VIRTUAL EVENT: Global Donor Platform for Rural Development Annual General Assembly (AGA)

2 to 5 November 2020. Global Donor Platform for Rural Development Annual General Assembly (AGA), “Pathways for Food Systems Transformation”. The events are publicly streamed over the internet, and therefore accessible also to those who are not registered.

The objective of the high-level event is to explore the processes, coordination and financing needed from local to global levels to bring about a sustainable, equitable and resilient transformation of food systems, and to assess the future roles of donors. The outcomes from the AGA sessions will be taken forward to develop a GDPRD preparatory contribution for the Food Systems Summit. This contribution will assess the ways donors currently support and invest in food systems and identify options for strengthening or changing these in the context of the wider agenda for food systems transformation.

MONDAY 2 NOVEMBER 2020 – Transforming food systems: implications for coordination and financing
The high-level event focused on critical questions related to the supporting, coordination and financing roles of the donor community, for instance:

  • What processes at local, national, regional and global levels are needed to bring about transformation, and what are the implications for donors?
  • Is there something fundamentally different that needs to happen to achieve a food system transformation? (What is working well, what is not and what are the gaps?)
  • Is funding within the global food system architecture directed in the right way across areas such as:
    • national and regional research
    • national dialogue and policy innovation/coordination
    • incentive structures
    • catalysing investment
    • private sector engagement/partnerships
    • regional and global platforms
    • integration of nutrition, agriculture, rural development, climate change, environment etc.
    • Social protection
  • What is the role of different stakeholders in food systems transformation?
  • What role can donors play to support this transformation and how does it align or vary with current investments?
  • What could be the niche and value add of the GDPRD in supporting food systems transformation?


  • Moderator: Maurizio Navarra South-South and Triangular Specialist at IFAD.
  • Paul van de Logt, Head, Food and Nutrition Security, The Netherlands, and Global Donor Platform for Rural Development GDPRD, Co-chair
  • Agnes Kalibata, United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy on the Food Systems Summit
  • Michelle Nunn, President and CEO, CARE U.S.A.
  • Marie Haga, Associate Vice-President, External Relations and Governance Department, IFAD 


  • Jim Woodhill, AgriFoodNexus Consulting / Honorary Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
  • Hanneke Faber, President, Foods & Refreshment, Unilever
  • Hamady Diop, Chief Executive Officer, African Union Development Agency (AUDA), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
  • Carla Montesi, Director, Planet and Prosperity (EC/DEVCO.C), Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission (EC)
  • Johan Swinnen, Director-General, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • Joan Valadou, Head of the Human Development Department, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France
  • Martien van Nieuwkoop, Global Director, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, The World Bank

TUESDAY 3 NOVEMBER 2020 – Pathways for food systems transformation
The objectives of this session are to discuss and analyse the insights and outcomes of the high-level panel. Participants will contribute to developing a few elements of a statement/position on transitioning to sustainable food systems, to use as an initial contribution for shaping the Platform’s contribution to the Food Systems Summit.

  • Moderator: Ron Hartman, Director, Global Engagement, Partnership and Resource Mobilization Division, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • Tristan Armstrong, Sector Specialist, Agricultural Productivity and Food Security, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia
  • Conrad Rein, Policy Officer, Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development, European Commission EC
  • Paul van de Logt, Head, Food and Nutrition Security, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Netherlands

WEDNESDAY 4 NOVEMBER 2020 – Food Systems: Data for evidence-based policymaking
The objectives of the session will be to Review two key initiatives using data-smart agriculture to support decision-making. How can international organizations and development partners evaluate the agricultural interventions that can transform the lives and incomes of the world’s poorest farmers, while preserving the environment? How can we produce high-quality and timely agricultural data and make evidence-based decision-making in agriculture the norm?

Two initiatives, namely CERES2030 and 50X2030, aim to build a stronger capacity to produce, analyse, interpret, and apply data to decisions in the agricultural sector, and provide the infrastructure to build evidence-informed policies for rural development and food security.

  • How do such tools support decision-making? 
  • How will they support the global efforts to food systems transformation?


  • Moderator: Ammad Bahalim, Policy Officer, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation BMGF
  • Jaron Porciello, Cornell/Ceres2030
  • David Laborde, IFPRI/Ceres2030
  • El-Iza Mohamedou, Programme Manager 50×2030
  • Thule Lenneiye, Coordinator, Agriculture Transformation Office (ATO), Ministry of Agriculture Kenya

THURSDAY 5 NOVEMBER 2020 – Catalyzing responsible private sector investments for food systems transformation
This session will discuss how global public goods and donor support can help to mobilize responsible private sector investments for food systems transformation. The private sector holds the potential to generate much-needed investment in agriculture and food systems and ensure responsible supply chains that can benefit small-scale producers, workers and consumers. However, irresponsible business and financial sector operations can undermine this potential.

Responsible investments in food and agriculture require the proactive engagement and commitment of all concerned partners, particularly in the business sectors of developing countries. To advance on such agenda, it is imperative that global financial institutions and organizations cooperate adequately and promote key coordinated effort towards responsible investment in agri-food value chains. The event will address the following key questions:

  • How can we promote more responsible private sector investments contributing to food systems transformation?
  • What is the investment gap?
  • What is the potential role of the private sector in transforming food systems, both at the international and national levels?
  • How do we make private sector investment more responsible?


  • Moderator: Jim Woodhill, AgriFoodNexus Consulting, Honorary Research Associate, Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
  • Opening Remarks – David Hegwood, Senior Advisor, Global Engagement Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, USAID
  • Sean de Cleene, Head, Food Systems Initiative and Member of the Executive Committee, World Economic Forum
  • Leesa Shrader, Program Director, AgriFin Accelerate and AgriFin Digital Farmer, Programs, Mercy Corps
  • Ishmael Sunga, Chief Executive Officer, Southern African Confederation of Agricultural Unions SACAU
  • Berry Marttin, Member of the Managing Board, Rabobank
  • Chea Serey, Assistant Governor and Director General of Central Banking, National Bank of Cambodia

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