The ability to preserve the condition of the system amid changing circumstances. (See Resilience)

Acute malnutrition is a condition that results from insufficient intake of energy, nutrients, and/or infection over a short time period. It is caused by a decrease in food intake and/or an illness or infection. Acute malnutrition typically manifests in weight loss and is detected by measuring weight and height, or by the size of the upper arm (mid- upper arm circumference) and referred to as wasting in children less than 5 years of age and thinness in children and adolescents 5-19 years of age and adults.

Targeted public health studies designed to answer specific questions relating to foodborne diseases, e.g. total diet studies, burden of disease studies, source attribution studies.

The ability to flexibly and incrementally evolve to be better equipped to absorb future shocks. (See Resilience)

The second decade of life, from the ages of 10- 19. Young adolescence is the age of 10-14 and late adolescence age 15-19. This period between childhood and adulthood is a pivotal opportunity to consolidate any loss/gain made in early childhood. All too often adolescents - especially girls - are endangered by violence, limited by a lack of quality education and unable to access critical health services.

Food adulteration is the act of intentionally debasing the quality of food offered for sale either by the admixture or substitution of inferior substances or by the removal of some valuable ingredient.

Advocacy represents an intervention into complex, dynamic and highly contextual socio‐political systems, in which strategies and tactics must be adjusted on a continual basis in light of rapidly changing conditions, reactions from actors and feedback.

Agricultural biodiversity (or agrobiodiversity) refers to the variety of plant and animal species that are used as part of food production. Many varieties are currently underutilised but highly nutritious, representing potential for improving diets.

Agricultural inputs such as seeds, tools and fertilizers support agricultural production and productivity, addressing food security challenges.

Agroforestry is a mixture of components that consist of woody plants (timber, clump, palm, bamboo, and other cambium-borne plant species) with agricultural plants (seasonal species) and/or cattle, which set in temporal a arrangement and spatial arrangement as well (Sardjono et al., 2003).

Agronomic biofortification is an emerging technique that involves using fertilisers that contain nutrients (minerals essential for humans such as zinc, selenium, iron) to soils or on plant leaves. It has been shown to increase the content of those nutrients in the crops, in particular commonly consumed grains.

An alliance for health promotion is a partnership between two or more parties that pursue a set of agreed upon goals in health promotion.

Amino acids are molecules that combine to form proteins. Amino acids and proteins are the building blocks of life. When proteins are digested or broken down, amino acids are left. The human body uses amino acids to make proteins to help the body: Break down food, Grow, Repair body tissue, Perform many other body functions

Anaemia is a condition in which the size and/or number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is lower than it should be for healthy functioning. Anaemia has several causes, including iron deficiency, folate deficiency, infection and inflammation among others. It is frequently cited that 50% of anaemia is due to iron deficiency, but recent studies have shown that this proportion varies across settings. Consequently, policies and programmes to address anaemia should be tailored to the specific causes. The amount (concentration) of haemoglobin, an iron-containing oxygen-transporting protein contained in red blood cells, below a cut-off point is used to diagnose anaemia.

Animal-source foods (ASF) – including fish, meat, eggs, and dairy – can be an important component of nutritious diets. ASF are typically energy and nutrient dense, packing large amounts of multiple nutrients into small volumes.

Anthropometry refers to the study of the measurements and proportions of the human body. Common measures used include weight, height, waist and hip circumference, and mid-upper arm circumference (in children). These measures can be used to assess nutritional status when compared to values estimated to be healthy for specific age and sex groups.

Antioxidants assist in protecting your body against the damage caused by free radicals by neutralising them. Free radicals are very reactive compounds formed in the body due to both external factors such as smoking, exposure to the sun, air pollution and internal factors such as the body's normal metabolic processes and the immune system. Free radicals can attack healthy cells in the body leading to cataract development and other conditions of ageing. They are also thought to be involved in the development of many diseases including cardiovascular disease and cancer.


Basal metabolic rate (BMR) is a measurement of the level of energy required to maintain the body's vital life functions. Measured when the body is at complete rest.

BCC is an interactive process with communities (as integrated with an overall program) to develop tailored messages and approaches using a variety of communication channels to develop positive behaviours; promote and sustain individual, community and societal behavior change; and maintain appropriate behaviours.

In the context of social protection, beneficiaries are the individuals or households targeted by a programme to benefit from a transfer.

Bioavailability is the ease at which a substance can be absorbed from the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. The higher the bioavailability, the greater the absorption.

Biofortification refers to the process of increasing the nutrient content and/or bioavailability of nutrients (that is, the ability of the body to absorb them) in crops through classical plant breeding techniques. Several commonly consumed foods have been developed and shown to be effective for improving nutrient intakes, including iron-rich beans and millet, and vitamin A-rich sweet potato and cassava.

Glucose — also called blood sugar — is the main sugar found in blood and is the main source of energy for your body.

BMI is a measure of a persons body size by calculating their weight in relation to their height. BMI = kg/m2

Bone density is a measure of the strength of a bone by determining the amount of minerals (e.g. calcium) in relation to the amount of bone. Bone density increases throughout childhood and adolescence to peak at about 30 years of age then slowly declines as we continue aging.

The burden of disease is a measurement of the gap between a population’s current health and the optimal state where all people attain full life expectancy without suffering major ill-health.


Calcium is extremely important to the human body. Not only is it vital for bones and teeth, but it assists in muscle movement by carrying messages from the brain to all our body parts. Cells in all living things must communicate with, or "signal," one another. Calcium ions act as vital messengers between these cells and are necessary in all multicellular life forms. They also assist in the release of hormones and enzymes.

A unit of energy in food. Carbohydrates, fats, protein, and alcohol in the foods and drinks we eat provide food energy or "calories."

In health promotion, capacity building is the development of knowledge, skills, commitment, partnerships, structures, systems and leadership to enable effective health promotion actions.

Carbohydrates are one of the main types of nutrients. Your digestive system changes carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar). Your body uses this sugar for energy for your cells, tissues and organs. It stores any extra sugar in your liver and muscles for when it is needed. There are two types of carbohydrates: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates include natural and added sugars. Complex carbohydrates include whole grain breads and cereals, starchy vegetables and legumes.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is defined as any disease of the heart and its associated blood vessels, most commonly coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and peripheral vascular disease.

Carotenoids are the orange, yellow and red pigments found in plant tissue that allow it to carry out photosynthesis. When eaten, these pigments provide vitamins and antioxidants that have many health benefits in humans. Beta-carotenes are a form of vitamin A. 

Cash and Voucher Assistance refers to all programs where cash transfers or vouchers for goods or services are directly provided to recipients. In the context of humanitarian assistance, the term is used to refer to the provision of cash transfers or vouchers given to individuals, household or community recipients; not to governments or other state actors. This excludes remittances and microfinance in humanitarian interventions (although microfinance and money transfer institutions may be used for the actual delivery of cash). The terms ‘cash’ or ‘cash assistance’ should be used when referring specifically to cash transfers only (i.e. ‘cash’ or ‘cash assistance’ should not be used to mean ‘cash and voucher assistance’). This term has several synonyms but Cash and Voucher Assistance is the recommended term

Cash payments provided to participants for taking part in projects to create community or public assets, such as irrigation systems, roads etc. This is a form of conditional transfer and a sub-set of Cash for Work relating to those work programs which create assets". 

