Strengthening and Harmonizing Food Policy Systems to Achieve Food Security: A Case Study and Lessons from Ghana

40 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2017

See all articles by Suresh Chandra Babu

Suresh Chandra Babu

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Sylvia Blom

Cornell University

Date Written: February 15, 2017


Understanding how various entities in a policy system at the national level can contribute to improved use of evidence in policy making. Yet little research has focused in developing countries on how various actors and players in a policy system work together to achieve a set of policy goals. In this paper, we study the factors contributing to the effectiveness of a policy system. The process of policy design, adoption, implementation, and refinement requires an effective policy system as well as a capacitated and supportive institutional structure. External actors both through technical and financial assistance often support policy systems in developing countries. Poor coordination and harmonization of such assistance among various actors and players within the country can often result in undermining the very policy systems they try to strengthen. This is typical in the African agricultural development process. In this paper, we develop a conceptual framework for understanding the policy and institutional architecture of food and agriculture policy system and for improving the coordination and harmonization of the roles of policy actors and players. Applying the framework to Ghana, we map and analyze the organizational contributions of various actors and their functional characteristics. We show how such analysis can aid various policy actors in setting priorities and strategies for increasing their capacity and the effectiveness of their roles. Finally, we draw lessons for strengthening the food policy systems in developing countries through effective coordination among local and external actors.

Keywords: GHANA, WEST AFRICA, AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA, AFRICA, policy, food policy, developing countries, foreign aid, coordination, food policy system, policy harmonization, strengthening capacity, policy coordination, African agricultural development

Suggested Citation

Babu, Suresh Chandra and Blom, Sylvia, Strengthening and Harmonizing Food Policy Systems to Achieve Food Security: A Case Study and Lessons from Ghana (February 15, 2017). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1607, Available at SSRN:

Suresh Chandra Babu (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St., NW
Communications Division
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Sylvia Blom

Cornell University ( email )

United States

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