April Is Policy Month on Agrilinks
Welcome to Policy Month on Agrilinks!
Public policy plays a vital role in how food systems function. More successful policies enable more people to eat nutritious foods and lift themselves out of poverty; but at their worst, policy failures can lead to scarcity and famine.
Policy formation is not always straightforward. It is the result of a complex system involving a policy agenda and how it is set, the institutional architecture comprising the many public and private stakeholders involved in the critical pathway for policy formulation and implementation and the mutual accountability systems that ensure adherence to committed actions by all parties. The interplay between these three elements can shape the effectiveness of policies, acceptance by stakeholders and, ultimately, the likelihood of achieving desired outcomes.
Since its inception, Feed the Future has recognized the central role that policies play in food systems. Effective and predictable policy systems can facilitate private sector growth and investment, promote systemic resilience, enhance inclusion of traditionally marginalized groups and communities, and can ensure local ownership by governments and nongovernment stakeholders alike. Our programs in policy research and support have continued to help us evolve our understanding of how locally owned policy systems can be improved through better research, inclusive stakeholder consultations and more effective analysis driven by the expressed needs of decision-makers.
Over the course of this month, we hope to offer more context around:
- The systemic nature of policy change and local ownership
- How policies can offer tangible benefits for food systems strengthening and resilience
- Where our partners are engaging on climate, seeds, trade, regional integration and a variety of other topics
While you are waiting for the first posts, we encourage you to peruse information from a variety of implementing partners that have been engaging in policy systems reform on behalf of USAID:
- Policy LINK
- International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
- Innovation Lab for Policy Research, Capacity and Influence (PRCI)
- Feed The Future Policy Research Consortium
Finally, we want to hear from you! We also hope to use this month to encourage others to share their stories of policy systems reform and impact on all facets of food system strengthening. We encourage you to submit your own stories to Agrilinks throughout this month to offer opportunities for shared learning in policy systems strengthening.