Cash transfers are defined as the provision of assistance in the form of cash to the poor or to those who face a probable risk of falling into poverty in the absence of the transfer.  The main objective of these programs is to increase poor and vulnerable households' real income.

Cash transfers are direct, regular and predictable non-contributory cash payments that help poor and vulnerable households to raise and smooth incomes. The term encompasses a range of instruments (e.g. social pensions, child grants or public works programmes) and a spectrum of design, implementation and financing options.

Children’s health is the extent to which individual children or groups of children are able or enabled to (a) develop and realize their potential, (b) satisfy their needs, and (c) develop the capacities that allow them to interact successfully with their biological, physical, and social environments.

Child-sensitive Social Protection (CSSP) includes all social protection measures that address children’s needs and rights and which improve elements of child well-being. It is an approach under which all social protection measures aim to maximise impacts and minimise any possible harms for girls and boys, across all ages, by systematically incorporating child risk and benefit (impact) analysis into each stage of policy and programme design, implementation and monitoring. It recognises and takes into account the long-term benefits of investing in children that not only help realize the rights and potential of individuals but also strengthen the foundations for economic growth and inclusive development of society as a whole.

Diarrhoea among children is defined as a disease with loose or watery stool three or more times during a 24-hour period, or a decrease in the consistency of the stool from that which is normal for the patient.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods you eat. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart disease.

Chronic malnutrition, also known as ‘stunting’, is a form of growth failure which develops over a long period of time. Inadequate nutrition over long periods of time (including poor maternal nutrition and poor infant and young child feeding practices) and/or repeated infections can lead to stunting. In children, it can be measured using the height-for-age nutritional index.

Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings such as modulations of the solar cycles, volcanic eruptions and persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that the Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.’ The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition and climate variability attributable to natural causes

A cohort study is a type of observational study in which a group of animals that share an exposure (e.g., a defining characteristic, or a common event in a selected period) is compared with a group of animals similar in all the other characteristics but that did not have such exposure.

In the context of dairy production, this is a place to collect milk in bulk.

The first thick, yellow milk secreted by the breasts in the first few days after childbirth. Colostrum has many benefits: it contains antibodies and other protective proteins that protect against infections and help regulate a baby’s developing immune system; it contains growth factors, which help the infant’s intestine to mature and function; it is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin K and other nutrients; and it helps to prevent or reduce jaundice, which can be common among babies

Commodity vouchers are exchanged for a fixed quantity and quality of specified goods or services at participating vendors. Commodity vouchers share some similarities with in-kind aid in that they restrict and specify the assistance received, but it is accessed at local markets through traders.

A specific group of people, often living in a defined geographical area, who share a common culture, values and norms, are arranged in a social structure according to relationships which the community has developed over a period of time. Members of a community gain their personal and social identity by sharing common beliefs, values and norms which have been developed by the community in the past and may be modified in the future. They exhibit some awareness of their identity as a group, and share common needs and a commitment to meeting them.

An empowerment process through which community individuals, groups or organizations plan, carry out and evaluate activities on a participatory and sustained basis to improve their health and other needs, either on their own initiative or through the health advocacy of others.

The "existence, development and engagement of community resources by community members to thrive in an environment characterized by change, uncertainty, unpredictability and surprise".

This approach aims to maximize coverage and access of the population to treatment of severe acute malnutrition by providing timely detection and treatment of acute malnutrition through community outreach and outpatient services, with inpatient care reserved for more critical cases. CMAM includes: inpatient care for children with SAM with medical complications and infants under 6 months of age with visible signs of SAM; outpatient care for children with SAM without medical complications; and community outreach for early case detection and treatment.

Complementary feeding refers to the process that starts when breast milk is no longer sufficient to meet an infant’s nutritional needs and other foods and liquids are required, along with breast milk. Special foods are needed during this time because the amount of food consumed by infants is small, yet their nutrient needs are high. Thus, nutrient density must be adequate. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that complementary feeding begin at 6 months of age and continue to 18-24 months of age when children can transition to family foods. Breastfeeding is recommended to continue along with complementary feeding until two years of age and beyond.

Complementary feeding that starts too early (before 6 months of age), too late (after 6 months of age) or does not include appropriate, nutrient-dense foods is an important cause of undernutrition.

Cash distributed to individuals or households on condition that these undertake specified activities, e.g. that children attend school or that mothers attend primary health centres.

Conditional in-kind transfers (CITs) provide in-kind benefits to participants upon their fulfillment of conditions (…). Typical examples include school feeding programs that provide on-site meals to children in schools.

A measure of a country's general level of prices based on the cost of a typical basket of consumer goods and services.

In the context of social protection, consumption and expenditure relates to a group of people's (e.g.: beneficiaries of a programme) choices in these areas.

A form of business owned and controlled by the people who use its services, such as a milk marketing or processing cooperative.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the highly contagious infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has had a catastrophic effect on the world’s demographics resulting in more than 6 million deaths worldwide, emerging as the most consequential global health crisis since the era of the influenza pandemic of 1918.

The population reached by a programme. Coverage rate measures the extent to which programmes reach their target population.

A severe mental and physical disability that occurs in the offspring of women who have severe iodine deficiency, which occurs during the first trimester of pregnancy.  


An animal from which milk production is intended for use or sale for human consumption, or is kept for raising replacement dairy animals.

Also known as dairy products, are foodstuffs made from mammalian milk by processes such as homogenization, pasteurization, freezing, fermentation, evaporation and drying etc.

Dehydration is a condition that happens when you do not take in enough liquids to replace those that you lose. You can lose liquids through frequent urinating, sweating, diarrhoea, or vomiting. When you are dehydrated, your body does not have enough fluid and electrolytes to work properly.

Delivery mechanism refers to the means of delivering a cash or voucher transfer (e.g. smart card, mobile money transfers, cash in envelopes, etc...

Demand creation for nutrition is creating (or activating) and sustaining desire for nutritious foods as a part of diets. This includes influencing consumer food choices at the point of purchase, whether that be fresh foods for preparation in the food or prepared foods.

The range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors that determine the healthy life expectancy of individuals and populations.

Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat.

Diarrhoea is defined as the passage of three or more loose or liquid stools per day (or more frequent passage than is normal for the individual).

Your diet is made up of what you eat and drink. There are many different types of diets, such as vegetarian diets, weight loss diets, and diets for people with certain health problems.

Diet quality refers to the extent to which a diet meets nutrient requirements, promotes health and protects against disease. A quality diet consists of the appropriate amounts of energy, beneficial nutrients (e.g. micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), essential amino acids, and essential fatty acids), bioactive compounds (e.g. polyphenols, antioxidants, and flavonoids), probiotics (beneficial bacteria and yeasts), fibres, and low amounts of potentially harmful compounds (e.g. trans-fat, refined sugar, substances that limit the body’s ability to absorb and use nutrients) and harmful bacteria, viruses, and other parasites.

Non-communicable diseases are diseases that are not contagious, i.e. not transmitted from one person to another or by insects or other pests. Diet-related NCDs are those diseases for which poor diet quality is an important cause, including diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, among others.

Nutritious diets are those that include a variety of foods, such as fruits and vegetables, animal source foods or alternatives, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Dietary diversity has been developed as a measure of the variety of foods consumed in the diet as a simple approach to assessing a nutritious diet. Dietary diversity is measured by counting the number of food groups consumed daily. In several studies, higher dietary diversity has been shown to reflect higher nutrient intake in individuals and households. While a useful measure for its simplicity, dietary diversity does not fully capture the quality of a nutritious diet as quantities of nutritious foods consumed is not captured, and consumption of unhealthy foods is not included.

Dietary guidelines provide a basis for individual and community education regarding healthful nutrition. 

A dietary supplement is a product you take to supplement your diet. It contains one or more dietary ingredients (including vitamins; minerals; herbs or other botanicals; amino acids; and other substances). Supplements do not have to go through the testing that drugs do for effectiveness and safety.

Electronic tools, systems, devices, and resources that generate, store, or process data. Examples include social media, online games, multimedia, and mobile phones.

An absolute poverty line introduced by the World Bank in 1990 to estimate global poverty. The dollar amount is revised over time to keep pace with inflation and now stands at $1.08 in 1996 prices. This is converted into local currencies using purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates.

The double burden of malnutrition refers to the coexistence of undernutrition (stunting, wasting and/or micronutrient deficiency) with overweight, obesity and/or diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The term double burden has been used extensively in nutrition, without making the distinction of whether this occurs within individuals (both affecting the same person), households (affecting different people within the household) and populations (affecting different sub-groups within the population). The term “triple burden” has recently been used in some publications to highlight stunting, anaemia, and overweight, obesity, and NCDs. Stunting and anaemia are, however, only two of the many manifestations of undernutrition and highlighting these only may draw attention away from other issues that must be addressed.

Therefore, the double burden of malnutrition, which encompasses undernutrition with all of its forms and related consequences, and overweight, obesity and NCDs in all of their forms and related consequences is more appropriate.

This term was developed to refer to policies, programmes, and actions that have the ability to simultaneously reduce the risk or burden of both undernutrition (stunting, wasting and/or micronutrient deficiency) and overweight, obesity, or diet-related non-communicable diseases. Exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months of age and continued breastfeeding beyond is a good example of a double-duty action as it both prevents undernutrition in the infant and promotes long-term health.


ECD has three parts: (i) the ‘early childhood’ period of life, (ii) what constitutes ‘development’ and (iii) how development occurs.

Breastfeeding within one hour of birth.

An indicator combining concepts: a participation gap, i.e., the difference between rates of women’s and men’s labor force participation; a remuneration gap, i.e., the ratio of estimated female-to-male earned income; and an advancement gap, i.e., wage equality for similar work. (World Economic Forum 2020b).

An emerging market economy is the economy of a developing nation that is becoming more engaged with global markets as it grows. Countries classified as emerging market economies are those with some, but not all, of the characteristics of a developed market.

In health promotion, empowerment is a process through which people gain greater control over decisions and actions affecting their health.

Enabling means taking action in partnership with individuals or communities to facilitate greater empowerment – through the mobilization of community and material resources – to promote and protect health.

Environmental degradation is a process through which the natural environment is compromised in some way, reducing biological diversity and the general health of the environment. This process can be entirely natural in origin, or it can be accelerated or caused by human activities.

The physical conditions in which people live and work that have an impact on health.

The environmental footprint of a food item refers to the impact of production of that food on the environment. It includes greenhouse-gas emissions, land use, water use, and fertiliser and/or pesticide residues. Environmental footprints vary highly by geographic area and agricultural system, but are generally highest for animal-source foods, particularly meat and dairy – foods which are also high in many essential nutrients.

An enzyme, a substance that acts as a catalyst in living organisms, regulating the rate at which chemical reactions proceed without itself being altered in the process.

Epidemiology identifies the distribution of diseases, factors underlying their source and cause, and methods for their control; this requires an understanding of how political, social and scientific factors intersect to exacerbate disease risk, which makes epidemiology a unique science.

The term essential fatty acids (EFA) refers to those polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) that must be provided by foods because these cannot be synthesized in the body yet are necessary for health. 

Essential nutrients are ones that cannot be synthesized by the body and, therefore, must be supplied from foods. These nutrients are essential for normal body function and for growth.

The periodic assessment of the relevance, effectiveness and impact of activities in relation to the objectives of the surveillance and response system.

Exclusive breastfeeding is the practice of giving only breastmilk and no additional food or drink, not even water, to an infant. The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding to 6 months of age and continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary feeding from 6 until at least 24 months of age to promote optimal growth, health and development.


Fats (or lipids) are an essential source of energy in the diet as they: are a carrier for the fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K) form part of cell membranes provide a very concentrated source of energy, the starting ingredient for some hormones and essential fatty acids which our body cannot produce.

Fatty acids supply the energy consumed in cellular growth at certain stages of life, particularly infancy.

Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body can’t digest. Though most carbohydrates are broken down into sugar molecules called glucose, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar molecules, and instead it passes through the body undigested. Fiber helps regulate the body’s use of sugars, helping to keep hunger and blood sugar in check.

Folic acid or folate is a B vitamin required for purine and pyrimidine synthesis, amino acid interconversions, methylation reactions, and the generation and use of formate. Consequences of folate deficiency include megaloblastic anemia, hyperhomocysteinemia (a risk factor for vascular disease), cancer initiation, neurological and cognitive impairment, neural tube defects, and other negative birth outcomes. 

Food is matter (building materials) that contains energy living things can use to live and grow. All living things need both the matter and energy in food to grow, to heal wounds, and to keep all their parts working. 

Food access concerns a household’s ability to acquire adequate amounts of food, through one or a combination of own home production and stocks, purchases, barter, gifts, borrowing and food aid.

Food and nutrition security is defined as the state in which adequate food (of sufficient quantity, quality, safety and socio-cultural acceptability) is available and accessible to all individuals at all times and is consumed and utilised to ensure adequate nutritional status. By incorporating nutrient intake and the body’s ability to absorb and utilise nutrients, this concept includes an important extension to nutrition, when compared to earlier definitions of food security that placed more emphasis on avoiding hunger.

Food availability is the physical presence of food in the area of concern through all forms of domestic production, commercial imports and food aid. Food availability might be aggregated at the regional, national, district or community level.

The person/company who undertakes, whether for profit or not, any activities related to any stage of the food chain.

The series of processes that food goes through; it includes primary production (including feeds, agricultural practices and environmental conditions), product design and processing, transport, storage, distribution, marketing, preparation and consumption.

The introduction or occurrence of a contaminant in food or food environment.

Food environment is a term used to describe the context in which individuals obtain, prepare and consume their foods. There are many different definitions of food environment, but most include some combinations of four essential elements:

  1. physical and economic access to food – meaning its physical availability and affordability;
  2. the promotion, labelling, advertising, information related to food in that context;
  3. food quality and safety;
  4. the acceptability and desirability for the consumer.

It is increasingly apparent that it is this food environment that can and has shaped food consumption patterns.

Food distributed to individuals or households in exchange for labour.

Comprises conditions and measures necessary for the production, processing, storage and distribution of food designed to ensure a safe, sound, wholesome product fit for human consumption.

A situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life. It may be caused by the unavailability of food, insufficient purchasing power, inappropriate distribution or inadequate use of food at the household level.

Includes acts, laws, regulations, and other instruments with legally binding force issued by public authorities, related to food in general, and to food safety in particular, and covering the protection of public health, the protection of consumers and conditions of fair trading. It covers any stage of production, processing and distribution of food, and also of feed produced for, or fed to, food producing animals.

