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    By Marian Amaka Odenigbo, Elena Bertusi and Narciso Manhenje

    Producers in Montepuez District, Cabo Delgado Province (northern Mozambique) and members of Wapaja Hiliyale Farmer Field School are expanding their production areas, improving yields, incomes, and ensuring food security all-year-round. Since 2016, the national public extension services through the PSP project are integrating nutrition education within the Farmer Field School Groups (FFS), thus contributing to improved nutritional status of the most vulnerable groups, such as children and pregnant women.

    Mozambique loses around US$1.0 billion dollars annually due to chronic malnutrition – about 11 per cent of national GDP. The prevalence of chronic malnutrition nationally is 43 per cent and in northern provinces almost one in two children under five years of age is stunted.

    Although food production and access to food are not an issue for the northern provinces, chronic malnutrition (above 50 per cent) is prevalent in the area. Most of the population are not aware of the importance of nutrition, food preservation, healthy and nutritious diets or the importance of diversifying food groups in family diets.

    Solution to malnutrition - a simple approach
    The Government of Mozambique is stepping up efforts to address the burden of malnutrition and IFAD is supporting these government efforts through an investment project known as PRONEA Support Project (PSP) in Mozambique, an extension project with nutrition education interventions to facilitate the promotion of healthy eating and improved dietary intake among the rural farming communities and the project beneficiaries.

    Mr Robson Mutandi, IFAD country programme director in Mozambique expressed that, ''the poverty level was not going down as fast as anticipated in these communities due to the malnutrition challenges''. He also mentioned that while these communities are able to produce food, they often do not use it for their own consumption.

    The project integrated nutrition in daily operations with positive results, improving the nutritional status of vulnerable groups. ''I have learnt about nutrition through a training organized by PSP, this was a new topic for me and for the community and we are happy with the results of our actual interventions because malnutrition was a serious issue in our communities'', says the District extension officer Mr Lino Milagre, who has 30 years’ field experience.

     

    In addressing the malnutrition situation in these farming communities, PSP took a bold step to integrate nutrition initiatives through the existing government agriculture extension services. This approach was adopted to ensure success, continuity and sustainability on nutrition after the end of this investment project.

    The nutrition initiatives included Culinary Demonstration Units which are practical models applied by extension workers to engage farmers in the farmer field schools (FFS) on the preparation of nutritious food for their families, as well as adoption of improved food preservation techniques to avoid seasonal food waste.


    Before the intervention of PSP in this community, women and men were not aware about the best way to cook their own produce and transform it in nutritious food. The impact of the project, and in particular the training through the culinary demonstration unit had on the community, was clearly visible.

    A total of 5,000 beneficiaries are improving their dietary intake in 23 of the 42 districts covered by the project. Evidence from the field confirmed that the children are better nourished and the communities are adopting the best practices.  

    Lucia Lauterio, a farmer and mother of three children, is one of the facilitators in her community. She holds cooking demonstrations and teaches other families how to cook more nutritious and diversified diets. 

    The trained extension officers at district level are currently replicating the training in different communities. It is with a lot of enthusiasm that the rural farmers act as trainers themselves, by sharing their knowledge on nutrition with neighbouring villages and communities. 

    In particular, there was an emphasis on gender and nutrition. ''In some households all members are responsible in taking care of the children. That's why the children are happy and healthy, and we are also happy with the improved status of nutrition at community level'', said Jerónimo Francisco, PSP nutrition focal point.

    IFAD is mainstreaming nutrition in all investment projects in Mozambique because it believes that agriculture should not be dissociated from nutrition. While PSP is coming to an end in June 2018, Mozambique ICO is planning to replicate the same approach to other new projects in the country. The culinary demonstration units, and the training provided by the extension workers could also be included in projects of other countries facing similar challanges.


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    Benjamin DK Wood is a senior evaluation specialist at 3ie. He currently manages 3ie’s replication programme.

    Michael Hamp is Lead Technical Specialist Inclusive Rural Financial Services at IFAD for more than ten years. The teams he supervises include those working on innovative agricultural insurance, remittances and investment for development and agricultural risk management in the Sustainable Production, Markets and Institutions Division.

    After 6 years, 3ie’s replication programme is finishing its fourth round of 3ie-funded replication studies. In recognition of this round’s completion, 3ie and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recently hosted a joint engagement event, Financial services for the poor programmes – verifying evidence for policymaking. Ben (3ie) and Michael (IFAD) co-hosted the event. At the event, 3ie’s current replication researchers presented their draft results.

    The current round of 3ie-funded replication studies, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, focuses on financial services for the poor. The Gates Foundation staff selected seven studies based on recent development-related impact evaluations, which were important for their programming (more information on the programme is available here). The replication research teams for each of the seven studies presented their papers at the event in Rome.

    After the individual replication teams’ presentations, a group of experts from 3ie, IFAD, the Centre for Economic and International Studies and the Food and Agricultural Organisation formed a panel to discuss the current state of research transparency efforts. Michael gave the closing keynote address, where he summarised how replication research might fit into future IFAD-funded projects.

    The importance of emphasizing policy relevance was one of the key takeaways from the event. The event participants repeatedly challenged the replication researchers to use their studies to provide concrete recommendations for policymaking. Michael highlighted the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to many policymakers. He suggested that the replication researchers should partially motivate their studies by framing them around the SDGs that the research addresses.

    In the following conversation, we have a dialogue in which Michael shares his overall reflections on the event.

    Ben: Michael, thank you again for co-hosting the event with 3ie. I thought this blog would be a nice opportunity to summarize your insights. Would you briefly give us your main takeaways from the day?

    Michael: We should seriously consider funding and implementing more and longer-term studies for quality evidence to make decisions (i) on the types of offerings, products, services and approaches promoted through IFAD co-financed projects and programmes and (ii) the content of national policy engagement/dialogue. I also see great opportunities in pursuing more external and internal replications for enhanced evidence concerning long-term impact. Last but not least, the challenge of measuring for results and gained (rural) market/system development remain.

    Ben:As you highlighted in your presentation, IFAD is a major player in rural poverty alleviation work. Given IFAD’s large amount of programming on this topic, what kind of replication research evidence would be most helpful for you? And how would you suggest it be packaged? 

    Michael: As IFAD's Lead Technical Specialist for Inclusive Rural Financial Services, my interest is clearly focused on gaining more empirical evidence on how these investments are a means to an end regarding more food security, reduced vulnerability of rural dwellers and sustainable poverty alleviation. Additional research needs to address the levels of developing inclusive rural financial markets and systems, addressing the micro-level in terms of impact, creating an enabling market infrastructure that is ubiquitous, safe and competitive, and defining the elements necessary for a policy and regulatory framework for responsible and impactful financial inclusion. In particular, additional research addressing minor-level impacts should focus on how poor people are enabled to capture opportunities and build resilience and how financial service providers offer affordable, responsible, accessible and sustainable financial solutions for a significant number of poor people.

    Ben:
    Replication research is a nascent field. 3ie recently released our transparency policy, which includes a commitment to push button replicating all 3ie-funded research. At the end of your presentation, you suggested a few possible next steps for conducting replication research with IFAD. Would you mind elaborating on one or two of those ideas here? How might we integrate replication research into IFAD’s portfolio?

    Michael: In line with my two or three takeaways mentioned earlier, I would think that we could start selecting a few concept notes from IFAD's investment pipeline, usually as part of the Country Strategy Opportunity Programmes (COSOPs), with a dedicated inclusive rural financial service component. When we work on the full project design, we document the theory of change and include in the logical framework objectively verifiable indicators and means of verification. We could then build-in replication impact research through the project. Of course, we would need to make sure that we have the human and financial resources available on the ground.

    Overall, we considered the event to be a success. All seven of the replication teams presented their draft results and received comments on their work. They are all committed to incorporating the feedback they received at the event into their papers. The replication studies will be posted in 3ie’s Replication Paper Series later this year and are under consideration for a special issue. Keep your eyes out for this work in the near future!

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    By Brian Thomson


    Agriculture is one of the main land uses and rural populations predominantly depend on the sector for their livelihoods, that was the topic up for discussion at an IFAD organised event at The Global Environment Facility's 6th Assembly in Da Nang, Vietnam.

    IFAD's Roshan Cooke said that we are currently predicting that the world's population will reach 9 billion by 2050 and for that we need a 60 per cent increase in food production.

    "So far increasing food production has brought with it a heavy cost for the environment and a massive reduction in agro-biodiversity," added Cooke.

    Focusing on the energy needs of increasing food production, Professor Ralph Simms, a member of The GEF's Science and Technical Advisory Panel, explained that already 32 per cent of energy is consumed by the agro-food sector producing around 25 per cent of the world's greenhouse gases.

    "We cannot meet the targets of the Paris Agreement without the food sector playing its part," said Simms. "We need a low carbon agro-economy while also meeting food security goals….we need a circular economy."

    IFAD's Cooke responded that in order to move forward we need to show the private sector that sustainable agriculture can be profitable for both business and smallholder farmers in developing countries.

    Ms Shamiso Najira, Deputy Director of the Environmental Affairs Department for the government of Malawi explained that because biomass is the main fuel source in her country the agroforestry sector contributes 89 per cent of Malawi's greenhouse gas emissions.

    "As a country we need more engagement and incentives for working with the private sector," said Najira. "To do that we have created a window under our climate change fund for the private sector to deal with climate change issues."

    A new report, The Business Advantage, produced by The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and IFAD studied a selection of projects under IFAD's Adaptation for Smallholder Agriculture Programme (ASAP). A main finding was that with the right motivation from the public sector substantial investment from the private sector can be attracted.

    CIAT's Ms Le Nghiem, explained that at current levels public finance may not be adequate to meet the challenge so we must tap resources from the private sector.

    "With the right approach you can leverage money – in our four case studies USD1.00 invested by IFAD leads to USD0.80-2.90 invested by the private sector. We are learning that to be successful we need right the motivation for the private sector to engage in climate change actions."

    Demand for food, water and energy will continue to rise with a growing world population. Smallholder farmers, who produce approximately 70 per cent of the food consumed, increasingly face the challenge to enhance the productivity of the agricultural systems to meet growing needs while maintaining the sustainability of the productive landscape.

    And the challenges in productivity and over utilisation of natural resources are exacerbated by climate change.

    To meet this challenge, Mahamat Assouyout, from the African Development Bank, explained that key commodities in Africa need to be produced in a sustainable manner. He said the Bank is now focusing on a range of crops including key export commodities such as cocoa, coffee, cotton and cashew. He added that we need more investment to get business interested.

    The event focused on the role of smallholder farmers and other rural populations in ensuring effective participatory integrated land-use management, which is essential for addressing the trade-offs in land uses.

