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Evaluation of FAO’s contribution to the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition (SO1)

10/05/2018

FAO’s Strategic Objective 1 (SO1) is to “contribute to the eradication of hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition”. The evaluation examined the value added of SO1 to FAO’s efforts to promote food and nutrition security at the global, regional, and national levels from 2014 to 2017. It concluded that SO1 was well designed, stressed the importance of political commitment to reduce hunger and malnutrition, promoted right-based approaches in FAO’s policy support, and highlighted the need to work with ministries beyond agriculture, such as ministries of finance, health, or education. FAO has also worked with various Parliamentary Fronts Against Hunger to encourage the passing of laws related to food and nutrition security, and with local governments and municipalities to help implement policies and programmes at the local level. Regional economic cooperation organizations have also been an avenue of choice, through the development of regional policies, legal frameworks, “model laws” and strategies on such topics as school feeding programmes, national investment in agriculture, or crop diversification.

However, a high heterogeneity was observed in the approaches followed by FAO in different countries and regions under SO1, which reflected differences in context but also betrayed insufficient communication and training efforts within FAO itself. In particular, the most innovative aspects of SO1 need to be communicated to a greater extent, especially to FAO country offices, so as to inform FAO’s activities at country level. The evaluation also found a proliferation of actors, policy initiatives, approaches, coordination spaces and knowledge products in food and nutrition security, sometimes leading to confusion and competition rather than building a critical mass for sustained progress. In this context, FAO could play a greater role in policy convergence and the synthesis of multiple data streams into narratives that make sense for decision making.