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Evaluation of the Strategy and Vision for FAO’s Work in Nutrition

Annex 1. Terms of reference

Management response

Follow-up report

FAO. 2019. Evaluation of the Strategy and Vision for FAO’s Work in Nutrition. Thematic Evaluaiton Series, 03/2019. Rome.

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    Evaluation of the Strategy and Vision for FAO’s Work in Nutrition - ANNEX 1
    Terms of Reference
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    This evaluation appraises progress achieved on the implementation of the Strategy and Vision for FAO’s Work on Nutrition since it was adopted in 2012. FAO’s nutrition-sensitive work has grown significantly since the Strategy was promulgated, and has evolved towards more deliberate efforts to address all forms of malnutrition. There also has been a surge in the development of knowledge products. However, the Strategy lacked an accountability framework and paid insufficient attention to operational issues, and therefore the extent to which the above developments can be attributed to the Strategy remains unclear. Nutrition is a domain that has traditionally been dominated by health concerns, but considerable attention is now being paid to so-called “food-based approaches”, i.e. approaches that focus on reforming food production, supply and consumption to prevent malnutrition. FAO has the mandate, a long experience in relevant technical sectors, the right tools and indicators, and the global, regional and national reach required to lead the development of food-based approaches to nutrition. However, in spite of the Strategy, FAO has found it difficult to define clear priorities for engagement in this space, thus inviting puzzlement, frustration and also competition from other stakeholders. The evaluation makes seven broad recommendations, oriented towards giving a new thrust to FAO’s work in nutrition, first through the elaboration of a new strategy taking stock of the main policy and strategic changes that occurred during the evaluation period, and communicating clearly FAO’s role and ‘niche’ in support of nutrition-sensitive food systems.
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    Book (stand-alone)
    Improving diets and nutrition: food-based approaches 2014
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    The International Symposium on Food and Nutrition Security: Food-based Approaches for Improving Diets and Raising Levels of Nutrition was organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to better document the contribution that food and agriculture can make to improving nutrition. These proceedings are a useful resource for decision and policy makers, programme planners and implementers, and health workers, all of which work to combat hunger and malnutrition . Likewise, they will have appeal for professionals in the field of food security, nutrition, public health, horticulture, agronomy, animal science, food marketing, information, education, communication, food technology and development. They are also designed as a useful complementary source for graduate and postgraduate courses on: public health; human nutrition (including education and communication courses); community nutrition; international nutrition; food and nutrition security policies, i nterventions and programmes; nutrition considerations in agricultural research; and the integration of nutrition into food and agriculture. The publication benefits from the contributions of world-renowned international experts as well as FAO’s Departments and Divisions on the linkages between nutrition and agriculture and on nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food-based approaches. Sadly, Professor Michael Latham, who was one of the founders of the field of international nutrition that deals w ith the nutrition problems of developing countries, and one of the promoters of food-based approaches, died about 4 months after the symposium took place; his contribution to this publication,being one of his last works, is a fitting tribute to his memory.
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    Brochure, flyer, fact-sheet
    Making extension and advisory services nutrition-sensitive
    The link between agriculture and human nutrition
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    Human nutrition is vital for agriculture. Many smallholder farmers are food-insecure and suffer chronic or acute forms of malnutrition. This can permanently harm the physical and cognitive growth of children, while reducing productivity as household members are less able to carry out agricultural work. Agriculture is vital for human nutrition. Nutrition has long been considered mostly a health issue. However, agriculture plays an essential role in ensuring nutritional wellbeing not only for rural populations, but also for society as a whole. Beyond producing food in sufficient quantity, agri-food systems should also:
    • provide diversified, safe and nutritious foods;
    • improve rural incomes and resilience, and thus enhance access to healthy diets;
    • make foods that contribute to healthy diets available and accessible at national and sub-national levels.
    To this end, we must build the capacities of farmers, agriculture extensionists, consumers and others, encourage innovation, investments and enabling policies, and address gender issues. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture (NSA) uses a food-based approach to agricultural development to make the global food system produce better nutritional outcomes.

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