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Current Position:Home » News » General News » Topic

UN report calls for improved data governance for food security

Zoom in font  Zoom out font Published: 2022-09-20  Origin: foodingredientsfirst  Views: 6
Core Tip: The way data is used for food security and nutrition needs an overhaul. That is the assertion from a new UN report calling for improvements.
The way data is used for food security and nutrition needs an overhaul. That is the assertion from a new UN report calling for improvements.

Recognizing the data revolution and all its implications is necessary to effectively use data to transform food systems and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

The report analyzes the challenges and opportunities in taking full advantage of the data revolution and outlines recommendations for policymakers and decision-makers.

Creating sustainable food systems
It says that data systems and digital technologies can be powerful tools that greatly assist policymakers with short, medium, and longer-term decision-making for sustainable food systems.

The High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE-FSN) of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) launched its flagship report on “Data collection and analysis tools for food security and nutrition: toward enhancing effective, inclusive, evidence-informed, decision making.”

Bernard Lehmann, an HLPE-FSN chairperson, said there is an urgent need to agree on the nature of data and information related to food security and nutrition as a public good.

“High-quality data and its accurate and timely analysis are essential for decision-making on food security and nutrition. While an abundance of data on food can provide great opportunities for transforming food systems, they can also create new risks and deepen inequalities”, Lehmann says.

While many may live in places where data and information flow with unprecedented mass and speed, many countries still lack sustainable data systems and related capacities.

Therefore, the report calls for a rethink of data collection and analysis tools to ensure complete and proper use and reuse of existing data. It also recommends investing in capacity development at all levels, starting in primary and secondary education, to include statistics and data science early in public education programs, and continuing through specialized training of professionals working in public and private institutions.

FAO Director-General QU Dongyu welcomes the report, claiming the recommendations arising from this report will be an essential contribution to the global effort to address hunger and malnutrition.

“Sound decisions are based on evidence-based information. We must address the gap in quality data as it is essential to monitor progress and understand where the world stands in achieving our collective Sustainable Development Goals.”

Data gaps
The report provides numerous examples of good practices of food security and nutrition data collection and analysis initiatives that could be further enhanced and used in developing similar initiatives.

The review also identifies the most critical remaining data gaps, such as, for example, data on the characteristics of agricultural holdings, farms and other industries; information on household food expenditure; and, most importantly, data on individual access to food and dietary intakes.

The report presents clear calls for action and list of detailed recommendations on better use of data to effectively guide strategic policy making in agriculture, food security and nutrition.

This includes;

- Greater demand for data for decision-making among governments, policymakers and donors.
- Optimizing and repurposing current data-related investments while increasing collaboration between international organizations, governments, civil society, academia and the private sector to harmonize and maximize the sharing of existing food security and nutrition data.
- Increasing and sustaining investment in collecting essential food security and nutrition data.
- Investing in human capital and the needed infrastructures to ensure the sustainability of data processing and analytic capacity sustainability.
- Improving data governance at all levels, promoting inclusiveness to recognize and enhance agency among data users and data generators. 
keywords: food security
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