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Evaluation of the Strategy and Vision for FAO’s Work in Nutrition

07/03/2019

This evaluation appraises progress achieved on the implementation of the Strategy and Vision for FAO’s Work on Nutrition since it was adopted in 2012. It found that FAO’s nutrition-sensitive work has grown significantly since the Strategy was promulgated, and has evolved towards more deliberate efforts to address all forms of malnutrition. There also has been a surge in the development of knowledge products. However, the Strategy lacked an accountability framework, and paid insufficient attention to operational issues.

Nutrition is a domain that has traditionally been dominated by health concerns, but considerable attention is now being paid to so-called “food-based approaches”, i.e. approaches that focus on reforming food production, supply and consumption to prevent malnutrition. FAO has the mandate, a long experience in relevant technical sectors, the right tools and indicators, and the global, regional and national reach required to lead the development of food-based approaches to nutrition. However, in spite of the Strategy, FAO has found it difficult to define clear priorities for engagement in this space.

The evaluation makes seven broad recommendations, oriented towards giving a new thrust to FAO’s work in nutrition, first through the elaboration of a new strategy taking stock of the main policy and strategic changes that occurred during the evaluation period, and communicating clearly FAO’s role and ‘niche’ in support of nutrition-sensitive food systems.