School Food and Nutrition

Enabling policy, legal and institutional environment

School programmes that combine strategies to promote healthy diets in children and adolescents and community socioeconomic development, need coordination, enabling policies, legislation and institutional capacities to be successful. 

Globally, the recognition of the importance of nutrition and food systems for human development has significantly increased in the past decade. School-based programmes and policies have been recognized as important instruments for advancing sustainable development and for supporting children’s rights to food, education and health.

To be successful, these type of programmes require political commitment, regular funding and coordination between different sectors. Further, the benefits of such programmes are maximized if they are linked and aligned with other related programmes and policies in the areas of social protection, nutrition, health, education, agriculture, rural development and urban food planning.

Regulatory frameworks relevant to human rights, food safety and quality, as well as of public procurement are also a relevant part of a supportive enabling environment and have an important effect on the design and effective implementation of these multicomponent school food and nutrition programmes. Adequate institutional capacities are also critical for optimal implementation and for achieving intended results.

FAO provides support and capacity development to assess policy, legal and institutional arrangements at country level, to propose tailored and feasible solutions that enable the adequate implementation of school food and nutrition complementary interventions and programmes. FAO also promotes coordination mechanisms to support delivery and implements monitoring and evaluation schemes that provide evidence for policy analysis and accountability.