When undertaking a policy analysis from the perspective of the right to food and good governance, four main elements should be addressed in order to fully integrate the right to food in regional and national food security and nutrition policy designs.
The four bullet points below serve as a checklist when analyzing policy documents and statements in order to examine how well they are oriented towards the protection and realization of the right to food and all human rights, and to adherence of good governance practices:
- Food insecure and vulnerable groups are identified, their livelihood strategies and activities are described, and a causality analysis has been performed to understand the reasons why each group suffers from food insecurity and/or is vulnerable to food insecurity and malnutrition.
- Policy priorities, policy implementation strategies and specific actions target each food insecure and vulnerable group and address the multiple underlying causes for food insecurity and malnutrition in each group.
- Food security and nutrition goals, and time-bound targets and benchmarks have been established; protection and the realization of the right to food among food insecure, malnourished and vulnerable groups are included as part of overall policy objectives.
- Policy implementation principles are explicitly stated in the policy, and point to a clear commitment to respect and protect the human rights of all, and to apply good governance practices when implementing the policy.
Several of the items on the checklist relate to accountability. First, the policy statement itself, and the objectives and priorities that the policy establishes, constitute the government’s commitment to reduce food insecurity and malnutrition. This commitment is further quantified when time-bound targets and benchmarks are established in the policy, against which actual progress can be measured over time. Objectives and targets need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART). Secondly, the government can be held accountable whenever the policy’s implementation principles and strategies are not adhered to, particularly when non-adherence results in human rights violations.