Food systems

Job Aids and Tools

Figure 1. The SPRING Framework for Applying Systems Thinking to Nutrition

In 2015, SPRING developed a simple framework for applying systems thinking to nutrition-related actions (figure 1), built off the work in USAID’s paper on local systems (2014b), the United...

Reports

Figure 3: Nutrition, Growth, and Development in the Community. "The illustration in figure 3 depicts an ideal community that has all of the ingredients for good nutrition, growth, and development."

The SPRING project is committed to creating an environment where nutrition, growth, and development is possible. We believe that program designers, planners, and implementers must work...

Briefs

Photo of a group of women in medical coats pointing to charts on a wall.

We developed this brief, which explores SPRING’s work in the Kyrgyz Republic, as well as a companion brief on our work in Ghana for designers and implementers of multi-sectoral nutrition...

Location: Kyrgyz Republic
Group photo of a mother-to-mother support group: a large group of women and men sit in plastic chairs in a circle.

We wrote this brief, which explores SPRING’s work in Ghana, to determine how well our systems framework maps to “real world” nutrition programs.

Location: Ghana
Systems Thinking diagram

This paper makes the case for why systems thinking is important for nutrition and proposes several approaches to strengthening systems for nutrition.

News

Photo of men and women reaching out and cutting a blue ceremonial ribbon.

SPRING's partnerships with local NGOs to promote UNICEF's IYCF Package, paired with evidence of its effectiveness, spurs government uptake beyond the life of the project

Journal Articles

Screenshot of the website where this document is housed. Contains the title and authors.

This chapter will first provide a review of the nutrition narrative in relation to food and nutrition, introduce the current understanding of linkages between agriculture and nutrition and...

Photo of market in Guatemala

For this study, SPRING examined the relationship between the food environment and nutrition.

Key Guiding Principles to Improve Nutrition Impact through Agriculture, adopted from (FAO, 2013a)

In this chapter in Advances in Food and Nutrition Research, SPRING reviews the nutrition narrative in relation to food and nutrition and presents the current understanding of linkages...

Events

Training event in Kyrgyzstan

Policies can make a big impact on a country’s progress toward ending malnutrition, including both undernutrition and overweight, obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

In the December 2016 Ag2Nut Community Call, participants heard from Dr. Florence Egal, who spoke on urban food system policy.

Keywords: Food systems
Location: Online
First slide of the Overview of the Special Section presentation

The June 2015 issue of the journal Food Security includes a special section: "Strengthening the links be

Keywords: Food systems, Agriculture
Location: Online
Second International Conference on Nutrition

The December 2014 Ag2Nut Community of Practice call featured a discussion with Anna Lartey, Director of FAO's Nutrition Division, and Francesco Branca, Director of Nutrition for Health...

Keywords: Food systems, Agriculture
Location: Online
Child being fed

A discussion on what is needed for global monitoring of adequate food, focused on the need for appropriate indicators of adequate nutritious food, as well as some current efforts to develop...

Series

USAID, APC and SPRING logos

In collaboration with the USAID-funded Advancing Partners and Communities (APC) project, SPRING has gathered data around key nutrition responsibilities for CHW in 9 countries that can be...

Activities

Woman standing at a vegetable stall at market

SPRING works to identify, and promote the adoption of, proven technologies for increased preservation and storage of foods rich in iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc.

One NRVCC studied in Bangladesh was the orange-flesh sweet potato, which were introduced as a nutritious food source by a Feed the Future project.

SPRING’s extensive fieldwork studied nutrient-rich value chain commodities (NRVCC) that direct beneficiaries produce and set aside for home consumption.

Graph of donor funding

Financing is a key piece of any effort to improve nutrition at scale. In its recently-released Nutrition Strategy (link is external), USAID highlights the importance of financial systems,...

Galleries

One NRVCC studied in Bangladesh was the orange-flesh sweet potato, which were introduced as a nutritious food source by a Feed the Future project.

SPRING’s extensive fieldwork studied nutrient-rich value chain commodities (NRVCC) that direct beneficiaries produce and set aside for home consumption.

Billboards are one of many varieties of social behavior change communication tools used to increase health-related knowledge among communities

SPRING conducted the fieldwork component of a nutrition needs assessment in Sierra Leone to contribute to post Ebola virus disease (EVD) response efforts.

Technical Areas

SPRING helps ensure that Feed the Future’s nutrition goals are met through the agriculture-to-nutrition pathways.