    Ms Nenenteiti Teariki, Director of Kirbati's Environment and Conservation Division said that food security is a national priority for her government.

    "Changing life styles are undermining the existing food systems as we depend more and more on imported foods," said Teariki. "We focus on too few products for our food security and we need to focus more on biodiversity."

    The event drew on experiences from IFAD in partnership with the GEF as well as research and policy oriented institutions that support countries in addressing the increasing food demand.

    IUCN's Johnathan Davies said we are only just becoming aware of how big this issue is.

    "For IUCN the important issue is biodiversity in agriculture," said Davies . "The real big issue is soil biodiversity and how it is being managed in sustainable farming systems. Soil biodiversity is the foundation of all ecosystem services for agriculture."

    IFAD invests in smallholders, supporting them to overcome the productivity challenges and promotes sustainable agriculture practices that yield environmental benefits. The event highlighted participatory approaches in integrated land-use management and showed some of the innovative agricultural practices that improve food and nutrition security, promote sustainable development and have the potential for scaling up.

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    IFAD’s Annual Report and Highlights for 2017 are out now. The report presents facts, figures, analysis and stories on the year’s results and impact around the globe, thanks to contributions from people from across the organization. This cheat sheet gives you the big numbers from the main report, plus some tasters from the stories.

    We’ve cut the AR carbon footprint this year, with 4-page Highlights and a 24-page short report that both come out in print, and the full report available on USB memory card and online. In addition to further shortening the print products (they were 12 and 64 pages respectively in 2016), we’ve given the content a radical overhaul and are using more reader-friendly infographics to present data and results.

    Here’s a snapshot of the ongoing portfolio and new approvals during the year. All the numbers are correct as at 31 December 2017.
    • 211 ongoing programmes and projects funded by IFAD in partnership with 97 countries 
    • IFAD’s investment in the ongoing portfolio: US$6.6 billion 
    • Domestic contributions and external cofinancing for the ongoing portfolio: US$8.3 billion 
    • The total ongoing Programme of Work: US$14.9 billion 
    • 32 new programmes and projects were approved in 2017 funded by loans, DSF grants and ASAP grants worth US$1,305.3 million 
    • 56 new grants were approved in 2017 worth US$61.6 million.
    The AR map in the front cover of the main report shows country offices, current and planned hubs, and regional SSTC and knowledge centres. It also gives key numbers for ongoing portfolios by region.

    At the time of publication of AR2017 (June 2018), total IFAD loan and grants approved since 1978 were worth US$19.8 billion and the programmes and projects we support were estimated to have reached about 474 million people.

    Here are the key portfolio management highlight numbers by region:

    Asia and the Pacific
    • 58 ongoing projects in 20 countries
    • US$2,201.0 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
    • New investments of US$452.1 million
    • 1 new Results-Based Country Strategic Opportunities Programme (RB-COSOP) in the Philippines
    East and Southern Africa
    • 42 ongoing projects in 17 countries
    • US$1,591.5 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
    • New investments of US$263.1 million
    Latin America and the Caribbean
    • 34 ongoing projects in 19 countries
    • US$600.6 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
    • New investments of US$82.7 million 
    • 1 new RB-COSOP for the Dominican Republic
    Near East, North Africa and Europe
    • 42 ongoing projects in 20 countries
    • US$913.2 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
    • New investments of US$266.1 million
    • 1 new RB-COSOP for Uzbekistan
    West and Central Africa
    • 35 ongoing projects in 21 countries
    • US$1,195.4 million invested by IFAD in the region’s ongoing portfolio
    • New investments of US$190.3 million
    Not just numbers

    The Annual Report is more than just numbers. It also tells the stories of some of the rural women and men IFAD invests in.


    In Afghanistan, Mrs Makai has increased the income she makes from her cows by taking part in the Community Livestock and Agriculture Project and she’s also become the leader of a self-help group.


    In Kenya, young farmer Joan Kirui is now debt-free thanks to her participation in the IFAD and EU-funded Kenya Cereal Enhancement Programme, which gave her training and access to inputs through a pre-paid debit card.


    In El Salvador, young entrepreneur Roberto Martinez helped boost democratic participation and economic opportunities for young people through his leadership of the national youth network AREJURES.


    In Sudan, Abla Mohamed Safaien was selected as leader of her village development committee. She then took leadership training and now encourages other women to increase their skills and confidence and play a role in their communities through the Western Sudan Resources Management Programme.


    In Guinea, young farmer Mamadou Bah now grows potatoes on 50 hectares of land and employs eight permanent workers and more daily workers as a result of his participation in the National Programme to Support Agricultural Value Chain Actors.


    I’d like to close with a big thank you to the many people who have contributed to AR2017 – I hope you will all be happy with the end result. We’re launching the Annual Report on IFAD’s social media channels and social reporters can get the launch kit here. Use hashtag #IFADar and share your favourite quotes, facts and figures with your followers.

    Lastly, if you would like to use AR2017 graphics or infographics in presentations or other products, please write to gds@ifad.org




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    By Brian Thomson
    Everyone at the Global Environment Facility's 6th Assembly in Da Nang, Vietnam, is talking about integrated approaches; more can be done with the same resources, environmental interventions can and should have development co-benefits and vice versa. But is it really this simple?

    In this IFAD led event on Integrated Approaches, along with its partners, a number of programme and project approaches and examples were featured. These included those with GEF funding, which are currently attempting to operationalize integration.

    FAO's Thomas Hammond kicked off proceedings with a call for action.

    "We need systems, we need things that are thinking across institutional boundaries and also across sectorial boundaries," said Hammond.

    In response Annette Cowie, of the GEF's Science and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP), outlined a proposal to improve integration in the design of future GEF projects: 
    1. Apply systems thinking: i.e. address inter-connected environmental, social, economic, and governance challenges across sectors with an eye towards resilience and transformational change. 
    2. Develop a clear rationale and theory of change to tackle the drivers of environmental degradation through assessing assumptions and outlining causal pathways – and have a ‘Plan B’, should desired outcomes not materialize. 
    3. Assess the potential risks and vulnerabilities of the key components of the system, to measure its resilience to expected and unexpected shocks and changes, and the need for incremental adaptation or more fundamental transformational change. 
    4. Devise a logical sequence of interventions, which is responsive to changing circumstances and new learning (adaptive implementation pathways). Develop clear indicators that will be monitored to determine progress and success in achieving lasting outcomes. 
    5. Develop explicit plans and funding for good quality knowledge management including: sustainable databases; simple, useful and usable common indicators; face-to-face consultations; and building stakeholder capacity. This is essential for ‘lessons learned’, and scaling up. 
    6. Apply exemplary stakeholder engagement, including with local communities, not just government officials, from inception and design, through to project completion. This is crucial for identifying diverse needs and managing trade-offs. 
    7. Allow flexibility in project preparation to accommodate the additional transactions costs and time required to tackle complex issues through multi-agency teams. 
    In reaction to these recommendations, the World Bank's Gayatri Kanungo agreed that we have to integrate but there are trade-offs that come as part of this integration.

    "We should embrace adaptive management and not be afraid to take risks to adjust projects," said Kanungo. "We must insure there is flexibility in programming these projects with a very measurable theory of change that captures the smallest of innovations."

    Meanwhile, IFAD's Eric Patrick, coordinator of the IFAD-led Global Environment Facility funded Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP) for Food Security in sub-Saharan Africa, highlighted that to create the systems thinking called by STAP would take time.

    "In our work with the IAP for Food Security we summarized the theory of change as Engage, Act and Track - or EAT," said Patrick. "We found that this made it much easier to share knowledge across the twelve diverse projects that are part of the IAP."

    "But what's most relevant to us is stakeholder engagement – this will determine if we move from the GEF level through the country process to impact at the local level. With that in mind we mustn’t rush to programme and skip stakeholder engagement as without it the project just won't be there," added Patrick.

    Laouali Garba, of the African Development Bank, said that in the context of Africa integration is not an option it is a requirement.

    "It is far easier to get money for an environment focused project if there is a development context to it as well," said Garba. "We know that by integration we can leverage different sources of financing."

    "With most Africans still living in rural areas and depending on natural resources we have to integrate development and adaptation to climate change. Also it is very important to be innovative, we must coordinate between different multidisciplinary teams at different ministries."

    Issues which were examined at the event included different assumptions and conceptions of integration, trade-offs between scope/ambition and transaction costs, success factors; all illustrated from the work of IFAD and its partners. Overall this side event provided useful insights for the GEF7 cycle both from the presentation and through a moderated interaction with the audience.

    Blake Ratner, Executive Director of Collaborating for Resilience, we have to be able to respond to multiple goals in an integrated way also responding to the landscape perspective.

    "The typical approach to project design doesn't allow for an adaptive approach," said Ratner. "If the GEF is going to be serious about integrating this agenda in Integrated Programmes and more broadly then there needs to be a serious look at how plans can be adapted and sharing lessons learned."

    Juha Uitto, GEF IOE, cautioned that monitoring and evaluation must focus on more than just projects to also include overall programmes as well.

    Wrapping up IFAD's Roshan Cooke said that overall the session highlighted that complexity has to be embraced as we cannot fit reality to fit our needs. There is no single solution here with multiple levels of diversity and complexity at play. But he was clear that the way forward for Integrated Approach Programmes has to be done with flexibility and adaptive management.

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    By Radheeka Jirasinha

    When designing or implementing a renewable energy access project, there are several pertinent new questions that need to be asked and should keep being asked. The most important of which is why are you doing it?

    "You can do energy access and development as you know for reasons of finance, for reasons of capturing economic value, for reasons of empowerment, for reasons of gender equality, for reasons of the environment, but you can also do it for another reason – and I'm reminded of Albert Einstein's quote, that not until we create a basic standard of living for all people can we ever call ourselves civilised. So you can also do energy access as a way of humanising society and embarking on a way toward a more equitable and just world for all of us”, Professor Benjamin Sovacool.


    What Works Best? 
    The question that persists in everyday tasks and for the life of a researcher, consumes his or her world.


    In one of the latest instalments of its “Change Lecture series”, IFAD invited Benjamin Sovacool, Professor of Energy Policy at the University of Sussex, to come to IFAD and give a talk. Sovacool and his team conducted a five-year research study which compared energy access projects across Asia. Keeping in mind that "there is no one size fits all solution or one energy access solution", the team sought to understand the structure of renewable energy access interventions, and the benefits and challenges faced in order to address the questions of what works best, what lessons can be applied across geographical regions and what lessons have been ignored or forgotten.


    The focus on small-scale renewable energy projects is due to a better Levelized Cost Of Energy (LCOE) compared to existing technologies (such as kerosene, the grid etc.), as well as the multitude of climate mitigation and adaptation benefits, and socio-economic development benefits. Utilising energy sources like wind, biomass, solar, biogas and micro-hydro systems will avoid carbon dioxide emissions, reduce deforestation, and create jobs and improve human wellbeing.