Food loss refers to losses of food that occur in the supply chain from agricultural production to the consumer. This loss can be the result of pre-harvest problems (e.g. from pests, crop diseases, and losses during harvesting itself), or post-harvest losses related to handling, storage, packing, and/or transportation. Some of the underlying causes of food loss include the inadequacy of infrastructure, such as cold storage and transport, imperfect markets, and poor credit availability. Food loss is a particularly important problem for many of the most nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and animal-source foods, which tend to be perishable and easily damaged. According to the World Bank, food loss in low-income countries occurs mainly during production and processing of food, whereas in higher-income countries it occurs mainly from distribution to consumption. Food loss differs from food waste, which occurs at points of preparation and consumption.

Food packaging is defined as enclosing food to protect it from tampering or contamination from physical, chemical, and biological sources, with active packaging being the most common packaging system used for preserving food products.

Food processing is defined as any procedure that alters food from its natural state, such as heating, canning, freezing, drying, milling, and fermenting (Poti et al., 2015).

Assurance that food will not cause harm to the consumer when it is prepared and/or eaten according to its intended use.

A situation, whether accidental or intentional, that is identified by a competent authority as constituting a serious and as yet uncontrolled foodborne risk to public health that requires urgent action.

A situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Based on this definition, four food security dimensions can be identified: food availability, economic and physical access to food, food utilization and stability over time.

Food stamp programs provide stamps or coupons that may be used for the purchase of food, or of particular foods. The stamps may be denominated in value terms or in terms of quantities of specific foods.

The commonest form of food subsidy is a direct, untargeted subsidy that lowers the price of a staple food for all consumers in a country. (…) Targeted subsidies mean that governments subsidise food prices for certain households, targeted either by income level or by category. In other words, a dual-price policy is adopted: non-targeted individuals buy food at market prices, while eligible households have access to cheaper food.

A food supply chain refers to the processes and actors that take a food item from farm to fork - i.e. from on-farm production to the end consumer. For some foods, this encompasses many changes required to turn the raw agricultural material into the final product, for example from stalks of grain to wheat to flour to bread. This includes production, storage and handling, transportation, processing, packaging, distribution, and retail. A food supply chain becomes a food value chain when it is seen as a process in which value is added to the product at different stages. Food value chains can therefore improve food safety by removing contaminants or increase nutritional value for example through food fortification.

A food supply chain or food system refers to the processes that describe how food from a farm ends up on our tables. The processes include production, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal.

The food system includes all processes, infrastructure, and actors involved in all aspects of feeding a population. This includes everything from agricultural production, regulations and laws related to food, imports, processing, the inputs needed for food production and processing, distribution, marketing, sale (wholesale, retail, formal and informal markets), consumption, and disposal of food. The food system in all these aspects is what shapes the food environment.

Food waste refers to food that is safe and nutritious for human consumption but is discarded or diverted to an alternative (non-food) use, such as bioenergy or animal feed, instead of being eaten. Most food waste occurs at the retail or consumption level and differs from food loss that occurs at the points of production and processing. Food waste tends to be higher in higher-income countries. Causes include exacting preferences or standards for evenly-shaped or attractive foods, conservative “sell by” dates, inefficient or neglectful consumer or caterer practices, poor stock management, and the unconsumed portion on plates that is thrown away.

Any disease of an infectious or toxic nature caused by the consumption of food.

A pathogen present in food, which may cause human disease(s) or illness through consumption of food contaminated with the pathogen and / or the biological products produced by the pathogen.

Fortification is the practice of intentionally increasing the content of a micronutrient in a food to improve the nutritional quality of the food and prevent the health effects associated with micronutrient deficiency. Large-scale (also known as industrial or mass) fortification adds nutrients to foods that are commonly consumed by a large proportion of the population at the stage of food processing.


Gender refers to the social attributes and opportunities associated with being male and female and the relationships between women and men and girls and boys, as well as the relations between women and those between men. These attributes, opportunities and relationships are socially constructed and are learned through socialization processes. They are context/ time-specific and changeable.

Refers to how socially constructed norms, rights, responsibilities, opportunities, and entitlements determine relations between women and men and result in gender differences in opportunities and outcomes.

Differences between women and men, especially as reflected in social, political, cultural, or economic attainments or attitudes.

Refers to how the differences constructed by societies between women and men translate into inequalities; the term does not refer exclusively to women.

Intentionally employing gender considerations to affect the design, implementation and results of programmes and policies. Gender-responsive programmes and policies reflect girls’ and women’s realities and needs, in components such as site selection, project staff, content, monitoring, etc. Gender-responsiveness means paying attention to the unique needs of females, valuing their perspectives, respecting their experiences, understanding developmental differences between girls and boys, women and men and ultimately empowering girls and women

Simulated change (percentage) in the Gini inequality  coefficient because of social protection and labor programs. Specifically, the Gini inequality reduction is computed as the inequality pretransfer minus the inequality posttransfer divided by the inequality pretransfer.

The total number of children aged between 6 and 59 months in a given population who have moderate acute malnutrition, plus those who have severe acute malnutrition. (The word ‘global’ has no geographic meaning.) When GAM is equal to or greater than 15 per cent of the population, then the nutrition situation is defined as ‘critical’ by the World Health Organization (WHO). In emergency situations, the nutritional status of children between 6 and 59 months old is also used as a proxy to assess the health of the whole population

Achieving health equity at a global level by addressing transnational health issues, determinants, and the interventions and formal structures that are beyond the control of national institutions.

The Global South is a term often used to identify regions within Latin America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Oceania. It is one of a family of terms, including "Third World" and "Periphery", that denote regions outside Western Europe and North America.

The process through which an increasingly free flow of ideas, people, goods, services, and capital leads to the integration of economies and societies. Major factors in the spread of globalization have been increased trade liberalization and advances in communication technology.

The effect of a particular food or meal on elevating blood sugar levels.

The glycemic index (GI) measures how a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar.

Swelling of the thyroid gland in the neck caused by iodine deficiency. 

All practices regarding the conditions and measures necessary to ensure the safety and suitability of food at all stages of the food chain.

Actions of governments and other actors to steer communities, countries and/or groups of countries in the pursuit of health as integral to well-being through both whole-of-government and whole-of-society approaches.

Governance for nutrition refers to the set of laws, policies, standards, processes and actions that govern food systems, and favour food safety, and nutrition for the population in a country, or the region to which they apply. For example, “urban governance for nutrition” would encompass the process of making and implementing decisions that shape food systems to deliver better nutrition for people in cities.

Greenhouse gases (GHG) are gaseous compounds that can emit ultraviolet radiation within a certain thermal infrared range.

Gross domestic product is the most commonly used single measure of a country's overall economic activity. It represents the total value of final goods and services produced within a country during a specified time period, such as one year.

Gross national product was formerly used as a measure of a country's overall economic activity, equal to GDP less compensation of employees and property income payable to the rest of the world plus the corresponding items receivable from the rest of the world; GNP has been renamed gross national income (GNI) in the System of National Accounts.

Formed in 1999, the G-20 brings together finance ministers and central bank governors from 19 countries and the European Union (represented by the President of the European Council and the European Central Bank). The heads of governments of the G-20 nations began meeting periodically from 2008, in the wake of the global financial crisis. While an informal group with no permanent secretariat, the G-20 has become a key forum, bringing together the key advanced countries of the G-7 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the US and the UK), Australia, and 11 major emerging markets (Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Turkey). Leadership of the G-20 rotates, with France holding the chair in 2011. More information on the IMF’s relationship with the G-20 can be found here.


