- RSS Channel Showcase 9574612
- RSS Channel Showcase 2124759
- RSS Channel Showcase 7544320
- RSS Channel Showcase 9112629
Articles on this Page
- 04/11/13--04:54: _A glimmer of hope f...
- 04/12/13--17:56: _Social Inclusion an...
- 04/13/13--15:20: _Learning Route in N...
- 04/15/13--08:20: _Remembering Samanth...
- 04/16/13--09:11: _Women unlock chains...
- 04/17/13--07:59: _From species extinc...
- 04/19/13--10:29: _Capitaliser les leç...
- 04/19/13--10:41: _Mobile telephony: E...
- 04/23/13--03:44: _Fishy business in t...
- 05/02/13--11:48: _Engaging the privat...
- 05/03/13--09:33: _Working closely wit...
- 05/06/13--21:24: _Food and nutrition ...
- 05/07/13--07:26: _Women perspectives ...
- 05/09/13--05:26: _CPOs and project le...
- 05/09/13--23:55: _Infrastructure deve...
- 05/14/13--01:48: _Can low-cost comput...
- 05/14/13--15:49: _Women’s perspective...
- 05/16/13--08:53: _How to build sustai...
- 05/17/13--08:10: _Experts declare war...
- 05/19/13--16:30: _Harnessing the remi...
- 04/11/13--04:54: A glimmer of hope for an Afghan woman in despair
- 04/12/13--17:56: Social Inclusion and Women Empowerment: Key to Success - Nepal LR
- 04/15/13--08:20: Remembering Samantha, our dear friend and colleague
- 04/16/13--09:11: Women unlock chains of development in rural Nepal
- Practicing farmer assisted natural regeneration
- Diversifying and increasing drought tolerance of the parklands by planting and protecting a range of selected species, using seedlings produced from seeds that were collected in drier locations;
- Practicing soil and water conservation; and
- Controlling free browsing by animals.
- Burkina Faso: Institut National de l’Environnement et des Recherches Agricoles, Direction des Eaux et Forêt, Programme de Développement Rural Durable, Programme d’Investissement Communautaire en Fertilité Agricole
- Mali: Institut d’Économie Rurale, Direction Nationale de la Conservation de la Nature, Fonds du Développement en Zone Sahélienne
- Niger: Institut National de Recherche Agronomique du Niger, Direction Nationale de l’Environnement, Programme de Promotion des Initiatives Paysannes pour le Développement d’Aguié
- 04/23/13--03:44: Fishy business in the Fish Market – a tale from Maputo
- 05/09/13--23:55: Infrastructure development in Bangladesh: Building rural livelihoods
- Travel costs have decreased significantly, thus connecting remote villages to social services and the market. Passenger fares for motorized vehicles on project roads have decreased by 8% on market days and 38% on non-market days, while control roads show an increase of 134% and 88% respectively. A similar trend is observable for transport of goods.
- Travel time has decreased as the average speed of motorized vehicles has increased by 136% during dry season and 182% during monsoon and the average speed of non-motorized vehicles has increased by 114% during dry season and 155% during monsoon.
- 95% stated that the access to health service has improved.
- 87% responded that the access to schools has become better (and some respondents added, that the quality of teachers has improved as they are now willing to be posted in this area), school enrollment in primary schools nearly doubled between 2006 and 2013.
- 87% answered that access to markets has strongly improved and that goods and services have become more affordable.
- 50% stated that mobility of women has increased, respondents also said that women can now travel alone. A large part of respondents on the other hand said, that women still not travel to nearby towns or markets. However, girls' enrollment in primary education more than tripled and women report improved access to maternal and child health care programs.
- 70% responded that their food security has improved, of which 40 said it has strongly improved. Respondents also mentioned the increased variety of available food.
- 75% indicated an increase in income since the construction of the road, with 26% mentioning a large improvement as new roads reduce travel time and increase accessibility of jobs, ultimately allowing increased income. In addition, the newly constructed roads have encouraged road based employment, such as different transportation modes and road maintenance for destitute women.
- Value of land has increased, varying strongly between 7% and 900%.
- 05/14/13--01:48: Can low-cost computers make a difference in rural Africa?
- Clear organization structure and sharing of roles, responsibilities and rules, and participatory decision making processes complemented by transparent and accountable financial management are key to ensure effective group management. In this framework, the role of women at both production and decision-making process, should be strengthened.
- The sharing of a common vision among group members and collective future plans are key for the sustainability of the experience over time
The establishment and regular management of a collective fund is indispensable for the development of the group’s activities.
- The written agreement between farmers, public and private sector is an indispensible asset and it must reflect responsibilities of the various parties. The role of the public sector goes far beyond the community infrastructure development to access the market. Counting on the trust of the community, local public organizations have the responsibility to support the strengthening of the group developing sustainable dynamics that can ensure benefits for the whole community and guarantee the establishment of a fair relation with the private sector.
On the other side, the private sector plays an important role as trainer, introducing the farmers to new effective and efficient techniques that can improve the productivity and preserve natural resources.
- In order to have fair deals it is important for the farmers to know the overall market context (price and quality standards) of the products they will sell to the private sector
- Cultural identity should be preserved and valorised. The promotion of handicrafts with a strong cultural identity (such as in the case of the natural dyes fabrics manufactured by the Taliang women) in fact, can generate incomes for the producer. The identification of the source and origin of a product, and its cultural identity, can attract market demand and ensure new incomes.
- Strengthening Taliang’s group structure and internal capacity building to access the market and engagement with private sector (Vangxay village, Sansei Attapeu)
- Enhancing community livelihood and income strengthening the knowledge on organic vegetables production and planning (Phonsin community, Savanakhet province)
- Enhancing group access to market though spicy souse quality improvement in Salavan province
- Improving productivity and quality of asparagus Asparagus plantation from the successful experience of Dakhiet and Mr Phimpsa
- Community based knowledge exchange to improve chilli plantation quality (Dongvai comunity, Champasak province)
- Development of community based network to enhance the knowledge and know-how on livestock vaccination (Sekong province)
- Strengthening Katua’s community knowledge on coffee marketing and promotion for a better access to the market (Paksong, Champasak province)
- Improving organic watermelon plantation in Sansai district, Attapeu province
- Community based knowledge exchange and training on natural dying in Xaysetha district, Attapeu province
- that we applied a market development approach to secure private sector actors’ participation – if there is a business opportunity, the project intervention will be sustainable and beneficial to all stakeholders involved;
- that we followed a bottom up approach to ensure that activities were demand-driven and addressed the actual needs of farmers, rather than imposing activities and products from the project; and
- that the roads and markets constructed under MIDPCR’s infrastructure component ensured an enabling environment for farmers to access markets as well as for suppliers/traders to come to the farm gate.
- combining value chain development activities with access to finance (as applied in MIDPCR’s NGO activities) will help farmers to adopt new technologies/varieties;
- both husband and wife should participate in activities as our experience shows that both are controlling different areas within the household, and both joining in the training enables them to take a joint informed decision rather than one partner blocking it;
- increasing farmers associations’ business management capacity can ensure sustainability of project interventions and increase benefits for farmers;
- working with trader associations can potentially open up additional connections for farmers on quality inputs and selling channels;
- competition is a key factor to ensure quality for the farmers;
- the private sector should be involved from the design stage if a project is targeting increased private sector involvement.
