Scaling-up food policy interventions to reduce non-communicable diseases in the pacific islands

This five-year project aims to strengthen implementation, at scale, of the best possible policy to improve the food environment in the Pacific.


The burden of non-communicable disease (NCDs) is exceptionally high in the Pacific Island region accounting for 80% of all deaths and 50% of all premature mortality. Increasing rates of NCDs are linked with the transition from diets based on locally grown foods, to diets high salt, fat and sugar, including from processed packaged foods. There is a need to ensure food policies are implemented successfully in order to improve the food environment and decrease NCD burden in Pacific Island countries.


The overall goal of this five-year project is to strengthen implementation, at scale, of policies to improve diets in the Pacific. The project will take a comprehensive, empirical approach to understand the policy making process, identify which interventions are the most feasible in the Pacific, and what factors lead to effective implementation.

Research Methodology

The five-year project is based in Fiji and Samoa, and will use the following approach: 

  • Multiple cross-sectional assessments of dietary intake and the food supply to inform and monitor the impact of interventions
  • Policy analysis to help gain an understanding of the context and opportunities for scale-up
  • Systems Thinking for Community Knowledge Exchange (STICKE) to engage stakeholders (governments and civil society) in a process to strengthen policy implementation
  • We will work closely with governments and partner organisations (World Health Organisation, Pacific Community, World Bank and Food and Agriculture Organisation) to strengthen policy implementation and monitor impact

Research Sites

Fiji and Samoa