Macronutrients include carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, which are components that are found in large amounts in food and are essential for life. Carbohydrates are needed primarily as a source of energy, while fats and proteins provide both energy and substances essential for body functions such as growth, muscle development and function, and many others.

Clinical form of acute malnutrition characterized by severe weight loss or wasting. Marasmic children are extremely thin and typically have grossly reduced fat and muscle and thin flaccid skin, and are irritable.  

Maternal health refers to the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth and the postpartum period.

Metabolism is the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat.

Micronutrient is a general term that refers to all vitamins (e.g. vitamin A, B, vitamins such as folate, vitamin D) and minerals (e.g. zinc, iron) that are required in small amounts for a host of different processes in the body – including the healthy functioning of all organ systems, growth, development, and health. An essential micronutrient is one that must be obtained from the diet because the body cannot produce it or does so in quantities insufficient to meet needs.
A micronutrient deficiency is caused by an inadequate intake of a vitamin or mineral in the diet and/or infection/inflammation and several ailments that hinder the absorption and utilisation of nutrients by the body. Deficiencies of some micronutrients result in specific syndromes when severe. Some of the most well-known examples include rickets (vitamin D deficiency), goitre (iodine deficiency) and scurvy (vitamin C deficiency). Less severe deficiency of many nutrients also has important health and development consequences, such as impaired brain and muscle development/functioning (e.g. iodine and iron deficiency). Micronutrient deficiency has often been termed “hidden hunger” because mild and moderate deficiency may have no visible consequences. The most well-known micronutrient deficiencies include iron, vitamin A, zinc, folate, iodine, vitamin D, but several others may also be of public health importance, such as vitamin B12 (particularly among strict vegetarians), thiamine (in populations which consume a lot of polished rice), among others.

When certain micronutrients are severely deficient owing to insufficient dietary intake, insufficient absorption and/or suboptimal utilization of vitamins or minerals, specific clinical signs and symptoms may develop. Scurvy, beriberi and pellagra are classic examples of nutritional diseases.

The circumference of the mid-upper arm is measured on a straight left arm (in right-handed people) midway between the tip of the shoulder (acromion) and the tip of the elbow (olecranon). It measures acute malnutrition or wasting in children aged 6–59 months. The mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) tape is a plastic strip, marked with measurements in millimetres. MUAC < 115mm indicates that the child is severely malnourished; MUAC < 125mm indicates that the child is moderately malnourished

The World Bank, a global organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty all over the world, divides countries into four categories based upon their Gross National Income (GNI) per capita. For the 2022 financial year, the category boundaries (in US$) are up to $1,045 GNI for low-income economies, $1,046 to $4,095 for lower-middle-income economies, $4,096 to $12,695 for upper-middle-income economies (the middle-income economies are occasionally grouped into a single category), and $12,696 or more for high-income economies.

Minimum Dietary Diversity (MDD) is the consumption of four or more food groups from the seven food groups.

Defined as weight-for-height between minus two and minus three standard deviations from the median weight-for-height for the standard reference population. 

Monitoring is a continuous management function to assess if progress is made in achiev­ing expected results, to spot bottlenecks in implementation and to highlight whether there are any unintended effects (positive or negative) from an investment plan, programme or project ("project/plan") and its activities.

Monounsaturated fat is a type of fat is found in avocados, canola oil, nuts, olives and olive oil, and seeds. Eating food that has more monounsaturated fat (or "healthy fat") instead of saturated fat (like butter) may help lower cholesterol and reduce heart disease risk. However, monounsaturated fat has the same number of calories as other types of fat and may contribute to weight gain if you eat too much of it.

Comes in a little sachet to sprinkle on food which contains most of the micronutrients needed. Proposed for children aged 6–23 or 59 months to improve the quality of complementary food, or for pregnant mothers.


National health service systems have three main features: funding comes primarily from general revenues, they provide (or at least aim to provide) coverage to the whole population, and they usually (though not necessarily) deliver health care through a network of public providers. Most low-income countries have a national health service run by the ministry of health. National health service systems finance a basic package of public health services for the entire population and some level of financial protection against catastrophic illness for at least some segments of the population. Financing also includes out-of-pocket payments and purchases of private services, limited social and private health insurance, and community risk pooling schemes

Inability to see well in the dark or in a darkened room. An early sign of vitamin A deficiency. 

Non-communicable diseases are diseases that are not spread through infection or through other people, but are typically caused by unhealthy behaviours. They are the leading cause of death worldwide and present a huge threat to health and development, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.

The term "nongovernmental organization" (NGO) is a post-World War II expression which was initially coined by the United Nations (UN). When the UN Charter was adopted in 1945, it was stipulated in Article 71 that NGOs could be accredited to the UN for consulting purposes. Thus, scholars first mainly applied the term NGOs only when referring to those societal actors which are (because of UN criteria) international bodies and engage within the UN context. In recent decades, especially since the 1980s, the term NGO has also become popular for societal actors of all sorts engaged outside the UN framework, internationally and nationally, and has indeed been increasingly adopted more broadly by academics as well as by activists themselves

A condition of poverty or deprivation along other dimensions of poverty than income, consumption, or other indicators of monetary welfare. Poverty can be experienced at varying levels, and in different combinations, across dimensions such as access to education and access to healthcare; it has been estimated that 39% of households experiencing multidimensional poverty are not monetarily poor (World Bank, 2022). (See Poverty)

Nutrient density or micronutrient density refers to the proportional amount of nutrients contained in food per some measure of weight or volume. This is an important consideration, particularly for complementary feeding because small children have high nutrient requirements but very small stomachs. Therefore, it is important that every bite counts - i.e. that everything a child eats contains a lot of the vitamins, minerals, proteins, and essential fats needed to survive and thrive.

Nutrients are chemical compounds in food that are used by the body to function properly and maintain health. Examples include proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.

Nutrition refers to the “processes” through which a human being uses everything that is ingested for the purposes of maintaining life, growth and all normal functions. These processes include ingestion, digestion, absorption, as well as the transport, storage, metabolism, utilisation and elimination of food from the body. The result of these processes is reflected in the nutritional status of the individual.

Without specifying nutrition as a primary aim, having the potential to improve nutrition security and/or status for targeted beneficiaries by addressing the underlying causes of malnutrition.

Interventions, policies, and other actions with the specific aim of improving nutrition security and/or status for targeted beneficiaries.

The nutrition transition is a term used to refer to the shift in populations from a high burden of infectious disease and undernutrition to a high burden of overweight/obesity, and diet-related noncommunicable diseases. The nutrition transition has been occurring for many years but depends on many things in the country, including the food system, health system, infrastructure (such as water and sanitation), income, among other factors. This transition has resulted in the double burden of malnutrition in many populations.

Nutrition-based poverty line "(...) is usually determined with reference to a nutritional norm converted into a minimum food basket and income needed to ensure access to such a basket (and, of course, other items of basic needs). People (or households) having incomes below the level thus determined are identified as poor − according to this measure.

Social protection that addresses the underlying determinants of malnutrition, such as food security, caregiving, and healthcare.

Different nutritional indices measure different aspects of growth failure (wasting, stunting and underweight) and thus have different uses. The main nutritional indices for children are weight-for-height, MUAC-for-age, sex and height, height-for-age, weight-for-age, all compared to values from a reference population. In emergency situations, weight-for-height (wasting) is commonly used for nutritional assessments. 

