National Policies and Strategies


The need to make food, land and water systems more productive, resilient and responsive to growing demand — and future shocks — in a rapidly changing global context has never been greater. Many parts of society continue to experience food and nutrition insecurity, income poverty, inequality and economic marginalization. Countries are operating within a rapidly changing landscape of urbanization, migration, political insecurity, pockets of conflict, climate change and other demographic and social changes that are likely to exacerbate these inequalities. In the absence of combined “ministries for food systems,” government action towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through better integration of food, land and water systems remains fragmented and uncoordinated. 

More coordinated action requires greater policy coherence in order to address complex trade-offs and maximize benefits. More coherence will help reduce future risks and uncertainties. It will also help transform food, land and water systems by supporting sustainable investments, effective national programming and reduced inequalities. 


This Initiative aims to deliver food and water security by identifying ways of building stronger policies and strategies with greater coherence and capacity, helping countries address current crises and future development needs.


This objective will be achieved through:

  • Building policy coherence in targeted countries by developing a policy coherence dashboard as well as a framework for food, land and water policy coherence and piloting a policy coherence-building mechanism. It will also strengthen policy research coherence within CGIAR through cross-CGIAR policy coherence mechanisms and monitoring CGIAR policy research and communication activities at country level and supporting more effective policy influencing.  
  • Integrating policy tools to strengthen the analytical performance of countries’ institutions — a cornerstone of building more effective policy responses. Using innovative approaches and co-creating user-friendly tools, the Initiative will play a key role in holistic policy analysis at the country level to analyze the coherence and trade-offs between policies and investments.  
  • Responding to crises by building policy communities of practice at country level around common themes and challenges to support rapid-response to crises and promote evidence-based decision-making and policy coherence. 


This Initiative will work in the following countries: Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, Laos and Nigeria. 


Proposed 3-year outcomes include:

    1. Six countries adopt/refine policies and strategies that foster gender-equitable and socially inclusive food, land and water systems transformation. 
    2. Six countries use at least one CGIAR or partner tool or innovation to guide and prioritize policies and investments that achieve higher returns and impact more diverse populations. 
    3. Six countries establish multistakeholder and multi-level communities of policy practice to guide policy and strategy design and investments, coordinate funding investments and demonstrate increased capacity to use investment prioritization and other tools to guide program directions and crises responses. 
    4. Government and local thinktanks in six countries demonstrate increased awareness of and capacity to use investment prioritization and other CGIAR or partner tools to guide program direction and crises responses. 
    5. Six country partners begin using data-driven policy approaches involving rigorous quantification of effects and integrate findings from impact evaluations into policy and investment design. 
    6. Six countries exhibit more collaboration and dialogue across ministries, more coherent policy responses and a more coherent CGIAR engagement leading to enhanced policy outcomes in line with national development target and CGIAR impact areas. 
    7. Six countries’ institutions have co-created CGIAR tools and have shared capacity that enables them to sustainably use and update at least one CGIAR tool or other innovation for policy and strategy analysis.  
    8. Six countries adopt or refine policies and strategies based on Initiative research and tools that support crisis response and/or foster more inclusive food, land and water systems transformations. 


                  Projected impacts and benefits include:


                  Countries are supported to use evidence to define policies and prioritize investments with the greatest potential for impact on nutrition, health and food security, assisting 4.5 million people to meet minimum dietary energy requirements.


                  Women, youth and marginalized groups benefit through increased, more inclusive investments under large government, private sector and donor-funded programs that generate employment and contribute to improved efficiency beyond the farm, across food, land and water systems. Around 5.8 million people are assisted to exit poverty. 


                  Around 8.3 million women, as well as youth and marginalized groups, benefit and are empowered through better returns from shared food, land and water systems as a result of strategies and programs designed and implemented with explicit attention to equity and inclusion. 


                  Climate impacts, especially on the poorest and most marginalized, are minimized through activities and policies that are less fragmented and reduce trade-offs, leading to improvements in climate adaptation and resilience responses, as well as contributing to net carbon capture and retention in agrifood systems, benefiting 7.8 million people.


                  Governments better manage environmental trade-offs and achieve food, land and water system transformations that succeed in reducing 20 km3 in consumptive water use, and strengthening environmental health and biodiversity in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems under pressure from economic and demographic growth.


                  Coherence or cross-purposes? Building national coalitions for transformative evidence-based policies

                  For more details, view the Initiative proposal


                  Photo by Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock.