The Food Systems Dashboard Is Remarkable

The Lempert Report
September 25, 2020

The Dashboard has three main objectives–describe, diagnose, and decide.

Created by the Johns Hopkins’ Alliance for a Healthier World, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Dashboard compiles food systems data from over 35 sources and it displays a complete picture of over 230 countries food systems and enables government officials, policy makers, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and others to see what is and is not working across the supply chain.

It is exactly what we need as the frailties of the world’s food supply chain has been exposed to retailers, farmers, transporters, processors and yes, even consumers.

The Dashboard has three main objectives–describe, diagnose, and decide. It presents data to describe a country’s food system, help decision makers diagnose the problem areas in their systems, and suggest policies, programs, and interventions to address identified issues. The Dashboard’s indicators, which comprise of over 180 data points,  range from agriculture production factors to diet-related disease rates, are broken down into five broad categories: food supply chains, food environments, individual factors, consumer behavior, and outcomes.

Dr. Jessica Fanzo of Johns Hopkins University and Dr. Rebecca McLaren, global coordinator for the Dashboard, tells Food Tank “We hope that the Dashboard not only draws attention to the importance of food systems in shaping development priorities, but that it also can be used as a data-driven problem solving tool for more difficult food system challenges that countries may face.”

“The Dashboard is open to all and will foster much needed cooperation in transforming our food systems,” says FAO Director-General, QU Dongyu, “With the threats and opportunities presented by COVID-19, we need more collaboration between stakeholders who care about hunger, nutrition, livelihoods, climate, biodiversity, and sustainable natural resource use.”