    Deciding which renewable energy access projects to concentrate on and study in depth proved a colossal task, as an initial desk review brought up 1,156 cases. An extensive eight phase selection process enabled the researchers to narrow down the focus to 10 case studies of renewable energy initiatives in Asia. The 10 case studies were made up of 6 clear cut successful stories and 4 clear failures.


    "In all of the failures, planners made the mistake of presuming they knew what technology people wanted and having extremely limited criteria”, said Sovacool. “In Papua New Guinea, you could only buy one type of solar home system, and they [the community] didn’t want it".


    The findings demonstrated that understanding different socio-cultural and political contexts is key to implementing a renewable energy project as the "specificity of the solution goes right down to the community". Policy mechanisms and business models are just as important as the technical specificities of renewable energy services. Understanding the different contexts and deciding on which renewable energy sources, carriers and services to use, creates a matrix of intricate complexity.

    However, the team found that best practices or design principles do exist in renewable energy access projects. The team identified the common barriers across technical, economic and financial, political and institutional, and social and cultural areas. They found that all countries face at least 4 barriers, whilst some countries face as many as 14 barriers. The team was able to come up with 12 principles that will lead to a successfully designed renewable energy access project, programme, intervention or policy.


    These include: i) focus on net beneficial energy access; ii) select appropriate technology and scale; iii) prioritise community commitment; iv) conduct awareness raising; v) provide after sales service; vi) emphasize income generation; vii) encourage institutional diversity; viii) focus on affordability; ix) build capacity; x) be flexible; xi) Always evaluate and monitor and; xii) find or build stakeholder support.

    The team concluded that combining the three main findings of their study: i) technology is complex and context specific, ii) business models matter, and iii) best practices exist, creates a new way of dong energy access programs.




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    By Brian Thomson



    For ten years IFAD has been working in partnership with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to combat peatland fires and haze pollution by fostering sustainable peatland management in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region in collaboration with the EU and the Global Environment Centre (GEC).

    This collaboration was the subject of an IFAD-led event at the Sixth GEF Assembly in Da Nang, Vietnam.

    Opening the event, Margarita Astralaga, Director of the Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division at IFAD said that the forests of southeast Asia are one of the most important ecosystems in the world and we need to protect them, but also help people who live there have better lives.

    "IFAD has partnered on this for around ten years with the GEF and others – and we have been building on this knowledge as we go, we have learnt what works and what doesn't," said Astralaga.

    Moderating the event, Mohamed Bakarr, Lead Environmental Specialist at the GEF said that he was excited about the strong partnership with IFAD.

    "But today we need to look at how we solve the problem and deal with what’s driving it to start with," added Bakarr.

    Annual land clearance in Indonesia and Malaysia using fire by smallholder farmers and big plantations creates a thick blanket of haze covering three million square kilometres of Southeast Asia affecting over 50 million people.

    This phenomenon has been increasing in intensity over the last ten years. In the 2015/16 El Niño event, 100,000 premature deaths, massive greenhouse gas emissions, large-scale deforestation and dramatic economic losses (over US$30 billion in Indonesia alone) were experienced.

    The ASEAN Peatland Forests Project (APFP 2009 - 2014) was IFAD's first project on sustainable peatland and haze management, and was financed from GEF4 and implemented together with the ASEAN and GEC.

    Building on that experience, IFAD developed the GEF5 Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems in Indonesia (SMPEI) project and is finalising the design of the GEF6 Integrated Management of Peatland Landscapes in Indonesia (IMPLI) project.

    IFAD has developed a GEF6 project in Malaysia titled Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems in Malaysia (SMPEM). IFAD supported IUCN with developing the Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems in Mekong Countries project.

    As a means for continuing the ASEAN regional platform developed under APFP, and for coordinating and exchanging knowledge between the country projects, IFAD approved a regional grant of US$3.5 million to the ASEAN Secretariat called Measurable Action for Haze-Free Sustainable Land Management in Southeast Asia (MAHFSA).

    The MAHFSA project seeks to develop an estimated US$1.5 billion investment programme focusing on haze elimination and sustainable peatland management anchored in country and regional level activities.

    "There's a lot of change happening, so it’s the right moment for us to look at how to scale up actions," said IFAD's Roshan Cooke.

    Jake Brunner from IUCN reminded us that peatlands are highly valuable ecosystems for biodiversity conservation providing ecosystems services, and that there are still threats out there.

    "In some of the regions we work in plans to expand the rice production area are threatening peatlands," added Brunner.

    Meanwhile, the GEC's Faizal Parish underlined that peatlands are critical for people, water, biodiversity and carbon storage.

    "Previously people thought if it's wet drain it," said Parish. "But now we know better than that… You must have an integrated landscape approach to peatlands and stop new drainage.’’

    Parish explained that we must raise water tables to fight peatland fires. "If we get the hydrology right then nature does the work."

    The side event looked at the catalytic role GEF finances have played in leveraging a large-scale programme of work focused on making significant improvements in peatland protection and management, and haze elimination, and in helping bring together a strategic partnership between GEF, IFAD, ASEAN, EU, GIZ, IUCN and GEC.

    The event also showcased successful practices from Indonesia, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries on sustainable peatland management.

    Ms SPM Budisusanti, from the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry revealed that her country has already restored 2.5 million hectares of peatland.

    "Our latest work will focus on capacity building for sustainable peatland management," said Budisusanti. "The upcoming Sustainable Management of Peatland Ecosystems in Indonesia programme will benefit about 15,000 smallholder farmer households through peatland restoration and better integrated land management."

    Mohd. Radhi Chu bin Abdullah from the Malaysian Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said that in Malaysia they are developing a national action plan for peatlands that contributes to the overall ASEAN action plan.

    Mardiah Hayati, from ASEAN, said we have come a long way in building regional mechanisms to deal with transboundary pollution.

    "We must share data and knowledge," explained Hayati. "Ministers across the region meet regularly so we at ASEAN look forward to stronger partnerships and further engagement."


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    @IFAD/Rocio Chirinos. Members of the Reforesting and Stock Farmers´ Association, Nueva Chota, Lama Province

    Peru is a country of intense contrasts: Imposing peaks separate the arid coastal strip from the Amazon rainforest. The Peruvian jungle is also a region of surprising diversity: Not only in terms of landscapes, but also because of its dwellers and their resourceful spirit to find new ways to enhance their living conditions. However, poverty in rural areas is still high (44%), needing all efforts to help improve the situation of rural communities.

    IFAD has been present in Peru for more than three decades. Creativity and innovation characterize the initiatives promoted by IFAD in the country, as Saheed Adegbite, Director of IFAD´s Office of Budget and Organizational Development, could personally witness during a visit to Peru last May.

    The Sierra and Selva Alta Project, financed by IFAD and the Government of Peru, is a good example of effective, innovative approaches. The project includes technical assistance through local extension agents (talentos rurales) and competitions (concursos) for innovation and conservation of traditional knowledge encompassing gastronomy, ecotourism, organic vegetable production and trout farming, among other creative initiatives that increase income and generate employment for smallholder farmers. 


    This is the case of the Reforesting and Stock Farmers´ Association in Nueva Chota, located in the Province of Lamas, San Martin Region, which created a dairy production module in the middle of a remote forest area. Natural cheese and exotic fruit yogurts are being elaborated by 20 families, who have been trained in milk production processes and commercial strategies. The products have sanitary registry and a distribution center and store in the locality of San Roque. 

    “We are proud that we can expand our products in food fairs and be connected to markets thanks to the capacities that we have gained as part of the business plan development” explained José Fustamante, President of the Association.

    “Remarkable is the equity and social inclusion approach of the project” pointed out Saheed Adegbite,  during his visit to San Martin Region, where he verified how local leaders, women and young people are transforming their rural environment in benefit of their communities.  Through the Sierra and Selva Alta project, rural organizations can receive technology transfers and access resources for carrying out their commercial enterprises or implement territorial management plans.

    Another project that Mr. Adegbite visited was the initiative of “Healthy Households” that is benefiting 38 families in Pardo Miguel. Direct cash transfer enabled the winning farmer´s association to hire technical assistance to meet their own needs. On one side, they have improved their housing conditions trough the installation of environment-friendly stoves, and the clear demarcation of boundaries between family spaces and animal husbandry, and on the other hand they received entrepreneurial training to develop at household level small businesses, such as orchid and succulent plant nurseries.

    Through these practices that support profitable activities and strengthen local capacities, IFAD demonstrates its leadership in the promotion of rural development in Peru.

    Mr Adegbite visiting the Healthy Household Initiative, Pardo Miguel Community. ©IFAD.


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    The Mekong Hub Knowledge and Learning Fair was opened in style today in Da Nang in central Vietnam. Mr Thomas Rath, Country Director and Representative for Vietnam, Thailand and Lao PDR
    Subregional Coordinator – Mekong Hub, used a traditional Vietnamese Gong to announce the event.

    Being the first of its type in the Mekong region, the fair attracts 130 participants from IFAD supported programmes and loan projects from Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos and the Philippines. In addition, there are partner projects and grant projects implemented by CGIAR institutions, academies (SEARCA), international NGOs (SNV, Helvetas, CIAT), and farmers organizations (AFA) among others undertaking studies and piloting approaches and technologies which will complement loan projects. 


    “I think we have an unique opportunity that we have five countries presented here in one place. It is a good mix of people with different experiences and backgrounds. The purpose is to exchange knowledge between the projects and programmes but also among the countries in the Mekong Hub. Usually, we have very ad-hoc visits, people in another country or another province look at something very specific in a locality. Here we have people looked at their own success stories and their ‘bumping stones’ in their project implementation in an interactive way,” said Mr Rath in his opening address.

    Expected to be a compelling, exciting and innovative fair, this three-day event (4-6 July), provides a forum for participants with creative learning and sharing opportunities, equipping them to better act and influence current and future issues relating to agriculture, food security, price volatility, climate change, changing demographics… etc.


    The event is complemented by vibrant knowledge booths by all participating countries and a photo exhibition with best pictures from the field.

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    By Abraham Akilimali (Programme Coordinator at KINNAPA Development Programme) and Fiona Flintan (Senior Scientist at ILRI)

    OLENGAPA Tanzania Livestock Keepers’ Association meet with Minister of Livestock and Fisheries

    The Sustainable Rangeland Management Project (SRMP) funded by IFAD and implemented through the International Land Coalition (ILC) by ILRI, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, the National Land Use Planning Commission and local NGOs, has supported district and community authorities to carry out joint-village land use plans as a way to secure rangelands and contribute to land conflict resolution between farmers and pastoralists. The process led to the protection and certification of a shared grazing area that has been called OLENGAPA, to incorporate a part of each village’s name in Kiteto District, Manyara Region.

