Tracking Childhood obesity prevention policies and programmes across the Caribbean

About the Scorecard


1    What is the Scorecard?

A   A simple tool to assist civil society organisations (CSOs) in tracking national progress across key priority policy and programming areas.

B   The scorecard identifies 15 priority policy and programming areas needed to effectively combat childhood obesity and tracks progress across CARICOM.

C   COPS is an interactive web-based tool which can be updated in real time and provides useful links to supporting policy and programme documents where they exist.


2    What is the purpose of the Scorecard?

A   To assess progress through policy and monitoring for those CSOs implementing the HCC Civil Society Action Plan for Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean.

B   To assist CSOs, policymakers and other key stakeholders, in better understanding the local and regional environment with respect to the response to childhood obesity prevention.

C   To assist CSOs in the identification of gaps for evidence informed advocacy and implementation support.

D   To support CSO monitoring of implementation of childhood obesity related commitments.


3    Who is the Scorecard for?

A   CSOs implementing the HCC Civil Society Action Plan for Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean.

B   CSOs interested in advocating for a strengthened national response to childhood obesity.

C   CSOs, with limited capacity to track, monitor and ensure accountability across the full range of NCD policy and programming, who have identified childhood obesity as a key issue. This scorecard is simple enough to allow for easy monitoring of national childhood obesity related policy across 15 priority areas.

D   Policymakers interested in implementing nutrition related policies and keen to learn from other Caribbean countries.

E   Other stakeholders including academia, private sector and members of the general public.


  4    How were the priority areas selected?

A   Alignment with the HCC Civil Society Action Plan for Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean.

B   Based on national, regional and international guidelines for responding to childhood obesity.

C   They are not exhaustive but they are intended to capture a holistic response to the problem.  


5    Do the 15 priority areas in the scorecard align with national, regional and international indicators for childhood obesity policy and programming?

A   Yes the priority areas were selected based on national, regional and international policy and programming interventions for the prevention and control of childhood obesity. Key source strategic frameworks include: the CARPHA Healthy Weights Plan; The PAHO Childhood Obesity Action Plan; the Port of Spain Grid; the recommendations in the Final report of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity; the updated WHO Best Buys and the HCC Civil Society Action Plan 2017-2021:Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean.

B   Yes the priority areas were approved in consultation with key HCC stakeholders including CSO members, public sector partners, regional public health institutions, private sector partners, and regional NCD thought leaders.


6    How is the scorecard used?

A   CSOs use the simple checklist to determine whether or not there is a national implementation of a policy or programme (fully implemented, partially implemented, not implemented). Policies which are absent or partially implemented represent areas for advocacy and possibly, partnerships to support implementation. HCC will attempt to provide supporting documents where partial or full implementation is reported.


7    How is the scorecard updated?

A   HCC with the support of member CSOs, NCD focal points, PAHO and other key partners will continously scan the local policy environment to ensure the data is accurate and current.

B   Formal updates will be undertaken quarterly.

C   Updates will be shared with global partners World Cancer Research Fund International for the NOURISHING database.



  8    Background


The HCC developed the Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard or COPS to facilitate strengthened awareness of national policy responses to childhood obesity as part of the monitoring and evaluation component of the HCC Civil Society Action Plan for Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean. Rates of Childhood overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in the Caribbean. Countries in the region are among the most obese nations in the world with adult obesity rates upwards of 60% in countries such as the Bahamas and Barbados. On average 1/3 of Caribbean children are overweight or obese, a situation driven in large part by seismic shifts in diets over recent generations from locally grown produce to highly process imported 'foods'. In response to the rising levels of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents, the global health community has responded with clear guidelines to inform comprehensive national programmes. The Final Report of the Commision on Ending Childhood Obesity released in 2016, specifically recommends that NGOs: raise the profile of childhood obesity prevention through advocacy efforts and the dissemination of information; motivate consumers to demand that governments support healthy lifestyles and that the food and non-alcoholic beverage industry provide healthy products, and do not market unhealthy foods and sugar-sweetened beverages to children; and contribue to the development and implementation of a monitoring and accountability mechanism.

In April 2016 members of the HCC agreed on childhood obesity as a priority area for collective action during the 2017-2021 strategic period. In order to support CSO activities under this umbrella, in October 2017, HCC launched the Civil Society Action Plan for Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean (CSAP) which identifies priority areas for civil society action; showcases examples of good practices regionally and globally; and provides practical steps to guide the civil society contribution to the national and regional response to the epidemic and overweight and obesity among our children and adolescents in the region. In order to mount an effective advocacy response and to hold governments accountable to related commitments, CSOs need to best understand the local and regional environment with respect to the response to childhood obesity policy and programmes.

Recognizing that CSOs have limited capacity to track, monitor and ensure accountability across the full range of NCD policy and programming, the HCC Childhood Obesity Prevention Scorecard (COPS) identifies 15 priority policy and programming areas needed to effectively combat childhood obesity. The priority areas are based on national, regional and international guidelines for responding to childhood obesity and align with the seven priority areas identified in the HCC launched the Civil Society Action Plan for Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean (CSAP). The scorecard is not exhaustive but rather the intention is to capture key elements of a holistic and comprehensive response based on existing national, regional and global childhood obesity strategic frameworks such as the CARPHA Healthy Weights Plan; the PAHO Childhood Obesity Action Plan; the Port of Spain Grid; the recommendations in the Final report of the WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity; the updated WHO Best Buys and most importantly the HCC Civil Society Action Plan 2017-2021: Preventing Childhood Obesity in the Caribbean.