Prioritizing FAO’s food composition work

Via the International Network of Food Data Systems (INFOODS) discussion list we hear from FAO’s Ruth Charrondiere that:

…FAO’s “Medium Term Plan 2014-17 (reviewed) and Programme of Work and Budget 2016-17” … states on p.21: “Nutrition: in realigning and strengthening work on nutrition in follow-up to ICN2,1 reduce work on nutrition education curricular development and some food composition work.” (emphasis added)

This came as a surprise, apparently, because

…the evaluation of FAO’s role and work in nutrition of 2011 recommended exactly the contrary: see p.14 and recommendation 7.

Part of that recommendation was for

…FAO to build capacity at the regional and sub-regional levels, encourage regional collaboration to support countries (especially focal countries) to collect and analyse food composition data that is demanded by end-users for ensuring the nutrition sensitivity of policies and programme interventions.

Which seems very sensible. A good part of the food composition data work, of course, has focused on within-crop diversity in nutritional quality, which is why this proposed reduction is of interest to us here. Or maybe the powers that be at FAO are simply declaring victory, having decided that they have achieved what they wanted in this area. Anyway, you get to have your say, because

In order to know which part of our work is the least relevant for countries, and thus could be de-emphasized, I designed a survey which I hope many of you will complete ASAP. Please disseminate it widely also to colleagues who work on food composition.

  1. That would be the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition, held in November last year. []

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