- 05/17/13--08:10: Experts declare war on cassava viruses in Africa
- Emerging trans boundary epidemics affecting staple crops can only be managed through international cooperation involving the research, development and donor communities. They would require also political will for action and hence a lot of advocacy and awareness raising with the national, sub-regional and regional levels that would influence relevant policy and decision-making bodies.
- Pandemics –whether affecting humans, animals or crops, are becoming more frequent and more devastating.Learning from previous epidemics is critical to assess the potential risks, and enhance preparedness and effective response at the national, regional or global levels. Critical elements to achieve such response is the preparation of contingency plans for quick and effective interventions, vigilant surveillance systems, functional seed systems and proper support to farmers and their organizations for efficient field level response. Awareness and policy support are pre-requisites for the success of any intervention. There was a general agreement at the meeting that CBSD elimination is not possible, especially where it is now endemic in East Africa. In this case management is critical, especially through the control of the vector and through use of clean propagative material. It is however important to try to prevent the entry of CBSD into West Africa and the other continents through vigilant and systematic surveillance, which allows for early detection and eradication upon its entry to new areas and before it grows to epidemics.
- There is still a lot of missing scientific information about CBSD and other potentially devastating cassava virus diseases to be able to manage them properly in the field. More research is still needed on topics covering the resistance and tolerance of cassava improved varieties and landraces to CBSD, its distribution within the plant, transmission through whiteflies and through propagative material, and the effect of plant nutrition on disease expression and severity. In all cases, the disease management strategies should depend on combined interventions through the use of virus-free planting material, elimination of infected material from the field, sanitation and other cultural practices, host plant resistance (to virus or whitefly vector), and very importantly the integrated management of the whitefly vector (integrated pest management, IPM).
- 05/19/13--16:30: Harnessing the remittance boom #gfr2013
by Matin Ezidyar, Microfinance Investment Support Facility for Afghanistan (MISFA) and Khalil Baheer, Director Development and Rural Finance of MISFA
Arefa in tears from a painful abdominal ailment
In many ways, Arefa’s house was a reflection of her life. Dark. Bereft. Oppressive. Everything a home and life shouldn’t be.
The traditional mud house in Dhooki, a rural village outside of Faizabad, has two small storage-sized rooms shared by a family of 10, of which the breadwinner is Arefa, 47 years old.
One room is the living/bedroom/everything space, furnished mainly by stacks of crusty, worn-out winter blankets, which are not enough to keep the entire family warm during winter, says Arefa. Badakhshan is 2,000 meters above sea level and is well known to have extremely cold temperatures over the winter months.
The only other room in the house¬¬—smaller and darker—appears to be the kitchen, with a soot-covered woodstove oven providing the only clue that the space is used for cooking.
It is hard to imagine that 10 individuals inhabit the tiny mud house, but it is even harder to imagine that Arefa is the breadwinner for five daughters, two sons, a dying husband, her aging father-in-law, and ailing, 110-year old mother.
Arefa’s husband, according to a doctor in Badakhshan, needs to be treated urgently in better-staffed and equipped hospitals in the capital, Kabul; or better yet, in neighbor countries, Pakistan or India. He was diagnosed to have malfunctioning lungs that if left untreated will collapse in a matter of months and take his life.
Arefa, who is illiterate, has been begging as a way of “breadwinning” for her big household, which is literally scraping by meal-to-meal. She narrated how one time, only two days after giving birth to one of her children, she had to go beg in the streets because there was no food and no money for the next meal.
As such, getting treatment for her husband is far beyond her grasp. But the thought of just watching her husband die, not being able to do something to save the father of her children, is simply unbearable.
On top of this burden, Arefa herself is beset by an undiagnosed abdominal illness that intermittently throws her off squirming in agonizing pain. In the course of this interview, Arefa begged for a quick break and doubled over, distress written across her creased face. As she tried to suppress sobs of pain, tears streamed down her cheeks.
“I have no friends or relatives to run to for help. If I had any, I would not be in this miserable condition,” cried Arefa. “My only friend is the Almighty, and sometimes, I pray and ask Him to take me and my children.”
One of her children did get taken away, although not by the Almighty as she sometimes prayed for in moments of despair. As if Arefa did not have enough to worry about, she came home one day to find one of her teenaged daughters, Naseema, who is not yet 18, sobbing next to an older male stranger.
It turned out, she was married off by Arefa’s husband to some stranger from Sheberghan, another province in northern Afghanistan, because he could pay dowry to the family. The sale left mother and daughter wailing until Naseema had to go to Sheberghan to live with her husband and his family.
But now, Arefa learned that her daughter wants to escape from her new residence and Arefa is extremely worried about the consequences. It is not uncommon in Afghanistan and Pakistan for women and girls in Naseema’s predicament to be the subjects of honor killings.
Arefa’s life is a clear definition of what being “ultra poor” means. And that is why she is among the 800 beneficiaries selected for the TUP programme from the Faizabad and Khash districts of Badakhshan. Following years of misery, there is a glimmer of hope for Arefa, who, at the very least, can now stop begging in the streets.
As a TUP beneficiary, she now receives a monthly stipend for basic household needs, including food. She is now also tending to the livestock she received for free, as she gets trained on livestock rearing, basic reading, writing and financial literacy, as part of the holistic support provided by the programme to the ultra-poor for a period of 24 months. Moreover, she now has access to free medication and check-ups at health facilities nearby.
At the end of this period, beneficiaries are expected to be in a position to apply some of their basic knowledge and skills set to engage in income-generating activities, starting with the livestock they have been caring for. They could also be in a position to take out a loan from a microfinance institution to start their own micro-enterprises in which they could employ members of their households.
It may take some time for Arefa to get to this point of self-sufficiency, but just waking up every morning these days has gotten a lot easier—she does not have to worry about how she is going to pay for the next meal.
And every night before going to bed, she is grateful to have learned something new that day. A new skill, new knowledge. All for the new life for her and her family out of abject poverty that she can now hope for; a light she can see glimmering not so far away.
Written by Pham Tung Lam
|Learning Route participants in interaction at community|
Getting to a point of completing her group presentation, Kumari Pabitra Nepali felt motivated and positive than ever. Being a manager of the Karmeshwor Agriculture Cooperative Ltd, in Kapilvastu, she is prepared to turn the newly- gained ideas into actions that will benefit herself and other cooperative members.
“We should not be afraid of failure. We have now new knowledge, skills, energies and commitment to do something different”, shared Kumari.
From the field visits, idea from the onion production run by the Pragatishil Agricultural Cooperative in Bijwa inspired Kumari to adapt a new commercial vegetable farming for her own Cooperative.
According to the idea of Kumari and her group members, they would like to start off a commercial vegetable farming on a leasehold land of 32 kattha (approximately 0,5 hectares) that will generate jobs and regular incomes for 100 local women and men.
|Kumari and her group members presenting their Innovation Plan|
|Local market in Bijwa|
|Sanjay Kumar wrap up learning points at Pragatishil Cooperative|
“In these nine days of journeying and learning together, we have seen very good cases in women empowerment, natural resource management and income generation activities. We take back very positive lesson learned and experiences”, summarized Kumari.
The innovative idea of Kumari and Meena was not just alone. Many other initiatives and new proposals were presented by 27 other participants. They provide innovative ways of addressing rural poverty by social inclusion, capacity building and scale up best practices.
