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Articles on this Page
- 07/10/17--07:52: _A journey through t...
- 07/11/17--01:04: _IFAD and ILO join f...
- 07/12/17--05:53: _GEF-funded programm...
- 07/21/17--05:19: _You, whose voice ca...
- 08/01/17--06:57: _Securing Women's La...
- 08/01/17--08:01: _PROSUL – bridging t...
- 08/02/17--07:35: _Riego tecnificado e...
- 08/04/17--08:28: _Replication and ada...
- 08/23/17--03:23: _South-South Forum "...
- 08/31/17--02:16: _IFAD, SECAP and Hum...
- 09/05/17--06:34: _Improving market ac...
- 09/07/17--05:34: _UNLEASH or how 1000...
- 09/08/17--03:30: _Literacy – a buildi...
- 09/12/17--02:54: _Policies and Partne...
- 09/29/17--02:29: _Why invest in Rural...
- 10/02/17--01:29: _How did GIADP do on...
- 10/02/17--02:21: _Have you ever heard...
- 10/04/17--06:52: _Transparency is at ...
- 10/11/17--06:01: _2016 IFAD Grant Awards
- 10/12/17--00:49: _Tracking results to...
- 07/10/17--07:52: A journey through the implementation of an IFAD project in Fiji
- 07/21/17--05:19: You, whose voice can be heard in other places
- 08/01/17--06:57: Securing Women's Land Rights: a growing momentum with SDGs and LPI
- Goal 1 “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”.
Indicator 1.4.2 :Proportion of total adult population with secure tenure rights to land, with legally recognized documentation and who perceive their rights to land as secure, by sex and by type of tenure (disaggregated by sex and type of tenure).
- Goal 5 “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
Indicator 5.a.1(a) Proportion of total agricultural population with ownership or secure rights over agricultural land, by sex; and (b) share of women among owners or rights-bearers of agricultural land, by type of tenure.
Indicator 5.a.2Proportion of countries where the legal framework (including customary law) guarantees women’s equal rights to land ownership and/or control.
- Empowering communities and creating ownership in programmes and processes for all stakeholders and giving rural people a voice and control over decisions that affect their lifes is crucial for development success.
- Special attention should be placed on engaging young people to build tomorrow’s successful rural producers by bringing in innovative technologies, and most of all, make farming a solid business.
- Partnerships create opportunities to leverage additional resources. Programmes must put structures and capacities in place so that these can be sustained beyond project completion.
- Rural women and men’s resilience to increasing risks, such as by the impacts of a changing climate, can be strengthened by better natural resource management, diversifying income sources and mitigation measures such as insurances and savings.
- 08/31/17--02:16: IFAD, SECAP and Human Rights
- 09/05/17--06:34: Improving market access in South-West Bangladesh
- 09/08/17--03:30: Literacy – a building block for real change in rural areas
- 09/12/17--02:54: Policies and Partnerships for Nutritious Food Systems in Fiji
- High prevalence of non-communicable diseases – (NCDs) (35.8%) and micronutrient deficiencies especially iron deficiency anaemia (32.4%)
- High dependence on imports and calorie intake from imported foods and processed foods that are generally cheaper and less nutritious, with negative impacts on health;
- Multiple policies and frameworks covering agriculture, health, women etc. that do not specifically address the nutrition challenges and in some cases are contradictory.
- 16 national policies and frameworks are in place across various line Ministries (Agriculture, Fisheries, Health, Education etc.) but these are not specific enough on addressing nutritional challenges.
- Need for more research (including on the relationship between agri-nutrition outcomes by academia) to support the Ministries in their work, as well as private sector/businesses.
- Major gaps in Agri-Nutrition nexus identified include Weak or absence of nutrition link in the National Development Plan and Policies in use by the various line ministries, Lack of commitment and poor coordination of the Fiji Plan of Action on Nutrition( FPAN) with multi-stakeholders and partners and Limited awareness and availability of nutrient dense local foods.
- “Policies on agriculture, health, nutrition exist in Fiji but they are not aligned. Agriculture can change the nutrition paradigm of NCDs and anaemia.” Dr. Lako, explained.
- Setting a high-level political agenda and urgent multi-sectoral approach to addressing agri-nutrition and tackling NCDs in Fiji.
- Establishing stronger collaboration and relationship with academia and private sector for evidence based policy and strategic planning
- Partnerships and collaboration between Government Ministries, communities, private sector, and academia, need to be strengthened and their ongoing activities aligned. Joint interventions could include media campaigns, agribusiness/farming communities’ initiatives with schools, promoting local produce and local cuisine, to name a few.
- 09/29/17--02:29: Why invest in Rural Transformation?
- 10/02/17--01:29: How did GIADP do on gender?
- 10/02/17--02:21: Have you ever heard about PlantWise, Plant Clinics or Plant Doctors?
- 10/04/17--06:52: Transparency is at the heart of what we do
- 10/11/17--06:01: 2016 IFAD Grant Awards
- 10/12/17--00:49: Tracking results to transform reality
By Inosi Vulawalu, Knowledge Management, Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Fiji AgriculturePartnership Project (FAPP)
Over the past months, the PMU participated in a number of trainings and learning events that were instrumental in having the team strengthen their skills and experiences, familiarize with IFAD processes and operating modalities, and put in place project implementation arrangements.
Training in value chain analysis and knowledge management
Most recently, FAPP’s PMU staff participated in the Value Chain Analysis capacity building training organized by the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and the Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation Network (PIFON). The workshop was held from 26 to 28 April 2017 and participants included IFAD Sub-regional Coordinator for the Pacific, Sakiusa Tubuna, staff of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Tim Martyn from FAO. It was also attended by nine Research and Extension staff of Fiji’s Ministry of Agriculture.
The training covered topics such as introducing the basic concepts of value chain, key lessons from Pacific value chain studies, and undertaking a value chain analysis for fresh and processed ginger and taro. Field visits were also part of the program. Participants visited some value chain actors who are the leading agricultural exporters in Fiji to-date, such as Ben’s Trading Limited, Kaiming Agro Processing Ltd both situated in Navua and Ranadi’s Plantation. Ben’s Trading Ltd primarily exports root-crops such as taro and cassava, to markets in Australia, NZ and USA. Kaiming Agro Processing Limited exports crystallized and glazed ginger to USA, Australia, NZ, UK and Germany. Ranadi Plantation situated along the Queens Highway in Deuba is about 45minutes drive away from Suva. They are one of the largest organic ginger producers in Fiji and also exports fruits, legumes and spices
Last year I also had the opportunity to attend a regional workshop on “Developing Knowledge Management Capacity for Improved Agriculture, Information, Research and Policy Banks in the Pacific“. The training was organized by the Pacific Agriculture Policy Project (PAPP) co-funded by the EU, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC) and the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) and took place in Fiji from 31 May to 3 June 2016. The purpose of the workshop was to assist us improve our knowledge sharing environment to disseminate agricultural information and knowledge within our country and amongst other countries. Topics covered were on Knowledge Management (KM) products, tools and understanding the KM tree provided by CTA.
Another workshop I also attended was on “Development of E-agriculture Strategy for Fiji”. It was organized by the International Telecommunication Unit (specialized agency of the United Nations that is responsible for issues that concern information and communication technologies) and FAO. It took place in Suva and its purpose was to help identify and address challenges in a broad manner and help Fiji leverage the best outcomes from emerging and innovative technologies.
FAPP also conducted its first ever stakeholder workshop in April 2016. The Permanent Secretary for Agriculture Jitendra Singh officiated the opening and acknowledged the participation of international agencies like IFAD to partner and develop the livelihoods of people residing in rural and vulnerable communities. The workshop, held at the Holiday Inn in Suva, was attended by senior officials of the Ministry of Agriculture and few farmers from the PHVA project in Nadarivatu.
Awareness raising about FAPP
The PMU has conducted some awareness sessions to the Ministry of Agriculture’s extension officers that will be cooperating with FAPP in the project’s target areas. For example, in October 2016, we paid a visit to the extension officers responsible for target areas in Nadroga/Navosa province and their Principal Agriculture Officer Western. The meeting was held at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Sigatoka Research Station in Nacocolevu, approximately 10km from Sigatoka town. The team also visited three exporters in Bilalevu, which falls in the Waicoba district of Nadroga Province. These exporters procure eggplants, Okra, Moringa (Saijan) leaves mostly from farmers in the upper valley of Sigatoka and exports to New Zealand market and supplies also to local markets.
Earlier in July 2016, the project team had visited the highlands of Viti Levu and briefed the extension staff as well. The extension officers will be working in cooperation and coordination with project in-field staff, providing support in technology transfer to the communities. That’s why we felt it was important that we established linkages with them early on and we explained the project's focus and implementation structure in the field. The team had also the opportunity to visit some of the Ministry of Agriculture’s projects in Navai and Nadala villages. Navai village falls within Nabobuco district of Naitasiri but is located very closely to Nadala village in the district of Savatu, Ba province and Nadrau in the province of Nadroga/Navosa province. We visited a potato and other assorted vegetable farmer and also witnessed a small mushroom plot managed by a woman. Demand for mushroom in Fiji according to the Ministry of Agriculture Extension officers in Nadarivatu, is huge. The Ministry of Agriculture through promotion and training of local farmers will enable them to sell mushroom in local markets and generate income.
In addition to these training and visits, the PMU also visited Kaiming Agro Processing Ltd, Ben’s Trading Limited and Joes Farm on 3 March 2017. This enabled us to better understand the operation processes and also to brief them on FAPP’s component on SMEs. Joes Farm exports vegetables to PICs such as Kiribati, Nauru and the Marshall Islands. They also export Dalo, Cassava, Jackfruits, Breadfruits, Yams to Australia and USA.
Given the vital role the Research Division will also play in the project, the PMU also made a courtesy visit to the Koronivia Research Station (KRS) to brief the Principal Research Officers on FAPP and most importantly the project’s linkages to the Research Division. Principal Research Officer - Agronomy guided the PMU team to the Naduruloulou Research Station where various propagation methods of fruit trees are conducted. Nursery management is also a vital component of the station’s operation
FAPP team made another visit in April this year to the Extension officers following its meeting with the Assistant Minister for Agriculture to provide an update on FAPP. The meeting also included other government stakeholders from the Ministry of Provincial Development and the Ministry of I’taukei Affairs.
FAPP team led by the Project Manager Kaliova Nadumu briefed the new Assistant Minister for Agriculture Hon Viam Pillay regarding the project and its core purposes. Hon. Viam Pillay acknowledged the team for the brief. He requested the team to keep extension officers updated on the progress of FAPP.
IFAD Implementation Support Missions
In November 2016, a team of international experts from IFAD led by the IFAD Sub Regional Coordinator visited us to undertake an Implementation Support Mission. The team consisted of Ronald Hartman, IFAD Country Director managing the Pacific portfolio; Monica Romano; Ed Angeles (IFAD Finance Specialist); and Finance Trainee, Viliame Mavoa.
The team reviewed the project’s progress and worked with PMU to advance implementation, identify bottlenecks, and revise the Annual Work Plan and Budget (AWP&B) and Procurement Plan, and define KM activities. They also met various stakeholders to discuss project related issues. Ron Hartman had the opportunity to meet the Assistant Minister for Agriculture, Hon. Joeli Cawaki, and acknowledged the Ministry of Agriculture’s support towards the project.
Earlier in 2016, IFAD provided implementation support in the areas of project management, with the support of Monica Romano, and financial management and procurement, with the help of Ed Angeles, who revised the Project Implementation Manual (PIM). During a Mission in April 2016, Monica also helped the PMU to prepare KM and M&E action plans, liaising with the M&E office of the Ministry of Agriculture, and drafting the overall project M&E framework, including formats to be used in the field. This work has been further advanced through the assistance of the IFAD M&E Consultant, Fabrizio Vivarini, who was with the team for almost two weeks in December 2016 looking into the RIMS framework, logframe and reporting templates to be used both by PMU and the Lead Implementing Partner (LIP). Therefore, the KM and M&E system is now fully in place.
The financial management and procurement aspect of the project is also now fully established. The PMU welcomed the project’s Financial Management & Procurement Assistant, Atelena Nauku, at the beginning of 2017. We benefitted a lot from her vast experience and in-depth knowledge of the GoF’s financial management and procurement guidelines. Required office equipment for the PMU and the newly established Agribusiness Development Unit (ADU) is procured with necessary register maintained. The Finance Management and Procurement Officer liaised with the Ministry of Economy and facilitated a refresher on-the-job training on operating the financial management systems. Officers from the Ministry of Economy had conducted two of this type of trainings to the project’s FMPO and his assistant.
Learning from and experience sharing with other IFAD funded projects
Looking forward to project implementation in the field
Project preparation and implementation arrangements are near to completion by now. We are now working on the RIMS baseline survey that will be the basis for our continued project monitoring. We look forward to implementation of in-field activities and to sharing our experience of linking small producers and farmers with markets in Fiji.
This was one of the questions addressed at a policy forum on gender and labor markets in the Arab world on 3 July 2017 in Amman, Jordan. Panel members hailed from Jordan’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation, the International Labour Organization (ILO), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the Jordan Enterprise Development Corporation, and the University of Minnesota.
The forum was part of an executive course on evaluating labour market programmes conducted by ILO, under the IFAD regional grant on gender monitoring and evaluation in the Near East and North Africa (NENA). The IFAD and ILO partnership, also known as the “Taqeem Initiative”, looks to build evidence on “what works” in effective rural labor market strategies for women and young people.
The five-day course brought together more than 60 participants from 9 NENA countries, including Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Palestine, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen. It also included co-financiers, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Development Centre, the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie), GIZ and the Economic Research Forum who contributed financial and in-kind support.
In his opening remarks, the Labour Ministry’s Secretary General Farouq Hadidi highlighted the need for evidence of investments’ impact, when it comes to generating job opportunities. He also noted the importance of supporting positive labor market outcomes in Jordan, as well as drawing from good practices when drawing up policy recommendations.
The keynote lecture, “Gender and Labor Markets in the Arab World,” was delivered by Ragui Assaad, a professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Professor Assaad discussed what he called “the MENA paradox.”
"Rural young women are both increasingly educated and increasingly unwilling to engage in traditional agriculture work,” said Assaad. “Thus, because of limited mobility and limited modern employment opportunities in their local labor markets, they are increasingly unemployed or withdrawing from labor force altogether."
Arguing against the idea that “this is strictly a story about conservative cultural values restricting labor supply,” Professor Assaad introduced the idea of “reservation working conditions”—the minimum working conditions that a woman (and her family) will accept.
“Educated women in the Arab World are seeking higher rates of market work if such work can meet their ‘reservation working conditions,’” Assaad explained. In countries like Jordan, Egypt and Tunisia, this means work places must do the following: preserve women’s sexual and reputational safety; prevent contact with male clients or owners and bosses in non-public spaces; be geographically accessible without excessive commuting; and be located inside fixed establishments, protected from passers-by. “Generally, this means larger workplaces with many other women present,” said the professor.
To support his claims, Professor Assaad cited primary data gathered from some 1,000 interviewees as part of a recent ILO report on Jordanian labor market challenges by Susan Razzaz.“As long as I am alive, I will never let my sister work in manufacturing,” said one male Jordanian manufacturing worker. “The employers are very rough. I don’t trust them to not yell at my sister or harass her.” When these conditions are not met, many women stay home.
Furthermore, safety and harassment were considered common concerns. As one unemployed Jordanian woman said: “I’d be willing to work in a hotel if the job was in reservations, at the front desk, or in food service. Of course, I can’t work in housekeeping or room service because it is near the bedrooms.”
Long commutes were also a concern: “I wouldn’t want to spend 3 hours a day on the road,” said one female Jordanian worker. “I could barely stand the time spent getting to and from work in Amman, so I wouldn’t work outside of it.”
However, change is possible: An IFAD-supported initiative under the Agricultural Resource Management Project (ARMPII) in Jordan tapped into the region's traditional knowledge base to initiate 400 small-scale enterprises for women in the southern part of the country. Relying on the sustainable use of local resources, these businesses centered around food processing, dairy and pickle production, and the harvesting of mushrooms.
Interviews with the women involved showed they felt empowered, managing small-scale income-generating enterprises. They reported increased levels of independence and status, as well as more effective participation in decision-making at both the community and household levels.
Findings like these indicate that effective policy interventions should look into improving opportunity structures for women. Peter van Rooij, ILO’s Director in Cairo, Egypt agrees, “Women and men need to have equal opportunities in the world of work, especially in the agriculture sector which represents the most important source of employment for women. Achieving gender equality goals under the 2030 Agenda can only be achieved through concerted effort and unique partnership, such as that between the ILO and IFAD in the Near East and North Africa”.
Indeed, the panel discussion that followed recognized positive trends: factors affecting female labor supply are moving towards increased participation. These factors include educational attainment, later marriages, access to improved infrastructure like water and sanitation, access to household technologies, and access to markets for time-saving goods and services.
The panel also noted that incentivizing private employers to offer shorter work days, low-cost transportation, telecommuting, and flexible and part-time work opportunities would make a difference. Other important changes would include shifting maternity leave pay to social insurance, specifying a minimum wage on an hourly basis, establishing better public transport systems--where women can feel safe—and taking steps to gradually expand the range of jobs considered acceptable for women in conservative societies.
Creating a more attractive environment for investors to invest in remote rural areas, as well as making agricultural sector more attractive, should also be considered a priority.
“With a rising population and growing demand for food, there is an ever greater need to invest in agriculture and rural development. Investment in agriculture is two to four times more effective in reducing poverty than investment in any other sector. The agricultural sector is also a rich source of employment for young people, especially women. Thus, creating job opportunities in this sector will improve the lives of poor farmers, and serve indirectly as a means to combat migration to cities and beyond, ” said Khalida Bouzar, Director of the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, IFAD.
By Susan Onyango
Africa’s population is expected to double from 1.26 billion today to over two and half billion by 2050, little more than 30 years from now. At the same time, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and the effects of climate change pose increasing challenges to the continent’s agriculture sector, particularly smallholder farmers. If left unchecked, these challenges will threaten the food security of millions of people, particularly in the drylands. Affected countries will require national policies and farmer practices that safeguard food production, as well as frameworks for mutual cooperation across the agricultural and environmental sectors, if they are to ensure the sustainability and resilience required to feed their people.
In an effort to address these multiple challenges, more than 80 government and development sector experts met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 5 July 2017, to launch the Integrated Approach Programme on Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa. Financed by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the 5-year, USD 116 million programme is designed to promote sustainability and resilience among small holder farmers through the sustainable management of natural resources – land, water, soils and genetic resources – that are crucial for food and nutrition security. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is the lead agency with the Programme Coordination Unit hosted by the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) at their headquarters in Nairobi. Bioversity International, UN Environment, UNDP, FAO, World Bank, UNIDO, AGRA and Conservation International are all involved.
Smallholder farmers, who are responsible for most of the region’s food production, will benefit from practices and policies that will ensure the long-term sustainability and resilience of their production systems. Efforts to ensure post-programme sustainability include a particular focus on gender issues at every level of the programme to address policy and culturally-related barriers to gender equity and women’s empowerment in most of the participating countries. The Programme targets almost three million households in 12 countries and will improve the management of 10 million hectares of land.
“With an explicit focus on smallholder agriculture in the drylands, we have collectively established a framework to underpin the long-term sustainability and resilience of production systems,” said Dr. Mohamed Bakarr, Lead Environment Specialist at the GEF. “The program framework, which is defined by three main components – platforms for multi-stakeholder engagement, acting to scale-up innovations, and systems monitoring and assessment – is informed by sound science and policy, including a theory of change.”
The Programme includes the increased involvement of the private sector in developing viable value chains for food crops. At the same time, a regional hub that will support, synthesize and promote learning across the network of countries will improve access to knowledge from scientific institutions and help inform policy options and investment opportunities for managing ecosystem services in smallholder agriculture.
Margarita Astralaga, Director of IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division reiterated the importance of linking food production with ecosystems to protect the environment and to ensure that smallholder farmers reach markets.
“A key ingredient to the Food Security Integrated Approach Programme is the learning across the twelve country projects as well as its three components on institutional frameworks and policy, scaling-up integrated approaches, and on measuring collective impacts,” she noted.
To ensure effective implementation of the project, participants called for system-wide stakeholder engagement – from the field to the government – and the mapping of existing and previous projects to enable south-south learning. They also emphasized the need for technical support on improving stakeholder engagement, capacity development, strengthening institutions, monitoring systems, combining research and technology, scaling technologies, and communicating among stakeholders in participating countries and globally.
“The process has been very engaging, giving us insight for those who haven’t started on implementation (and) alignment with regional programmes, especially indicators and information on national and regional goals,” said Shamiso Nandi Najira of Malawi’s Ministry of Environment. “We look forward to working with the implementation agencies. Learning from others on what they are doing in their countries has been a good eye opener.”
“Taking resilient food security to scale means supporting innovation among millions of farmers over millions of hectares,” said Fergus Sinclair of the World Agroforestry Centre. “We have to go beyond simply promoting best bets, to supporting farmers as they experiment with new options in their own contexts, and then foster the sharing of that learning about what works where and for whom.”
The Food Security Integrated Approach Programme is aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals and the three Rio Conventions on biological diversity (CBD), to combat desertification (UNCCD) and on climate change (UNFCCC). It will be implemented in 12 countries including Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania and Uganda.
Other Integrated Approach Programmes of the GEF are on Green Commodities Supply Chains and Sustainable Cities.
GEF Integrated Approach Pilot: Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa
IFAD Director presenting the Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP)
We were tossed around inside the cabs of our trucks as we rolled over streams and open wounds in the roads, slowly being engulfed by the depths of green vegetation as we penetrated deeper into the forest. Its shades of green were endless, an explosion of hues that were evidence of nature almost completely undisturbed. Adobe houses adorned the hillsides, and every so often we glimpsed a peasant herding goats or a group of women shouldering bundles, slowly but surely making their way.
We finally reached our destination several hours later, with the sun high above us. A group of visitors from distant places, with their lists of questions, and local guides who knew their way around the hills with a guerrilla-like intuition. Of course, we all arrived with the stubborn expectation of finding the survival instincts and organization that supposedly always prevail, even in the harshest of conditions.
We were welcomed by a group of inhabitants of a small settlement that was proudly called a village. We got out and started walking up to one of the villagers’ houses, then to their gardens and orchards, spread out in the surroundings. They showed us their production techniques, talked about their dreams, and asked us what we thought or how this or that was done elsewhere. Then we went back to the first house where a group of women were preparing a meal, an unmistakable sign of poor people's gratitude: sharing their hearth and their table, offering a stranger their best food.
From the back of the house appeared an old woman. Small and discreet, with a calm and profound look. This is Doña Carmela, they told me. She's the oldest person in the village and she's still as lively as ever. She likes doing everything and going everywhere. She'd even climb the trees with us if she could!
She exuded such magnetism that I went over and knelt beside her so that I could talk to her, but above all so I could listen to her. She took my hand and gave me a smile that revealed some missing teeth. She bowed her head discreetly, her way of thanking us for our visit. She grabbed the arm of a girl whom she might have resembled seventy years ago and sat down in a chair to wait; to wait with the patient determination of someone who is certain that they must take the opportunity to send a message with an emissary who is finally within reach.
When the time was right, she spoke in that timeless language of Rulfo and his Comala[i],making reference respectfully and impersonally to forces and attitudes that have ignored them for years on end, even today on the centenary of a Constitution born out of a revolution that over the decades has lost sight of its main goal: satisfying the peasants’ clamour for land and development.
"You, whose voice can be heard in other places, tell them not to forget about us, the poor." I promise to pass on your message, I told her. We shook hands again and said goodbye: she, feeling certain that she had sent her message again, and I, fearing that it would fall, once again, on deaf ears.
[i] Translator’s note: A reference to Mexican writer Juan Rulfo and a town mentioned in his novel Pedro Páramo
By Elisa Mandelli and Andrea Wyers, with contributions from Everlyne Nairesiae (GLII-GLTN)
|Participants at the GLII Expert Group Meeting on ‘Securing Women’s Land Rights in the SDGs Monitoring Framework’. @Browne 2017|
From 8 to 9 July Elisa Mandelli, representing IFAD, was in New York to participate in the Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on Securing Women's Land Rights in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The meeting was jointly organized by the Global Land Indicators Initiative (GLII) in partnership with Landesa, Oxfam, Huairou Commission and UN Women. Over 40 gender and women’s land rights experts participated, including representatives from national statistical offices, Civil Society Organizations CSOs, UN agencies, multilateral agencies and other stakeholders.
The EGM preceded the United Nations High Level Political Forum held in New York from the 10 to 19 July 2017. The Forum focused on “Eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity in a changing world" and on the review of some SDGs, including goals with land-related indicators such as:
The importance of securing women's land rights to eradicate poverty has also been identified by the African Union Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa (F&G) as one of the critical areas for advocacy and action of the African member states. As part of this engagement and within the framework of the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063, the African Land Policy Initiative (LPI) is negotiating member states’ commitment in monitoring the progress of women’s land rights and increasing to a minimum of 30% the amount of land allocated (individually or jointly) to women. The LPI has also played a key role in advocating for the African Union recent endorsement of the Pan African Women’s Charter on Land Rights. The Charter resulted from the Kilimanjaro Initiative, which has mobilized rural women from 22 countries across Africa. The Charter includes 15 specific demands addressing women’s access to use, control, own, inherit and dispose of their land and natural resources with the ultimate aim to help empower women across the continent.
Thus, the land tenure community can celebrate the progress made in raising awareness on the importance of women’s land rights and the monitoring of progress made, but is now challenged to define the methodology for measuring the progress on these indicators and ensuring that the reporting contributes to the women’s land rights agenda. Land tenure statistics are in fact highly complex and there is a lack of clear and consistent data on land tenure security, particularly when it comes to statistics disaggregated by gender. See also blog on gender equality.
Within this framework, the purpose of the EGM was to examine land indicators in the SDGs and to promote meaningful and more harmonised approaches to monitoring women’s land rights in a coordinated manner. In particular, participants agreed on the need to promote the harmonization and complementarity of land-related indicators based on a single and integrated narrative of concepts and definitions (i.e. land tenure security, ownership, tenure type, etc.). This includes strengthening the level of robustness of the proposed methodologies using proxies for women specific issues noting that women are not a homogenous group.
Moreover, participants committed to convey key messages and recommendations on women’s land rights to UN member states during their participation at the High Level Political Forum. Messages included the importance to monitor the progress on women’s secure land rights since not having the data to diagnose and monitor progress made in the context of the SDGs will be a missed opportunity to eradicate poverty and empower women and girls. In order to ensure immediate country data collection and reporting on secure tenure rights (1.4.2., 5.a.1 and 5.a.2), member states have to support the adoption of the proposed methodologies for monitoring the indicators at the 6th Meeting of the Inter-Agency and Expert Group on Sustainable Development Goal Indicators (IAEG-SDG) to be held in November 2017. Further information on the re-classification of land-related indicators can be found in the blog by Jamal Browne, a participant of the EGM.
IFAD is looking forward to continuing its engagement with the GLII, the GDWGL and the custodian agencies responsible for the specific land indicators including UN Habitat and World Bank; FAO and other agencies to support the elaboration of the proposed methodology and their successful reclassification by IAEG-SDGs in November 2017. On this subject, IFAD and the Global Land Tool Network Secretariat are collaborating in the co-financed grant “Strengthening capacity for assessing the impact of tenure security measures on IFAD supported and other projects within the SDG framework”. The grant aims at improving the capacity of IFAD-supported projects to assess measure and report their impact on poor rural people’s tenure security, including on women’s land rights.
|Q&A with participants and World Bank representatives © F. Rubino|
The PROSUL project is an IFAD-supported project working to support the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in the Maputo and Limpopo corridors. In doing so, the project works across 19 districts in the In-hamabane, Gaza and Maputo Provinces, focusing on three specific value chains: horticulture, cassava and red meat (i.e. cattle, goats, etc.). Alongside building stronger farmer organizations and improving the agribusiness linkages for farmers, the project strongly focuses on climate smart interventions and land tenure security in the rural communities targeted.
The paper Mainstreaming Securing Land Rights in Value Chain Development Programmes: The Case of the Pro-poor Value Chain Development Project in Maputo and Limpopo Corridors in Mozambique presented at the World Bank Conference gave insights on PROSUL’s experience in mainstreaming interventions that aim to facilitate land tenure regularization for smallholder farmers in the project provinces.
|PROSUL Project Coordinator Daniel Mate arriving at the|
Beyond the described successes PROSUL also faced a number of challenges, and in presenting the paper to the numerous participants that attended the presentation, the PROSUL Project Coordinator Daniel Mate mentioned the need to continue promoting and increasing the secured access to land for vulnerable groups such as women and youth. An additional point of interest discussed are the Community Based Natural Resource Management Plans, which will be elaborated with and for the communities, in order to strengthen the sustainable use of the natural resources surrounding them.
The paper prepared by Daniel Mate and the PROSUL Land Tenure Advisor Daniel Simango**
represents a good example of IFAD-supported projects directly engaging with knowledge creation, thereby attempting to bridge the often large gap between knowledge and practice. Furthermore, it shows PROSUL’s contribution (both theoretical and practical) to the Government of Mozambique’s Terra Segura (Secure Land) program, that seeks to ensure land tenure security regularization across the country.
Daniel Mate explained how the paper presented this year is just the first of what may well become a number of future participations and publications for the project team. In fact, PROSUL is already working on identifying topics for the 2018 Land and Poverty Conference, hoping to possibly share new experiences, and is on the look-out for other platforms and meetings in which to engage and share with partners on a global scale.
*The PROSUL project is implemented through the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security and through the Agrarian Development Fund (FDA).
** together with support from the IFAD Country Office
Por Salvador S. Merlos
|Árboles frutales enTunga-San Pedro ©Hugo Néstor Villegas|
Un año después del grave terremoto que en 2016 destruyó los hogares de más de 20.000 habitantes de poblaciones rurales del Ecuador, el Vicepresidente Adjunto del Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA), Périn Saint Ange, visitó el país andino con el mensaje de que, junto a la ayuda humanitaria en casos de desastre, el desarrollo a largo plazo es crucial para reconstruir vidas. Además de reuniones con ministros e instituciones, el Sr. Saint Ange viajó a Tungurahua junto con funcionarios del Ministerio de Agricultura y representantes de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID) para reunirse con pequeños agricultores y jóvenes beneficiarios del proyecto "Buen Vivir". Su propósito era conocer de primera mano la manera en que este proyecto financiado por el FIDA está transformando los medios de vida de las comunidades rurales y especialmente de las mujeres.
|Riego tecnificado en Tunga-San Pedro ©Hugo Néstor Villegas|
La incorporación de riego tecnificado es crucial para una región que se está viendo fuertemente afectada por el cambio climático. El caudal concesionado del río Mocha ha registrado un descenso de alrededor del 40% en el lapso de poco más de 20 años, lo que ha incidido directamente en la disponibilidad de agua para su uso en la acequia Mocha Huachi. "La incorporación de los sistemas presurizados, además de un uso eficiente del recurso, contribuye a empoderar a las mujeres, quienes ganan tiempo y calidad de vida, rompiendo así el circulo de la pobreza y de las desigualdades", afirmó Caroline Bidault, Gerente del Programa del FIDA en el Ecuador. Esto se ha traducido, por ejemplo, en un incremento de los rendimientos de alfalfa de 25.000 kg/ha con riego por inundación a 33.000 kg/ha con riego tecnificado; en cuanto a la papa, se ha pasado de 9.500 kg/ha con riego por inundación a cosechar 16.000 kg/ha con riego tecnificado.
|Narcisa Mayorga frente al reservorio de agua de la acequia Mocha Huachi ©FIDA|
Narcisa Mayorga, una de las agricultoras beneficiarias, destacó que a raíz del proyecto las mujeres disponen de más tiempo para dedicarse también a otros menesteres. "Además del tiempo ganado, ha mejorado la seguridad, pues en el pasado hubo accidentes, algunos de ellos mortales". Narcisa cuida de sus padres y corta a diario la alfalfa de su terreno para alimentar a los cuyes, que vende en una feria cada jueves. "Los nuevos turnos de riego nos han permitido renunciar a las palas, azadones y picos, para incorporarnos con las válvulas. Ya no tenemos que levantarnos de madrugada para pernoctar tempranamente".
|Perin Saint Ange es obsequiado con una muestra de productos de Mocha Quero ©FIDA|
|Ángel Morales muestra el sistema de riego mientras un familiar da de comer a los peces ©FIDA|
|Ángel Morales muestra el sistema de riego mientras un familiar da de comer a los peces ©FIDA|
In November 2016, the Learning Route (LR): Practical solutions to adapt to climate change in production and post-harvesting sectors: the cases of Mozambique and Rwanda was implemented in several districts of Mozambique and Rwanda by PROCASUR Corporation. The IFAD projects: Pro-poor Value Chain Project in the Maputo and Limpopo Corridors (PROSUL) in Mozambique and Climate Resilient Post-Harvest and Agribusiness Support Project (PASP) in Rwanda were selected as one of the best practices in managing climate change and adaptation components under the Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) in the East and Southern Africa (ESA) region. The LR was organized and co-funded under the framework of the IFAD-PROCASUR Large Grant Programme “Strengthening Capacities and tools to scale up and disseminate Innovations”.