    See also the blog post Joint village land use planning for the resolution of conflicts in Tanzania.

    In 2015, the OLENGAPA Livestock Keepers Association (OLKA) was established as a body to manage the shared grazing area. Its membership is made up of all livestock keepers in the four villages that share the OLENGAPA grazing area. OLKA is a member of the Tanzania Livestock Keepers Association (TLKA), established in 2006 in order to protect and advocate the interests of pastoralists and other livestock keepers in Tanzania. TLKA has offices in thirty-seven districts all of which have a proportionately high number of livestock keepers.


    OLKA members at the meeting, OLENGAPA Chairperson Sayei Mussa (right) and Board Member Baraka Koisenge (left). Photo credit: Abraham Akilimali and Fiona Flintan


    On 14 to 15 May 2018 a meeting of the TLKA took place in Dodoma, officiated by the Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Hon. Luhaga Mpina. The meeting was attended by around 180 participants including representatives from the OLENGAPA LKA, facilitated by local NGO KINNAPA. 

    During the meeting there was a presentation of the joint village land use planning process that had been piloted in OLENGAPA, which the Hon. Minister described as “very inspiring.” The presentation started a discussion on the ongoing problem across the country of protecting enough grazing for Tanzania’s significant livestock population. With increasing competition for land, a growing human and livestock population, and insecure land rights the problem is not easily resolvable, often leading to conflicts between land users.

    The Minister highlighted the urgency for all Districts to set aside grazing areas for livestock, and the importance of carrying out and implementing village land use planning. With a lack of budget available at a local level for such planning this is no easy task. Even where villages have land use plans, enforcing them is an ongoing challenge with, for example, constant attempts by agriculturalists to encroach grazing areas.

    Other problems raised included conflicts with conservation areas and the high taxes placed on livestock at point of sale – in some places reaching TzShs23,500 (approximately US$10) per head of cattle – and high costs for veterinary treatment.

    Determined to make the most of having the Minister’s attention, the OLENGAPA livestock keepers explained how the joint village land use planning had helped them protect their land, yet now needed funds for investing in livestock infrastructure and rangeland improvements. The Minister recognized the value of this innovative process and expressed interest in scaling up the methodologies of joint village land use planning to other areas, as well as further supporting OLKA in their endeavours.

    The experience of attending the TLKA meeting and the support expressed by the Minister, had strengthened OLKA members‘ resolution to protect their grazing areas and to find funds for improving its management. As Baraka Kosingye, one of the OLKA members and resident of Engongwangare village said, ‘’It is our first time to attend such a big meeting with participants from all over the country. We thank SRMP and KINNAPA for enabling us to attend the meeting. It comes to my knowledge that the project has helped us a lot and we feel blessed as there are communities with a lot of problems the same applied to us before we have OLENGAPA. When we go home we will stand firm to make sure that our people will respect the land use plans in place for peaceful co-existence among land users.’’

    Protecting shared resources such as Orkitikiti dam and OLENGAPA grazing area is key to sustainable pastoralism in Tanzania. Photo credit: Abraham Akilimali and Fiona Flintan


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    By Christa Ketting, Asia and the Pacific Division and Anja Rabezanahary, Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion Division

    This year in Bangladesh marks a milestone for gender equality with the introduction of the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) in Labour Contracting Societies (LCS). Bangladesh’s Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) and IFAD jointly designed a pilot to empower women and their families working as wage labourers in LCS  to achieve transformative changes. This means that women in these groups will be supported to increase their incomes, develop their livelihoods and change areas of inequalities that they may face in their homes, their groups and their communities.

    The Local Government Engineering Department mainly invests in infrastructure development and employs LCS – of which the majority are poor women – for the construction of roads and markets. With Bangladesh graduating into a Middle Income Country in the near future, GALS allows for more equitable distribution of welfare within the household. Experiences and lessons learned from CCRIP will be integrated the new project PROVATi³ that will fully integrate the GALS as an approach for empowerment of LCS workers. Results and impacts will closely monitored and will inform policy-making in the country.

    In late April, an inception workshop on GALS was given to LGED in Dhaka. The workshop was co-organized with the CCRIP and facilitated by a member of IFAD’s gender and social inclusion team. The workshop was attended by the project staff at central and district level, but also the Gender and Development Forum of the LGED, and two IFAD staff members.

    The GALS workshop kicked-off with a dynamic introduction session that broke the ice and allowed participants to get to know each other. It provided an opportunity to discuss gender issues faced by the project during implementation such as heavy workload of LCS workers, high level of illiteracy, lack of business planning and lacking social capital to support a way out of poverty. The GALS approach and principles, together with the phases and tools, were introduced to the participants and linked to the challenges faced by the project. Case-studies and video material delivered a powerful message on the impact created by GALS in other countries. By the end of the day, all participants seemed to have mastered the basic principles of GALS. More importantly, after the workshop all participants recognized the importance of GALS and were enthusiastic about including it in their project interventions.

    The next step will be start implementation of the pilot activities in August through a GALS Change Catalyst Workshop in five market areas of the CCRIP. The change catalyst phase aims to provide tools for 125 women workers in LCS to increase their incomes, address gender inequalities in their homes and empower others around them (family members, neighbours, co-workers). The project will hire a team of consultants to conduct the pilot activities and it will offer an opportunity to exchange experiences with Africa.

    Congratulations to the project teams for pioneering GALS in Bangladesh!



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    On the occasion of land titles distribution, landless become land owners 

    In recognition of its efforts towards achieving gender equality on land settlement for landless families, the Char Development and Settlement Project-IV (CDSP IV), Bangladesh was awarded IFAD's Gender Award for Asia and the Pacific Region for 2017. The journey towards women's empowerment was not easy. The project's story shows many struggles, which it has successfully overcome since its inception in 1994.

    At present, 33,000 landless families have received 33,000 land titles. The number of male and female beneficiaries is equal, as the husband and wife are getting an equal share of the settled land. Around 43,000 acres of land have been given to the landless families. In CDSP-IV, 16,000 acres of land have been distributed to the 12,000 landless families. According to latest surveys, 84.6 per cent of settled families retain their land. All of the families have improved water supply and sanitation, household assets have been increased by over 500 per cent and malnutrition has reduced from 57 per cent to 43 per cent. Settled families are more secure and their annual income has increased by 395 per cent.

    Key lessons which have been internalized in the CDSP journey over the years are:

    1. EQUAL RIGHTS  The ownership of the settled land provided equally to wife and husband, with a share of 50:50 has ensured equal rights.
    2. INCLUSIVENESS  Widows and divorcees were eligible to get ownership of government khas land which has ensured inclusiveness.
    3. EMPOWERMENT  Putting the wives' names first in the land title which supported the empowerment of women.
    4. ACCESSIBILITY  Title Deed signing / registration done at field level which has ensured better administration at the doorstep.

    The project's successful journey started in addressing the severe environmental challenges posed by the river's delta in Noakhali District in southeast Bangladesh. Every year in Bangladesh thousands of families lose their houses, land, and livelihoods to erosion. The river cyclically breaks through the embankment and floods the land. River-eroded families usually go to the adjacent newly accreted low-lying land, known as chars, to resettle their houses and livelihoods. The chars are naturally formed from silt carried by the rivers to the Bay of Bengal. On average 1.1 billion tons of sediment are carried down by the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna river system, the largest sediment load in any river system in the world.

    The newly accreted land becomes the property of the government (khas land) and is transferred to the Forest Department to plant trees that help to stabilize the land. After 20 years, the land is considered fit for settlement. Without anywhere else to go, many river-eroded families try to rebuild their lives on the newly emerged chars, often before the 20 years have expired.

    Living conditions on the newly accreted chars are harsh. The land is completely inaccessible and can only be reached by boat and foot. The people living there are exposed to harsh conditions and the land gets flooded on a regular basis. There is no safe drinking water, no health service or sanitation, no agricultural inputs, no education and no legal or social structures. When occupying the land, women and men most likely face the Bahini, local power groups, who take control in the absence of any other structures. The Bahini often press for money and take away livestock and produce from the newly settled landless people.

    To address this terrible situation and to develop improved and more secure livelihoods for poor settlers on the newly accreted coastal chars, the Government of Bangladesh with the help of IFAD and the Government of the Netherlands, has adopted an integrated approach: with the introduction of Char Development and Settlement Project (CDSP) phase-4, one of the main tasks is to provide legal land titles to landless char dwellers.

    Building on previous phases of the project and their successful approach to solving land tenure issues, the project conducted an extensive plot-to-plot survey to identify pieces of land and their current occupiers. The project also led the administrative process for the official registration of the land titles, organized public hearings to confirm the landless households, and registered the title in both the wife’s and the husband’s name in the electronic land record management system. These innovative features are unique to the project and have led to a faster and more accurate land settlement process.

    Official land titles give rural women and men social recognition. As land is the most critical resource in the char area, the possession of land strengthens the owner’s position in the community and enables them to make medium- and long-term investments. They can build better houses, grow vegetables and rear livestock. They can create their own employment, invest in new technologies, increase their incomes and sustain their livelihoods. In addition, by writing the wife’s name first in the legal document, the project ensured that the wife is legally entitled to 50 per cent of the total land. This simple step strengthens her position in the family, gives her uninterrupted access to the land and a legal position in many decision-making processes, and protects her in cases of conflict with her husband.


    Mohammad Rezaul Karim acts as the Land Settlement Advisor in the Technical Assistance Team of the CDSP-IV Project. He is responsible for leading a team of the land sector which is responsible for the settlement of Khas (Government) land to the landless people of different char (Newly accreted area from seabed) areas under Noakhali district of Bangladesh. 


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    El proyecto PRODENORTE ayuda a las mujeres indígenas de Alta Verapaz a afrontar los desafíos del cambio climático

    Por Estibaliz Morras, Oficial de Proyectos de Medio Ambiente y Cambio Climático

    Irma Cucul se ha levantado hoy a las tres de la mañana para acudir a su curso de cocina. Ella y otras mujeres de la comunidad de San Juan Chamelco en Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, comparten risas y confidencias mientras aprenden a hacer mermelada de ciruela, donuts o empanadas de piña.

    Gracias al apoyo del proyecto PRODENORTE, una colaboración entre el Ministerio de Agricultura de Guatemala y el Fondo Internacional de Desarrollo Agrícola (FIDA), Irma y otras mujeres reciben capacitación y apoyo técnico en diferentes temas, y este curso de cocina forma parte de ese programa de formación.