Nutritional status refers to the state of a person resulting from the availability and utilisation of nutrients to meet biological requirements of the body. Thus, a person’s nutritional status is determined both by nutrient intake and health status, which can influence the requirements, absorption and utilisation of nutrients. Several measures are used to assess nutritional status in humans. The adequacy of nutrients consumed from food can identify risks of malnutrition by comparing dietary intake of nutrients to nutrient requirements of individuals. Measures of physical size, for example height and weight (anthropometry) are used to detect undernutrition, as well as overweight and obesity. “Biomarkers”, or measures of nutrient status in the body - usually from blood or urine samples - provide information about recent intake of nutrients, or long-term status, depending on the measure used. Biomarkers are commonly used to assess micronutrient status and diagnose micronutrient deficiency.

A nutritious food is one that in the way it is consumed and by the individual that consumes it, provides beneficial nutrients (e.g. vitamins, minerals, proteins, essential fats, dietary fibres) and minimises potentially harmful elements (e.g. anti-nutrients, high quantities of saturated fats and sugars). See also safe food.


The likely effects on behaviour, services or products that we anticipate will happen as a result of achieving outputs. Multiple levels of outcome may be needed to express a theory of change, including intermediate (those that we anticipate will occur in the short to medium term), and ultimate outcomes (those that we anticipate in the longer term). While other factors beyond outputs may be needed to achieve outcomes (e.g., others allocating resources to do something differently), we hold ourselves at least indirectly responsible for their achievement.

Desired changes (e.g., knowledge, skills, motivation of people; quality of services; composition of products) that occur as a direct result of our implemented or supported activities. Outputs are steps towards the achievement of outcomes. We/our implementing partners are fully responsible for the realisation of outputs.

Overweight and obesity are measures of nutritional status that identify excess weight or body fat which increases risk of diet-related non-communicable disease. They are defined by measures of body size (anthropometry), usually height and weight, compared to values that in populations have been associated with higher health risks. Body mass index (BMI), or the relationship of weight to height (weight kg, divided by height in cm squared) is commonly used to diagnose overweight/ obesity. Commonly used cut off point for overweight in adults is BMI greater than 25, and for obesity, BMI greater than 30. However, in some populations, health risks related to excess weight may occur even at lower BMI. Because the expected proportion of weight to height for children and adolescents is different than that for adults, different indicators and cut-off points are needed to diagnose overweight/obesity.


A pandemic is an outbreak of infectious disease that occurs over a wide geographical area and that is of high prevalence, generally affecting a significant proportion of the world’s population, usually over the course of several months.

Peer review has been defined as a process of subjecting an author’s scholarly work, research or ideas to the scrutiny of others who are experts in the same field. It functions to encourage authors to meet the accepted high standards of their discipline and to control the dissemination of research data to ensure that unwarranted claims, unacceptable interpretations or personal views are not published without prior expert review. 

Means any specified substance in food, agricultural commodities, or animal feed resulting from the use of a pesticide. The term includes any derivatives of a pesticide, such as conversion products, metabolites, reaction products, and impurities considered to be of toxicological significance.

Means any substance intended for preventing, destroying, attracting, repelling, or controlling any pest including unwanted species of plants or animals during the production, storage, transport, distribution and processing of food, agricultural commodities, or animal feeds or which may be administered to animals for the control of ectoparasites. The term includes substances intended for use as a plant growth regulator, defoliant, desiccant, fruit thinning agent, or sprouting inhibitor and substances applied to crops either before or after harvest to protect the commodity from deterioration during storage and transport. The term normally excludes fertilizers, plant and animal nutrients, food additives, and animal drugs.

A pilot project is “a small-scale project undertaken in an effort to determine whether a larger-scale project should be undertaken at a later date.

The achievement of the highest attainable standard of health, well-being and equity worldwide through judicious attention to the human systems – political, economic and social – that shape the future of humanity, and the Earth’s natural systems that define the safe environmental limits within which humanity can flourish.

This is an alternative term that is used to describe vegetarian eating, or eating a diet that consists of predominately plant foods.

Polyunsaturated fat is a type of fat that is liquid at room temperature. There are two types of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs): omega-6 and omega-3. Omega-6 fatty acids are found in liquid vegetable oils, such as corn oil, safflower oil, and soybean oil. Omega-3 fatty acids come from plant sources—including canola oil, flaxseed, soybean oil, and walnuts—and from fish and shellfish.

Potassium and sodium work together in the body to regulate the balance between water and acidity in the blood. Potassium is also important for nerve function to the muscles which causes muscles (including the heart) to contract. If there is a deficiency in potassium, heart rhythm can be altered. Potassium can be found in fruits, vegetables, grain foods, meats and milk.

A condition of deprivation along one or more dimensions that influence quality of livelihoods, including, but not limited to, income, access to education, basic infrastructure, health, security, and human rights. (See Non-Monetary Poverty) Poverty can be assessed using local or international poverty lines, or with measured of multidimensional poverty such as the World Bank Multidimensional Poverty Measure (MPM).

A measure of the "depth" or "intensity" of poverty , defined as the average difference betwen the income of poor people and the poverty line. The aggregate poverty gap is the sum of all these differences in a country. That amount is generally related to GDP (the relative aggregate poverty line).

The prevalence of undernourishment (PoU) is an estimate of the proportion of the population whose habitual food consumption is insufficient to provide the dietary energy levels that are required to maintain a normal active and healthy life. It is expressed as a percentage.

Primary health care is an overall approach to the organization of health systems which encompasses the three aspects of: multisectoral policy and action to address the broader determinants of health; empowering individuals, families and communities; and meeting people’s essential health needs throughout their lives.

The private sector refers to that part of the economy of a country that is owned by individuals or groups rather than the state or public sector, which is made up of governments, non-governmental organisations, not-for-profit organisations, and civil society organisations. The private sector comprises businesses, including small and medium-sized enterprises whose purpose is to make money for owners or shareholders. In many countries, the private sector employs a large part of the workforce. In most countries, activities across the food system are within the private sector, while being governed by the public sector.

Programme Implementation involves building systems and putting them into operation, as well as overcoming bottlenecks and correcting design flaws in the process. Flexible and adaptable procedures will expedite implementation. Once the social analysis and political decision-making process determines the defining features of the social transfer programme, the managing institution must begin the technical process of building delivery systems.

Protein is important for growth of body cells and makes up virtually every part of the body. Protein can be found in dried peas, soy and baked beans, peanut butter, nuts, eggs, cheese, lean meat, fish and wholegrains.

Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life, and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private communities, and individuals".

Means an extraordinary event which is determined, as provided in these Regulations:

  1. to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and
  2. potentially require a coordinated international response".

Public-private engagement refers to cooperation among organisations in the public sector (governments, non-governmental organisations, not-for-profit organisations, civil society organisations) and businesses that make up the private sector. For nutrition, such engagement should be guided by a common objective to improve the food system or similarly support actions that will facilitate food and nutrition security. When that cooperation is guided by a formal arrangement (contract or memorandum of understanding), it is often referred to as a public-private partnership. Such cooperation - whether formal or informal - can be instrumental in making lasting changes for nutrition but must be guided by clear and transparent principles that identify and manage potential commercial and other interests.


