Through this set of concrete reforms member states can solidify their vision for the RBAs to enhance leadership, coordination and governance.
With progress towards SDG2 stalled and COVID-19 estimated to have made millions of people food insecure in 2021, there is a need for the RBAs to provide leadership and to coordinate activities to achieve SDG2. This paper offers five specific proposals around RBA leadership, governance and coordination that could play a part in an overall set of actions to facilitate progress towards SDG2.
These are aligned with the direction member states have requested in recent years and offer specific proposals consistent with the recommendations of the joint evaluation report on collaboration among the RBAs. They reflect the emerging views articulated in the interviews conducted for this paper. The proposals seek to build on these perspectives and to solidify this direction through concrete actions.
Promoting these reforms will not be easy because of different governance structures, voting systems and member state representation among the RBAs. There is also the possibility of reluctance from the RBA leadership, members and vested interests. These challenges can only be overcome if there is strong and sustained commitment to improved leadership and coordination across all member states and stakeholders, and if member states, in particular, provide the necessary leadership for change. Among the member states, there are those that have a critical formal role through governing bodies and those that have influence as a result of their economic and geopolitical position in the world. Leadership from these key member states is crucial.
While this paper offers five specific proposals, implementing them requires careful planning to avoid potential pitfalls. For example, institutional reform could increase inefficiency rather than lead to efficiency gains if not executed properly. Some of the proposals relate to outside entities and their engagement in the specifics of any actions would be critical. Yet given the necessity for progress on SDG2 and the urgency to address rising food insecurity due to COVID-19, reforms are needed sooner rather than later.