This online meeting will share early findings from an ongoing study on informality by Wageningen Economic Research and a new working paper by IIED and SNV.
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, two presentations followed by a discussion took place.
The programme of this online meeting was the following:
- 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 provided an update of the study and shared 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 explored 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 reflected on both presentations and there was a space for Q&A with the audience.