The partnership between PROCASUR and the IFAD Projects PROSUL and PASP involved the projects acting both as the LR ‘host cases’ on the one hand and as active ‘participants’ and beneficiaries of the learning activity on the other hand. An agreement between PROCASUR, PASP and PROSUL was signed in August 2016 in order to design and implement the LR activity. PROCASUR, PASP and PROSUL staff worked jointly to identify, select and systematize the good experiences to be visited during the LR. In November 2016 PASP and PROSUL, supported by PROCASUR, successfully hosted 25 participants from 7 different countries and implemented all the learning activities foreseen by the LR in Mozmabique and Rwanda through the valuable effort of many local champions.
Two members of the PROSUL project team participated in the whole LR, culminating in the development of an Innovation Plan (IP): “Strengthening Institutional Capacities to Improve the Provision of Climate Information to smallholder farmers in Southern Mozambique”. The IP aims at establishing an effective climate information system for enabling farmers and agricultural stakeholders to make informed decisions with regards to seasonal planning and monitoring. This is a crucial component in many IFAD-supported projects addressing Climate Change Adaptation, and in particular in the ASAP, as an important adaptation measure to increase small-holder farmers’ resilience to climate shocks.
Technical Exchange: Enhancement of Knowledge Management in the PROSUL project
Prior investments on climate information in Mozambique had already been made by the PROSUL project with the aim of setting up an effective mechanism for the provision of climate information such as the rehabilitation of two meteorological stations, in Gaza and Inhambane provinces, and the provision of training to meteorological observers. These activities were done under the scope of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Centre for the Promotion of Agriculture (CEPAGRI), the former leading agency of PROSUL, and the National Institute of Meteorology (INAM). As highlighted in the rationale of the IP, both INAM and PROSUL failed to achieve the expected results due to the weak capacities in INAM in developing readily use messages framed to agricultural sector and to the lack of involvement of the Department of Crops and Early Warning (DCAP) within the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA).
The IP, designed by the LR’s participants from the PROSUL project, integrates the lessons they learnt during the LR from the PASP project in Rwanda, where the provision of climate information to farmers and the relationships among the government institutions involved has achieved positive results.
From the LR (November 2016 – where the IP idea was born) to date, the IP has been discussed in depth among the PROSUL project management team (PMT), the IFAD country office in Mozambique, the governmental stakeholders involved and with PROCASUR. There has been a renewed commitment from INAM to revisit their objective of increasing small-holder farmers’ resilience to climate shocks. Due to the strong interest and willingness of all the interested stakeholders and the PROSUL PMT to implement the IP, and in line with the recommendations received by IFAD in the mid-term review report, PROSUL expressed the specific request to PROCASUR to facilitate one of the activities foreseen in the IP that will lead to the strengthening of their capacities in collecting and processing climate data and the final and timely dissemination of the climate information to smallholder farmers.
In this framework, PROCASUR will be organizing a technical – institutional exchange learning activity in Rwanda involving PROSUL, MASA and INAM representatives in order to strengthen their capacities in providing climate information to smallholders and to improve the institutional dialogue by exposing them to the processes and tools used in PASP. This training will be held in September 2017.
We look forward to updating you on the progress! Stay tuned for more on the innovation plan implementation and more information on the Learning Initiative on our Website and Facebook Page.
|Indonesian Minister Bambang adressing the South-South Forum|
|Participants of the Project Forum|
Key messages emerging from the conversation were:
|Discussing how to ensure market access for remote rural villages.|
|The Indonesian Minister of Villages sharing his vision for rural areas.|
|Ministers and high level policy makers from Fiji, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu with IFAD Associate Vice President|
|Cutting the ribbon to mark the next chapter for IFAD in Southeast Asia and the Pacific|
|Indonesian Minister of Finance delivering her remarks.|
By Elsie Fedha
We are all born with equal rights irrespective of our gender, our religion or our race. As humans, we are given a right to life, right to freedom, right to choice among many other rights. When the United Nations released its UN charter in 1945 and later its International Bill of Human Rights in 1948 it paved the way for member states and agencies. In 1945 the UN Charter was created and its primary purpose was to deal with the "…. problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character…and encouraging respect for human rights…" (Article 1). In addition to the UN Charter, the International Bill of Human Rights were created and played a crucial role in the purpose of the United Nations.
Human rights is a fairly new concept, regardless of its origins from the Magna Carta, it was introduced with the creation of the League of Nations which later became the United Nations. Today, OHCHR, among many other human rights agencies, plays a critical role in ensuring that human rights are respected among various nations and organisations.
Comparative Analysis of different human rights assessment approaches
Apart from nations, international organisations, particularly those a part of the UN system, have a responsibility to ensure that their work with either development or the economy is not in gross violation of any human rights principles. Institutions such as the Danish Institute of Human Rights, the World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), have implemented various precautions and criteria that ensure that their work abides to international standards of human rights laws. The World Bank has an in-depth criteria entitled the Human Rights Impact Assessment (HRIA) and it goes into detail through nine steps on how to analyse the international, national and organisational legal framework in relation to human rights.
Since IFAD is still a growing organisation, in respect to social issues, the social policies already in place (such as the FPIC, SIA, ESMP) do play a role in the monitoring of human rights. IFAD policies do address indigenous rights, women's rights and rights to land and a clean environment, which are the essential factors when addressing human rights. All these factors of human rights are addressed through the various IFAD policies such as Gender and Land or the SECAP Guidance Statements such as Water, and Physical and Economic Resettlement. The only aspect lacking within IFAD is human rights terminology. While IFAD is trying to remain away from political interference it is essential that human rights is addressed in its policies so as to abstain from any violations.
The following diagram is an example on how to incorporate human rights in relevant projects and ways to take on a human rights impact in our work.
Map of SECAP and a human rights approach
What we can learn and accomplish by taking on a human rights based approach is on how to take proper accountability and address the needs of a community in a more sustainable way. IFAD has a responsibility as an UN agency to carry out its work with a human rights mind-set.
