Great timing! Just when the Power of Partnerships is at centre stage of the 36th IFAD Governing Council #ifadgc – the Mozambique Country Team - the living proof of just how powerful a partnership can be, is presented the very first Award of Excellence: Working Together in the Field.
Working in the Office of the President and Vice President, I know for a fact that RBA collaboration is a high priority for all three organizations at all levels. And a lot has been done so far (I keep the RBA Action Tracker!) in administrative areas, procurement, audit, security, legal, treasury, ICT, delivering joint messages and speaking with one (more powerful) voice at international summits. RBA staff continue tirelessly to work together on these and many other issues. And it’s not always smooth sailing to coordinate activities for a number of reasons, i.e. conflicting schedules, travel, staff changes, heavy workloads, etc. but in the end we manage because we know that when we work together the results of our actions are much more powerful.
As WFP's Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin said this morning, all the hard work and coordination we do here at HQ must translate in the field where the action takes place to meet the needs of the people we serve.
Today we celebrated our Mozambique Country Team who was unanimously chosen for their close collaboration, number of projects they have worked on together, the impact they have had on beneficiaries and on how innovative they have been in finding solutions.
So what has this Team done?
In 2008 RBA officers working in Mozambique, Lola Castro, WFP Country Director, Julio de Castro, FAO Country Representative and Custodio Mucavele, IFAD Country Programme Officer and Claus Reiner, IFAD Country Programme Manager started with a small pilot programme that aimed to improve production quality and reduce post-harvest losses for smallholder farmers. In three years the programme had reached 17 000 farmers with increases of up to 30% in marketable surplus.
It is impossible to describe in words the power of this success. But thanks to our colleague Joanne Levitan from IFAD’s COM Broadcast Unit, who put together a 3-minute video (notwithstanding the difficulties due to recent flooding in northern Mozambique), we can really get a sense of what RBA partnership is all about.
See video on youtube: Mozambique RBA Award.
We all congratulate Julio, Lola, Custodio and Claus for their success and wish them all the best in continuing to work together in finding solutions that benefit the people we serve together.
We also recognize that there are many other teams working together with great commitment in other countries and we look forward to knowing who the next winner is!