Being a key local facilitator, Sanjay Kumar Jha, Porfolio Programme Manager of Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) has been instrumental for the entire process of Learning Route preparation, systematization and implementation. He is content with the process, outcomes and increased awareness on tools available for rural development by all stakeholders involved such as participants, facilitators as well as the visited communities. “The Learning Route has promoted knowledge sharing and understanding of economic conditions and social inclusion as keys to improve livelihoods of rural people”, said Sanjay Kumar.
“We decide to have a Learning Route in Bijuwa VDC, Kapivastu because good practices of social inclusion are here. They include the fact that Dalit [Dalit are those groups considered as traditionally low cast and excluded from most social and economic development]and female representatives are provided with equal opportunities. Local women can now openly discuss and confidently describe their issues and take leadership positions”, continued Sanjay Kumar while stressing that the case study has helped influence the thinking of participants.
He also noted that it is not yet the end of the process and future efforts will be made to monitor of project implementation while sustaining and expanding good models which have been proven effective. He wrapped up by emphasizing that “Participants as well as facilitators are indeed very happy. Everyone has some great learning points to bring back home for implementation”.
Ten years ago, on this day, we at IFAD, lost a dear friend and colleague. In the last 10 years, many things have changed. However, one thing that has not changed is our love for Samantha. Today we honored her life…..
Monday 15 April marks the tenth anniversary of the untimely passing of our colleague and friend Samantha Santoni. Samantha passed away on 15 April 2003 after a battling struggle against leukemia at the age of thirty and she continues to be a strong presence in many of our hearts.
Samantha was a beautiful ray of sunshine full of positivity; she loved her family, friends, animals and nature. Her favorite flower was in fact the sunflower, its yellow color symbolizing happiness and vitality. The sunflower is also symbolic of spiritual faith and worship as it moves itself towards the direction of the sun so it can get the maximum life-giving rays. Sami, as most of her intimate friends would remember her by, had a passion for the spirituality, her diary initiated with tribal verses from the American Indian tribes and she often gave dream-catchers as presents, she read books on Buddhism and collected angels (Angelica).
Long before IFAD introduced the concept of open space work environment, Sami worked at the telecommunications on the ground floor next to the garage in an open office connected to the cold Computer Processing Unit along with other IT colleagues. The group formed their own sorority with their rituals of “ciofeca time” (afternoon break with instant coffee brewed and junk nibbles) and shared many hours of bonding time in between the endless calls and on-site office visits for IT assistance. From the outside the office looked like a beauty parlour, white with canopied windows and a heavy fireproof door with an oblo. She was also part of the IFAD girls Volleyball team and participated in the UN Inter Agency games, the dream team with their long hair, short shorts and knee protectors. Many of us would also fondly remember her dancing on the tables at the Charro Café.
Following her demise, her friends and family planted a pomegranate tree as a symbol of the sweetness of the heavenly kingdom. When IFAD moved to its new headquarters, the tree was re-planted near the child care center where the children laughter would flourish its growth. Today, to honour her remarkable persona, we planted a peach tree. Her friends and colleagues collected Euro 500 as a donation to the Fabbrica Del Sorriso a project to assist children suffering from leukemia.
…….ho imparato, che non avevo mai capito, che la vita vera è in ogni istante che viviamo.Qualsiasi cosa cambi nella vostra vita, non lasciate mai spazio alla paura, quella davvero non esiste….Ciao Sami
|Bimala Adhikari, shown with her children, heads a rural women's |
cooperative in Nepal. ©Rocky Prajapati/IFAD
SURKHET, Nepal – Amidst the hustle and bustle of passing vehicles, dust and honking horns on the Surkhet-Jumla road, about 350 km west of Kathmandu, the patches of green vegetables within a few minutes’ walk are a soothing treat to the eyes.
The proud owners of the vegetable plots are women, most of them affiliated with the Nari Ekata (“Women United”) Women’s Cooperative. With 124 members, all of them women, the cooperative is not only empowering its members but also creating a bandwagon effect. The result: More and more women are eager to join the cooperative. Thanks to their vegetable farming, they earn enough to send their children to school, pay for other miscellaneous expenses and save a little.
“The women have literally changed –personally, behaviourally and professionally,” says a member of the cooperative, Shanta Oli. “Women who were once not even able to utter few words in a meeting are now leading income-generators for their families.”
Linking producers and traders
Bimala Adhikari, President of the cooperative, manages her family expenditures by growing and selling cabbage, cauliflower, broad leaf mustard and other vegetables. She recently added a plastic greenhouse to grow tomatoes in her small plot of land.
|A doko trader carries produce to sell from house to house. |
“Seeing me earning more by growing hybrid tomatoes, other members have started building greenhouses, too,” Adhikari says. “The techniques were taught by the experts from HVAP,” she adds, referring to the High Value Agriculture Project in Hill and Mountain Areas. The project is being implemented by the Ministry of Agricultural Development and financed by IFAD. The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and Agro Enterprise Centre are the implementing partners.
HVAP has provided production and post-harvest support – including quality seeds, technical know-how and advice – to members of the Nari Ekata Women’s Cooperative and other smallholder farmers. The project seeks to create sustainable market linkages between small producers and traders. Concentrating on seven high-value agricultural commodities (off-season vegetables, vegetable seeds, apples, goat meat, timur, ginger and turmeric), it aspires to provide benefits to each actor in the value chain through inclusive development.
Regional and national markets
As the sun sets, women traders start collecting freshly harvested vegetables from the plots owned by the cooperative members. They use the doko, a traditional Nepali basket woven out of bamboo culms, carried on the back with a strap over the forehead. Nanda Kala Nepali and Dhanshari Nepali are two doko traders who frequent the vegetable plots, collect the produce and sell it from house to house. In turn, they make a decent income. The doko traders share camaraderie with the growers – and being women makes it much easier.
|The market in Birendranagar Municipality is vibrant with |
merchants negotiating deals. ©Rocky Prajapati/IFAD
Vegetable wholesaler Prabal Shahi is busy calling and coordinating with suppliers. Truckloads of vegetables are waiting to be unloaded, while other trucks wait to be loaded with produce for regional and national markets. “When I started this business, I had never thought that it would go so far,” Shahi says. “There are many small vegetable and fruit wholesalers in Surkhet. I want to bring them together to make Surkhet ‘numero uno’ in vegetable trading.”
Shahi’s dream does not seem inaccessible given the volume of vegetables that can be grown in the Surkhet-Jumla, Surkhet-Dailekh and Chhinchu-Jajarkot road corridors, the working areas of HVAP.
The writer is Communication and Knowledge Management Advisor, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation/HVAP.
By John C. Weber and Carmen Sotelo Montes
|Participatory analysis of vulnerability and adaptation |
to climate change in the Sahel
As part of an IFAD-funded project titled ‘Parkland trees and livelihoods: adapting to climate change in the West African Sahel’, we carried out a participatory analysis of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change involving approximately 500 men, women and children from 36 villages in the West African Sahelian countries of Mali, Burkina Faso, and Niger. The analysis yielded some expected results, and some surprising insights.
The villagers said some dramatic changes had occurred on their landscapes over the past 30-50 years. They pointed out, in particular, the extensive disappearance of natural woodlands, which over time had been converted into parklands which include annual crops, trees and livestock production. The trees in these parklands continue to be overharvested for fuel, fodder, medicines and foods, which curtails their natural regeneration. Compounding the situation are the large herds of livestock—owned by the villagers or nomadic pastoralists—that roam free in parklands and woodlands: browsing by these cattle, goats and sheep further limits the chances of trees and seedlings regenerating naturally.
