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Food Systems Summit Synthesis Deep Dive Reports

Blue Marble Evaluation (BME) teams have been working to synthesize themes across the hundreds of Independent Dialogues, resulting in the following reports:

Interim Synthesis Report 1: Based on the initial 17 feedback forms, presents a generative and illustrative set of emerging themes.

Interim Synthesis Report 2: More than 100 Independent Dialogues have produced 10 guiding themes.

Final Synthesis Report: More than 400 Independent Dialogues have produced 22 guiding themes.

During this process, the BME synthesis team and the Food Systems Summit Secretariat identified a need for a deeper dive into the perspectives of several key stakeholder groups: Indigenous Peoples, smallholder farmers and other small-scale producers, youth, and women.

This became a major theme of the Synthesis: the importance of amplifying and empowering historically excluded voices. It is also important for the Summit process to ensure that these voices are highlighted and elevated into all current and future work. Therefore, eight specialists from the BME network were selected to review relevant dialogues (e.g., youth specialists engaged with Convenors who focused on youth dialogues) and provide Deep Dive reports for each of the stakeholder groups noted above. Additionally, the BME specialist team invited Convenors from the selected dialogues to engage in focus group discussions to clarify the key issues raised in relevant Dialogues.

Summary of the Reports
The “Deep Dives Syntheses” focused on three areas: (1) why this group’s perspectives are important, (2) overview of some of the key perspectives each group brings to consideration of food systems transformations, and (3) strategies for engaging each group in the Food Systems Summit and beyond.

Below are highlights from the conclusion of each Deep Dive along with links to the separate reports. To download all of the deep dive synthesis reports together, click here.

Women bring critical perspectives needed to support sustainable and equitable food systems. Women’s insights and knowledge are critical to inform game-changing proposals. Research shows that women are responsible for half of the world’s food production and also tend to be primarily responsible for feeding their families. Yet across food systems, women are underrepresented in leadership positions and often denied access to land, training, finance, and other key resources. Data from the Dialogues and focus group support these claims. While disparities and challenges in the food systems cut across multiple issues, a fundamental challenge to a food systems sustainability can be found in gender inequality.

Click here to read the full women’s report written by Donna Podems and Charmagne E. Campbell-Patton


Smallholder farmers and other small-scale producers are a reservoir of traditional and local knowledge on sustainable farming practices. At the same time, they continuously need to advocate for their rights to seed, land, water, food, education, and health, and are more adversely affected by climate change than large scale farmers. Smallholder farmers and other small-scale producers require supports that are often readily extended to more powerful actors (e.g., large-scale farms), such as access to financial and other resources, knowledge sharing on innovations and other practical information, and financial incentives for nature positive agriculture. It is essential to ensure meaningful and active participation at the Summit and other decision-making spaces for a diverse range of small-scale producer perspectives. Attention to small food producers should include those who fish, herders, and other small-scale contributors of food.

Click here to read the full Smallholder farmer report written by Mutizwa Mukute and Claire Nicklin

Indigenous Peoples’ rights, knowledge systems, and belief systems are essential to the achievement of sustainable and equitable food systems. Across and within socio-cultural regions, Dialogues describe great diversity among traditional food systems and context-specific challenges to food security. The Dialogues also demonstrate broad agreement that Indigenous Peoples’ food systems are resilient and regenerative, and that they are a game-changing proposition for the achievement of healthy, sustainable food and all SDGs. The contribution of Indigenous Peoples’ food systems to the Food Systems Summit and beyond requires acknowledgement of UNDRIP and equitable investments to offset many longstanding systemic forms of marginalization that create food insecurity and interconnected conditions of vulnerability such as ecological instability, gender inequity, and cultural erosion. The
engagement of Indigenous Peoples in the transformation of food systems is fundamental to nature-positive solutions that address biodiversity loss and climate change.

Click here to read the full Indigenous Peoples’ report written by Serge Eric Yakeu and Andrealisa Belzer

Youth are an underutilized asset for food system transformation. The inclusion of youth as equals in key decision-making processes, as opposed to including them as beneficiaries or affected populations, is essential; youth will carry the burden of today’s actions. Youth are the future and therefore should have a critical voice in how that future is shaped. Youth voices are far-reaching, and they should not, and cannot, be ignored. Youth are uniquely positioned to provide insight, unique perspectives and advice on issues relating to agriculture, and particularly on conservation, which is essential for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Click here to read the full youth report written by Taruna Gupta and Gabriela Renteria Flores

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