The FAPDA initiative was launched in 2008 within the framework of the Initiative on Soaring Food Prices (ISFP). The overall policy monitoring exercise was to provide technical advice to FAO member countries to mitigate the food security crisis.
Policy classification was developed and used as a basis to design a policy monitoring system used by FAO to keep track of decisions taken by governments as an immediate response to the food security crisis. The initial output was the 2008 publication Country Responses to the Food Security Crisis: Nature and Preliminary Implications on the Policies Pursued. This publication was based on the empirical evidence collected in 80 developing countries. One of its main findings was that governments were massively returning to pre-structural adjustments schemes and practices, such as subsidized input distributions, important agricultural extension services, and public procurement of staple food at fixed producer prices for sale at subsidized consumer price.
In 2009 the scope of work was expanded to include medium-long term policy decisions, as well as a systematic food security and nutrition perspective.
In 2010 the FAPDA Web-based Tool was developed to allow users to directly and effectively record and analyze policy decisions and provide worldwide access to the information.
Subsequently, in 2011 a second global policy publication was prepared: Food and Agriculture Policy Trends after the 2008 Food Security Crisis: Renewed Attention to Agricultural Development.
The policy monitoring system has now been introduced to most FAO Regional/Subregional Offices upon their request, and policy decisions are collected in a more harmonized way through the improved FAPDA web-based tool.