Another change was the local extinction of many native tree species, especially in the drier regions, as a result of over-exploitation by humans and livestock. In south-central Niger, for instance, villagers could name more than 50 tree species that have completely disappeared from the landscape.
They also noted the local extinction of most wild animals (especially mammals, birds, turtles and lizards) from overhunting and habitat conversion; extensive soil degradation and reduced soil fertility; lower and less predictable rainfall, and a deeper water table.
We found that most villagers recognized that their own (and their ancestors’) actions were responsible for many of the changes they were witnessing in their landscapes. This knowledge is crucial for any climate change adaptation plan, since it bolsters people’s confidence that they can alter or adopt certain practices to reverse the trend and/or better adapt themselves to a harsher climate.
Most villagers, surprisingly, saw no link between human activity and a deeper water table, blaming it entirely on natural climate change. Reduced tree cover leads to less local rainfall and a deeper water table, and we had expected this relationship to be clear. It was difficult to explain certain concepts, such as cause-effect-consequence, in local languages, and we often resorted to using local metaphors. Clearly, extension and education programmes that explain crucial ecological relationships to farmers are needed, and we believe farmer-to-farmer exchange of knowledge models would work best.
To respond to the environmental stresses of the future, the villagers said that the following actions in parklands would form part of their adaptation plan:
It is also important to understand vulnerability and adaptation plans of different gender groups, such as adult men, adult women, young men and young women. Gender roles by livelihood activity are sharply defined in most Sahelian communities. For example, adult men and young men typically engage in agriculture and animal herding respectively, while the sale of food products from trees and fuelwood collection falls on adult women and young women respectively. The gender groups classified these and many other of their livelihood activities as “very vulnerable” or “severely vulnerable” to drought and degraded soils. Adaptation plans of these gender groups must therefore pay special emphasis to these twin threats.
All groups except ‘young women’ listed “lack of financial capital” as an important vulnerability factor. Young women and young men said “insufficient woodland” was an important factor; this was expected, as woodlands are used for herding animals and collecting firewood.
Adult women in several villages flagged two more threats to their livelihood in a changing climate: large families and small farm sizes that force many young men to migrate. To the women, managing the size of their families so all children can be properly fed, clothed and educated is an essential component of their personal climate adaptation strategy, and inseparable from their communities’ natural resource management efforts.
About the research:
The IFAD-funded project ‘Parkland trees and livelihoods: adapting to climate change in the West African Sahel’ is a partnership of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), national agriculture research institutes, forestry extension institutes and IFAD investment projects in the three countries:
Écrit par Franck L. Kapiamba Je suis nouvellement recruté comme Chargé d’Appui au bureau Pays-FIDA à Kinshasa, RD Congo
A mon avis, la tenue de ces deux ateliers a constitué une démonstration évidente de la mise en œuvre de bonnes pratiques pouvant garantir la bonne performance de nouveaux projets dans le pays. Les programmes en cours mis en place par le Gouvernement et cofinancés par le FIDA en RD Congo dans le cadre du COSOP-1(PRAPE, PRAPO, PIRAM) se sont généralement caractérisés par une faible performance tout au long de leur période d’exécution. Parmi les facteurs grevant cette performance, il y a notamment la faible compréhension des documents de projet par ceux qui doivent les mettre en œuvre, le retard dans la mise en place d’un système de gestion fiduciaire et les faibles capacités pour la mise en place d’un système de planification, suivi et évaluation. En vue de capitaliser ces leçons et de garantir une bonne performance aux programmes appuyés dans le cadre du COSOP-2, le bureau pays-FIDA et le bureau de liaison des projets cofinancés par le FIDA en RD Congo ont organisé deux ateliers de formation qui ont regroupé les membres nouvellement recrutés pour la mise en œuvre du PAPAKIN, les responsables programmation, suivi et évaluation des projets en cours et en phase d’achèvement ainsi que les membres du comité de pilotage.
Le premier atelier de cinq jours (2-6 avril 2013) sur la mise en œuvre et la gestion fiduciaire du PAPAKIN visait à combler l’écart entre les documents de conception du programme PAPAKIN et la compréhension des gestionnaires et des équipes de mise en œuvre qui devront opérationnaliser ce programme. Alors que les ateliers de démarrage se limitent très souvent à des présentations sommaires du projet sans approfondir la compréhension du montage et des détails opérationnels de mise en œuvre, cet atelier de formation a couvert en détail plusieurs aspects du programme y compris la conception et les stratégies de mise en œuvre de différentes sous composantes, le budget du programme et le lien avec sa gestion financière, les textes juridiques du programme, la gestion financière du programme, l’élaboration du cadre de résultat du programme et la génération du PTBA à partir de ce cadre, les notions fondamentales sur la passation des marchés, etc. Les présentations sur ces sujets par les concepteurs du programme et les consultants ont été alternées par des réflexions et des exercices pratiques en petits groupes. Le deuxième atelier de formation (9-12 avril 2013) a porté sur le suivi-évaluation et le système de gestion des résultats et impacts (SYGRI) des projets cofinancés par le FIDA. Il a été une occasion non seulement d’introduire les participants au système et aux outils de suivi-évaluation mais aussi de partager des expériences pratiques sur la base de leçons apprises de la mise en place du système de suivi-évaluation des programmes appuyés dans le cadre du COSOP-1. Les sujets présentés ont couvert les principes directeurs du système de planification, le suivi et évaluation des projets cofinancés par le FIDA, le concept de la chaîne des résultats, le cadre logique et le PTBA comme instruments du suivi&évaluation, le SYGRI etc. Ces présentations ont été enrichies par des exercices pratiques et la revue des soumissions SYGRI par les projets en cours en RD Congo et en République du Congo.
Après la tenue de ces deux ateliers, j’ai continué à travailler cette semaine avec les membres des équipes des programmes qui y ont participé, en particulier PAPAKIN et PIRAM. Je suis très particulièrement impressionné par les effets positifs générés par l’utilisation des produits livrés à travers ces ateliers de formation: les membres de l’UGP nouvellement recrutés pour le PAPAKIN forment déjà une équipe cohérente et soudée qui a une vision commune et partagée de « comment les résultats doivent être atteints ». Bien que non encore déployés pour le démarrage effectif des activités du programme, ils se réunissent sous la conduite du bureau de liaison pour identifier les chaînes des résultats, analyser le cadre logique et proposer des révisions, élaborer le cadre de résultat du programme pour 2013-2015, générer et préparer la trame du PTBA par une approche partant des résultats à atteindre avant d’identifier les produits nécessaires à livrer par le projet et les activités à exécuter pour réaliser ces produits.
Il en est de même du PIRAM où les participants à l’atelier ont continué à travailler sous l’appui du Bureau Pays FIDA pour affiner leurs soumissions SYGRI et réexaminer le cadre logique du programme ainsi que la cohérence du PTBA -2013 avec celui-ci. S’il est évident que la capitalisation de leçons apprises des projets/programmes passés fait partie de bonnes pratiques en matière de conception, de démarrage et de mise en œuvre de nouveaux programmes, il n’en reste pas moins vrai que, dans la plupart des cas, les équipes constituées pour assurer la mise en œuvre de ces programmes sont très souvent déployées pour le démarrage des activités sans aucune compréhension des documents de conception et des approches de mise en œuvre, suivi-évaluation et sans avoir développé une vision commune de « comment les résultats du programme seront atteints ».
