Developing evidence and action toward a double-duty food-based policy bundle to ensure healthier diets in Ghana
By 2030, non-communicable diseases are predicted to become the leading cause of death in Africa, amidst prevailing challenges of infectious diseases, undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies. Unhealthy food environments hinder progress to overcoming the burden of malnutrition. There is increasing evidence for, and recognition of, the effectiveness of a set of policies that change consumer food environments and enable more nutritious diets. Food systems and public health experts, including the World Health Organization, are referring to them as “best buys” for their cost-effectiveness and feasibility for combating the double burden of malnutrition in low- and middle-income countries.
These policies aim to support clear, truthful information for all consumers, healthier food availability in public institutions and markets, and adjustment of the relative price of foods to equitably promote health and economic value. Globally, an increasing number of countries are implementing these policies, although few from Africa have done so to date. Recent food systems analysis and dialogues among high-level government and other food systems stakeholders in Ghana have led to consensus on policy action. At the recent United Nations Food Systems Summit, the Ghanaian president made among the boldest of commitments to food-systems change.
This project will respond to this readiness for action by building evidence and mobilizing multi-stakeholder action toward a policy bundle for healthier and more equitable consumer food environments that reduce the double burden of malnutrition. A coalition of government agencies, academia and civil society organizations will collaborate to establish the gender-responsive evidence, tools, policy pathways and evaluation to enable the political commitments and food-systems change to be realized.
This project will be funded through the Catalyzing Change for Health and Sustainable Food Systems Initiative, a co-funding partnership between IDRC and the Rockefeller Foundation.