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全球粮食安全与营养论坛 · FSN论坛

Re: Policy outreach and communications - what works for improving food security and nutrition at the country level?

Florence Egal
Florence EgalFood Security and Nutrition expertItaly

I would agree that decision-making is not only based on evidence and that it is also important to engage decision-makers both on an individual basis and within a peer group.

1/ They need to understand what food security and nutrition mean concretely. A few concrete examples:

-    establish a direct contact with people suffering from food insecurity and malnutrition. In my experience visiting nutrition rehabilitation services and asking people what went wrong,  when, why and how their family is affected is very effective. The voice of the poor needs to reach policy-makers

-  participatory nutrition workshops  (see Agreeing on causes of malnutrition for joint action http://foodsecuritycluster.net/sites/default/files/FAO%20Joint%20Plannin...) get participants to agree on a common vision of the causes of malnutrition of relevant population groups and to revisit their own strategies and activities in a different perspective

- it is also important to clarify what we mean by "evidence". It is important that we generate practice-based evidence (this should be a priority in knowledge management)  if we want to reach decision makers. If they see food security and nutrition can be improved in a sustainable and affordable way  and how, and that they can do it, they are likely to respond. Too often policy-makers are confronted with abstract concepts and figures and standard and costly solutions, and discard or postpone the issue as too complicated or not feasible.   

Another motivation is clearly peer pressure.

- if others get engaged (...and access resources) why not me?

-  and of course global resolutions.

Actually this is valid not only for policy-makers but for any professional,  politician or institution: 1/ who do no not see that food security or nutrition is any of their business or 2/ who have a very narrow perception of the problem and its solution.