    Hoy es un día especial, porque el grupo de Irma ha recibido la visita del famoso cocinero italiano Chef Rubio, quien entre risas ha cocinado con ellas tamales (una especie de empanada de maíz que se puede rellenar de distintos ingredientes) y pastel de plátano con frijoles.

    Como cada día después del curso de cocina, Irma, una joven mamá de dos hijos, y sus compañeras se acercan a la Municipalidad a vender la comida que han elaborado. Ello les permite recibir un ingreso extra para sostener a sus familias. El Chef Rubio anima la venta, congregando a un numeroso grupo de curiosos dispuestos a probar los ricos tamales de Irma y sus compañeras.

    Cuando la venta no es suficiente y hay necesidad de realizar algún pago urgente, Irma pide un préstamo al grupo de ahorro comunitario, creado con otras mujeres de su comunidad. Este grupo fomenta la autoestima de las mujeres y su independencia económica, promoviendo el valor del ahorro familiar.

    Irma está contenta: todo el esfuerzo que tuvo que hacer al principio para convencer a otras mujeres de que se unieran al grupo está teniendo sus beneficios. Nos comenta que por 200 quetzales (algo más de 25 dólares) que invierten pueden conseguir el doble pasado unos meses.

    El director de PRODENORTE Gustavo Pereira nos explica cómo el proyecto da seguimiento técnico a este tipo de iniciativas, y cómo después de superar las dudas iniciales se obtiene una gran respuesta por parte de las mujeres. Son ellas quienes más interesadas se muestran en el ahorro, ya que es crucial para poder invertir en la educación de sus hijos, lo único que les puede facilitar mejores oportunidades laborales en el futuro.

    Irma es un ejemplo de dedicación y cuidado de todo lo que le rodea, especialmente su pequeña parcela y el huerto comunal donde especies tradicionales (maíz, cardamomo, frijol) se mezclan con árboles de sombra plantados en la margen del rio que atraviesa San Juan Chamelco.

    Irma y los demás miembros del pueblo indígena Q’equchi mantienen costumbres ancestrales de comunicación con la naturaleza. Ella sabe muy bien que, sin árboles y sin sombra, el agua también desaparece y que, por el contrario, "con el bosque y con la sombra podemos conservar nuestro medio ambiente".

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    Evento reúne 25 jovens de todo o Nordeste e foi aberto oficialmente na manhã desta terça-feira (24 de julho de 2018) no interior do estado, que segue programação até a próxima sexta-feira (27 de julho)


    Às margens do rio São Francisco foram iniciadas as atividades do “I Intercâmbio em Ecogastronomia Slow Food para os jovens dos projetos FIDA no Brasil”, que acontece até o próximo dia 27 no estado de Sergipe. A abertura oficial do evento aconteceu na manhã desta terça-feira (24), na sede da comunidade Brejão dos Negros, em Ilha das Flores, interior do estado. O Intercâmbio é uma realização do Fundo Internacional de Desenvolvimento Agrícola (FIDA), através do Programa Semear Internacional, em parceria com o Movimento Slow Food.

    A comitiva foi recebida com música pelos moradores da comunidade. Durante todo o dia, várias atividades foram desenvolvidas, entre elas, uma exposição com pratos desenvolvidos por cada jovem participante, feitos com ingredientes da culinária de seus estados. Foram expostas receitas desde linguiça defumada de jaca, a doce de jerimum, rapadura de goiaba, brigadeiro de macaxeira e vinho suave de seriguela.

    Todas as informações, com as fotos das apresentações feitas pelos jovens, já estão em nosso site. LEIA MAIS

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    ©IFAD/ Marco Salustro

    By Oscar A. García

    Oscar A. García is Director of the Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) and co-author of a new book on evaluation practices and how they can help to foster inclusive and sustainable rural transformation.

    Three questions lie at the heart of every effort to improve social and economic conditions in the world’s rural communities: How are we doing? Why is that? and How can we do better? These questions reflect the need to regularly assess development initiatives and to share knowledge, which can help to improve both efforts and results.

    The Independent Office of Evaluation of IFAD (IOE) has produced a book entitled, Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation: World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development, Volume 9, to shed light on the process behind the evaluation of development policies, strategies and programmes, and to share lessons learned from some key assessments.

    Independent evaluation is fundamentally important to IFAD’s work to support inclusive and sustainable transformation in rural areas, in line with its mandate, and in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

    IOE aims to promote accountability and learning through independent, credible and useful evaluations. Its main role is to evaluate IFAD-funded projects and programmes, provide assessments of what works and what does not, identify the factors leading to good performance, and determine to what extent IFAD’s policies and strategies are successful in alleviating poverty in rural areas, and why.

    Game-changers
    Evaluations have helped IFAD to boost its development effectiveness by leading to structural and organizational changes, new corporate policies, and more streamlined internal processes and procedures. For example, IFAD increased its number of country offices as a result of one influential evaluation and, following another, it took on direct supervision of projects in which its funding was involved.

    Inclusive and sustainable
    IOE evaluations in recent years have reflected increased recognition of the importance of looking at the connections between social, economic and environmental dimensions in sustainable development. They have considered issues such as gender equality, the need to engage more effectively with indigenous peoples, and changes in previous assumptions about the ways in which pastoral communities function.

    One evaluation looked at the results of IFAD’s support to environment and natural resources management by examining evaluations conducted between 2010 and 2015. It found that, during the evaluation period, environmental and social safeguards were upgraded, IFAD’s Environment and Climate Division was established, and a new programme was launched to channel climate and environmental finance to smallholder farmers.

    Still, the evaluation noted, farmers needed more incentives and environmental and natural resources management needed to be better incorporated in country-level planning. This is only an example of how evaluation can recognize accomplishments while also identifying opportunities for improvement.

    Gathering information
    In addition to looking at how evaluation at IFAD has evolved, the book also looks at the methodology used to gather information and make assessments. It illustrates the sources of information, which may include the views of the country programme manager; staff members responsible for delivering projects, government officials, civil society representatives, written reports and other documentation. More importantly, evaluation gives voice to the voiceless, by systematically including perceptions of project beneficiaries on the expected impact of IFAD's operations.

    Asking the right questions, looking for the signs of what is working, what is not, what is needed and why, is not the sole responsibility of evaluation professionals. It is part of an ongoing process of examination and evidence-gathering which can take place in rural homes, on the farm, at the fishing docks, at the market, in parliamentary halls, and at the work desks of numerous government officials and educators.

    New challenges
    Despite its success, IFAD’s mission faces new challenges every day, amid rapidly-shifting scenarios and the numerous ongoing, interconnected social, economic and environmental factors, which have an impact on people’s capacities to lift themselves out of extreme poverty, protect natural resources, and transform food systems and government policies in sustainable and nutrition-sensitive ways. Evaluation helps the Fund to keep in step with these changes.

    Evaluation for Inclusive and Sustainable Rural Transformation - World Bank Series on Evaluation and Development, Volume 9 will be launched on 21 September 2018

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    Tanzania – First Mile Project – March 2006                                                               © IFAD/Mwanzo Millinga

    By Harold Liversage and Giulia Barbanente  

    Recent years have been marked by a growing recognition of the importance of tenure security and equitable access to land and natural resources for rural development. Secure tenure rights are recognized as a key driver of sustainable agricultural production and labor opportunities, land-based investments, sustainable use of natural resources and improved access to credit. For vulnerable categories such as women and the youth, tenure security represents a central element fostering social recognition and economic empowerment. The renewed interest tenure has led to an improved multi-stakeholder involvement and the elaboration of new shared policy tools, such as the Voluntary Guidelines on Tenure, the African Union Declaration on Land Issues and Challenges in Africa and the Framework and Guidelines on Land Policy in Africa.

    The growing interest in tenure has also been accompanied by an increased demand for tenure-related data and more results-based decision making for investments in land and natural resource governance. In this regard, recent global initiatives offer new and promising opportunities for the promotion of tenure security as a tool for poverty eradication. A first, important initiative concerns the integration of tenure-related indicators into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). More specifically, the indicator 1.4.2 on secure tenure rights in Goal 1 and the women’s land rights indicators 5.a.1 and 5.a.2 in Goal 5 (see also blog on this topic). With the reclassification from Tier III to Tier II in the fall of 2017, the tenure indicators have been formally included in the SDG monitoring process. As described earlier this year on this platform by Chris Penrose-Buckley, the current challenge is to get the tenure indicators to Tier I, leading to the systematic collection of data and evaluation of performance. This involves collecting information on the tenure indicators for at least 50% of the population in at least 50% of countries globally by 2020. The Friends of the custodians, as well as the Global Donor Working Group on Land (GDWGL) are mobilizing to reach this goal.

    While achieving Tier I status for the tenure indicators would go a long way in measuring tenure security, being able to measure the impact of tenure security measures has become another priority for tenure researchers and practitioners. A partnership between the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Global Land Tool Network, with the support from GDWGL, WB, MCC and Landesa, has recently led to the drafting of the "Guidelines for Impact Evaluation of Land Tenure and Governance Interventions". The purpose of the Guidelines is to inform the design of tenure impact evaluations and to foster the collection of better, more reliable data on what works – and what does not work- when it comes to interventions aimed at strengthening tenure security and equitable access to land. From a long-term perspective, by improving tenure impact evaluation, the guidelines will support the design and implementation of better tenure-related interventions, contributing to lasting tenure security impacts.

    The guidelines focus on impact evaluation instead of monitoring. While monitoring provides snapshots through time and shows data trends, impact evaluation for tenure security is crucial to understand how different tenure environments affect the outcomes captured by the data that is collected, investigating whether the expected tenure outcomes are realized. A theory of change developed for the Guidelines, illustrates the web of causal links between events which can be expected to be triggered by a specific tenure intervention. The causal links were identified through a systematic review of the literature, both empirical and theoretical, and systematized in a comprehensive model. Addressed to both tenure experts and evaluators, the Guidelines offer a platform facilitating information access for both types of expertise.

    The Guidelines were presented at the Land and Poverty Conference of the World Bank in March 2018 and we are now entering the next phase of the project. Building evidence on land measures and sharing it among relevant stakeholders is a first set of activities that will support breaching the gap of current evidence, while learning from different land impact evaluation frameworks. Such efforts could potentially be coordinated through a 'land evaluation group', bringing together evaluators and the land community, allowing for a regular and structured flow of information on land impact evaluations. The group could support the coordination at country level on land evaluations, especially in terms of maintaining control areas and sharing questionnaires. Building a community around land impact evaluations will improve the dissemination of best practices, support capacity building, contribute to an improved allocation of resources and ultimately drive the SDG framework at large.