Keywords: Food systems

Resource Review Summaries

To fight the double burden of malnutrition and achieve SGD2, how do we deliver more nutritious foods to populations? This paper argues that we need to improve food systems by improving...

As the need to integrate nutrition outcomes into our food systems becomes ever more evident, valuing and measuring nutritional quality of the outputs of agricultural production is essential...

Nutrition‐sensitive interventions to improve overall diet quality are increasingly needed to improve maternal and child health. This study demonstrates the feasibility of a structured...

This Key Facts sheet is the first in a series that IFPRI will be producing based on the third and fourth Integrated Household Surveys (IHS). The purpose of the series is to present data...

Can the urban agenda play a bigger role in reversing the triple burden of malnutrition and food insecurity? This paper aims to explore this question by exploring the urban poor food...

Recent discussion has centered on the private sector’s role in nutrition, and whether the state can "shape" the market to deliver better nutritional outcomes. This issue of the IDS Bulletin...

What do food and market system approaches to development have in common? On February 22, the webinar, “Balancing the Systems: Making Food and Market Systems Work for Nutrition,” hosted by...

This event brought together leading faculty members from Boston University, Harvard, MIT, and Tufts to share their most important new work towards healthier and more sustainable food...

How can investments in agriculture best target positive nutrition outcomes? This event aimed to raise attention to the many entry points the food systems offer as well as the numerous...

The label of inclusive agribusiness is increasingly applied to development projects and policy strategies across the world. But the notion of “doing no harm” in a system as complex as the...

IFPRI’s peer-reviewed book examines India’s pulses sector in light of agricultural systems, climate change, irrigation design, and how policies (including the Green Revolution) have evolved...

Keywords: Agriculture, Food systems
Location: India

Part of a regional series on sustainable food systems and diets, FAO’s Europe and Central Asia-focused symposium took place in Budapest from December 4-5, 2017. The symposium objectives...

Malnutrition in all its forms -- undernutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, overweight, and obesity – now affects all countries. The latest High Level Panel report analyzes how food...

SNV’s ENUFF project in Lao PDR integrates activities in gender, agriculture, nutrition, and WASH to improve the nutritional status of families in the country's northern region. The project'...

Filling a need to provide empirical evidence on agriculture’s contribution to nutrition, IFPRI’s discussion paper reviews recent evidence (since 2014), including findings from impact...

The Symposium, held in Bangkok in October 2017, sought to enhance agriculture and food systems' visibility, create policy and program options, promote sustainable diets, and build...

IFPRI’s recent seminar delved into resilience in food production systems in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, and the COP23 UN Climate Change Conference...

Keywords: Food systems

Launched during the FAO Community on World Food Security CFS44 week, HLPE’s 12th report focuses on nutrition and food systems, analyzing how food systems influence people’s dietary patterns...

Keywords: Food systems

FAO’s annual report delving into the current status of food systems and agriculture calls for a greater focus on progress in rural areas, where most of the poor and hungry live. To achieve...

IPES-Food’ second thematic report identifies the many impacts of food systems on human health, reviewing the latest evidence on the whole range of health impacts associated with food...

Keywords: Food systems

ANH Academy launched a short animation on Food Environments in October to supplement their most recent technical brief, released in May. The one-minute video introduces the factors that...

Keywords: Food systems

As a feature of Microlinks’ Markets Month, this blog discusses the USAID Yaajeende Project’s community-based, market-orientated food systems approach to sustainably improve nutrition with...

FAO’s Community of Practice on Food Loss Reduction opened a discussion on food loss and waste and nutrition to bring together program planners and field implementers working on one of the...

Keywords: Food systems

The latest High-Level Panel of Experts for Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) report analyses how food systems influence people’s dietary patterns and nutritional status. The conceptual...

Keywords: Food systems

On September 19, the Word Food Programme hosted a webinar with SecureNutrition as part of the UN Network for SUN webinar series. During the webinar, they introduced the Fill the Nutrient...

This assessment explains a method developed to assess whether a country’s food supply can support healthy diets at the population level, based on an understanding of what constitutes a...

Keywords: Food systems, Agriculture
Location: Cameroon

How can the public and private sector work together to improve nutrition? This Global Panel policy brief provides evidence-based recommendations for food system actors to enhance consumer...

The authors reflect on the first year of the Global Food Security Strategy under Feed the Future, taking into consideration renewed investment in resilience, sustainability, nutrition, and...

