you have an interesting topic to share, kindly submit your idea to cecile.kusters@wur.nl: title of the session, author/name of person(s) involved, organisation, abstract, and workshop/session set up (preferably engaging).

This conference is for you

We invite those involved in (sustainable) development initiatives, from government, national and international organisations, civil society, private sector, knowledge development institutes, funding agencies, M&E and programme management. Engage in interactive and reflective sessions, join in the discussions during the workshops, and share your ideas and insights!

Conference background

This conference is the eleventh annual ‘M&E on the Cutting Edge’ event organised by Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen University & Research. This specific conference is co-organised with Wageningen Economic Research (WEcR). It is one of the events organised as a follow-up to the SDG Conference 'Towards Zero Hunger', which was organised in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Wageningen University & Research.  The topics covered in this conference fit well within the Managing for Sustainable Development Impact approach.