Safe food is that for which levels of contaminants remain below certain limits at all steps along the food supply chain, and thus avoid exposure and prevent food-borne illness. See food safety.

One or more units selected from a population of units, or a portion of material selected from a larger quantity of material. 

Means taking feed or food or any other substance (including from the environment) relevant to the production, processing and distribution of feed or food or to the health of animals, in order to verify through analysis compliance with feed or food law or animal health rules.

Saturated fat is a type of fat that is solid at room temperature. Saturated fat is found in full-fat dairy products (like butter, cheese, cream, regular ice cream, and whole milk), coconut oil, lard, palm oil, ready-to-eat meats, and the skin and fat of chicken and turkey, among other foods. Saturated fats have the same number of calories as other types of fat, and may contribute to weight gain if eaten in excess. Eating a diet high in saturated fat also raises blood cholesterol and risk of heart disease.

These programs aim to enhance the concentration span and learning capacity of school children by providing meals in schools to reduce short-term hunger that may otherwise impair children’s performance.

Taken together, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) can be understood as the right for all, whether young or old, women, men or transgender, straight, gay, lesbian or bisexual, HIV positive or negative, to make choices regarding their own sexuality and reproduction, providing they respect the rights of others to bodily integrity. This definition also includes the right to access information and services needed to support these choices and optimize health.

A small and medium-sized enterprise is a business that operates with a number of employees below certain limits. This number varies by context. Generally, small enterprises have fewer than 50 employees and medium-sized companies have less than 250 employees. SMEs are an essential part of the food system in many countries around the world. Particularly in low- and middle-incomes countries, SMEs may be providers – as producers, processers, transporters, venders – of much of the food consumed by low-income consumers.

Social capital represents the degree of social cohesion that exists in communities. It refers to the processes between people that establish networks, norms and social trust, and facilitate coordination and cooperation for mutual benefit.

The social determinants of health are the social, cultural, political, economic and environmental conditions in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and their access to power, decision-making, money and resources that give rise to these conditions of daily life.

A complex and multi-dimensional process, which involves the lack or denial of resources, rights, goods and services, and the inability to participate in the normal relationships and activities available to the majority of people in a society.

A SIB is an innovative financing mechanism in which (...) a bond issuing organisation raises funds from private-sector investors, charities or foundations. These funds are distributed to service providers to cover their operating costs. If the measurable outcomes agreed upfront are achieved, the government or the commissioner proceeds with payments to the bond-issuing organisation or the investors. In reality, the term "bond" is more of a misnomer. In financial terms, SIBs are not real bonds but rather future contracts on social outcomes. They are also known as Payment-for-Success bonds (USA) or Pay-for-Benefits bonds (Australia).

Social marketing seeks to develop and integrate marketing concepts with other approaches to influence behaviours that benefit individuals and communities for the greater social good.

An integrative system of supportive actions and processes that minimize present and future poverty, enhance resilience against shocks and stresses, and preserve fundamental rights and dignity for all people.

Social protection systems are defined differently by different agencies. The World Bank strategy refers to them as "portfolios of coherent programmes that can talk to each other, often share common administrative sub-systems, and work together to deliver resilience, equity and opportunity." UNICEF defines integration as "a network of responses, that take a multi-pronged and coordinated approach to the multiple and compounding vulnerabilities faced by children and their families.

They are programs comprising of non-contributory transfers in cash or in-kind, designed to provide regular and predictable support to poor and vulnerable people. Social safety nets, which are also known as 'social assistance' or 'social transfers,' are part of broader social protection systems (…) they help alleviate poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition; they contribute to reducing inequality and boosting shared prosperity; they support households in managing risks and cope with shocks; they help build human capital and connect people to job opportunities; and they are an important factor in shaping social contracts between states and citizens.

Social transfers can take a variety of forms and would normally be provided by the state to those citizens regarded as living in conditions of long-term extreme poverty or vulnerability (…) Social transfers can be provided as cash, in-kind (often as food) or as vouchers.

Table salt is made up of the elements sodium and chlorine - the technical name for salt is sodium chloride. Your body needs some sodium to work properly. It helps with the function of nerves and muscles. It also helps to keep the right balance of fluids in your body.

Soluble fibre is beneficial to help lower blood cholesterol levels and, in people with diabetes, helps to control blood sugar. Soluble fibre is found in fruits, vegetables, dried peas, soybeans, lentils, oats, rice and barley.

Stunting refers to the process where linear growth is slower than expected. Every person’s height as an adult is determined by a combination of their genetic growth potential and several environmental factors that may facilitate or limit their ability to reach that potential. Nutrition is one of those environmental factors that can limit normal growth in utero and throughout infancy, childhood, and adolescence. Health and infection are also important factors in this process of growth faltering. Stunting is ascertained by measuring height compared to expected values for the child/adolescent’s age and sex. However, because an individual’s genetic potential is not known, stunting cannot be diagnosed in individuals. Rather the measure can tell us whether populations are likely not reaching their growth potential. Therefore, at a population level the rate of stunting provides a reflection of the nutritional and health status of children/adolescents in that population. The same factors that limit growth affect health and development, so in populations with a high rate of stunting, there is also higher risk of morbidity and mortality, as well as delayed child development and long-term risks for adult health.

Many governments use price and tax subsidization to meet social protection objectives in lieu of, or in addition to, direct income transfers. (…) The most common form of price subsidy is a direct, untargeted subsidy. However, various other means may be used to deliver price subsidies as well. Untargeted indirect price subsidies, exemptions on value added or other sales taxes, dual exchange rates, export taxes, producer quotas, subsidies on transport and storage, and domestic sales of a commodity below international opportunity cost are all forms of subsidization.

Sugars are a type of simple carbohydrate. They have a sweet taste. Sugars can be found naturally in fruits, vegetables, milk, and milk products. They are also added to many foods and drinks during preparation or processing. Types of sugar include glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Your digestive system breaks down sugar into glucose. Your cells use the glucose for energy.

Supplementation is the provision of nutrients, mainly vitamins and minerals, from non-food sources, such as pills, chewable tablets, powders to be dissolved in water, syrup, drops, which are called supplements. Micronutrient powders (i.e. powders containing nutrients, mostly micronutrients, that can be mixed with food immediately before consumption) have recently been referred to as “home fortification”, but this type of product is a supplement.

Means the systematic ongoing collection, collation, and analysis of information related to food safety and the timely dissemination of information for assessment and response as necessary.

Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The United Nations 2005 World Summit Outcome Document refers to the "interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars" of sustainable development as economic development, social development, and environmental protection

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a call for action by all countries – developed and developing – in a global partnership.
They recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality, and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests.

SDGs are the global milestones set by the world leaders collectively in 2015 aiming for laying a solid foundation by 2030 for achieving long-term sustainable development.

Sustainable diets are those that balance the environmental impacts of the food system with the need to ensure food and nutrition security for present and future generations. Ideally, they are protective and respectful of biodiversity and ecosystems, culturally acceptable, accessible, economically fair and affordable, nutritionally adequate, safe and healthy, while optimising natural and human resources. There is much focus in research and policy on sustainable food systems, and how to manage the trade-offs of meeting the needs of people and planet now and into the future. We will keep this definition updated as new developments arise.