By Christa Ketting
CCRIP constructs climate-resilient road infrastructure and markets sheds in order to improve market access in south-west Bangladesh. The project is implemented in 32 upazilas (unions) in 12 districts in the south of Bangladesh. The 12 districts are known to be among the least developed of the country and vulnerable to natural disasters such as tidal surges, cyclones and floods. The goal of CCRIP is to improve the livelihoods (higher incomes and food security) for poor households. In order to do so, it upgrades markets in the selected areas and rehabilitates the access roads towards them.
For monitoring and evaluation purposes, the location of CCRIP markets and roads are uploaded in Google earth. As Google earth allows you to consult historical images, the project is able to track how CCRIP markets develop over the course of years. For example, the footage below is that of the “Post Office Bazar” located in the Babuganj upazila of the Barisal district, which has been established in 1988. In 2013, most of the market activities took place alongside the main road.
|Photo credits: maps prepared by CCRIP Project Monitoring Unit Bangladesh|
The number of sales points considerably increased in the last two years, as shown on the picture below. In particular, in the area West of the market sheds, a livestock market now takes place every Wednesday and Sunday.
This growth can not only be attributed to the markets and roads constructed by CCRIP. Yet, it seems increased connectivity and by offering smallholders a place to sell surplus production contributes to livelihood development in the project areas. The majority of CCRIP markets thus saw an increase in goods traded and the number of traders.
Moreover, site selection seems key in order to trigger growth, especially for the rural poor. Most of CCRIP activities take place in the most remote and poor Upazila’s of Bangladesh. Moreover, the project upgrades “small markets” with around 10-50 outlets that serves the rural population. This stands in sharp contrast to the rural growth centres like the Gosairhat Bazar (below) that are upgraded by other financial institutions in line with their respective mandates.
Bangladesh, which is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, has a fast growing economy. Small scaled interventions like the CCRIP road construction and market upgrading allows the rural population to benefit from this growth. However, as implied by project director Luthfur Rahman, these intervention should be carefully planned and well implemented.
|SDG 2/Food track at the Folk High School of Ry. Credit to Astrid Maria Rasmussen|
Thinking out of the box and framing the problem first
|Receiving an Award for the Best Team Work. Credit to Alex Luka Ladime|
|Madagascar: out-of-school-youth meeting after course|
A Multi-sectoral, Gender-sensitive Approach is the Way ForwardBy Judith Francis and Jana Dietershagen
|Garlanding chief guests of the workshop: From left to right, Mr. Christoph Wagner, Howard Politini and Sakiusa Tubuna|
The aim was to present different viewpoints, exchange knowledge, and spark discussions around the multifaceted and multidimensional aspects of the agri-nutrition challenges in Fiji, which led to key recommendations that inform national policy and programmes. The event was attended by 63 participants (46% female), comprising representatives from public and private organisations. The workshop was officially opened by Christoph Wagner, Head of Cooperation of the European Delegation for the Pacific, Sakiusa Tubuna, Sub-Regional Coordinator of IFAD in the Pacific, and Howard Politini, Chair Board of Directors, PIPSO.
“Addressing agricultural challenges in an innovative way is what this workshop is about” – stated Wagner, adding that “The European Commission has a strong focus on public-private-partnerships.”
IFAD views the CTA/IFAD/PIPSO collaborative project as an opportunity for developing and piloting innovative approaches that strengthen the agriculture-nutrition nexus and increase people’s access to nutritious and healthy foods.
"This project is an opportunity to mainstream nutrition in agriculture. Therefore we need to pull together all the expertise", said Tubuna.
|From left to right: Fantasha Lockington (CEO Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association), Emil Jejov and Judith Francis (CTA)|
According to Francis, “through these innovative tools, the project will support communities to find solutions that build on traditional knowledge, agri-businesses to harness the social and intellectual capital and producers to engage in inclusive value chain development.”
|Participants discussing and suggesting strategies during roundtable exercises|
Women play a critical role in Fiji’s agricultural sector
|Female participants discussing during the group exercises|
Sian Rolls, from Femlink Pacific, further explained, “the biggest gender gap is in decision-making. Women feel frustrated because, despite the development changes, they have not been seeing improvements in their economic and nutrition status.”
|Cherie Moris Fiji, Women in Fisheries Network|
“SMEs create the most jobs in Fiji. They need support and capacity building,” emphasized Ravi Chand, CEO, National Centre for Small and Micro Enterprise Development.
Business in Fiji is not just about trading any more, but is gaining an inclusive community engagement role. Together the government and the private sector can contribute to sustainable economic development.
|Products of participating producers were displayed during the workshop|
Workshop outcomes: Three strategies for national development consideration
Participants presenting results from group discussion on women’s empowerment
In the next few months, similar national policy roundtables are rolling out in the other project’s target countries: Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Vanuatu. Priority value chains are analysed to launch the Value Chain Coordination/Agricultural Innovation platforms and to identify the challenges and opportunities for investing in weather risk insurance - another innovation that the project will explore in consultation with producer organisations and representatives of the public and private sector.
According to Emil Jejov from CTA: “Index based insurance is suitable where many smallholder farmers operate. Insured farmers are able to save more and invest more in inputs and other production assets. Multi-stakeholder consultations are crucial in developing successful insurance products.”
By Nancy Kaawe, Philipp Baumgartner, Weijing Wang
Quite well in our estimation, during the project completion review mission in May 2017. Targeting of beneficiaries in the project was highly gender sensitive, with women accounting for 53.1% of direct project participants and 47.6% of total beneficiaries. Gender targets were met, as the project began with a baseline of 46.6% of women in the population of target townships.
The portion of active participants among female beneficiaries was roughly 3% more than that of male participants.
While the high participation of women in the project can partly be attributed to the growing feminization of rural agriculture in China as a result of increasing migration of men to the cities, it was also noted that: (i) the project management displayed commitment to gender concerns and working closely with women's federations at all levels, with clear targets in the manuals from the PPMO; and (ii) project interventions prioritized women and also fit demands of women. The modular approach to project implementation made it possible for Village Implementation Groups (VIGs) to request specific modules of interest to their communities.
One of the many testaments to the latter was in Baishou Township, Yongfu County, where the mission met with the VIG members of Chao Yang village. The group was composed of 11 members (5 of which were women), who recounted having requested the rural environment component of the project, and among other benefits, reported that in 2016 they had gone from selling oranges at 10CYN/KG to 12CYN/KG (20% price increase) and were selling at higher prices as compared to other villages that did not receive this component. They attributed this to having a cleaner and more sanitary environment which attracted buyers and allowed them to sell at higher prices. The data snapshots (below) providing an overview of women outreach and participation by project modules; in fact show-among other things- participation of women in the rural environment component on the higher end.
