An Evaluation of Four Years Implementation of National Nutrition and Food Security Policy in Iran: Lessons Learned

Behzad Damari, Zahra Abdollahi, Mona Pourghaderi, Fatemeh Mohammadi-Nasrabadi


Background and Aims: National Nutrition and Food Security Policy of Iran was developed and ordered by Office of Community Nutrition Improvement, in cooperation with National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute and National Institute of Health Research in 2012. This study was aimed at evaluating the success of the operationalization of the Policy between 2012 and 2015 and using the lessons learned in future policies.

Methods: The participatory evaluation was conducted by taking part of all main partners including trustee organizations involved in implementation of the document, specialists and academic researchers, people’s deputies, health service, headquarters experts at Ministry of Health. Three qualitative methods including reviewing evidences, interviews, and focus group discussions have been used to gather information. The degree of achievement of the document’s strategic objectives, as well as the degree of adaptation of the document implementation to the desired state, has been determined.

Findings: The mean percentage of progress in achieving outcomes and adaptation of the deployment method to ideal criteria (for 2016) of the National Document on Food and Nutrition Security from 2013 to 2017 are 52.6% and 41%, respectively. The best success was found in the existence of an evidence‑based program (70%), a coalition of policy implementation (66.1%), and indicators for monitoring the progress of the document (61.1%). The least success was related to the weakness of public justification and public participation (20%) and lack of ranking and encouraging partners’ function (24%). Lack of approval of the national document at the High Council for Health and Food Security of the country (HCHFS) was the important factor which led to less progress of the document.

Conclusion: It is recommended to target avoiding structural changes while saving time, strengthening intersectoral capacity for collaboration, encouraging partners, and empowering the environment of the provinces in the coming years.


Implementation; deployment; Iran; nutrition and food security; policy; program evaluation

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