FAO Science and Innovation Strategy

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Recent sessions of FAO Governing Bodies have put a strong focus on science, technology and innovation and Members are increasingly requesting FAO’s support to harness science and innovation. The FAO Science and Innovation Strategy (the Strategy) was adopted by the FAO Council at its 170th Session following an inclusive and transparent consultative process, with the participation of all Members through formal sessions of Governing Bodies (including the Regional Conferences in 2022), as well as two informal consultations and informal meetings with Regional Groups. The Strategy aims to strengthen FAO’s work on science and innovation by providing Organizationwide guidance, coherence and alignment on science and innovation. Science and innovation serve as a foundation for the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31 and have cross-sectoral relevance across the Organization’s programme of work. Innovation and technology are two of the four accelerators of the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31 intended to speed up progress and maximize efforts in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At the same time, science underpins all four accelerators (technology, innovation, data, and complements [governance, human capital, and institutions]). As such, science and innovation are integrated throughout the 20 Programme Priority Areas (PPAs), the accelerators, and cross-cutting themes. The vision of the Strategy is a world free from hunger and malnutrition, where the potential of science and innovation is fully leveraged to overcome complex social, economic and environmental challenges of agrifood systems in a globally equitable, inclusive and sustainable manner. The goal is for Members to harness science and innovation to realize context-specific and systemic solutions for MORE efficient, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agrifood systems for better production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life, leaving no one behind, in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Strategy is grounded in the following guiding principles: Rights-based and people-centered; Gender-equal; Evidence-based; Needs-driven; Sustainability-aligned; Risk-informed; and Ethicsbased. The Strategy focuses on three pillars, which group together nine outcomes. Action under the pillars will be catalysed by two cross-cutting enablers: transformative partnerships and innovative funding and financing. The pillars are: I. Strengthening science and evidence-based decision-making; II. Supporting innovation and technology at regional and country level; and, III. Serving Members better by reinforcing FAO’s capacities. Monitoring will be fully aligned with the causal results chains and SDG targets established in the FAO Strategic Framework 2022–31, reflecting all three dimensions of sustainability. For the technology and innovation accelerators, monitoring will be linked directly to the relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPI), while activities under the PPAs will be measured through the most relevant SDG indicators.

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