Par l’organisation des ateliers d’appropriation par les membres de l’UGP des documents du nouveau programme et du système de planification, suivi et évaluation des projets/programmes cofinancés par le FIDA, la RD Congo semble résolument engagée dans une nouvelle dynamique pour une amélioration de la performance du portefeuille FIDA dans le cadre du COSOP-2 en cours dans le pays.
|Jyoti Macwan, General Secretary, SEWA|
Valiben Macwana, Executive Committee member
Smita Bhatnagar, Senior Coordinator, SEWA
When was the last time you met a truly empowered woman? Well, earlier in the week, I was lucky enough to meet Valiben Macwana, one of the 1.7 million empowered self-employed women's association (SEWA) members.
SEWA, based in Ahmedabad, India, is an organization of self-employed women workers who earn their living thanks to their small business. These women do not get a monthly salary, nor enjoy benefits like those of their sisters in the "organized labour sector". And to make matters worse, it seems like these women are "uncounted, undercounted and invisible".
What is amazing about these women, is their extraordinary will power and their openness to new ideas and innovations.
With a beautiful smile and a lot of pride, Valiben Macwana shared her inspiring story of the day that she received a mobile phone. Macwana's story is yet another example of the power and potential of how mobile telephony is a catalyst to eradicate hunger and poverty.
Her first experience with what transformed her business into a successful one was one of utter fear.
"I was so scared when the phone started moving, that I almost threw it out of the window", said Macwana. "I then gave it to my children, who know more about these things, and they explained that when the phone vibrates, this means I have a message. And you know what was the message? It was the price for the commodity I wanted to sell".
Macwana may be illiterate, however, she knows how to make the most of the information she receives on her mobile phone. She looked at the information on her screen and diligently transcribed it on a piece of paper. Thanks to this information, she then decided it was a profitable proposition to make a journey to the local market.
"Thanks to my mobile phone, now I only go to the market when I know I can sell my products, this way I can save on the bus fare". Saving the bus fare may seem something trivial to some, however, for someone who lives on $1.25 a day, it means putting more food on the table for the family, or buying a pair of shoes for the children or sending the kids to school.
Macwana's mobile phone also acts as a mini Amazon.com, allowing her to take orders. Knowing the demand has allowed her to plant the right crop in the right quantities, thus avoid producing in excess and being faced with storage challenges.
There is no doubt that we moved from anecdotal examples of how mobile telephony and ICT4D in general are improving lives of millions of people. What we, as development workers need to do, is to make sure that rural development and agriculture related activities include and embed ICT4D solutions and consider embracing and adopting m-development!wholeheartedly embrace m-devel
By 2050, the world will host more than 9 billion people. Developing countries’ agricultural production will need to increase by 60 per cent in order to adjust to this burgeoning population – which will in turn require an estimated net annual investment of US$83 billion. Of course, these investments must be sensitive to the sustainability and resilience of agriculture and food systems as well as support agriculture as a key driver of economic growth, job creation and poverty reduction. With this in mind, it is clear that in pursuing rural development, partnerships are essential - and partners need to appreciate the critical role and the interests of smallholder farmers.
On the 30th of April 2013, IFAD organized a roundtable discussion to identify the main drivers of inclusive and sustainable value chains, and partner with the private sector in this regard. The roundtable, which was moderated by Marcela Villarreal, FAO Director of Communications, Partnerships and Advocacy, was certainly well attended, with IFAD and FAO staff, as well as government representatives. We had prominent speakers – most notably H.E. Dirk Niebel, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Federal Republic of Germany as our guest of honour, as well as IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze, Director General of Bioversity International Emile Frison, IFAD Associate Vice President Kevin Cleaver and Unilever Italy General Counsel Giulia di Tommaso.
|H.E. Dirk Niebel, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Federal Republic of Germany and IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze |
IFAD President Kanayo F. Nwanze highlighted that our willingness to be innovative is an essential ingredient – in our financing as in our partnerships. He proudly highlighted that IFAD pioneered practices that are now part of the mainstream – for instance focusing on sustainable financing mechanisms (i.e., financing through lending rather than grants), the participatory design of programmes and projects, and an emphasis on country ownership and cofinancing by domestic partners. These approaches are today recognized as best practices in sustainable development and have been crucial to the success of IFAD-funded projects and programmes. In recent years, IFAD has also been strengthening and further developing public-private partnerships in support of smallholder agriculture. This is because the Fund recognises that the private sector has become a major engine of growth in rural economies. IFAD views smallholder farming as a business, and advocates for others to approach smallholders and their needs with this in mind. So when we refer to “private investments in agriculture” we should not envisage the big companies only – but also the smallholders, because cumulatively they make large investments, in terms of their own money and labour. In fact, they are the primary on-farm investors in agriculture.
H.E. Dirk Niebel, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Federal Republic of Germany kicked off by stating that it is an outright scandal that 870 million people are still suffering from hunger, and that this is unacceptable. Recognizing that most of these people live in rural areas, promoting rural areas is key to fighting hunger and poverty – which is precisely what IFAD does. This is why IFAD is a particularly important partner for BMZ. In 2010, the BMZ made rural development and food security one of its priority areas and invested more than 2.1 billion euros to help prevent famines. BMZ’s ten-point programme for rural development and food security is also geared towards establishing partnership with international organisations like IFAD. He announced that, immediately prior to the roundtable, BMZ and IFAD signed a Joint Declaration of Intent: this collaboration will specifically promote the access of small farmers to markets for agricultural products by developing value chains, so that small farmers can produce more, in a sustainable way, and increase their incomes. The aim is to help smallholder transition towards market-oriented entrepreneurs. Responsible investments are required, with like-minded partners that are looking to the future and enhancing opportunities together.
Of course, the discussion would not have been complete without the perspective of the private sector, and Giulia di Tommaso (both Communication Director and General Counsel at Unilever Italy) ably provided that for us. Unilever operates in over 100 countries and flaunts a 50 billion euro turnover in 2012, mainly in the fast moving consumer goods sector. Knorr, Lipton, Dove are a few of the most famous Unilever brands. She told us that almost 50% of the raw materials sourced by Unilever come from agriculture, with 1.3 million smallholder farmers supplying over 12 crops (including tea, vegetables, spices, oil crops, cocoa and milk). There is a clear business rationale to ensure the sustainability of supply and linking smallholder farmers to global value chains. This is firmly embedded into the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, that looks at new business models for sustainable growth. Unilever works with smallholder farmers as part of this vision and is looking for ways to increase smallholders’ role in the value chain, so that they can benefit from value addition in processing and not only from production. Unilever found that partnerships with governments and with local NGOs have been of essence in unlocking this potential. Concurrently, Unilever is working hard to assess its impact on the ground - to ensure they deliver on what they promise and to identify approaches worth scaling up.
Director General of Bioversity International Emile Frison also made a very insightful presentation, highlighting that if we want to tackle the issue of hunger and poverty, investment that are very specific to agriculture for smallholders should be proactively pursued. In our work with Bioversity, IFAD smallholder farmers are indeed at centre stage. He highlighted that more is needed to meet their needs and that risk management is vital and of increasing importance. Maximising yields are not a solution if increases in productivity come at the expense of increases in risk. This is because farmers are risk averse – and understandably so, given their stakes are so high. Value chains are an important approach – but we must go beyond looking at single value chains (i.e., based on a commodity only) and we must instead focus on strengthening multiple value chains – involving neglected and underutilised species that are important for smallholder farmers' food security and resilience and that envisage farmers as innovators and not merely as producers. We also need to promote and involve local entrepreneurs in developing small machinery specifically adapted to the needs of smallholder farmers, recognising also the role (and addressing the needs) of women farmers. A prime example of this is the IFAD-funded grant to Bioversity implemented in the Kolli Hills (Tamil Nadu) in India, where we increased smallholder farmers’ income and food security from millet farming by improving agronomic practices leading to higher yields, redressing the drudgery associated with its traditional processing, improving value addition, stimulating product development and marketing. The role of these neglected crops with regard to promoting a sustainable and nutritious diet is also a major asset to be considered.
