Youth Leadership and Voice in Post 2015: UN Resolution 2250

Youth Representative of Burkina Faso and Restless Development, Cheick Faycal Traore, meetings at the United Nations with The Hunger Project, the Government of the Philippines and MCC to discuss youth in community-led development.
Youth Representative of Burkina Faso and Restless Development, Cheick Faycal Traore, at the United Nations with The Hunger Project, the Government of the Philippines and MCC.

It is not new knowledge that half of the world’s population is made up of persons under the age of 35, the majority of whom are youth older than 15. As the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals near, the world will be responsible for achieving sustainable development within only fifteen years. In the absence of the estimated two trillion dollars per year to realize the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals, development initiatives must be implemented efficiently and – ideally – through community leadership to reduce loss of money from trickle-down approaches. Volunteerism, local capacity building, local and youth leadership and community mobilization will be necessary, not optional.

The United Nations has keenly prioritized youth leadership and youth mobilization to not only implement the SDGs, but to also establish youth’s rightful ownership over their communities’ and nations’ development. Without their ownership and engagement for both current and future leadership in alignment with the SDGs, the goals are at a serious risk of not being achieved by 2030 – a window of development opportunity that may very well be the last to ensure stable security and the eradication of hunger and poverty forever.

Screen Shot 2015-12-22 at 2.32.24 PMTherefore, on December 9, 2015, The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2250 to emphasize the importance of youth leadership and inclusion to achieve peace and security worldwide. The approach? Youth (ages 18-29) representation for decision making – at all levels – must be increased.In my opinion, this is the most important Resolution adopted by the Security Council since Resolution 1325 in 2000, which similarly acknowledged the need for increased inclusion of women in peace building processes due to the unique gender roles of increasing warfare. Like women, youth account for a significant number, if not majority, of civilians affected by armed conflict and living as refugees or displaced persons. In under 10 minutes, Resolution 2250 was adopted, proving that the Security Council finds it significantly less advantageous to “marginalize” a majority population that has significant capability than leverage and include them as a priority resource for peace and security. A lack of youth leadership and representation poses the risk of losing youth to other priorities such as joining rebel groups or contentment with helplessness.

The millennial generation is uniquely positioned on the global stage amidst globalized technological communication and exposure to improved living standards or policies through available internet connections. Millennials living in extreme poverty are arguably the first from which a majority are rejecting a rural livelihood built on agriculture, instead opting for informal or illegal employment in more urban settings or internet means. They are at a higher risk than youth of any previous generation to be recruited in greater numbers by terrorists or rebels through exploitation of internet access and other forms of modern communication (i.e. texting hot lines). They are also at a significant risk of long-term unemployment and continued poverty should they not be included in the discourse of development plans, from which we risk their disagreement with approaches or priorities to achieve the SDGs. These are risks we must mitigate.

Beyond what I consider to be a moral imperative of the inclusion of a youth voice – at all levels – in peace building and dispute resolution, it is to the world’s economic advantage that UN Member States implement Resolution 2250 [promptly] into practice, establishing conducive policies if need be. Especially for those nations whose conflict has hindered youth education and employment opportunities, their inclusion in decision making will undoubtedly positively impact economic prosperity as solutions are deliberated and established together through the lens of youth and their desires for development.

What is the role for development actors such as foundations and CSOs to contribute to this process? Firstly, advocating for 1) meaningful implementation of Resolution 2250, and; 2) the establishment of relevant policies. Advocate also for the implementation of development initiatives, ideally in partnership with [local] government, that provide opportunities for youth leadership, education, employment and vocational training to motivate positive youth engagement and contribution to society. Lastly, I encourage the design and implementation of locally-led, youth-centered development initiatives that empower youth with leadership skills, dispute resolution skills, seat quotas within relevant committees, and program design input and leadership. Positive engagement and outcomes thereof will not only be an example to governments and multilateral implementers of the positive impact of youth leadership and inclusion in discourse, but will also increase the number of youth engaged in development practices in the absence of government or others’ capacity to scale-up initiatives.

Youth have experiences to share, ideas to discuss, opinions to contribute in discourse and a unique capability given their available time, especially in the absence of employment or education. They are driven to seek and enact change due to their interconnectedness and lifestyle exposures through globalized technological communication. Youth are not the leaders of the future; they are able to be leaders now. Their risks and tribulations are issues of the present, and likely to worsen without their inclusion in development and peace building leadership. Just in time for the start of the SDGs, Resolution 2250 was adopted and must be duly implemented and recognized by all actors if we need to achieve sustainable development by 2030.

Inter-Epicenter Exchanges to Strengthen Local Leadership

THP-SenegalThe Hunger Project-Senegal has initiated an approach associated with The Hunger Project’s Epicenter Strategy. Senegal was the first African country of intervention for The Hunger Project, starting in 1991. THP-Senegal continues to build sustainable community-based programs using the Epicenter Strategy. The strategy was devised in Africa, by Africans, and for Africans. To date, it has been applied to all eight program countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 1.6 million people across Africa.

For more than 20 years, the Epicenter Strategy has proven to be an effective, efficient and replicable model to achieve sustainable development. The program takes approximately eight years over four phases: 1) training to mobilize communities to commit to creating positive change, 2) construction of the Epicenter building, 3) implementation of community programs, the implemented programs address the needs of the community, like health, food security, education, agriculture, and household finance and; 4) transition to self-reliance.

THP-Senegal added an Inter-epicenter Exchange Visit to increasingly advance local leaders’ capacities. The initiative will serve as a liaison for Epicenter leaders to exchange practices and various techniques with other Epicenter leaders to obtain knowledge and ideas at the same time rectify faults and dysfunctions perpetrated as they sustain for the accomplishment of their goal.