A sustainable food system (SFS) is a food system that delivers food security and nutrition for all in such a way that the economic, social and environmental bases to generate food security and nutrition for future generations are not compromised. This means that:

  • It is profitable throughout (economic sustainability);
  • It has broad-based benefits for society (social sustainability); and
  • It has a positive or neutral impact on the natural environment (environmental sustainability)

A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintain or enhance its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base. Livelihoods are therefore affected by external events which can increase their resilience and consequently reduce their vulnerability.


The population that the future scheme plans to cover, including all potential members and their dependents. The target population may be defined on a geographic basis: the inhabitants of certain neighbourhoods or villages, the catchment area of certain health facilities, etc. Alternatively, it may be defined on a socio-economic or socio-occupational basis: the members of a trade union, trade union federation or agricultural cooperative; the customers of a microfinance institution; the employees of an enterprise, etc.

Thinness is a form of undernutrition and refers to a body mass (weight) that is too low. In children, thinness is associated with increased risk of dying and higher risk of become ill/more severally ill. Because a person’s expected weight depends on their height, thinness can only be diagnosed in relation to height – in children using a ratio of weight to height, and in adults using the body mass index (see overweight/ obesity for explanation). In children less than 5 years of age, thinness is referred to as wasting and is a measure of acute malnutrition. In situations where weight and height measurement is not feasible, the circumference of the upper arm < 125 mm has been used to identify wasting (WHO Growth Standard 2006). Weight, particularly in children, is sometimes measured and assessed with reference only to age rather than height. When low, this is referred to as “underweight”. Its use to diagnose nutritional status in children should be avoided whenever possible as it does not distinguish between stunting and wasting.

The ability to follow the movement of a food through specified stage(s) of production, processing and distribution.

Trans fat is a type of fat that is created when liquid oils are changed into solid fats, like shortening and some margarines. It makes them last longer without going bad. It may also be found in crackers, cookies, and snack foods. Trans fat raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol.

The ability to elicit systemic, structural change to the system. (See Resilience)

Short term poverty. Poverty experienced as the result of a temporary fall in income or expenditure although over a longer period the household resources are on average sufficient to keep the household above the poverty line (DFID 2001:186).

The indirect income effect of transfers when individuals other than the formal recipient of a transfer benefit from a social transfer (for example, if grandparents receiving a pension finance the schooling of their grandchildren).

Triglycerides are a type of fat found in your blood. Too much of this type of fat may raise the risk of coronary artery heart disease, especially in women.


This is another term for extreme poverty. It is sometimes specifically used to refer to those who spend more than 80 per cent of their income on food but obtain less than 80 per cent of their food energy needs. The low food intake of this particular group will affect their productivity and ability to get out of poverty (DFID 2001:186).

Ultra-processed foods are formulations of ingredients, mostly of exclusive industrial use, typically created by series of industrial techniques and processes. Some common ultra-processed products are carbonated soft drinks; sweet, fatty or salty packaged snacks; candies (confectionery); mass produced packaged breads and buns, cookies (biscuits), pastries, cakes and cake mixes; margarine and other spreads; sweetened breakfast 'cereals' and fruit yoghurt and 'energy' drinks; pre-prepared meat, cheese, pasta and pizza dishes; poultry and fish 'nuggets' and 'sticks'; sausages, burgers, hot dogs and other reconstituted meat products; powdered and packaged ‘instant’ soups, noodles and desserts; baby formula; and many other types of product.

Grants paid to beneficiaries without the beneficiary having to do anything specific to receive the benefit.

Unconditional in-kind transfers (UITs) distribute food, vouchers, or other in-kind transfers without any form of conditionality or co-responsibility. Examples include the provision of fortified food supplements for malnourished pregnant women and children.

A condition in which an individual’s habitual food consumption is insufficient to provide the amount of dietary energy required to maintain a normal, active, healthy life. The prevalence of undernourishment is used to measure hunger (SDG indicator 2.1.1).

Undernutrition is a general term used to refer to any number of conditions that result from inadequate intake of energy and/or nutrients, and/or health issues that increase requirements, or hinder nutrient absorption and/or utilisation. These include micronutrient deficiency, stunting, thinness/wasting. While the term may be useful to draw attention to the issue, it is too general and should not be used to facilitate understanding of the causes of the problem or policy and programme actions needed to address them.

"The "unemployed" comprise all people above a specified age who, during the reference period, were:

"without work", that is, were not in paid employment or self-employment;
"currently available for work", that is, were available for paid employment or self-employment during the reference period; or
"seeking work", that is, had taken specific steps in a specified recent period to seek paid employment or self-employment.

The specific steps may include the person registering at a public or private employment exchange; sending applications to employers; checking at work-sites, farms, factory gates, markets or other assembly places; placing or answering newspaper advertisements; seeking the assistance of friends or relatives; looking for land, building, machinery or equipment to establish an enterprise; arranging for financial resources; applying for permits and licences, etc. [ref. 776].

Universal health care has received considerable attention in recent years. In such a system, the population enjoys free of charge a specific list of health services, often linked to a list of diseases. These services are typically financed by the government, via mandatory payroll/social security contributions, general taxation, or a combination of both. For example, general tax-based funding is used in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Cuba, Italy and Brazil, while mandatory payroll/social security contributions finance universal health care in Germany, Japan, France, Singapore, and Costa Rica.

Means foodstuffs that have not undergone processing, and includes products that have been divided, parted, severed, sliced, boned, minced, skinned, ground, cut, cleaned, trimmed, husked, milled, chilled, frozen, deep-frozen or thawed.

Under the co-leadership of the World Bank and the International Labour Organisation, USP2030 partners work together to increase the number of countries that provide universal social protection, supporting countries to design and implement universal and sustainable social protection systems, in line with the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, and in particular target 1.3 of the sustainable development goals (SDG 1.3). Actions include coordinating country support to strengthen national social protection systems, knowledge development to document country experience and provide evidence on financing options and advocacy for integrating universal social protection. The partnership aims to provide information on progress achieved regarding universal social protection, in line with the monitoring framework for the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. The partnership will also keep track of its own effectiveness in contributing to this agenda


We define wage subsidies (or hiring subsidies, or employment subsidies) as transfers ’ non-wage employment costs. Their main goal is to provide incentives for employers to hire members of the target group.

Due to their interdependent nature, these three core issues are grouped together to represent a growing sector. While each a separate field of work, each is dependent on the presence of the other. For example, without toilets, water sources become contaminated; without clean water, basic hygiene practices are not possible.

Welfare can be interpreted in one way in a person’s everyday life perspective, and another when looking at it at the societal macro level. "Welfare" has also seemingly a different connotation depending on whether one understands it from a mainly economic or mainly sociological perspective (...). Welfare can be related both to the individual and to the collective and involve material as well as immaterial needs. (...) Individual welfare refers to the micro level and how utility can be maximised by choices made by the individual. Social welfare refers to the sum of all individual welfare in a society

Well-being is a positive state experienced by individuals and societies. Similar to health, it is a resource for daily life and is determined by social, economic and environmental conditions.

The term 'wholefood' is normally applied to vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains that have undergone minimal processing, but it can also apply to animal foods too.

Gender equality in the economy refers to the full and equal enjoyment by women and men of their economic rights and entitlements facilitated by enabling policy and institutional environments and economic empowerment. Economic empowerment is a cornerstone of gender equality that refers both to the ability to succeed and advance economically and to the power to make and act on economic decisions. Empowering women economically is a right that is essential for both realizing gender equality and achieving broader development goals such as economic growth, poverty reduction, and improvements in health, education and social well-being.