IFAD Associate Vice President Kevin Cleaver strongly reiterated that farmers need to feature more strongly as private sector in the debate – farmers, their groups and their cooperatives. He highlighted IFAD’s experience in promoting inclusive value chains – with examples from Uganda with palm oil, Rwanda with tea, Sao Tome and Principe with cocoa – in these interventions, IFAD-supported projects helped deliver crucial support to smallholder farmers along the value chain: organizing farmers into groups; capacity-building and training; access to finance; support for market standards and certification; better linkages with markets; and financing for small-scale market infrastructure. He highlighted that private enterprises do not want funding, but they require public investment that produces good infrastructure (meaning roads, water, education, electricity). He referred to this as creating a good “public space”. The marginality of rural areas, he said, has a lot to do with policy neglect and urban bias in services and investments.
Our audience interaction was also very rich, with interventions from IFAD staff as well as from Argentina, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, India and other government representatives. Several questions and caveats were raised, including the need to beware of monopsonies (with smallholder farmers over-dependent on few buyers only), the need to encourage local and regional markets, creating “public space” to generate investment not for foreign direct investment only but also for generating local investments, and partnering with private sector companies’ that evolved from promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to the concept of responsible investment (i.e., considering the triple bottom line). Nonetheless, IFAD is wary of the danger that some private investors may wish to exploit poor rural smallholders and precautionary measures are methodically taken to ensure this doesn’t happen.
To wrap up, some of the major messages that came through are: farmers play an important role as innovators, and a priority should be to improve their voice and bargaining power; it is important to create better rural employment opportunities (an interesting read in my opinion is Gary Fields’ book “Working Hard, Working Poor” ); we need to promote multiple value chains and address risk; and to achieve all this and more, partnerships are essential – not only for financing, but also to promote innovation, knowledge generation and knowledge sharing;
• Concept note
• Private-sector strategy - Deepening IFAD’s engagement with the private sector (2011)
• IFAD and the private sector: building links to accelerate pro-poor rural development
• 10 points for a strategic approach to partnering with the private sector
• BMZ website
The Multilateral Financial Institutions Working Group on Environment (MFI-WGE), was conceived in the late 70’s by MFI directors. The Group’s work is seen within the perspective of high expectations in the development community to see substantive progress in reducing transaction costs, strengthen capacity, and improve development effectiveness and borrower practices through harmonizing donor policies, procedures and practices information on recent developments on environment. Environment is referred to in a broader sense which includes bio-physical, social, economic, biological and cultural inheritance aspects. The working group reflects the post-Rio approach of embedding environmental and social impacts into risk management.
The Multilateral Financial Institutions Working Group on Environment (MFI-WGE), of which IFAD is a member, is convened twice a year and hosted by the different MFIs on a rotational basis. This year, IFAD had the pleasure to host the Spring meeting and to welcome Environmental managers and responsible of several institutions such as African Development Bank, Black Sea Trade and Development, Department For International Development, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Eurasian Development Bank, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, International Finance Corporation, Japan International Cooperation Agency Nordic Investment Bank, Nordic Environment Finance Cooperation and World Bank.
The meeting, which took place on April 24-26 2013, has been an opportunity for these institutions to share experiences and lessons learned from their interventions in a refreshingly informal and honest environment. The focus was primarily on new trends related to climate change, environmental and social issues and safeguards in each institution, and the identification of practical areas of cooperation that would ultimately make a difference in the operations -on the ground- of the respective institutions. It was recognised by all members that environmental and social impacts are entwined and should be considered into the programme/project cycles using qualified technical specialists. Thus, in-depth discussions covered environmental impacts as well as social impacts (including resettlement, indigenous peoples’ issues, participation of local communities and vulnerable groups).
At this meeting, there was no shortage of talks, spanning the urgent need for an integrated approach to safeguards, to greater focus on human rights, to timely and targeted response to climate change through the use of satellite data. A major focus of this 3-day workshop was the review of environmental policy development of various member institutions.
The group discussed about Cross-cutting issues in policy updating, including Performance Standards, Use of Country Systems and Innovations, especially in Medium Income Countries.
Special focus has been given to crosscutting topics such as gender, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), Indigenous People, land tenure, and sharing of guidelines while co-financing same projects. We had also an opportunity to introduce Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP) which is a major new climate funding stream for a comprehensive integration of climate and environment into wider policies of IFAD. As climate change is transforming the context of our work, it has become central to our mission and must be a big part of our institutional future.
Moreover, the working group on environment discussed about how to invest in technologies to reduce black carbon, that is a short lived climate pollutants produced by incomplete combustion of fossil fuel and biomass. Climate finance and Green Economy have been mentioned throughout the meeting. For several members, there is a need to unite science and climate change practical strategy.
The World Bank shared the findings of first phase of surveys throughout the world in various country such as Canada, Argentina, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Ivory Coast, Indonesia amidst many others. Further to an agreement that there is a need for modernization of the Bank’s policies, the aim of the consultations is to consider whether and how the World Bank can address emerging areas in new safeguards. This was an essential topic as several institutional safeguards have been inspired by Word Bank model.
Related discussions focused on how to deal with projects which don’t respect environmental standards, how to give a rapid response to damages caused by projects, and finally how to deal with countries who don’t want transparency.
Sustainable development goals triggered a lively debate among participants, who were concerned by the need to limit the numbers of goals in order to address them appropriately. They also stressed that multilateral institutions should create better environmental sustainability indicators. Yet, among this abundance of information and analysis, one presentation struck all for its clear headedness in assessing the challenges of achieving real change in environmental sustainability in IFAD. Moreover, Independent Office Evaluation (IOE) gave details on Environmental and Natural Resources Management (ENRM) Progress of IFAD Operations. ENRM is one of five rural poverty impact domains and the weakest impact areas. Its evaluation focus on the extent to which a project or programme contributes to changes in the protection, rehabilitation or depletion of natural resources and the environment. IOE recognised that IFAD had taken significant steps to improve its ENRM performance since 2002 but it’s too early to assess climate change impacts. Actually, achieving large scale positive environmental impacts remains a challenge.
The meetings have proved useful, in terms of discussing issues of common interest and exchanging information on best practices The principles and best practices in harmonisation are progressively being integrated into the Fund’s environmental assessment process. IFAD should continue to pursue these objectives consistent with its specific mandate – enabling the rural poor to overcome their poverty. The next meeting will be hosted by the Asian Development Bank in Fall 2013 in Manila, Philippines.
|Smallholder farmers in Navrongo district, Ghana. |
“This generation has the capacity to end hunger and extreme poverty,” Dr. Olaniran asserted. “There is increasing political will. What is needed now is action.”
Zak Bleicher of IFAD’s North American Liaison Office was one of several other speakers at the event. Bleicher delivered a statement on behalf of the three Rome-based UN agencies – the Food and Agriculture Organization, IFAD and the World Food Programme – which provide technical support and expertise to CFS as members of its Advisory Group. The statement supported a major purpose of the briefing: to build bridges between the food and agriculture hub in Rome and counterparts at the UN in New York. Excerpts follow.
