Taking A Food Systems Approach to Policymaking

R4D and City, University of London
Resource type:
Advocacy and policy

To articulate what it means to take a food systems approach and support policymakers around the world to do so, R4D and City, University of London created a package of resources — consisting of an evidence review and four technical briefs— designed to address these questions. These resources define a food systems approach, explore potential entry points in different sectors, present ways to identify and engage relevant stakeholders, and discuss the cost and financing considerations.

Building on existing knowledge, frameworks, and thinking, they provide pragmatic and practical ideas for how to operationalize a food systems approach holistically and effectively to achieve a greater impact on food system outcomes. They provide country examples that illustrate real-world lessons and give links to existing tools and resources that policymakers can use to get started or bolster ongoing efforts.

The Evidence Review draws on existing studies, it provides examples of the impacts of policies and programs in five policy areas (cash and food transfers, food safety, road transport infrastructure, agricultural extension, and land tenure) on five food system outcomes (diets and food environments, agricultural production, livelihoods, gender equality, and environmental sustainability)

These four technical briefs aim to support policymakers on how to make policy decisions to shift the food system toward better outcomes. 

  1. Brief I. Taking a Food Systems Approach to Policymaking: What, How, and Why
  2. Brief II. Taking a Food Systems Approach to Policymaking: Managing Stakeholders and Identifying Policy Entry Points
  3. Brief III. Taking a Food Systems Approach to Policymaking: Developing a Shared Agenda
  4. Brief IV. Taking a Food Systems Approach to Policymaking: Costing and Financing



This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed