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Urban food system assessments for nutrition and healthy diets. Technical guidance note

An important part of FAO’s work involves the development and uptake of assessment tools that can help improve understanding of the characteristics, dynamics and constraints of food systems.

Recent efforts have focused on supporting national and subnational governments and food system stakeholders in urban settings.

Numerous tools, methodologies and guiding principles are available in the broad technical areas of food supply chains, cityregion food systems and value chains, to assess the contribution of food systems for the eradication of hunger.

However, there is a dearth of resources that place primary focus on navigating food systems for outcomes related to nutrition – in particular, healthy diets.

The technical guidance note addresses this gap, taking inspiration from existing resources on food security and nutrition to propose an integrated approach towards assessing food systems for healthy diets in the context of urban areas.

The note begins by elaborating the need to operationalize conceptual frameworks on food systems in order to enable evidenc einformed policy and programme design, and support a food systems transformation agenda focused on nutrition and healthy diets. The second, and main, part of the note presents the Urban Food System Assessments for Nutrition (UFSAN) Tool, providing an overview of its conceptual basis, key features and a step-wise guide to its implementation.