Today, 870 million people are not getting enough food to meet their most basic dietary needs. Almost 1 billion persons are poor and food insecure, and most of them live in rural areas. Up to 2 billion people suffer from various forms of malnutrition. Meanwhile, to meet the demand of a global population that is expected to reach 9.1 billion by 2050, food production in developing countries will need to double in the same timeframe.
Addressing the multi-dimensional nature of this challenge in a sustainable manner requires an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ approach, focused on identifying successful practices, building partnerships and developing the right policy approaches in a spirit of country ownership but also of international coordination. The ‘big tent’ of the CFS is the most inclusive platform to gather a broad range of inputs, recognize the legitimate voice of different stakeholders, and build support and opportunities for collaboration in the implementation of decisions by Member States….
The CFS is the only global forum that brings together the full range of stakeholders in food security – from national governments to farmers’ organizations, civil society, the private sector, international financial institutions, technical agencies and – of course – the Rome-based United Nations agencies.
The need for a forum for policy coordination has never been clearer. We are confident that the CFS will step up to this challenge. We are working in concert as never before, supported by a world-class panel of experts … dedicated to the eradication of hunger and malnutrition. We hope that this work can also prove to be a valuable contribution to the discussions around a post-2015 development agenda and the articulation of sustainable development goals.
As small streams coming from 5 different provinces from Southern Laos (Champasak, Salavan, Attapeu, Savanakeli, Sekon), the 19 participants(18 female, 1 man) of this Learning Route are flowing onto a “River of Learning “, starting to know each other. In the next days, they will travel to learn about the key elements behind the success of public private partnership able to ensure a long-term and sustainable access to market.
As the participants’ pointed out during the first day these are indeed one of the major challenges for small-producers in Laos: poor infrastructure to connect villages to market centers in the rural areas, prices fluctuation , the lack of knowledge on market dynamics, low marketing skills to promote and sell are amongst the main obstacles producers have to face. These constraints should be also considered within a broader socio-economic context affected by the migration abroad of rural youth, the lack of capital to start new businesses and a weak networking with the private sector. However, despite these difficulties, poor rural farmers can still count on the richness of the country’s natural resources, availability of labour force and the strong presence of governmental programmes supporting them in accessing to new markets. Moreover, the demand for organic foods, handicrafts and other natural products is increasing, opening up new business opportunities for poor rural people.
The Learning route will be completed on the 10th of May when the participants will shape their innovative ideas into innovation plans for the benefit of their community and their project.
Follow us on Facebook for the daily updating: https://www.facebook.com/procasur.asia
|Photo with the asparagus producers champions in Darkhied, Sansai district, Lao PDR|
Excellence in project management translates into remarkable project results and impact on the ground, that is why project management skills can make the difference . A total of approximately 60 WCA and ESA CPOs and Project Directors have attended a first training workshop in Tanzania/Arusha in October 2012 (only Anglophone participants) followed by one on-going one in Senegal/Dakar (with Anglophone and Francophone participants).
The two events focused on enhancing project management skills from a people management (e.g., leadership styles, receiving and giving feedback, coaching) and a technical (e.g., project strategy, sustainability, logframe, M&E/RIMS, Annual Work Plan and Budget) point of view.
At the end of the follow up workshop in Dakar, the Anglophone participants welcomed the Francophone cohort sharing with colleagues their experiences and their enthusiasm.
This is a new learning initiative that is in line with good and most recent training practices. The first group of CPOs and Project Directors have had the opportunity to experiment their learning after the session in October in Arusha. In May 2013, they came back together in Dakar. On this occasion they shared their experiences, their challenges and how they went about overcoming these. This was a great example of putting what they learnt to practice, thus ensuring that the learning, “sticks” and does not “wash away” shortly after the training.
In addition to enhancing project management skills, the participants expanded their network and shared experiences across borders. And the good news is that once back in their respective countries, they are continuing to network and exchange with each other and IFAD-funded projects.
This is a WCA/ESA/HRD partnership, (Luyaku Nsimpasi, Sylvie Marzin, Geoffrey Livingstone, Miriam Okong’o, Martin Raine, Ambrosio Barros, Federica Iachetti, Dounamba Konare, Michael Isaack, Rahel Getachew, Gabriella Quintavalla, Richard Aiello), where once again we have all experienced how working across divisions is needed, useful, motivating and fun !!! We have truly enjoyed it, we feel we have reinforced our understanding of the challenges faced at country level and also built a stronger partnership with new and old colleagues from our Country Offices.
Finally we would also like to share some of the comments from participants:
Luyaku Nsimpasi (IFAD Representative and Country Director Senegal) said “ I was very impressed by the frankness and openness of the project coordinators and CPOs in sharing experiences with their peers. This openness has surely highly contributed to the success when discussing experiences in leadership, planning and implementation.
Mwatima Juma (CPO Tanzania) said “this has been my first exposure with a training that included follow up. I believe that this format has made the training more effective and practical and I will be able to apply better what I learned since during the follow up I have had the chance to ground the learning experience and expand it. I have also made connections with new colleagues with whom I believe I have created a special link also thanks to the content of the training that has provided us with several opportunities to experience a different kind of conversation that while exploring real issues has worked intensively on our emotions”.
Irene Jumbo-Ibeakuzie (Programme Manager Nigeria) said “it has been a grand experience for us. Some of the things we thought we were doing right needed to be readdressed. During the two sessions I have further appreciated the importance of the full participation of the programme coordination in the process of the development of the Annual Work Plan & Budget to ensure proper guidance. I have also appreciated better what effective team work is really about, and how important it is to coach staff to improve productivity and results".
Dick Siame(CPO Zambia) said “From my point of view this training is helping project leaders open up and address potential issues with staff. As a CPO it empowers me to navigate more effectively on projects and with project managers strengthening my ability to represent a clear reference for planning purposes. I also found particularly useful enhancing my understanding of how different people react to situations and learn how to respond to their reactions guiding them towards the required goals. I felt inspiring that as a group we jointly came up with…. a manager has to find a way to work in the same way with all members of the team without being distant from any member, this is not always easy but we need to make sure it happens".
|Charlands in the coastal area of Bangladesh.|
|LCS member with her ID card, enabling to sell |
her produce at the market toll free.
|After participating in the LCS works, Irani Begum leased a shop|
in the Women Market Section of Nazirpur Market.
|Pharmacy at Nazirpur Market.|
|Farmers in Swaziland prepare the soil for new planting season ©IFAD|
|Raspberry Pi - courtesy wikipedia|
|The River at the beginning of the LR|
Every day participants made the Learning Route River wider with their knowledge, expectations, challenges, lessons learned and recommendations. On the last day, new ideas and innovations plans contributed to reach the maximum river’s flow, with many streams getting communities in 5 different districts of Southern Laos.
|The river of learning by the end of the LR|
Pro-rural poor public-private partnerships put “People” at the centre of a range of integrated activities for livelihood improvement”.
|LR innovative ideas!|
Here below the list of the proposals, ordered by best rating, following the innovation plan contest. Two additional evaluations will be undertaken by Procasur and the Projects and the four final winners will be communicated by mid June.
|Innovation plan presentation|
|RED activities have increased the income of fish farmers |
by USD270. ©IFAD/G.M.B.Akash
Poultry farming is particularly suited for |
women farmers as it can be done within
the farm. ©IFAD/G.M.B.Akash
Fishermen selling their produce at the market
in Bakergonj. ©IFAD/G.M.B.Akash
Q: How is the topic you discussed at the conference relevant to IFAD and its operations?