    This blog was first published on the LandPortal

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    Dr. Sonia da Silveira - GCF Focal Point, technician of the Department of Monitoring & Evaluation from the Ministry of Economy & Finance

    Mozambique remains one of the countries most impacted by climate change in Africa, having faced a number of climate shocks and disasters over the past years that have hampered economic development. Temperature rises, scarce rainfall and droughts, floods and cyclones, have had significant impacts on key sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, and tourism, among others.

    In response to these challenges, the African Development Bank and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), have positioned themselves to actively support the Government of Mozambique’s efforts to take action. Mozambique has ambitions to further analyse and acknowledge the scale of climate change impact on the country and its economy, as well as take steps to identify sustainable solutions to these challenges.

    The Government of Mozambique is already taking direct action to enhance its readiness through the establishment of a National Advisory Committee (NAC) comprising different ministries and institutions, and led by Ministry of Economy & Finance. As part of this initiative, a team from the Ministry of Economy & Finance - MEF (and partner institutions), with support from the IFAD - Pro-poor Value Chain Development Project in Maputo and Limpopo Corridors (PROSUL), participated in a two-week capacity building training on Climate Change and Climate Finance. The training was held in Lisbon, Portugal, in June 2018. The beneficiaries were a multi-sectoral team which included the National Deputy Director for the Department of Monitoring & Evaluation and technicians from the Departments of Monitoring & Evaluation and Treasury of the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the National Institute for Educational Development and the National Fund for Agrarian Development (FDA).

    The broader aim of the training was to enhance the capacity of government staff on climate change aspects, but above all to provide the necessary tools and knowledge related to climate finance.

    The specific objective was to enhance knowhow on climate funds – the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Adaptation Fund and the Global Environmental Fund (GEF), among others. It also aims to ensure good understanding of the accreditation process, modes of financing, and how to approach, plan and manage the process for accessing climate funds.

    This training is part of ongoing support to departments within the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Firstly, support to the Focal Point for the GCF (to engage with the private sector to formulate a pipeline of bankable projects that could be funded by the GCF; secondly, support towards the implementation of the Natural Capital Program, provided in partnership with WWF. The Natural Capital program is an initiative co-led by the finance ministry and the Ministry of Land, Environment and Rural Development (MITADER), which contributes to the implementation of the Government’s Green Economy Roadmap (GER) which has the goal of positively impacting climate resilience, economic productivity and inclusive prosperity.

    Certification ceremony photo with course trainers, and Mozambican staff: Albano Manjate (Deputy National Director for Monitoring; Evaluation – Ministry of Economy & Finance), and Ministerial technicians Sónia da Silveira, Anacleta Chiangua, Félix Massangai, Nelton Manjate, Helena Xerinda and António André

    ''This was an opportunity to better understand how the NAC will further develop the National Climate Finance Strategy and coordinate its implementation across Ministries, and with other partners and stakeholders'', said Sonia Da Silveira - GCF focal point in Mozambique within MEF.

    The effort and support provided to Mozambique by the Bank/WWF and IFAD demonstrate the importance of capitalising on synergies and partnerships. Whereas institutions working in the climate space differ in areas of comparative advantage, all have a role to play. In the context of Mozambique’s priorities, climate mitigation and adaptation inherently speak to the concept of Natural Capital, and provide an opportunity to consider how climate finance may be deployed to achieve multiple benefits, including, for example, improved management of stocks of natural assets (water resources, forests, soils), in Mozambique.


    This post originally appeared in the African Development Bank website

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    Recife sediará intercâmbio entre 20 técnicos de projetos apoiados pelo Fundo Internacional de Desenvolvimento Agrícola (FIDA) em todo o Brasil com a presença de representantes do MDS e PNAE

    Entre os dias 20 e 24 de agosto, o estado de Pernambuco será sede de um evento reunindo 20 técnicos de todos os projetos apoiados pelo Fundo Internacional de Desenvolvimento Agrícola (FIDA) no Brasil. Além de oficinas e palestras, a formação contará com visitas a comunidades rurais, cooperativas e empresas multinacionais que comercializam produtos provenientes da agricultura familiar, a exemplo dos centros de distribuição das redes Walmart e Pão de Açúcar, em Recife. O intercâmbio é uma realização do FIDA, uma agência da ONU ligada ao desenvolvimento da agricultura familiar em todo o mundo, através do programa Semear Internacional, em parceria com o Instituto Interamericano de Cooperação para a Agricultura (IICA), e Banco Mundial.

    LEIA MAIS

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    IFAD Nigeria Country Programme Officer, Dr Ben Odoemena (middle), Mrs Vera Onyeaka-Onyilo Knowledge Management and Communications Advisor for IFAD Programmes in Nigeria receiving the ‘Development Partner of the Year 2018’ Award at the Nigeria Agriculture Awards held recently in Abuja, Nigeria.

    The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) has been chosen as the “Development Partner of the Year 2018” at the Nigeria Agriculture Awards held recently in Abuja, Nigeria.

    The Nigeria Agriculture Awards (NAA), is an annual event that recognizes and rewards men, women, businesses and institutions that have distinguished themselves in Nigeria’s agriculture landscape.

    Chairman of the NAA Central Committee, Prof. Emmanuel Ikani said at the award ceremony that such special recognition of individuals and corporate organizations that have distinguished themselves as critical actors in the agricultural sector will serve as motivation to other stakeholders to follow suit.

    IFAD was recognized for its outstanding contributions to the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector, particularly for its efforts towards improving the livelihood of Nigeria’s smallholder farmers and the economic space in which they operate. Particular reference was made to the IFAD-assisted Value Chain Development Programme which is empowering many women and youth through the innovative Public Private Producer Partnership (4Ps) initiative. The 4Ps, which is a business transaction and policy dialogue platform, has triggered partnerships with major off takers and smallholder farmers and has yielded significant results. 

    For exmaple, Olam Nigeria, Popular Food (Stallion rice) and Onyx Niger Plc through the IFAD/VCDP partnership has received 150,000mt of paddy from rice farmers and in turn processed and released 97,500mt of milled rice to the national domestic market. This represents an estimated income of US$ 63.6 million to the hands of the rural smallholder farmers and injection in the Nigeria economy. From a macroeconomic viewpoint, it represents 150,000mt import substitution and US$ 63.6 million foreign exchange savings to Nigeria, hence a great support to the government agricultural promotion policy.

    Dr Ben Odoemena, IFAD Nigeria Country Programme Officer, who received the award on behalf of IFAD, thanked the NAA Central Committee for adjudging IFAD as ‘Development Partner of the Year 2018’. He stated, “Emerging as the successful nominee in the category of Development Partner of the Year is very inspiring and rewarding. Anybody who works hard towards a goal and gets recognized for his hard work feels good. Let me also thank the Federal Ministry of Finance and Federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for all the support. This award could not have come without the support of these great partners. The most important to be appreciated are the rural poor farmers who took our technical advice to improve their livelihoods. It is the glaring improvement in their livelihoods that stood IFAD out to be chosen for this award”.

    Odoemena reiterated, “You have given us the tonic we need to do more. IFAD is a friend of the poor and we will not leave Nigeria until food security is guaranteed for all, poverty is eradicated among rural people and rural youth and women are gainfully engaged and become the drivers of Nigeria’s economic growth.”

    Since 1985, IFAD has financed 10 projects in Nigeria for a total of US$ 795.3 million, including US$ 317.6 million from IFAD’s own resources, directly benefiting nearly 3.8 million Nigerian rural households. IFAD is presently financing two programmes - the Value Chain Development Project and Climate Change Adaptation, and Agribusiness Support Programme.


    Find out more about IFAD and Nigeria


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    In March 2018 IFAD’s land tenure desk participated in the annual Land and Poverty Conference at the World Bank. This year’s theme was “Land Governance in an Interconnected World”. The conference is the premier global gathering of researchers, policy experts and development practitioners in the field of access to land and development. Since 2013 IFAD's Land Tenure Desk has encouraged IFAD supported projects and other partners to document their lessons learnt and good practices in promoting tenure security. So far about thirty papers have been produced and presented. This year, for the first time, three papers were presented directly the by the Tenure Desk. Below are summaries of each paper and links to learn more about each of them.

    Mainstreaming support for good land governance into agricultural and rural development programmes: lessons from IFAD supported projects
    The paper looked into the experiences of IFAD-supported projects in mainstreaming support for good land governance into agricultural and rural development programmes, based on a review of 240 IFAD-supported projects, which have been ongoing since 2010. By drawing on the experiences of the respective projects, the paper presented lessons learnt and further considerations to strengthen tenure security and access to land.


    Ethiopia - Community Based Integrated Natural Resource Project - September, 2013   ©IFAD/Wairimu Mburathi

    Firstly, IFAD has learnt that a modest investment in tenure security measures can substantially contribute to positive project outcomes. A suggested increase in investment does not necessarily translate to a higher level of investment per project, but rather to a greater support of projects. The study also highlighted how one of the key activities for the future must not necessarily be increasing the investment per project in tenure security measures, but making those measures more effective. The desk is striving to support projects in improving this impact. However, to do so better, instruments to monitor this impact must be in place. 

    IFAD also proposes to continue strengthening the integration of tenure security measures into IFAD-supported projects during design and implementation, and to continue strengthening the engagement of our country teams and partners in policy dialogue and lesson-sharing by developing partnerships through our membership in the ILC and the Global Donor Working Group on Land, and collaboration with various partners. Finally, assessing impacts has been identified as a key issue in the land sector and is as relevant for most if not all other development partners. A grouping of a range of development partners collaborating under the auspices of the Global Land Indicators Initiative has been effective in developing an indicator for measuring tenure security into the SDG framework.  By strengthening impact assessments, IFAD could not only contribute to the process but also increase its profile in showcasing the support it provides on tenure security measures. 

    Find out more: IFAD’s support for land and natural resource tenure security


    Strengthening women’s land rights, lessons from IFAD supported projects in sub-Saharan Africa 
    The presentation focused on current challenges and existing solutions to women’s access to land. In the context of a growing momentum for women’s land rights advocacy, three successful initiatives from IFAD supported projects were presented: 

    The first case concerned land use planning in the context of the Sustainable Rangeland Management Project in Tanzania: building on customary rights, the project supported the development of joint village land use planning, supporting the sharing of land across village boundaries. The process involved women as decision-makers, creating a platform for (re)negotiation and sensitization on women’s land rights.

    A second initiative addresses barriers to women’s access to land at the household level. The intra-household negotiation approach is part of the Gender Action Learning System (GALS) and includes visual representations by household members of the family’s Vision Journey and the Gender Tree. This approach has been used among others the Community based Poverty Reduction Project in Sierra Leone, where it has fostered collaboration and transformational change.

    The third case presented was that of the Vegetable Oil Development Project in Uganda, where a Public-Private-Producers Partnership has been established to link smallholder producers to a private company, with monitoring and support from the public sector. Representation of female smallholders within the producers’ association, as well as the productivity and economic empowerment that have followed the establishment of the partnership, has allowed women to access tenure security, combined with profitable agricultural production.

