Assessment and Monitoring

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Government has an obligation to progressively realize the right to food. But in order to know what needs to be done, the current situation of a country, a district, a community or a sector needs to be understood. Only if we know whose right to food is not realized and why, and to what extent the legal, institutional and policy framework is conducive to progress on the right to food, an adequate response can be formulated. The whole process is called Right to Food Assessment.

The flip-site of the coin is Right to Food Monitoring and Evaluation: Has the agreed plan be implemented? And did it lead to the expected results? When looking at monitoring from a human rights perspective, we analyze the outcome of a certain action and whether human rights principles were applied in the process. 

A crucial aspect of whether a Government succeeds in realizing the right to food is how many resources it invests and whether it uses these resources wisely. Budget analysis is thus an important aspect of both assessment and monitoring.

FAO supports member states and regional organizations in all of these areas. We offer the lead the conceptual thinking in these areas, prepare guidance material and provide technical assistance at country level.

Right to Food Assessment

A profound assessment of a legal, policy and institutional framework is the starting point for a country to implement the right to food. Such an assessment usually starts with the identification of the food-insecure, vulnerable and marginalized groups and the underlying reasons for their deprivation. The next step is to analyze a country’s laws, policies and institutions to understand whether a government is on track in responding to the root causes of hunger and if there are any potential risks that could jeopardize the furthering of the right to adequate food. This will also provide knowledge of what measures need to be taken to address possible gaps. The assessment will furthermore provide understanding of the implementation processes and impacts of existing (or proposed) policy and programme measures as well as the needs for policy and programme re-design to facilitate the realization of the right to adequate food.

The right to food assessment is not only relevant to countries with acute food insecurity problems; food adequacy issues are also relevant for developed countries.

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