USAID and USAID Advancing Nutrition curated this focused set of tools to support USAID Missions and partners in putting a food systems approach into action. The toolkit comprises resources that provide practical guidance on how to design, implement, and measure concrete activities that improve diets and nutrition through food systems. It includes resources developed by USAID and USAID Advancing Nutrition, as well as other organizations.

How to Use the Toolkit

Use the search below to organize the tools and resources based on where they are most relevant within a food system, using the components outlined in the Bureau for Resilience and Food Security Conceptual Framework. You can also sort resources according to their program application, including design, implementation, and evaluation.

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Cooperative Members in Bugesera, Rwanda Farming Fortified Beans
Photo Credit: Herve Irankunda \ USAID Feed the Future

Search the Food Systems Toolkit

We found 19 resource(s)

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Developing Resources to Support Policymakers to Take a Food Systems Approach to Policymaking

Centre for Food Policy at City, University of London, Research for Development (R4D), , Investment Levers, Design, Implementation
There are increasing calls to take a food systems approach to food and nutrition policy; however, it is often unclear how policymakers can adopt this approach and adapt it to their particular context. R4D and the Centre for Food Policy at City at University of London developed an evidence review and four technical briefs to respond to this challenge. The briefs provide practical guidance on how to operationalize a food systems approach to acheive improve food systems outcomes.

Food Processing for Improved Diets

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Food Supply, Design, Implementation
The relationship between food processing and diets is complex; expanding the production of processed foods may play a role in both supporting and hindering food systems in delivering safe, nutritious diets. In regions of the world with high burdens of malnutrition—including both overweight/obesity, micronutrient deficiency, and undernutrition—food processing can be leveraged to improve diets and nutrition.

Diet Assessment Decision Tool

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Development Outcomes, Evaluation
This tool makes it easier for practitioners and decision makers to understand dietary patterns and nutrient intake. Such information is critical to design, monitor, and evaluate efforts to improve diets. The decision tool provides existing data sources and data collection tools related to five different target groups.

USAID Large-Scale Food Fortification Programming Guide: Supporting Food Fortification at a Country Level and on a Global Scale

USAID, , Food Supply, Design
Large-scale food fortification (LSFF) has been shown to be a cost-effective approach to provide essential vitamins and minerals to households that are unable to access a diverse, healthy diet. The programming guide was designed for USAID Missions and implementing partners but can be used by any programmer or decision maker aiming to asses and adjust LSFF programming in low and middle income countries to better meet the needs of the local context.

DQQ Tools and Data

Global Diet Quality Project, , Development Outcomes, Evaluation
The Global Diet Quality project developed the Diet Quality Questionnaire (DQQ), a standardized, easy-to-use, 5-minute survey for collecting comparable food group consumption data. You can visit their website to access the DQQ and other tools to monitor trends and compare diet quality in and across countries and sectors.

Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Design Guide Community of Practice

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Food Supply, Design
This is a COP to support implementing partners in preparing to facilitate a workshop to design more effective nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions. You can access the COP to ask questions, share experiences, and access technical resources related to the guide.

Global Individual Food Consumption Data Tool

FAO, WHO, , Development Outcomes, Design, Evaluation
The Global Individual Food Consumption Data Tool (GIFT) is an online platform that includes regularly updated data food safety and nutrition data from around the world. You can visit the platform to access quantitative food consumption data from national and local level surveys, food based indicators, and microdata, which can be downloaded for further analysis. GIFT aims to support programmers and decision makers to make informed decisions related to food safety and nutrition. 

The Integral Role of Food Safety in Strengthening Food Systems

USAID, , Investment Levers, Design, Evaluation, Implementation
This brief outlines how USAID is promoting adoption of food safety practices within the food system. You can learn more about steps you can take to incorporate food safety into planning and programming.

Food Prices for Nutrition

Tufts, , Food Environment, Design, Evaluation
Food Prices for Nutrition project develops tools and conducts research to help programmers and policymakers access and use food price and diet cost data to design more effective food systems policies and programs for nutrition. You can access a range of publications resources on their website to learn about metrics and how they can be used.

Locally Led Development: Partnering for Improved Nutrition Brief

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Investment Levers, Design
This brief draws on lessons learned from a USAID project in Odisha, India to provide recommendations for USAID and other implementing partners on how to partner with local government, systems, and structures to scale nutrition interventions. You can learn about six recommendations on how to build and maintain successful partnerships.


International Dietary Data Expansion Project, , Development Outcomes, Evaluation
Data4Diets aims to help programmers, researchers, policymakers in accessing and applying diet and food security indicators. You can access their online repository to learn more about which indicators are best suited for your objectives, which data sources are most appropriate, and how the indicators can be used to guide actionable policy.

Methods, Tools, and Metrics for Evaluating Market Food Environments in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Food Environment, Design, Evaluation, Implementation
This report highlights 47 existing tools, methods, and metrics that are suitable for evaluating the food environment in low and middle income countries. You can learn more about which assessments are relevant for your program context.

Social and Behavior Change Resources for Women's Healthy Diets: 5 Gaps and Recommendations

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Food and Water Utilization, Design, Evaluation, Implementation
This brief outlines five gaps and recommendations in social and behavior change (SBC) resources for women's healthy diets. You can learn more about where more research and tools are needed to guide future SBC investment and programming.

42 Policies and Actions to Orient Food Systems Towards Healthier Diets For All

Centre for Food Policy, , Drivers, Design
This report draws on recent evidence to outline 42 policy actions that policymakers and programmers can enact to support food systems in delivering nutritious, high-quality diets for all. You can use this resource to get ideas for where to intervene throughout the food system; including action oriented toward production, supply chains, food environments and consumers. The report includes the potential impact of each action.

Food Systems Dashboard

Johns Hopkins University and The Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition, , Drivers, Design
The Food Systems Dashboard is an online tool that policymakers and programmers can use to access and visualize food systems data. You can use it to compare food systems data across regions and countries and track progress on key indicators.

Designing Effective Nutrition-Sensitive Agriculture Activities Workshop: Facilitator's Guide and Slides

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Food Supply, Design
This is a step-by-step guide to help implementing partners design and measure nutrition-sensitive agriculture interventions. You can use it during the start up or working planning phases of a project.

Food Systems and Nutrition E-Consultation Report

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Investment Levers, Design, Evaluation, Implementation
This report provides recommendations for decision makers and donors about where more research and investment is needed to bridge existing evidence gaps and reshape food systems to improve health and nutrition. You can learn more about five priority areas for future research.

Food Systems and Diets: A Handbook of Essential Policies

The Global Panel on Agriculture and Food Systems for Nutrition, , Drivers, Design
This handbook highlights essential entry points within the food systems where policymakers can intervene to shift food systems towards providing more safe, affordable, and accessible, and nutritious diets. You can this as a resource to draw and adapt ideas for developing policies tailored to your specific context.

Landscape Assessment: Food Processing in Feed the Future Investments

USAID Advancing Nutrition, , Food Supply, Design, Evaluation, Implementation
This executive summary summarizes findings from an assessment of USAID Feed the Future food processing programs and provides recommendations for how USAID and implementing partners can improve food processing programming for better diets and nutrition. You can learn more about opportunities to improve diet quality within food processing interventions.