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Area 1: Making Humanitarian Food and Nutrition Assistance Programs More Aligned with and Supportive of Programs Promoting Sustainable Food Security and Improved Nutrition

References:

 
 

Questions for Discussion by all Breakout Groups

 
TUESDAY, MARCH 1
 
Where are we?   Examining Partnership Progress and Lessons in Four Key Areas: Integrating Food Aid, Food Security and Nutrition Programs; Building Effective Producer Organizations; Public-Private Partnerships; and Higher Education, Research, and Training
                 
Discussion questions for all breakout groups:
 
(1)  Where are we? What are we learning from our actions to date? Where have we made progress in putting together partnerships for action?
(2) What are the main constraints to greater effectiveness and scaling up impacts in this area? 
 
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
 
How Can We Do Better? What Do We Need to Do Next to Get Down to Business and Scale up Agricultural Development in Africa?
 
Discussion questions for all breakout groups:  
 
(3) What are specific recommendations for action by all partners (national and regional CAADP/FTF programs and their partners in the donor, university, research, private sector, and NGO communities) that would increase impact, especially through scaling up successful efforts?
(4) What are specific recommendations that would improve how country and regional CAADP/FTF programs and their partners could better “learn while doing”?
 
 

Partnership Area 1 Overview

 
Making emergency food and nutrition assistance programs more coherent with and supportive of programs promoting sustainable food security and improved nutrition.
 
The Rome Principles adopted by the international community in November 2009 recognize the importance of taking a comprehensive, or twin-track, approach to food security, that is, taking direct action to immediately tackle hunger for the most vulnerable and, at the same time, launching medium- and long-term sustainable agricultural, food security, nutrition and rural development programs to eliminate the root causes of hunger and poverty.   The most recent US legislation on food aid (the 2008 Farm Bill) also endorses this comprehensive approach, requiring that a specific amount of commodity assistance be reserved for non-emergency programming. The President’s 2011 Feed the Future budget request introduced the Community Development Fund as another way of directing Development Assistance (DA) resources to local development efforts.
 
In practice, however, the urgent often takes priority over the long-term. Crises mobilize funding and action, and the emergency response needs absorb resources that might otherwise be used to build stronger food and agricultural systems that can provide sustainable food security. Efforts have been made by the international humanitarian community in recent years to reduce the competition for resources and to develop strategies that provide win-win solutions, e.g., offer poor farmers incentives to produce surplus crops for markets through guaranteed purchase of some of that surplus for free distribution to the most needy. 
 
But more needs to be done to effectively align humanitarian and development initiatives to provide comprehensive support for food security. Social safety net programs, targeted supplementary employment initiatives, community-based investment programs that support agricultural growth among the poorest and most vulnerable: all of these important interventions need to respond to the larger context of national policies and programs as well. More efficient markets, secure access to land, new technologies and training in how to use them, and access to financial services cannot be made available overnight, but few would argue that they are not crucial to reducing poverty and increasing food availability and access.    
 
TUESDAY, MARCH 1
 
(1)   Where are we? What are we learning from our actions to date about integrating short-term assistance with efforts to build sustainable food security? Where have we made progress in putting together partnerships for action?
 
(2)   What are the main constraints to greater effectiveness? What will enable partners to scale up efforts and achieve greater impacts on reducing hunger, improving nutrition, and overcoming poverty?  
 
Some possible questions for consideration:
 
        Are pilot programs like P4P or expanded use of approaches that encourage procuring food through local and regional markets (cash assistance, voucher assistance, other methods) contributing to our knowledge about how to make short-term food assistance more supportive of long-term food security programming?
 
        How is in-kind food distribution being used to build long-term food security? Are new programs such as those providing preventive nutrition assistance to at-risk populations likely to generate results in the short-term? How long will it take to fully assess cost-effectiveness and impact?
 
        Are community-based efforts that use food aid to build community assets (water systems, roads, natural resource management) as effective in reducing poverty and building sustainable food security as programs targeted at individual households?
 
        What are the new “best practices” emerging from the various pilot efforts? What are the constraints to more coherent programming? Is the balance of investments about right?
 
        Is it necessary to do a significant amount of data-gathering to make sure that targeting is right? Or that unanticipated consequences are not being caused by specific interventions?
 
        Are other analytical efforts needed to provide an evidence base for future decision-making? What efforts are underway? Which areas still need to be addressed?
 
        What about food security partnerships that involve staff/organizations in different sectors (health, nutrition, agriculture, infrastructure)? Is it easy to get agreement on common goals and metrics so that each sector can bring its expertise to develop solutions? For USAID, there are challenges of programming Title II and DA in a coherent way. Have new approaches been developed to increase opportunities for partnership and collaboration?
 
        What are CAADP- and FTF-related programs doing to encourage greater integration of short-term and longer term food security programs? Are there organizational or policy constraints holding back this integration?
 
        Where have CAADP and FTF programs been most successful/least effective in encouraging and facilitating collaboration around target priorities and programs: inter-agency, among donors, among international and local NGOs, with the private sector, etc. Are there any best practices emerging in these areas?
 
        How important is training/capacity building for local NGOs to enhance partnerships in this area? What program structures and incentives are important to assure that local capacity – from policy to program design, management and implementation -- is created and sustained over time?
 
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
 
(3)   What are specific recommendations for action by all partners (national and regional CAADP/FTF programs and their partners in the donor, university, research, private sector, and NGO communities) that would increase impact, especially through scaling up successful efforts?
 
(4)   What are specific recommendations that would improve how country and regional CAADP/FTF programs and their partners could better “learn while doing”?
 
Some possible questions for consideration:
 
        What kinds of action (policies, programs, organizational incentives, research, training, information-sharing) would help to ensure that nutrition objectives be reached effectively through both short-term and long-term food security programming within the contexts of CAADP and FTF-related programming?
 
        How can agriculture and health sector strategies more successfully partner to address nutrition objectives? How can leadership be shared? 
 
        Would establishment of regional foodgrain/financial reserves help to build regional economic communities and achieve the goals of market stabilization and prevention of hunger? Do we know enough? Do we have country-based data systems that are objective enough and time-sensitive enough to permit local management of reserves?
 
        Are P4P and LRP ready for scaling-up? What are the criteria? How can the partnerships between local governments and international organizations be effectively designed and implemented?
 

 

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