food systems (2)

9850054881?profile=originalThe anticipated failure of many countries to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 necessitates the assessment of science–policy engagement mechanisms for food systems transformation. 

A High Level Expert Group (EG) of the European Commission explore options for enhancing existing partnerships, mandates and resources — or reimagining a new mission — for science–policy interfaces in this paper.

The science policy interfaces (SPI) options presented in this paper provide a potential framework to promote consensus around ways to achieve independent scientific interaction with policy needs at different scales. Establishing more effective food systems SPIs will require financial and political capital and time-defined dialogues that go beyond cooperation among existing SPIs to include other actors (including national and regional governments, the private sector and NGOs). These dialogues should be shaped by openness, inclusivity, transparency, scientific independence and institutional legitimacy.

The UN Food Systems Summit held in September 2021 provided some space for this discussion, which should be furthered during the UN Climate Change Conference in the UK (COP26) and Nutrition for Growth in Tokyo. The global community must seize on this historic moment to formulate commitments that enhance SPIs and that concretely help them to support the urgently needed transformation of our food systems.

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The Food Systems Dashboard is a new tool that aims to describe global, regional and national food systems; to assess the challenges for improving diets, nutrition and health; and to guide its users to set priorities and decide on actions.

The need for this tool was identified by Jess Fanzo at Johns Hopkins University and Lawrence Haddad at The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) in 2018 when working on the team that wrote the UN High Level Panel of Experts on Food Systems and Nutrition report. 

The data are publicly accessible via the online Dashboard, which has a well-designed and easy-to-navigate user interface, as designed by iTech Mission with user testing and feedback from our team and additional pilot testing and modifications planned following the launch. The Figure  shows how food systems data are transformed from original data sources to metadata that can be altered through data structural changes and visual mapping resulting in graphical views of data. iTech has visual information design experience across a range of platforms, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Dashboard.

The Dashboard is intended as the primary resource for decision makers to find curated, high-quality data and analytics on their country’s food systems. The data gives users insight into the state of their food systems and their effects on nutrition and health. The Dashboard also suggests parts of the food system that may require corrective action through actionable indicators. 

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