This program uses a social entrepreneurship approach to strengthen university training in policy analysis for food systems, with emphasis on developing countries. The approach involves...

Keywords: Food systems

The UC Davis World Food Center organized a workshop on "Aligning the Food System to Meet Dietary Needs: Fruits and Vegetables," on June 2-3, 2017, held at the UC Davis Conference Center....

This report summarizes an online discussion event held April 25-26 2017, hosted by Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia. The LANSA agri-food value chains research teams have...

In its new technical brief, the ANH Academy’s Food Environments Working Group provides an overview of the nutrition field and proposes a conceptual framework in which the food environment...

This brief addresses a need in agricultural program design capacity by providing a list of food system-based intervention options that have great potential to improve nutrition. It also...

Sustainable food production and healthy diets complement each other, each one providing a means and an end to achieving global food security. This food systems-oriented report focuses on...

The World Health Organization recently hosted a nutrition seminar at its headquarters in Geneva to discuss the Global Panel’s recently launched Foresight report Food Systems and Diets:...

On March 16, the World Bank Group Agriculture Global Practice co-hosted with the Health Global Practice and SecureNutrition a presentation by the authors of the Global Panel’s “Foresight...

The Food and Agriculture Organization and the World Health Organization organized an International Symposium where stakeholders could share country experiences, challenges, and solutions...

Keywords: Anemia, Food systems

The objectives of this online course are to understand the definitions of food systems, value chains, food security, nutrition security and their interconnectedness; be able to apply...

Trends and Challenges sheds light on the nature of the challenges that agriculture and food systems are facing now and throughout the 21st century. While extreme poverty and hunger have...

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition presented its Foresight report, which examines the extent to which food systems are delivering healthy diets today and their...

Sheryl L. Hendriks of the University of Pretoria comments on designing food systems, and an expanding understanding of nutrition that considers hidden hunger and the food environment. She...

Drivers of food choice in low- and middle-income countries were explored in the ILSI Research Foundation Scientific Session on January 23, 2017, with presentations from experts who shared...

Keywords: Food systems

Currently, no universal synthesis exists on how to implement sustainable healthy consumption and production eating patterns. The EAT – Lancet Commission is a new commission that will...

Keywords: Food systems

How can extension build on its "core competencies" in improving household food security to lay the foundation for better nutrition? This discussion paper explores the conceptual linkages...

After the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) that was co-organized by FAO and WHO, in Rome, in November 2014, participants adopted a Framework for Action for future...

Keywords: Food systems

Within food systems, businesses have to be incentivized towards supplying more safe and nutritious food at affordable prices. Simultaneously, consumers need more incentives to make better...

This online course illustrates the linkages between agriculture, food systems, and nutrition. Starting from two realistic scenarios, the course describes benefits and opportunities for...

During this webinar, the inaugural round of fellows from the IMMANA program highlighted their research on developing new methodological approaches to guide agricultural interventions for...

Bangladesh achieved rapid growth in rice productivity at a relatively late stage in Asia's Green Revolution, as well as unheralded progress against undernutrition. This paper identifies the...

Keywords: Agriculture, Food systems
Location: Bangladesh

Poor diet is the number one risk factor driving the world’s disease burden. This evidence-based report is designed to help policymakers make their food systems more supportive of high...

The roundtable brought together African leaders in agriculture and health to discuss opportunities for the agricultural community to achieve nutrition security through healthy diets. It...

Positive monitoring reports and feedback from Ghana indicate that the School Meals Planner Package tool can be adapted for other countries to meet context-specific needs. The package...

The livestock sector is an important part of the development of agriculture and food systems. It drives major economic, social, and environmental changes in food systems worldwide, and...

This research examines correlations between socioeconomic status of women, anemia prevalence, and potential sources of iron in household diets in Afghanistan. It also explores whether...

The third in a series of reports focused on the future of food, this latest release from the World Bank focuses on how the food system can deliver improved nutrition and health for better...

Urbanization and the transformation of agriculture, food systems, and rural spaces present challenges and opportunities for inclusive growth, poverty eradication, economic, environmental...

The Sustainable Development Goals agenda makes achieving food security and ending malnutrition a global priority. Within this framework, the importance of fisheries in local and global food...

This paper proposes a new food security assessment methodology based on the concept of sustainable nutrition security (SNS). The model defines seven metrics: (1) food nutrient adequacy; (2...

