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How policy dialogues can be a useful tool in advocacy - Ethiopia 2024

At Right2Grow, empowering local advocacy efforts to influence policy is at the core of our mission. If communities can get a seat at the table where change truly can happen at a national scale, we can create sustainable change for future generations. Ethiopia recently had a high-level policy dialogue on the establishment of a Nutrition and Food System Council. The event brought together senior government officials from the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, the Prime Minister's Office, as well as representatives from non-governmental actors such as FAO, UNICEF, USAID, and R2G partner organizations, and private sector stakeholders.

The Policy Dialogue - Watch the aftermovie here!

The dialogue focused on an in-depth examination of the existing legal and institutional framework governing food systems and nutrition across the country. Participants highlighted Ethiopia's commendable efforts to implement a variety of legal and institutional frameworks aimed at improving food security and nutrition. However, a dedicated, independent government agency to oversee food systems and nutrition functions is still not part of existing policy.

How Can we Use Policy Dialogues for Change?

Such events are essential when it comes to bringing different parties and perspectives to the table. Right2Grow aims to empower and mobilise civil society and political entities to lead to such moments where everyone can bring in their expertise and inefficient policy. To recognise the urgency of addressing this gap, such dialogues can create a roadmap on how to move forward with a decisive plan of action.

In the case of Ethiopia, this included the creation of a task force of nutrition and legal experts. The primary objective of this task force will be to conduct a rapid and comprehensive assessment of the legal and institutional landscape to identify gaps in Ethiopia's food systems and nutrition sector. The expected outcome is a set of strategic recommendations designed to engage and persuade senior government officials to formally establish the much-needed National Food Systems and Nutrition Council.

This unprecedented initiative marks a significant step forward in strengthening Ethiopia's commitment to effective governance of its food systems and nutrition sector, ensuring the well-being of its citizens and promoting sustainable development. This dialogue resulted in a convincing policy brief, and serves as a critical milestone in the pursuit of a healthier, more secure future for all.

Read the full policy brief here

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