Farmers, government and private sector working together! Learning Route on Inclusive Business Models
From 14 to 18 December 2015 WCA organised a sharing and learning workshop in Abuja, Nigeria, for IFAD-supported projects from Anglophone countries in the region. The overall objective of the workshop was to strengthen the capacity of our stakeholders, mainly project M&E officers and coordinators, but also IFAD country teams, in the area of M&E, its basic concepts and methodological tools including RIMS, in order to improve the performance of projects and contribute to the achievement of its expected results and impact on rural poverty reduction. The event was part of the division’s continued efforts to strengthen the capacity of project management teams and aims at building technical and analytical skills in monitoring and evaluating the outputs, outcomes and impact of projects financed by the Fund. Sixty-three people participated, coming from Ghana, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Uganda and IFAD headquarters.
Logframe & theory of change
During the second part of the workshop attention was given to tools that have proven to be effective for monitoring and evaluating projects. Good monitoring is important for projects to track progress made in achieving planned objectives and results and for decision-making. Two examples were shared: one on the use of GPS and SACCO registry in Uganda and another on the use of earth observation data in The Gambia. IFAD’s Asia and Pacific Division shared examples of their effort to shift the focus from impact documentation at completion to outcome measurement during project implementation. Annual outcome surveys are used to measure more regularly the positive or negative changes/outcomes taking place at the household level, provide early evidence of project success or failure and deliver timely performance information. Finally, Ghana’s experience with impact assessments was presented, where the use of sensemaking and the Participatory Impact Assessment and Learning Approach were piloted.
M&E system and RIMS
A group discussion was held on M&E systems and two projects presented their M&E system. While in The Gambia, the project M&E system directly feeds into the National Agricultural Database, in Ghana GIS is being used to monitor the different rural enterprises that are being supported by the project. Projects from Malawi and Sierra Leone presented their computerised systems for managing M&E data. RIMS was identified by many projects as being a challenge. It was emphasized that the priority of projects is the M&E system of which RIMS is a only a part that will automatically follow. Special attention should be given to identify evidence for outcome and to undertake quality control. Good experiences with RIMS reporting from Nigeria and Sierra Leone were presented.
The Annual Workplan and Budget (AWPB) is an essential managerial tool to: guide and regulate all activities and investments; set times, deadlines, targets and responsible parties; allocate appropriate resources to achieve proposed objectives and outcomes. Good practice AWPBs contain: an introduction; a summary Project description; a previous AWPBs implementation assessment; strategic direction, activities by component & resources plan; a summary training & technical assistance schedule; a budget & financing plan; a procurement plan; and, a M&E plan. Projects took the opportunity to develop their 2016 AWPB.
Participants also talked about the roles and responsibilities of the M&E officer. They should manage the “M&E process”, which includes many tasks and many people, advice and train the people involved; ensure data quality control and its utilization. Active management support is essential for good M&E. Management includes Project Coordinators/Managers, but also Managers in implementing institutions, and in IFAD. They should show interest, demand information, provide feedback; Act on non-compliance and non-performance; and give physical progress information the same attention and follow-up as financial progress information. A M&E training plan should be created to systematically build capacity.
Use of M&E data
Finally, the use of M&E data by three key stakeholders, project coordinators, the government and IFAD was discussed. The focus on M&E to support internal learning and management does not mean ignoring wider upward and downward accountability. Projects have important responsibilities to primary stakeholders, government agencies, funding agencies and society at large to account for their expenditures, activities, outcomes and impacts. In turn, supervising and funding agencies must account to their governments and tax payers for the investments made.
By Juliane Friedrich and Marian Odenigbo
In the past years, the topic of nutrition faced numerous challenges, amongst which was the lack of political will to invest in this area. This year thanks to the Global Goals and the adoption of different nutrition-related declarations such as Scaling Up Nutrition Global Gathering (SUNGG), Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) and Committee on World Food Security (CFS), nutrition not only back on the agenda but also considered as a driver of the sustainable development goals. Furthermore, increasingly the development community is paying attention to the nexus between gender and nutrition.