On a more critical note, the data also indicates two areas that stand out with low figures in women's participation: (i) agricultural technical extension stations and (ii) project management. Low participation of women in township agricultural stations was explained by the project as a result of limited interest or attraction of women to work in this area. It was also reported that in many cases extension staff travel to villages unaccompanied, and quite often return to the townships late in the evening, making women less suitable for this work due to security concerns. Project management however is key and cross-cutting, and further reflection and analysis of shortfalls in this area could present a learning opportunity for future projects in the country programme. Interestingly, the mission did not perceive any issues regarding the representation of women in project implementation and there is no allusion to any such issues in the documentation through the life of the project. But the numbers are what they are, and while VIGs were an overall success with good representation from women and supported collective and unanimous decisions by the villagers, the data suggests that there is still room for improvement in women's participation in project management (VIGs and PMO training).
There is a possibility that these figures may have been caused in part by the preferences of women farmers. Should we, (and if so how do we) factor such eventualities in our targets and reporting?
Another area of interest is the project support to farmers' cooperatives, which displays a great deal of potential for positive outcomes and impact. This area has been satisfactory where initial increases in women's participation and household incomes are concerned. In Leye County, women's participation in cooperatives reached 45.8%, while in Longzhou County; women's participation reached 48.1%. The overall average falls at around 50.3% women participants in cooperatives. A chicken cooperative in Longzhou County increased its membership from 16 to 67 in a span on 3 years of operation. While interviewing 3 women in the cooperative, economic empowerment showed through as members were able to sell around 5,000 to 6,000 chickens a year.
Cooperatives also have potential to provide opportunities for further employment to farmers/members in the processing part of the value chain, as seen in two cooperatives in Pingle County. One of the main challenges however, is in ensuring that poor smallholder farmers, especially women and minorities continue to be included in these cooperatives beyond the life of the project. The cooperatives module in GIADP involved concerted efforts between the implementing agencies, project management offices at provincial, county and township levels, to apply stipulations for household inclusion of productive poor smallholder farmers. These targeting efforts will need to be sustained by poverty alleviation programmes set by local governments.
This IFAD-supported sweet potato cooperative in Zhangjia Township, Pingle County is led by a woman, Ms. Li Zhen, who also employs mostly women farmers to work on sweet potato processing which is done by hand. This allows them to supplement their income with around CYN 60 per day, working close to their homes. The women interviewed told of having more decision power and reduced disputes in their homes because they also have an income.
Ms. Zhen, who is divorced with two children to support, recounted a story of 'very low production' and hardships before she began to benefit from the project's support to her cooperative. With increased production, her livelihood has significantly improved, and she encourages poor farmers to become commercial producers and join the cooperative. With pride, she informed the mission that last year (2016), she was selected as a people's representative for the county, and finally, she shared that being empowered and successful, she now has many suitors and can be more selective this time around!
And in a photo that eerily echoed the mission's concerns about the sustained inclusion of IFAD's target group in cooperatives, a woman smallholder farmer (indicated by the arrow) in Leye County stood aside as the cooperative boss engaged with mission members.
This image was used in the mission's presentation during the wrap-up workshop to emphasize IFAD's recommendation for continued support to cooperatives to remain inclusive after the closing of the project.
In conclusion, the GIADP project performed well on gender, but was not without challenges. Clear successes, shortfalls and everything in between should provide for valuable lessons and further reflection for the country programme going forward. GIADP is one of the projects selected for an IFAD ex-post impact assessment, and no doubt the additional data will help us glean further insights and conclusions.
Thanks for reading!
By Manda. M. Sissoko*, Lisandro Martin* and Natalia Toschi
Transparency implies pro-activity
Two words define transparency in the context of development: openness and sharing. Transparency is about creating access to timely, reliable, comprehensive and comparable data on development aid resource management. It should be clear how much aid is flowing into a country, where and how aid is spent, and what results are achieved.
However, openness is only one dimension of transparency. The other is sharing lessons and knowledge about what works to support decision-making on the allocation and management of development aid resources. While openness sets the stage, sharing determines the true dynamics of transparency. These words explain colloquially the core of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard.
Becoming truly transparent is expensive: it requires investments in capacity and systems. But the dividends are high, and in the long run, significantly outweigh costs. In this sense, the availability and ease of access to aid information are simply the means. Organizations are called on to adopt transparency standards into their operations and processes for the aim of achieving better development results.
Transparency is a transformational force
The main reason transparency matters is that it alters traditional accountability relations among development actors. With open and easily accessible information, citizens can actively participate in policy-making regarding their futures and gain ownership over their development aspirations. Informed citizens are conscious of their needs, they are empowered to hold their governments –and organizations like IFAD- accountable for their decisions, and can influence those decisions. Likewise, timely and accessible information on future planning and flows of development financing helps donors and recipients to hold each other to account for mutual commitments. Transparency, therefore, enhances national awareness of the results achieved from aid resources and strengthens "Mutual Accountability." Finally, the comparability and comprehensiveness of information shared forms the basis for coordination and harmonization of country-level development partners' activities.
The IFAD11 business model recognizes that transparency is perhaps the most transformational of all the elements of a results culture. The Fund has a long history of disclosure, and in 2010, adopted the principle of presumption of full disclosure policy. The latest business model, presented at IFAD11 Replenishment Consultation last June, proposed for IFAD11 (2019-2021) to increase the importance of transparency in all of IFAD's operations at a corporate and operational level. IFAD Management stated that "considerably more weight will be given, organization-wide, to transparency." Transparency and Openness Action Plan is currently being developed for approval by the Executive Board in December 2017. As part of this plan, phase I of IFAD's automatic publishing to IATI has concluded, a significant step in making the Fund fully compliant with the IATI standard. Now, information about the Fund's approvals and disbursements is provided to IATI automatically and in real-time. A small but significant step to amplify IFAD's contributions to development results.
Big goals and big gaps
In the global efforts towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, the development community and governments have agreed on over 230 indicators to track progress. Tracking is needed for informed decision making. First, robust tracking is essential in finding solutions to challenges that are dynamic, such as those caused by climate change; for example, climate resilient agriculture is a moving target as climate patterns continue to mutate. Second, tracking is essential in adapting global solutions to specific contexts, addressing root causes of fragility has for example cultural elements. Thirdly, without robust data, governments and development partners cannot assess the trade-offs of pursuing multiple goals: more aggressive growth requires more energy and water, and can endanger forests.
But is the data of the right quality, and is it used for the right purpose? To answer this question, IFAD conducted a survey among M&E officers working in IFAD-supported projects. Three main problems emerged:
Consequently, there is evidence that current efforts to track results must be stepped up. Numbers are being produced; transforming reality based on those numbers is a different matter.
IFAD has partnered with The Centres for Learning on Evaluation and Results (CLEAR) in creating PRiME to systematically train project staff to instil a culture of results in project management units. Transforming resources into results is another key area of IFAD’s new business model.