104 Integrated School Meals Programmes for Multiple Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals

Good practices, challenges and opportunities for innovation, learning and scaling up

Organizers

  • UN Rome-based Agencies: WFP, FAO, IFAD
  • WFP/Brazil Center of Excellence Against Hunger
  • WFP/Regional Bureau Cairo
  • NEPAD/African Union

Abstract

The RBAs have jointly committed to enhanced partnerships, as a key building block in the UN reform Agenda. This includes coordinated support to selected flagship initiatives, such as integrated School Meals Programmes (SMPs) for multiple impacts on SDG2 and the broader Agenda 2030. As part of this plan and in line with the Decade of Action for Nutrition, bolstering SSTC as an instrument for policy learning and improvement, through to the technical expertise brought by the Brazilian Centre of Excellence, is key to achieve the goals set by the SDGs.
 
SMPs constitute the most common scheme of social safety net, benefiting 368 million children around the world, with investments exceeding US$ 75bn a year. Evidence shows SMPs' contributions to the SDGs beyond SDG2; SMs are in fact increasingly being leveraged by Governments and development actors as interventions that contribute to human development outcomes that are critical in supporting the longer-term resilience of vulnerable households to seasonal, economic and climate-related shocks. In addressing the root causes of hunger, they are a catalyst for wider social and economic stabilization, strengthening resilience and providing opportunities for more inclusive development pathways and social stability, as the successful and extensive experience in the MENA region demonstrated. Within SMPs, the innovative and cross-cutting HGSF model offers multiple direct benefits and spillover effects on food systems and healthy diets through increased demand for local agricultural products, improved smallholders market access, diet diversification, nutrition, and education. 
 
In light of the strong contribution of SMPs to Agenda 2030, an increased call by donors and development actors to use evaluation findings to improve decision making for policy formulation and course-correct programme implementation was observed. To increase the sustainability of SMPs, many innovative approaches have been successfully implemented: for instance, a Resource Framework on HGSF was recently completed following a multi-stakeholder collaboration between the RBAs and a wide range of partners, including NEPAD/AU, WFP Center of Excellence Against Hunger in Brazil, Global Child Nutrition Forum, and Partnership for Child Development.
Nevertheless, the overall coverage and evidence generation around SMPs and its innovative approaches is not yet at a scale commensurate with the SDGs ambitions. Consequently, there is a need for the RBAs to pursue a more proactive and systemic course of action to address:

(a) policy coherence and national capacity building, including national evaluation capacity development; (b) cross-sectoral integration to adequately measure results and scale-up interventions; as well as (c) partnerships, knowledge and resources for replication, adaptation and expansion of successful models of interventions.

Key speakers/presenters

Opening remarks by the FAO- Deputy DG Daniel Gustafson and WFP AED Valerie Guarnieri

  • Moderator: Carmen Burbano, WFP Director School Feeding Division
  • Yemen: H. E. Abdullah Lamlas, Minister of Education, Aden, Republic of Yemen
  • Egypt: HE Ambassador H.E. Hisham Mohamed Badr
  • Brazil: Mr Silvio Pinheiro, President of the National Fund for Educational Development
  • NEPAD/AU: HE Haladou Salha, Ambassador Representative of AU/NEPAD

Commentators:

  • FAO: Guenter Hemrich, Deputy Director, Food System and Nutrition Division
  • IFAD: Shantanu Mathur, Lead Advisor, Global Engagement & Multilateral Relations
  • Civil Society: André Luzzi de Campos, Brazil Habitat International Coalition, and member of CFS CSM Coordination Committee - on the role of civil society and community engagement
  • Private Sector: Katarina Eriksson Project and Partnership Development Director, Tetra Laval, on examples of public private partnerships for SMPs
  • Closing remarks by Dr Patrick Caron, CFS/HLPE

Main themes/issues discussed

  • High-level panel on country perspectives for national sustainable school feeding programmes, bringing together senior government officials and country representatives to present their respective government perspectives, from countries with diverse but emblematic experiences (Brazil, Egypt, Yemen as well as African Union/NEPAD);  
  • Launch of the RBA recently published Resource Framework on Home-Grown School Feeding (HGSF/RF);
  • Commentators with senior representatives from civil society, the private sector, and development partners with interest in school feeding programmes, for an exchange of views on what works, and opportunities for innovation, adaptation and expansion of successful models of intervention for multiple and sustainable impacts at scale.  
  • Q&A session involving the panellists (country representatives and experts) and the audience;
  • Closing segment with a Key Note by the Chair of the HLPE Food Systems and Nutrition report with reference to the findings and recommendations of the HLPE Report on Foods Systems and Nutrition, and the relevance of the School Meals Programmes to that agenda.

Summary of key points

The following key points were discussed:

  • Why is school feeding important to your country (e.g. in pursuit of specific or multiple SDG goals: see Event Concept Note)?  
  • How is the government translating its commitment to the school feeding agenda (e.g. in terms of finance, legal and regulatory framework, institutional coordination, multi-sectoral approach, partnerships with civil society, private sector etc...)?  
  • Where do they see challenges to sustainability or would they welcome partnership opportunities for impact at scale? (E.g. is it about finance, capacity development, innovation, scaling up?)

Key take away messages

School Feeding programmes shall be considered for the CFS policy recommendations following the HLPE report on Food System and Nutrition.
The RBAs have jointly committed to enhanced partnerships, as a key building block in the UN reform Agenda. This includes coordinated support to selected flagship initiatives, such as integrated School Meals Programmes (SMPs) for multiple impacts on SDG2 and the broader Agenda 2030. As part of this plan and in line with the Decade of Action for Nutrition, bolstering SSTC as an instrument for policy learning and improvement, through to the technical expertise brought by the Brazilian Centre of Excellence, is key to achieve the goals set by the SDGs.

To increase the sustainability of School Feeding Programmes, many innovative approaches have been successfully implemented: for instance, a Resource Framework on HGSF was recently completed following a multi-stakeholder collaboration between the RBAs and a wide range of partners, including NEPAD/AU, WFP Center of Excellence Against Hunger in Brazil, Global Child Nutrition Forum, and Partnership for Child Development.

Nevertheless, the overall coverage and evidence generation around SMPs and its innovative approaches is not yet at a scale commensurate with the SDGs ambitions. Consequently, there is a need for the RBAs to pursue a more proactive and systemic course of action to address:

(a) policy coherence and national capacity building, including national evaluation capacity development;

(b) cross-sectoral integration to adequately measure results and scale-up interventions; as well as

(c) partnerships, knowledge and resources for replication, adaptation and expansion of successful models of interventions.

CFS Side Event 104 - Integrated School Meals Programmes for Multiple Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals