Hivos website

Sustainable Diets for All

Producer women from La Paz, Bolivia
Photo by: Verónica Leyton / Hivos
  • Sustainable Diets for All


    To make more sustainable, diverse, healthy and nutritious food available for low-income citizens in target countries.


    Indonesia, Uganda, Zambia, Bolivia


    The world is producing more food than ever; however, the current food system is not benefiting everyone equally, and not all have access to healthy and nutritious food produced in a manner that ensures food security now and in the future. Large-scale mono-cropping of maize, soy, wheat and palm oil erode ecosystems and lead to both obesity and nutritional deficiencies. This is further worsened by a globalized food industry that promotes ultra-processed foods high in meat, fats, sugar and salt.


    SD4ALL builds the advocacy capacity of CSOs to challenge unsustainable practices and incentives in food production and consumption. The program takes evidence – especially that generated by citizens – directly to policymakers and international institutions so their policies, market practices and legislation will promote diets that are diverse, healthy, fair and based on environmentally sustainable production methods. One of the principal strategies is to set up Food Change Labs to bring multiple stakeholders together to share knowledge, evidence and ideas, and to jointly develop local, national and international examples of how food systems can be transformed.

    Results so far

    In Fort Portal, Uganda, a local food lab partner convinced policymakers to include nutrition in the district production and environment ordinance using evidence from food diaries kept by local mothers. In Bolivia, four partner organizations have connected different food networks with more than 50 local and national institutions. Advocacy in Zambia has led to the elimination of government subsidies for maize only and extending the e-voucher system to include diverse agriculture and crops produced by women. At major global conferences, Hivos and our partners have achieved broader acceptance for our approaches to transforming the food system.

    Period and budget

    2016-2020, €11.3 million


    Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (donor), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and 10 partner organizations


    SD4ALL program website

    Food Change Lab


  • Resources

    This page provides a number of papers and publications that explain the Sustainable Diets for All (SD4ALL) programme in greater detail and give broader context to its activities.

    The spice of life: the fundamental role of diversity on the farm and on the plate

    Biodiversity loss is one of the areas where humanity is operating furthest outside the planet’s environmental limits.This discussion paper prepared by Seth Cook of IIED as part of the Sustainable Diets for All project explores the roots of this situation and asks how to reorient food systems towards greater diversity, health, sustainability and inclusiveness. It argues that diverse agricultural production and diverse diets can be mutually reinforcing.

    Sustainable Diets for All – International Position Paper

    This short paper outlines Hivos’ position on its Sustainable Diets for All programme. Sustainable Diets for All is an advocacy programme that uses evidence, including evidence generated by citizens, to help low- income communities in Zambia, Uganda, Indonesia and Bolivia improve their access to sustainable, diverse and nutritious food. The 5-year (2016-2020) programme is coordinated by Hivos, the International Institute for the Environment and Development (IIED) and partners in the focal countries.

    Agriculture, food systems, diets and nutrition in Zambia

    This discussion paper describes the potential of agriculture and food systems in Zambia to contribute to improving Zambian food and nutrition security. It provides clear policy recommendations on how the food and agriculture sector can better serve the country’s population with sustainable diets for all.

    10YFP Sustainable Food Systems Programme brochure

    The 10YFP is a global framework of action that aims to promote national, regional and international cooperation that accelerates the shift towards sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in developed and developing countries. It provides capacity building innovations and cooperation among all countries and stakeholders in order to transform SCP patterns. UNEP serves as the Secretariat for the 10YFP.

    Nourishing diversity: A five-point plan to enrich our food systems

    Although our food systems seemingly deliver impressive abundance and variety, we are losing crucial agricultural biodiversity and our increasingly homogenised diets are leading to disease and obesity. Seth Cook sets out five steps for better, more diverse food systems in this Hivos-IIED policy brief.

    Advocacy toolkit

    This toolkit aims to provide practical guidance and ideas to advocacy officers and civil society organisations (CSOs) wishing to mobilise and support citizen groups to jointly advocate in the Sustainable Diets for All (SD4ALL) programme’s focus countries and at the global level.

    Citizen-generated evidence for a more sustainable and healthy food system

    If communities can generate evidence themselves, either as primary data or from existing information, they may be more effective in lobbying and advocacy around their priorities, and less dependent on others to set the agenda. This discussion paper focuses on evidence as a means for defending and improving the food system of the poor, presenting some examples of the range of methodologies and their application.