Working with informality in food_system transformation

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May 24, 2023

07:30 AM - 09:00 AM


Event by NFP, SNV, Wageningen UR

Hundreds of millions of people in the global South depend on the informal economy for their food and nutrition security. Informal markets are often the main source of nutrient-rich foods for vulnerable communities. In a previous expert meeting (25 Nov 2022, The Hague), knowledge and experience on this topic was shared and an agenda for research and activities regarding informality emerged from the discussions. In this follow-up online meeting, we have two presentations followed by discussion.

The programme of this online meeting

- Early findings from an ongoing study on informality by Wageningen Economic Research. This is a presentation by Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters. In the previous event, Wageningen UR announced a two-year study on a number of yet unanswered questions on the informal economy, notably what it takes to motivate actors in informal sectors to contribute to enhanced food system outcomes. In his presentation, Bart will provide an update of the study and share early findings with participants.

- A new working paper by IIED and SNV: Working with informality: constructive ways to transform food systems. This is a presentation by Bill Vorley. The working paper explores the challenges involved in reversing decades of underinvestment, and why focusing too closely on formalisation may price out or remove informal food systems and those who depend on them from the market. Instead, development organisations engaged in food systems transformation should constructively engage with informal agrifood markets and actors, recognising what informal food systems already do well and focusing on building partnerships based on common cause, to build trust.

- A panel will reflect on both presentations and there is space for Q&A with the audience.

More information will be shared with registered participants in the week before the event.

You can read more on this topic, just follow the links below.

Report previous meeting: informal markets and food systems. The Social Hub the Hague, November 2022

How to engage informal midstream agribusiness in enhancing food system outcomes.  What we know and what we need to know better. Daniel A. Mekonnen, Emma Termeer, Katrine Soma, Siemen van Berkum and Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters. Wageningen University and Research, April 2022

Unpacking the Informal midstream : why the informal economy can and should contribute to enhanced food system outcomes. Emma Termeer, Siemen van Berkum, Youri Dijkxhoorn, and Bart de Steenhuijsen Piters. Wageningen University and Research Policy Paper. Sept 2022

Sustainable diets in the informal economy. Sustainable diets for all reflection series. Bill Vorley, Alejandro Guarín, Giulia Nicolini. Hivos and IIED, October 2020

Contact person

Afbeelding1 wim rond

Wim Goris

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