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Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review

The Agriculture and Nutrition Resource Review is a monthly selection of materials to keep you updated on research and developments related to strengthening linkages between agriculture and nutrition. Resources from this month’s review are featured below. To see materials from earlier editions, or to view resources from across SPRING's technical areas, visit the Resource Review.

Interested in a broader perspective? You can find interesting resources from across SPRING’s technical areas in the Resource Review

Research Articles
Recent findings from academic and peer-reviewed journals

Meemken, E., Spielman, D., and Qaima, M. Food Policy, August 2017, Volume 71, Pages 74-85.

This study uses panel data from small-scale coffee producers in Uganda and compares the effects of two of the most popular sustainability standards used by smallholder farmers in developing countries – Organic and Fairtrade. It analyzes welfare effects in terms of household expenditures, child education, and nutrition. Results show that Organic and Fairtrade both have positive effects on total consumption expenditures. However, notable differences are observed in terms of the other outcomes. Organic contributes to improved nutrition but has no effect on education. For Fairtrade, it is exactly the opposite. The results suggest that food standards can be a tool to promote sustainability goals in the small farm sector.

Phulkerd, S., Sacks, G.,Vandevijvere, S., Worsleye, A., and Lawrence, M. Food Policy, August 2017, Volume 71, Pages 101-110.

Thailand is experiencing an increasing burden of obesity and diet-related non-communicable diseases. The Thai government has responded by developing a number of policies to protect and promote healthy eating. The aim of this study was to identify barriers and potential facilitators to the implementation of two new government regulations related to food advertising and front-of-pack labeling. The successful implementation of policies to create healthy food environments in Thailand will likely require attention towards improving the capacity and authority of government agencies, infrastructure to support multi-sectoral platforms, inter-organizational networks, and adequate resources.

Reports, Tools, and Other Related Materials
A diverse collection of programmatic materials and news

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2017.

The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World monitors progress towards both the targets of ending hunger (SDG Target 2.1) and all forms of malnutrition (SDG Target 2.2). It includes thematic analyses of how food security and nutrition are related to progress on other SDG targets. This year, the report has broadened in scope to include a focus on nutrition, and UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) have joined the traditional partnership of FAO, IFAD, and WFP in preparing this annual report. This year’s report found that after a prolonged decline, the most recent estimates indicate that global hunger increased in 2016 and now affects 815 million people. The report warns that the greater number of conflicts, whose impacts are often exacerbated by climate-related shocks, is one of the main drivers behind this shift, which is threatening to derail the international commitment to end hunger and all forms of malnutrition by 2030.

Transform Nutrition, September 2017.

This guide reports on the learning that has emerged from the Transform Nutrition consortium's research examining the potential of the social protection and agriculture sectors in Bangladesh and Ethiopia to reduce chronic undernutrition. Taken together, these studies suggest that social protection by itself may have little effect on improving children’s nutritional status, and suggest the importance of behavior change communication activities as a complement. Additionally, the studies found that agricultural development may contribute most to improvements in children’s nutritional status when it includes market-integration activities that make available a wider range of foods, when it is twinned with nutrition BCC activities, and when the improvement in diet includes animal source foods.

Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) Project, September 2017.

This report discusses the broad scope and range of FANTA’s multisectoral nutrition programming activities in developing countries. The report includes the tools and methods the project developed to promote country-led, evidence-based, scalable multisectoral approaches to improved nutrition.

SNV, August 2017.

This technical brief provides an overview of community SBCC and triggering on positive nutrition and hygiene behaviours. It summarises some key insights and findings from Sustainable Nutrition for All (SN4A) in Zambia and Uganda, a project which aims to improve dietary diversity for all household members, with a particular focus on women of reproductive age (WRA) and infants under 2 years. This brief is intended to assist policymakers, practitioners, and researchers in understanding the approaches and tools used and guide investments in demand triggering and SBCC.

Committee on Food Security, HLPE, September 2017.

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 framework proposed by the HLPE identifies three interacting elements of food systems: food supply chains, food environments, and consumer behavior. The report calls for radical transformations drawing upon effective policies and programs that have the potential to shape food systems, contributing to improved food security and nutrition. Finally, the report provides a set of action-oriented recommendations addressed to states and other stakeholders in order to inform the Committee on Food Security engagement in advancing nutrition and its contribution to the UN Decade of Action.

Links to presentations, proceedings, and other meeting materials

Health Communication Capacity Collaborative (HC3), September 2017.

This webinar held on September 25, 2017, provided an overview of key considerations when designing, implementing, and evaluating integrated social and behavior change communication (SBCC) programs. Presenters highlighted the key advantages and challenges involved in integrated SBCC programs, shared experiences and lessons learned from country program examples, and discussed data collection methods from ongoing projects.

CFS/Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), September 2017.

The Committee on Food Security (CFS) and the UN Standing Committee on Nutrition (UNSCN) held an event on stunting to highlight the interconnectedness of the causes of childhood stunting and the need to act on them simultaneously while targeting actions within health, social protection, and food systems.

The World Food Program and Secure Nutrition, September 2017.

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 Gap (FNG) tool, which is aimed at stakeholders who are engaged in designing multisectoral strategies for nutrition at the country level. The FNG tool leverages context-specific secondary sources of data and information on factors that directly or indirectly impact whether people can access and consume nutritious foods, and, ultimately, whether they meet recommended nutrient intakes. The FNG presents data on the current situation which country stakeholders can use to formulate recommendations for policies and programming in agriculture, food systems, health, social protection, education, and other sectors which can contribute to improving nutrition.

Online Community Corner
Discussions and resources from communities of practice and professional networks

Hivos People Unlimited an International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), September 2017.

This seven-minute video shows Zambia's double malnutrition burden: stunting and overweight. A major cause is the limited diversity of Zambia’s food production and consumption: 94 percent of agricultural produce is maize. The Hivos and IIED Sustainable Diets for All programme helps develop and implement policies that diversify Zambian production and supports consumers to diversify their diets. Food diversity counts!