Scaling Up Nutrition, or SUN, is a unique Movement founded on the principle that all people have a right to food and good nutrition. It unites governments, civil society, the United Nations, donors, businesses and researchers in a collective effort to improve nutrition.
Under the SUN movement 55 countries and the State of Maharashtra have committed to scaling up nutrition and working collectively as a movement to reduce the percentage of stunting. The SUN countries are home to 85 million stunted children. And this translates into 80% of the stunted children worldwide.
The fact that IFAD is investing in all the SUN countries, puts us in a vantage position to dialogue with governments and partners thus ensuring that nutrition is integrated and mainstreamed in development investments. Furthermore, considering one of the many focuses of IFAD-funded investments is addressing the needs of women farmers, we not only will be able to tackle the challenge of malnutrition at household level, but more importantly put a gender lens on nutrition and development related activities.
The onus to implement the nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive strategies and address malnutrition is on governments, as action happens on the ground and by people and not at global gatherings.
At the plenary session of the SUN Global Gathering in Milan which took place in October 2015, the participants reviewed the recent Global Nutrition Report on investment in nutrition. It was interesting to note that for every dollar invested in nutrition the return is $16. This means the benefit to scale up nutrition interventions in 40 low and middle-income countries is 16:1. Key note speakers and panelist stressed the importance of addressing teenage pregnancies because these pregnancies carry an extreme risk of underweight babies and thereby perpetuating malnutrition in the lifecycle.
Power of good data
In light of the increased political will on nutrition, at this year's SUN Global Gathering, participants from different governments including the parliamentarians put a lot of emphasis on availing of quality and convincing data for advocacy purposes. ‘Without data we are stuck’ said a parliamentarian from Uganda. Similarly another parliamentarian from Malawi said "If you give me good data I can make sure my country has a better nutrition programme."
Participants from the academic institutions underscored the important links between the work of policy-makers and nutrition scientists. They voiced their willingness to contribute to research and data generation for communication and advocacy purposes.
You will undoubtedly agree that over the last years we've made a lot of progress on the food security front. At the same time, we know that we need to do more and better on collecting, compiling and collating evidence base data to show the outcome of nutrition related interventions.
At IFAD we believe that focusing more nutrition-related aspects will increase the impact of investments and underscore IFAD’s commitment to achieving the goal of improving nutrition and reducing poverty. It will also position IFAD as a leader in the arena of food, agriculture, and nutrition and promoting the sectors contribute to improving nutrition.
IFAD’s focus on nutrition is not just an add-on but as an essential part of what IFAD already does and as a contributor to investment quality. IFAD’s emphasis on nutrition and nutrition-sensitive agriculture reflects an understanding of the importance of nutrition in development and the role of food and agriculture to improve nutrition.
We must not fail! We have committed to Nutrition! By joining forces we shall make zero stunting a reality!
Land Certificates: a solid tool for Women's Empowerment in Ethiopia - inspirational stories from the IFAD Gender Award Ceremony
|Tenagne Kebede receiving the IFAD Gender Award for East and Southern Africa |
from IFAD’s Associate Vice-President Périn Saint Ange ©IFAD/Giulio Napolitano
Similarly many development actors now recognize the importance of land tenure security, not only as an end itself but also as a means to strengthen the benefits of other activities. When people have more secure tenure, they can commit to activities with a longer time frame. They are more likely to invest in their land, plant trees and use environmentally sustainable agricultural methods. Moreover tenure security reduces the risk of conflict and can contribute substantially to women's empowerment by acting as a source of collateral.
This strong nexus between tenure security and women's empowerment has once again been highlighted during the 2015 IFAD Gender Awards. The award for East and Southern Africa was given to the Community-based Integrated Natural Resource Management Project in Ethiopia (CBINReMP). The project is supporting the issuing of land certificates, which have been given to all women heads of households in the target area. In married households, family land is being registered and certificates are being issued with husband and wife as co-owners. The project is directly benefiting 450,000 households.
Empowered women taking on new rolesWhat this means for the well-being of women and households was vividly explained by Tenagne Kebede, the CBINReMP focal point at the Bureau of Environmental Protection, Land Administration and Use in Ethiopia. Tenagne, who accepted the award on behalf of the CBINReMP, transmitted her enthusiasm for the project during the award ceremony on 25 November and the Special Gender Breakfast the following day. She explained how the project has made a huge difference to many women's lives.
Women are now happy to invest in their land and are for example planting perennials and trees and use soil and water conservation methods to increase the productivity of the plots, which enabled them to increase their income. This allows them to buy more food and to raise poultry and cattle – things which have helped them to increase and diversify their family's diet, leading to higher food security.
Being respected and having a voice in the community is often linked to owning assets. As women now are landholders, they are joining elders’ and land administration committees or are functioning as arbitrators in land disputes. Needless to say that all of these positive changes have increased women's self-confidence, empowered them on many levels and enables them to serve their communities.
Awareness raising as a key for successWhen Tenagne is asked about the "how" regarding the great success of CBINReMP, her answer is many times "awareness raising". The project has sensitized communities with regard to women's rights and land, which is the fundamental element for economic empowerment. It has raised awareness about land laws (land proclamation, regulation and procedures), land transaction (including inheritance, donation or gift and rent), and long-term land investments as mentioned above. Activities targeted men and women, both together and separately, in a range of institutions, especially at the grassroots' level, the elders' and land administration committees, and groups of women.
The CBINReMP has demonstrated the close link between women's empowerment and land tenure security. The communities in the project area, Tenagne, her colleagues, the Bureau of Environmental Protection, Land Administration and Use and IFAD can be justly proud of their great achievements.
Read more: Factsheet on Strengthening women’s access to land in Ethiopia
|Mealybug infestation on a cassava leaf/Neil Palmer - CIAT|
Eritrea has an untapped gold mine…. And that is the Red Sea. This body of water is rich in biodiversity and home to a vast variety of fish species. Literally, fish run to you when you get to the sea bank, as if they are asking you to catch them!
Sitting on such an abundance fisheries resources, one wonders why malnutrition remains persistently high in Eritrea. Eritrea is among the sub-Saharan African countries with critical state of malnutrition and a stunting rate of 50.3 per cent.
|Mountain Highland view: Asmara to Massawa, Eritrea|
During our interactions with different ministries and government officials we were very happy to see the high level commitment to nutrition.
‘We have a meeting today which is specifically focused on nutrition and the Minister will participate in that meeting’ said Amanuel Negassi Hagos, the Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture.
Hagos informed the mission about the government's intensified activities on nutrition, the establishment of a Steering Committee on National Food and Nutrition Security to improve nutrition situation of vulnerable groups.
Hagos informed us of the following initiatives which the government of Eritrea has put in place to improve nutrition:
- Production of fortified baby food-DMK plant in Dekemhare, a small agricultural town South East of Asmara
- Creation of the dry Fishmeal processing plant in Massawa City on the Red Sea
- Increased productivity of locally produced complementary foods such as mushroom and sweet potatoes
We wanted to better understand the reasons for low fish consumption and poor nutrition among the traditional fishers and communities in the coastal areas, most of whom are the target group of FDP.
We therefore embarked on a trip to Massawa, the Pearl of the Red Sea. It was a breathtaking two hour ride; scaring mountains heights, view of varied livelihood, changing landscape from the green forest to the sandy sea shore You can imagine the spectacle as we got an experience of three seasons: thick fog, bright sun and extremely cold weather during our drive from over 2000m to the Red Sea level! All this in a span of less than two hours! Incredible, you need to see it to believe!
|Sea View: School of fish, literally will come to you |
as you get to the sea bank
We met and interacted with the Ministry of Marine Resources at Massawa, to learn about FDP's progress. The Fisheries Resource Development Department (FRDD) is doing a tremendous job in strengthening the capacity of fishers’ cooperatives and artisanal Fishers. The Director of FRDD, Tewolde Woldemikael, a very interesting and highly motivated person, told us that IFAD's support to FDP has given the department a good sense of direction to build the capacity of fisher folks.
‘There is very high demand for fishing input now and the capacity of artisanal fishermen is rising’ said Woldemikael.