Cassava is among the most important crop for the livelihoods of IFAD’s beneficiaries mainly in Africa, but also in Asia and in Latin America. IFAD loans and grants portfolio includes substantial investments in the development of the cassava value chains as well as in ensuring food security for the most vulnerable people, especially in regions with difficult environmental conditions and in areas at risk of effects to climate change. As you may know cassava has been seen as a stable and resilient crop in the face of effects of climate change. The occurrence of a virus disease would directly affect IFAD’s operations in these countries reducing the chances of success in value chain enhancement activities, and also impact food security and nutrition related activities. Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is a virus disease (2 active viruses) severely infecting all cassava varieties that have been newly developed resistant to the Cassava mosaic disease (CMD), another disease that has been devastating East and Central Africa for over a decade. CBSD is transmitted through the whitefly vector and through cuttings used for vegetative propagation. The cassava experts are reporting new outbreaks, and an increased spread of the CBSD epidemic in East Africa is worrying and the concern would increase substantially if the virus spreads to West Africa and even other continents. IFAD should play an active role together with the international research and development community to resolve the problem as soon as possible, and I will give a more detailed perspective in the text below.
Q: What do you think has changed for the farmers who have been dealing with such threats over the years?
Around 50% of these emerging infectious diseases are viruses and they can quickly get established and spread to epidemic levels. Research has shown that emerging infectious viruses developing into disease epidemics are consistently linked to human-induced changes in agricultural production systems.
African farmers have in the past decades witnessed a series of epidemics that have devastated their staple crops. Cassava Brown Streak Disease (CBSD) is presently still restricted to East Africa but the research and development community have serious concerns that it will soon move to Central and West Africa devastating the main cassava-producing areas. The problem is further complicated through the emergence of new populations of the whitefly vector that are highly prolific with very high multiplication rates, resulting in high disease transmission rates and causing severe crop damage through their direct feeding on the plant. The increased vector populations are expected to be favoured through the effect of climate change in Africa. CBSD is a disease that produces limited leaf symptoms which makes it difficult to spot and eliminate infected plants early in the growing season, but at harvest time, severe root symptoms are observed (necrosis, browning of the roots such that they are not fit for processing or eating).
Q: What should we in IFAD be doing differently to equip our beneficiaries to better deal with the threats of cassava viruses?
Through its loan and grants IFAD has been extremely active in the past decades in the promotion of cassava productivity in Africa. Not only did it promote the introduction of new highly productive varieties adapted to the needs of the farmer and markets, it has supported farmers and women in postharvest cassava transformation and value additions. Through its grants system, IFAD’s support was crucial to the pan-African control of the devastating cassava mealy bug pest through the environmentally and eco-system friendly method of biological control.
However, with the continuous changes in agricultural production systems, natural landscapes and global climate, the risk of pandemics is expected to increase. Development interventions, including IFAD’s interventions should accordingly ensure the resilience of farming systems ahead of the emergence of the problem. The response at the onset of the epidemic should be holistic, based on multiple interventions with considerations at landscape levels beyond the farm level. Considerations should also be given to awareness raising and policy interventions at the national level and beyond. The disease control should never rely on one single solution such as only the introduction of resistant varieties but should include various disease management options and major elements of capacity building to ensure sustainability of interventions and capacity of farmers and national institutions to respond to similar future shocks. Among possible IFAD interventions that go beyond research is through its rural finance activities and its linkage to the private sector to support farmers in accessing virus free clean planting material, often a limiting factor for farmers while it is one of the most critical disease management practices. Capacity building of farmers and farmer organization in identifying the disease and establishing community-based phyto-sanitation, which has proven effective in disease management could also be part of IFAD’s interventions. IFAD could also play a critical role in institutional capacity development and support in national coordination for contingency planning and response to similar emergencies. IFAD could also fund research on multiple management solutions to CBSD as well as on understanding the future risks and mitigation strategies for the emergence of pests and diseases of food security crucial crops as cassava.
Q: What are your three most important takeaways that you would like to share with colleagues/partners?
Watch video on CBSD from CIAT
By Kanayo F. Nwanze
For more than a decade, Asia’s economies have been on the move – and so have its people. The scale of migration from rural to urban areas and across international borders is historically unprecedented, and twenty-first-century Asia is its focal point.
In Asia’s developing countries, the power and potential of remittances – the money that migrant workers send home to their families (many of whom live in poor and remote areas) – is immense. Currently, over 60 million migrant workers from the Asia/Pacific region account for more than half of all remittance flows to developing countries, sending home about $260 billion in 2012.
China, India, and the Philippines are the three largest recipients of remittances, while Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Vietnam are also in the top ten. The money is often a lifeline: it is estimated that 10% of Asian families depend on payments from abroad to obtain their food, clothing, and shelter.
But, while remittances to developing countries are five times higher than official development assistance, the enormous potential returns for society have not been realized – and can be secured only if the flow of money can be channeled into effective rural and agricultural development, particularly in fragile states and post-conflict countries. Doing so would contribute significantly to creating jobs, enhancing food security, and fostering stability in countries emerging from strife.
In order to establish such channels, we must scale up key initiatives, identify new opportunities, and map out the road ahead. The fourth Global Forum on Remittances, which runs May 20-23 in Bangkok, will do just that. Convened by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank, the forum will bring together policymakers, private-sector players, and civil-society leaders to chart a course for leveraging the development impact of remittances sent home each year in Asia and around the world.
At IFAD, our starting point is always the three billion people who live in the rural areas of developing countries. We work to create conditions in which poor rural women and men can grow and sell more food, increase their incomes, and determine the direction of their own lives. We believe that diasporas and the global donor community can leverage the flow of migrant investment if they form partnerships with national governments for long-term development of the rural communities that are so often the beginning of the migration chain.
More than 215 million people around the world live outside of the countries they call home. But most families that rely on remittances operate outside of the world’s financial system as well. Despite the global prevalence of electronic money transfers, most migrant workers are excluded from the convenience of modern banking services, dependent on costly cash transfers that often require rural recipients to travel significant distances.
As a result, migrant workers are forced to initiate more than one billion separate transactions worldwide each year. That means more than one billion trips for rural women and men to collect their money. Adding up the cost of the transfer, travel, and time, remittances are far too expensive for people living in poverty.
IFAD has been working in more than 40 countries to ensure that rural families can have easy access to remittances, and are better able to use them as savings or investments that go back into their communities. The amount of money at stake is staggering: It is estimated that over the next five years, more than $2.5 trillion will be sent in remittances to developing countries, with almost 40% – coming in the form of payments of $50, $100, or $500 at a time – destined for rural areas. While the majority of family remittances will always be used to meet immediate needs, IFAD’s experience shows that rural families would seize opportunities to save and invest, even small amounts, if they had better options.
While remittances should and can be leveraged to bring about impressive results in poverty reduction, let us not forget that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Young people, the leaders and farmers of tomorrow, are leaving their rural communities behind in search of better opportunities. We need to turn rural areas into vibrant and economically stable communities that provide opportunities for young people to earn a living, build their capacities, and start a family.
We should not ignore the enormous development potential of remittances to rural areas. Let us empower families to use their hard-earned money in ways that will help to make migration a matter of choice, not a necessity for the generations to come.
Originally posted on Project Syndicate