    Find out more:
    > Gender action learning system
    > Household Methodologies

    Fostering transparent and evidence-based reporting on large-scale land-based investments: the case of the Vegetable Oil Development Project in Uganda
    The study conducted an extensive review of the reporting on a project supported by IFAD - the Vegetable Oil Development Project” (VODP) in Uganda – specifically the oil palm component, with the objective to shed light on the dynamics behind the circulation of information on large-scale land-based investments. The oil palm component of VODP was chosen based on the high amount of information that has been generated on its impact, and on the apparent irreconcilability of much of the information produced. The study investigates the sources and dissemination of information, by analyzing media, NGOs, international organizations and online platforms’ practices on information management and sharing.


    The objective of the study was to foster a more balanced and evidence-based discussion on land rights reporting systems. The analysis of sources of information on the project is aimed at understanding how to better manage the dissemination and analysis of information on rural development projects touching upon sensitive issues, such as land access. The review of over 100 sources of reporting on VODP leads among others to some observations around the issue of source validation. Information produced through on-the-ground research is often repeatedly sourced by new studies referencing them. The use of second-hand information is all the more widespread as the cost of conducting independent impact evaluation, including of land tenure projects, is a costly and lengthy endeavor. Due to this, issues arise when it comes to validating the information reported by others. In this sense, the creation of channels for more constructive engagement would help moving the conversation forward in a way that can positively impact the development of a project.



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    Uganda - Vegetable Oil Development Project - June 2010 • Credit: ©IFAD/Susan Beccio

    By GLTN (Global Land Tool Network) and Ivonald Da Cruz

    Tenure security plays a central role in driving rural transformation. It is a powerful means for enhancing the sustainability of development efforts and empowering rural people. Given the importance of tenure security, IFAD entered into a partnership with UN-Habitat, through the Global Land Tools Network (GLTN) in 2011 to implement the first phase of the Land and Natural Resources Tenure Security Learning Initiative for Eastern and Southern Africa (TSLI-ESA) initiative. The objective of TSLI-ESA I was to identify common issues and promote lesson sharing and knowledge management on land related tools and approaches amongst IFAD supported projects in selected East and Southern African (ESA) countries.

    The second phase of TSLI-ESA, which started in 2013, aimed to strengthen security of tenure on land and natural resources through the integration of pro-poor tenure tools in IFAD supported projects and programmes within the ESA region. The projects objectives were to:

    a) Improve knowledge and awareness of land and natural resource tenure issues and measures for strengthening the tenure security of poor women and men;
    b) Strengthen capacity for development and implementation of tools (for in-country policy dialogue, country strategy development, project/programme design, implementation and evaluation) and;
    c) Strengthen and scale up approaches and tools for securing land and natural resource tenure.

    In places where IFAD works, especially in Africa, most rural land falls under customary tenure. Managing customary land can be challenging, as it is generally undocumented and perceived to be unclaimed, generating competing interests and claims which end up resulting in encroachment, grabbing and in some cases conflict. The management by public authorities of land, for which no official title can be presented by those living on it, can in some cases further increase tenure insecurity, leading to unilateral changes in the allocation of the land and discouraging dwellers of that land to invest on their main productive asset.

    Under the project GLTN provided support in developing tools and providing training to IFAD supported projects. In total 217 participants from 39 IFAD-supported investment projects in 21 countries participated in various training and information sharing events. Two examples of IFAD supported projects that have integrated GLTN tools are the Vegetable Oil Development Project (VODP) in Uganda and the  Smallholder Dairy Commercialisation Programme (SDCP) in Kenya.

    Kenya - Smallholder Dairy Commercialization Programme (SDCP) - Nov 2013 • Credit: ©IFAD/Susan Beccio

    TSLI-ESA in Kenya's Smallholder Dairy Commercialisation Programme (SDCP) 
    The goal of the project is to increase the incomes of poor rural households that depend substantially on the production and trade of dairy products for their livelihoods. The SDCP project was confronted with some key tenure challenges right from the beginning as there was encroachment of grazing lands and a deterioration in the state of communally shared resources. This provoked some rising tensions with regards to pasture and water resources, which also impacted the productivity of the dairy animals. As a response, GLTN in collaboration with partners conducted participatory mapping of communally shared resources ensuring that communities now have the means to protect their common resources from encroachment and ultimately promote their sustainable utilisation. The success of community mapping under TSLI-ESA in Kenya, has been captured in a video with an accompanying blog entry from GLTN.

    TSLI-ESA in Uganda's Vegetable Oil Development Project 
    The project aims to increase the domestic production of vegetable oil and its by-products, thus raising rural incomes for smallholder producers and ensuring the supply of affordable vegetable oil products to Ugandan consumers. With regard to tenure security, the oil palm component has faced particular challenges where land was acquired for nucleus estate for a private sector investor and where there has been large-scale conversion of land use. The project in collaboration with GLTN developed and supported “famer-driven enumeration” (FDE) in Kalangala District, Uganda, where the GLTN’s Social Tenure Domain Model (STDM) is being used to upgrade the database system for farmers being used by the Kalangala Oil Palm Growers Trust (KOPGT). For further information and a video showcasing the success of farmers’ driven participatory mapping with STDM in Kalangala, Uganda, here is a blog entry from GLTN.


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    By Elisa Mandelli and PROCASUR

    Some of the participants of the Learning Route in the Community Conserved Area of the Somdal village (Manipur State) Credit: PROCASUR 2018

    The North Eastern Region Community Resource Management Project for Upland Areas (NERCORMP) in India hosted a learning route on “Innovative solutions for rural livelihoods improvement through Sustainable Forest Governance and Natural Resource Management” in Northeast India from the 20th to the 29th of May. The purpose was to promote the dissemination of innovations and good practices on sustainable forest management already being implemented by IFAD-supported projects as well as to highlight the interdependence between forest management, land and natural resource governance and livelihood improvement.

    The exercise was co-organized by IFAD’s Land Tenure Desk and PROCASUR under the auspices of the IFAD-Procasur collaboration in the “Strengthening Capacities and tools to scale up and disseminate Innovations” project (2016-2018). Similar learning routes have been organized under the project linking land tenure security and land governance to water rights (see blog Land, Water and irrigation schemes: What can we learn from Senegal and Mauritania?) and to land use conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers (see blog Learning initiative on innovative practices and tools to reduce land use conflicts between farmers and livestock keepers).

    It is estimated that over 2.4 billion people worldwide depend on forest goods and services for the direct provision of food, wood fuel, building materials, medicines, employment and cash income, making forests fundamental to the livelihoods of rural and urban people (FAO, State of the World’s Forests, 2014). Moreover, forests which cover approximately one third of the Earth’s surface, are widely known as the world’s largest repository of terrestrial biodiversity, they play a vital role in global climate change mitigation and contribute to soil and water conservation in many fragile ecosystems.

    IFAD recognizes the socioeconomic benefits of forests for poor rural people and acknowledges the importance of promoting sustainable forest management as a way to contribute to rural development and food security. Even though forestry is not a prominent topic in IFAD’s operations,   several IFAD-supported projects have integrated community based forest management models in their interventions based on the assumption that rural communities could play a central role in protecting and sustainably managing the forests and the natural resources on which they depend.

    NERCORMP is one good example of this and readily volunteered to host the learning route. The project has been supported by IFAD for the two initial phases (from 1999 to 2008) and has currently completed  its third phase funded only by the Government of India. The goal of the project was to improve the livelihood options of economically vulnerable groups by supporting an improved and sustainable management of forests and natural resources and by strengthening local institutions that relate to livelihood development.

    15 participants joined the Route from five IFAD-supported projects addressing issues related to  forestry or natural resources management in Bangladesh (CDSP-IV), Kenya (UTANRMP), Peru (MERESE), Sudan (Integrated Carbon sequestration Project), Nepal (Poverty Alleviation Fund) as well as from the Government of the Nagaland State (India).

    The Route visited four experiences in the Manipur and Meghalaya regions that illustrated the approach and the positive transformations introduced by NERCORMP and/or promoted by community-led initiatives. The visits focused on the following three dimensions:
    a) Community-based forest management as a potential driver for sustainable development and value creation in rural and indigenous peoples’ communities;
    b) Forest conservation practices aimed at enhancing biodiversity of forests and generating alternative livelihood solutions for rural and indigenous peoples’ communities from Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) through the involvement of women and youth;
    c) Dialogue and convergence between rural communities and government institutions around community conservation initiatives.

    Land governance and land tenure (in)security came out as cross-cutting topics influencing the forest conservation practices and the decision-making of the different communities visited. Interesting lessons have also been drawn on the synergies between shifting agriculture and forest conservation as well as on the key role played by religious leaders in generating community awareness and social convergence for sustainable forest governance. 

    Based on the experiences and lessons learnt of the Route, the participants are currently finalizing their Innovation Plans for adapting and adopting NERCORMP’s strategies and good practices in the implementation of their own projects.

    Additional information on the contents of the Innovation Plans as well as on the analysis of the cases and the lessons learned can be found in this webpage where the Final Report and other briefs of the Learning Route can be found.

    The IFAD Land Tenure Desk and Procasur are also planning a final workshop to capitalize and share the lessons learned from all the land-related learning routes supported by the grant.

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    Bangladesh - Char Development and Settlement Project – Phase IV (CDSP IV) - Oct. 2017   ©IFAD/ Fahad Kaizer

    By Jennifer Witriol Lisher

    Secure land tenure is now recognized by global actors as a key driver of poverty alleviation, food security, gender equity, effective urbanization and sustainable natural resource management. When a land governance system effectively allocates and protects land use rights, individuals, groups, government and private sector entities with secure tenure can make productive and long-term investments in their land, property and human capital. However, there remains a lack of evidence on the driving factors, timeline, and context of how land tenure and governance interventions lead to impacts among beneficiaries. As donors, governments, and civil society put more resources into improving security of land tenure and effectiveness of land governance systems, decision makers are requesting evidence of outputs of the interventions as well as progress towards expected outcomes.
    Although performance monitoring provides a good tool to track data trends, impact evaluations combined with qualitative assessments are crucial to understand the nuances behind this monitoring data and drivers and impacts of changes in land tenure. Only impact evaluations can show causality of project impacts. However, establishing effective impact evaluations that well capture the nuances of results in the land sector has proven difficult. This is due to the nature of land but also projects lacking detailed theory of change models and weak evaluation designs. Land tenure experts often lack statistical tools to understand project design needs to facilitate an impact evaluation and statisticians often lack sufficient understanding of the nuances of land tenure and land transactions to effectively capture results across beneficiaries. 