This event discussed how open data on agriculture and nutrition can foster innovation and drive organizational and sector change through increased transparency. Public and private open data...

Providing nutritionally balanced school meals with complementary nutrition education can deliver improved school performance and nutrition literacy among children. Procuring food for...

Keywords: Food systems

Inequality determines who eats and what they eat—this in turn affects peoples’ resilience in the face of climate change and other environmental factors. This report recommends priorities...

This video by Dr. Anna Herforth discusses the pathways through which agriculture can support good nutrition, indicators that can be used to measure agriculture’s impact on nutrition, and...

Efforts to improve nutrition outcomes are impaired by fragmented evidence on which policies and interventions work best. The existing tools that are intended to measure the outcomes of...

Keywords: Food systems

This year’s global nutrition report card assesses countries’ progress toward achieving nutrition targets and explores how to build sustainable and nutritious food systems. It documents how...

Keywords: Food systems

This policy brief presses for nutrition-smart actions to ensure food security in the face of climate change. Rather than exclusively promoting high production of staple crops, the focus...

Keywords: Food systems

Dairy consumption has the potential to improve dietary diversity among smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. This blog emphasizes how human nutrition should be considered throughout...

Keywords: Food systems
Location: Africa

Curbing food waste and reducing meat consumption are among the changes that are needed across the food system to achieve zero hunger by 2030.More extreme weather and a global temperature...

Keywords: Food systems
Location: Africa

This collection of papers moves agriculture and health research towards markets and food systems, and beyond household production. The selection has three groups of papers: the first laying...

Keywords: Food systems

This brief links business environments with nutrition and explores value chain approaches through analyzing their benefits to the food system. The authors describe an approach to increase...

Keywords: Food systems

As urbanization and household incomes in Africa increase, most peoples’ relationship with the food landscape also shifts. Changing economies cause increased non-agricultural employment, and...

Keywords: Food systems
Location: Africa

Focusing on the United States, this book provides a framework to assess the multiple factors that impact the food system. A Framework for Assessing Effects of the Food System provides a...

Keywords: Food systems

This report outlines cross-sectoral interventions necessary to improve world food systems and calls upon actors to bridge the gap between scientific research and policy implementation....

Keywords: Food systems

The paper emphasizes the necessity of a world food system and outlines a collaborative agenda for associated program implementers and partners to achieve it within the context of the...

Keywords: Food systems

Agroecology applies ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable food systems, potentially strengthening resilience among smallholder farmers and their...

Günter Hemrich, a Senior Strategy and Planning Officer with the FAO, continues discussions around the link between food systems and nutrition prompted by the Second International Conference...

Keywords: Food systems

FAO and UNEP are jointly developing a programme on sustainable food systems under the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (10YFP). In this...

Keywords: Food systems

The Key Recommendations for Improving Nutrition through Agriculture and Food Systems, facilitated by Anna Herforth are now available in Spanish and French.

Keywords: Food systems

Every year, the planet loses nearly a third of its food—a staggering 1.4 billion tons. That’s according to a 2011 United Nations study that assessed food networks in 152 countries. This...

Keywords: Food systems

In Egypt, less than 5 percent of land is suitable for agriculture. To meet growing demand, aquaculture will need to come together with agriculture to increase food production per unit of...

Keywords: Agriculture, Food systems
Location: Egypt

There is currently a lot of discussion around the role of food systems in better framing agriculture and nutrition within the context of producers, retailers, consumers, and a range of...

Along with lack of nutrition knowledge, gender dimensions may affect the pathways leading from livestock ownership to child animal source food intake and ultimately to young child growth....

Keywords: Gender, Food systems
Location: Kenya

SPRING has developed a series of briefs that illustrate how evidence-based pathways and principles can strengthen agriculture and nutrition linkages under Feed the Future. Short vignettes...

Animal-sourced foods, though good sources of vitamin A, are often too expensive for poor rural populations. Crops biofortified with provitamin A offer a convenient and accessible source of...

According to the authors of this 1998 article, the ‘food system’ is a widely used concept, but with few systematic frameworks that model its full scope and structure. Even at sixteen years...

Keywords: Food systems

The annual LCIRAH conference brings together researchers from around the world, this year to examine the impact of agri-food policies, institutions, and governance on human health and...

The symposium included two keynote addresses discussing the 2013 Lancet Series on Nutrition and the role of Aflatoxin in growth suppression, a session on multi-sectoral nutrition research...