The visit to the landing sites at the Fishing Port in Massawa, was an eye opener, as we witnessed the progress that the Ministry has made, thanks to FDP's activities.
|One of the ice plants established through FDP|
Still on our journey to understand the underlying causes of poor nutrition among the traditional fishers and communities in the coastal areas we had a consultative meeting with the Dean and staff of Massawa College of Marine Science and technology (COMSAT).
COMSAT is one of the implementers of FDP supporting the activities and training on fish processing and handling. They highlighted the following challenges for poor utilization of fish:
- some of the fishing communities live in very remote areas with few facilities
- unfamiliarity with fish as a source of food
- lack of awareness raising campaigns on benefits of fish
- poor handling and processing technologies for value addition
- cost of fish in the market
Acknowledging that fisheries resource is essential to ensure food and nutrition security of these coastal communities, FDP has renewed its focus on:
- Capacity building of women groups/cooperatives to improve dietary intake at household level. These women can play central roles in improving family diet and care giving since the fishing activity takes the men out in the sea for several days.
- Strategic dissemination of new and simple technologies on fish handling, processing and value added product development by COMSAT for community outreach.
- Inclusion of nutrition education in the curriculum for Fisheries Trainings and nutrition sensitization in the training plan and capacity building provided by the Fisheries Resources Development Department and Fisheries Regulatory Services Department.
We are confident that with the commitment of the government to nutrition and FDP's focus on nutrition together, we will be able to take concrete actions to achieve the goals set by Sustainable Development Goal #2 and to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture in Eritrea.
|World Farmers' Organisation Delegation to COP21|
By Alessia Valentini
On 8 December, at COP21, a side event on climate finance was led by UNDP with the support of IFAD, UNCDF, FAO, WHO, UN-OHRLLS, UNECA, UNECLAC, UNEP and IPCC. This event explored the lessons learned from the UN and member states on climate finance, particularly in delivering co-benefits for development. The discussion focused on actions needed beyond Paris to maximize the development effectiveness of climate finance for the broader post-2015 development agenda.
This afternoon at COP21 a panel discussion featuring a young entrepreneur from France, a small coffee farmer from Uganda, a youth delegate from the Cook islands and an activist from the Philippines explored how young people, who are an under represented demographic in high level political fora, can get involved in the fight against climate change.
In his opening remarks, Guy Ryder, the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) suggested that climate change and youth unemployment are two related and very pressing crises. In fact, global unemployment levels exceed 200 million, and over 75 million are young people. As the impacts of climate change disrupt key economic sectors and value chains, it will be young people who will bear most of the burden.
At the same time, there is a great opportunity to engage youth in growing economic sectors such as renewable energy technologies, waste management and sustainable agriculture. According to Serge Bounda of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), young people are an enormous asset that countries should do more to invest in, especially countries entering what he called the demographic dividend - when rapidly declining fertility rates and a high proportion of working age people without dependants lead to high economic productivity.
The panellists were all highly motivated and working in their respective fields for climate action. But they also acknowledged there are many barriers holding young people back from taking an active role in their own communities. Denis Kabito, a smallholder farmer from Uganda said that when he was a child his mother used to tell him to study hard so he could get an education and get out of agriculture. Farming is tedious, she told him, and it doesn't produce much income. But even though Denis did go to university and became an agronomist, he returned to rural Uganda believing that in order to advise others on their farming practices, he must experience farming himself. He now sees that climate resilient approaches to agriculture can provide a good way of life for people his age. And it's not just about convincing those who are born on a farm to stay there, but also about convincing those who have migrated to cities to return, Kabito said. IFAD has provided extension support to build the skills of farmers like Denis in Uganda, which is a sensible investment given changing climate patterns and the need to adapt traditional practices.
The proposition that youth have a great deal to offer as climate innovators was proved by the dynamism in the room, including from the audience who raised issues such as involving women to a greater extent in decision-making processes, and using information and communication technologies to organize direct action for a low carbon future. Their message resonates with other youth delegates participating in the COP21 proceedings: young people are not waiting to receive solutions to climate change. Instead they are authoring their own.
The Knowledge and Learning Market-Policy Engagement in the Philippines was held on 25-26 November 2015