    It is important to both understand the lessons learned in conducting land impact evaluations, as well as have a well-accepted theory of change based on patterns in the land evidence and which is clear on potential gaps that need further assessment. MCC presented its lessons learned from conducting land impact evaluations at the 2016 World Bank Annual Land and Poverty Conference. Following on this initiative, MCC and IFAD presented at the 2017 World Bank Annual Land and Poverty Conference findings from a systematic review and gap analysis of the land literature, including presentation of a model for key economic benefit streams.

    Building on these efforts, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) partnered with Global Land Tool Network (GLTN), in consultation with the Global Donor Working Group on Land, to improve the tools to evaluate land tenure and governance interventions — specifically the production of the Guidelines for Impact Evaluation of Land Tenure and Governance Interventions and related theory of change founded on existing literature and experiences of the land and research community. The guidelines aim to serve as a tool for both evaluators and land sector experts in the design and conducting of land impact evaluations and ultimately broaden the evidence of what works and does not work and why in regard to measures meant to improve land tenure and governance. The overall objective is to inform and strengthen the design and implementation of future land tenure and governance interventions to best support lasting tenure security and achieve related impacts on poverty, food security, gender equality, environmental sustainability, and security. 

    The launch of the land impact evaluation guidelines took place at a roundtable during this year’s World Bank Annual Land and Poverty Conference. Harold Liversage, the head of IFAD’s Land Desk, chaired the session and Oumar Sylla of UN Habitat GLTN provided opening remarks. It was a full house of attendees (standing room only) including those from the evaluation and research institutions as well as the land community. Jennifer Witriol Lisher, who is the author of the Land Impact Evaluation Guidelines and MCC’s lead for land monitoring and evaluation, gave the keynote presentation. She provided an overview of the evidence and gaps in the land literature, introduced the theory of change model for land tenure and governance interventions, and presented key aspects of the land tenure and governance impact evaluation guidelines, focusing on recommendations for impact evaluation design (key research questions, methodology, exposure period, sampling), data sources and data collection. The presentation and guidelines can be found at the link above.

    Discussants from civil society (Jolyne Sanjak of Landesa), research community (Heather Huntington of Cloudburst and Michael O’Sullivan of the World Bank’s Gender Innovation Lab) and government (Caleb Stevens of USAID) weighed in with their respective experiences and contributions.

    Discussants and attendees commended the team on producing this helpful tool to help improve land impact evaluations. The roundtable closed with suggested next steps for moving forward in establishing improved impact evaluation and evidence of land tenure and governance interventions. Most notably this included:

    • Publish and disseminate the guidelines; 
    • Rollout the land impact evaluation guidelines tailored to various groups of stakeholders; 
    • Continue to build and share land evidence; and
    • Establish the land impact evaluation working group/community, which is comprised both of evaluators and land sector experts with an interest in land impact evaluation. 

    The team looks forward to engaging further in this initiative as we head to the next phase and move forward these action items. The guidelines will be published on the UN and IFAD websites shortly.  The land impact evaluation working group already has around 20 members and is starting a listserv to allow members to correspond directly. The group will hold its first webinar in the fall to present results from the latest released land impact evaluations.

    If interested in joining the land impact evaluation working group, please reach out to Romy Sato at romy.sato@donorplatform.

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    Coordination between the United Nations Rome-based agencies - the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP), is integral to all three organizations. Such a collaboration, at local, regional and global level, is necessary in order to deliver the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda, a framework for global action. The three agencies possess a combined force of knowledge, technical assistance and financial support systems. Solutions to global issues must also derive from partnerships between the Rome-based agencies and governments, policy makers and the private sector. The core UN strategic objectives in promoting development are social inclusion, resource sustainability and economic sustainability.

    A  Joint Briefing by FAO and IFAD for Agricultural Leadership of Tomorrow  was held in July 2018 as a result of a visit from guests of Agricultural Leadership of Tomorrow (ALOT) programme. ALOT is a two year leadership development programme designed to provide leadership tools for those in agribusiness in Missouri, USA. The event at FAO headquarters was facilitated by Boubaker Ben-Belhassan  (Director of Trade and Markets Division, FAO), and brought together speakers Guilherme Brady (Coordinator of Civil Society/ Producer/Cooperatives, FAO), Michael T. Clark (Senior Coordinator of  Governance and Policy, FAO), Abdelkarim Sma (Regional Economist for Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, IFAD) and Shantanu Mathur (Lead Adviser of  Global Engagement and Multilateral Relations Division, IFAD).




    The first speaker, Guilherme Brady presented a general overview of FAO's mission and objectives. Michael T. Clark highlighted the importance of the RBA’s vocation aimed at supporting development and the 2030 agenda. He noted that rural areas are home to 80 per cent of people living in extreme poverty who directly and indirectly depend on agriculture. The SDGs, brought to fruition in 2015, are delineated by a distinctive set of assumptions and commitments: 
    • Demand  for transformational change
    • Recognition that inequality is systemic and growth is not inclusive
    • Recognition that there are different policies for different contexts and levels of development and capacity 
    • Acknowledgement of a need for innovation 
    Michael T. Clark established that structural transformation is key to achieving sustainable development and countries that attempt to skip this process do not succeed in accomplishing a successful sustainable development scheme. 

    Abdelkarim Sma, from IFAD, provided an account of the framework,  operations and objectives of IFAD. With 176 member countries made up of contributors and beneficiaries , IFAD has developed a six billion dollar investment portfolio.  Sma asserted that, only with the support of agriculture  we can overcome poverty. At the core of IFAD's work is investment  in rural people. This UN agency partners with governments and private sector bodies to encourage sustainable economic and  social transformation.  

    Shantanu Mathur also spoke on behalf of IFAD. He said that IFAD's self-help, self-reliant, inclusive and  transformative agenda is a bridge to long term development. Mathur gave an overview of the Rome-based agencies and highlighted the importance of the collaboration, which was instigated by donor countries, given their common work on food and agriculture. These commonalities, combined with a collaborative effort will create a powerful synergy with the ambition of ending poverty and achieving zero hunger. 


    Find out more about the Rome-based agencies


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    By Jonky Tenou

    The Africa Green Revolution Forum - AGRF2018 - is the biggest forum on the continent. It brings together 2,800 participants and is held in Kigali, Rwanda, from 5th to 8th September 2018. The AGRF2018 served as a platform where heads of state, representatives from governments, the private sector, development partners, donors, researchers, civil society and farmer's organisations met and shared their insights, knowledge and experiences to advance rural transformation in Africa. Innovative approaches, practices and technologies have been shared as well as partnerships and policy engagement/dialogue. It was also a platform for donors and receivers that facilitates the connection with various stakeholders from various arenas.

    The International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) was represented at AGRF2018 at a very senior level, organized a side event hosted by the Integrated approach programme on fostering sustainability and resilience for food security in sub-Sahara Africa (IAP-FS) with a focus on the Upper Tana Nairobi Water Fund (UTNWF) as a tested public-private-partnership.

    The side-event highlighted innovative approaches including large-scale payments for ecosystem services in Kenya which benefit urban water users including beverage companies and power generation firms who are willing to invest in rural environments, creating win-win opportunities. Emerging lessons from the UTNWF initiative, which has a budget of approximately US$60 million and targets 21,000 households directly ( with a further 100,000 households indirectly) informed other development actors, countries, businesses of insights and potential collaborative opportunities in building resilience of the smallholder farming enterprises in rural areas.

    The IAP-FS is a GEF funded and multi-agency programme aiming to promote sustainable management of natural resources: land, soil, water, vegetation and genetic resources. All the assets that underpin food security and resilience. The programme covers twelve dry-land countries in sub-Sahara Africa.

    The event held on September 5th, 2018 from 14:30 to 16:30 was moderated by IFAD's Associate Vice-President Donal Brown and registered more than 300 participants from different development arena.



    This keynote speech focused on public-private-partnerships (PPPs) explaining the most effective business case and frameworks in supporting smallholders resilience in Africa. It was delivered by Munhamo Chisvo, the Chief Executive Officer and Head of Mission at the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN). His presentation highlighted the progress made by African countries in achieving their commitment to the Malabo declaration, in investing in agriculture, reducing poverty through inclusive agriculture growth and transformation, and enhancing resilience of livelihood and production systems to climate vulnerability. 

    From the African 2018 Inaugural Biennial Review Report, specific recommendations have been made for creating a policy environment for private investments, boosting regional trade for agricultural commodities, increasing local processing of key agricultural products and their respective value chains, stimulating local and regional private sector investments in agriculture through a conducive business environment that attracts both domestic and foreign investments in the agriculture sector. Regarding the PPPs framework, opportunities in various stages of agricultural systems such as primary production, post-harvest, market and utilization/consumption were identified. The future direction of PPPs needs conducive policy environments, guiding principles with obligations and risk-sharing mechanisms for more PPPs in financing climate-resilient production and processing to transform African agriculture. 

    After a presentation of the UTNWF initiative by Jonky Tenou, the Task Manager of IAP-FS programme, a panel discussion ensued, talking about how to conserve the Upper Tana catchment by improving water quality and quantity, enhancing ecosystem services, food security and livelihoods. There was a focus on the research of ways and means to advance PPPs which is indispensable for agriculture transformation in Africa. Hand-on experiences and strategies from the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company (NCWSC) were also shared with the audience respectively by Dr. Joe DeVries, Vice-President for programme and innovation at AGRA, Dr. Charles Karangwa, Regional coordinator, forest landscape restoration at IUCN and M. Philip Githinji, Production manager at NCWSC and board member of UTNW.


    From the panel discussions and interactions with the audience the following key recommendations have been pointed out : 

    (i) The important role of the private sector for effective ways of producing goods and services that offer resilience solutions and climate-resilient technologies and processes, while the public sector is critical for creating an enabling environment;

    (ii) The catalytic role of multi-lateral financing which is needed for co-financing from the private sector and is essential for sustainable rural transformation in sub-Sahara Africa; 

    (iii) Integrated and innovative approaches need to be scaled-up across the continent.

    In general and regarding the IAP-FS objectives, the AGRF2018 has permitted the link/connection with a range of partners such as the African Union Commission and its regional initiatives, the private sector, including financial institutions, civil society organisations and former's associations operating in rural areas at national, regional and global levels who are relevant for the delivery of the programme. The AGRF2018 paved the way to further develop strong partnerships for implementation in an integrated approach in order to significantly influence policy directions for resilience, foods security and sustainable growth in sub-Sahara Africa. IFAD, alongside the GEF and IAP-FS partners (UNDP, FAO, UNEP, ICRAF, World Bank, Conservation International, AGRA and Biodiversity) will continue to support countries and regional platforms for effective continental agriculture transformation through sustainability management.