The Inter-epicenter Exchange Visit is composed of two phases: 1) participants welcome the words and presentation of distinguished leaders from other Epicenters, 2) participants attend a thematic workshop specifically about important issues  and programmatic components of THP-Senegal such as mobilization and leadership, health and nutrition, food safety, environment and sanitation, monitoring and evaluation, microfinance, income generating activities, and gender and women empowerment.

Leaders that participated in the exchange visits have expressed that they have learned a lot from discussing activities of their partner Epicenters in the many workshops. It has also spawned discussion among Epicenter leaders to exchange agricultural products such as millet, groundnuts, rice, and cowpeas,  between Epicenters of the north and center. They believe this would strengthen partnership linkages between communities of partner Epicenters in THP-Senegal and help to expand local economies and subsequent opportunities

The greening of Epicenters initiative was another lesson assimilated by the leaders generated from the environment and sanitation workshops. They have agreed to the tree planting initiative by Epicenters Ndéreppe, Dinguiraye and Coki to continue the tree planting efforts to their respective communities.

Leaders strongly acknowledged the importance of sanitation and latrines, especially in consideration of community members’ comfort in hosting visitors. The leaders also realized the CLTS (Community-Led Total Sanitation) approach appeared to be simple and accessible to the communities.

The leaders expressed that the Inter-epicenter Exchange Visit was a strong moment of sharing and cooperation with partner Epicenters. With all the information exchanged from one leader to the other, they hope to follow and implement the lessons they have assimilated during the visit, and as they wait for the following gathering at the end of the year, they are committed to advance their respective communities’ capacities with respect to the Inter-epicenter Exchange Visit initiative.

The Development of communities is not a one-size fits all philosophy therefore it is not imperative for communities to replicate the activities and strategy of its partner communities, but exchange of ideas opens the door of possibilities and opportunities for communities to grow. One community’s insight could foster advanced inputs and innovation to other communities.


THP-Senegal’s Inter-epicenter initiative would be a great practice to pilot in other program countries because it promotes stronger partnerships between communities. The leaders who have participated in the initiative have also testified that the meeting renewed their interest and alleviated their drive for progress and innovation. The practice of exchanging information with other communities also highlights gaps or hindrances that possibly jeopardizes progress, therein safeguarding progress and ensuring sustainability from activities.

Local Democracy at Sweden Conference

On July 1, our Swedish Country Director Sara Wettergren spoke on a panel during Almedalen Week – the most important forum in Swedish politics. She spoke on the importance of local democracy to poverty reduction in the Post-2015 agenda, in a session organized by the Swedish International Center for Local Democracy and DeLog: the Development Partners Working Group on Decentralisation and Local Governance.

sara14

The panel is available in English on video here, and Sara’s presentation starts at 11m40s. The notes from the panel that appeared on a Swedish website (translated) are as follows:

The process of defining the post-2015 development agenda is in progress and the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals has published a zero-draft. According to Stina Karltun, Senior Expert at Sida, the draft is top down and lacks important democratic aspects of participation, accountability and transparency. Stina Karltun emphasizes the importance of creating the space for dialog at the local level and enhancing the space for people to interact with their own government. This can create a political base for the local structure which in turn can hold the central government to account.

Sara Wettergren is CEO at The Hunger Project and argues that the main point for why civil society organizations should care about local development structures is related to the sustainability of development projects. NGOs create parallel structures that are effective in the short term, but not in the long term since they are difficult to withdraw. The Hunger Project has studied local democracy in 35 countries by looking at legal and formal structures, how laws are implemented, and peoples´ perceptions. The findings indicate that the structure that supports local democracy is better on paper than in reality and that there is little awareness about the existence of these structures. This leads to a discussion on what challenges governments are facing and several aspects are mentioned, such as lack of resources, lack of or weak autonomy, and lack of capacity and training. Furthermore, many people do not know that they have rights at the local level. Sara Wettergren describes this as a default structure from the very beginning.

Jamie Boex is a Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute and identifies challenges related to donor countries. Boex argues that there is a clash in the link between local governance and the Sustainable Development Goals which is the clash between the long term objective of democratization and the short term approach of solving problems fast. If we want to quickly improve health and education we might design the post-2015 agenda in a top down way. In addition, when donors work with countries they work with the national government and by empowering central governments we are also undermining our goal.

Boex underlines that we need both central and local levels, but the challenges lies in channeling money to the local level. According to a survey on 23 countries, only one third of the spending on health and education is channeled through local government and the control of the funds is in many cases at a minimum since it is controlled at the central government level. However, Jamie Boex also states that there is no evidence that local governments are more effective. For example we have no evidence that local governments provide better education than other institutions. Boex calls for further research on the subject while also recognizing that we need to be very pragmatic and search for synergies rather than comparing one level with the other.

UNCoLSC Recommendations to increase access to, and use of Life-saving commodities

EVERY WOMAN EVERY CHILD
EVERY WOMAN EVERY CHILD

Every Woman Every Child. This focus is long overdue. With the launch of the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, we have an opportunity to improve the health of hundreds of millions of women and children around the world, and in so doing, to improve the lives of all people.” — United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

The United Nations Commission on Life-Saving Commodities (UNCoLSC) for Women’s and Children’s Health made ten, specific, time bound recommendations in three main areas to increase access to, and use of, these commodities.

The following are lists of areas and recommendations by UNCoLSC:(Adopted from Early Woman Every Child website)

Area 1. Improved markets:

  1. Shaping global markets: By 2013, effective global mechanisms such as pooled procurement and aggregated demand are in place to increase the availability of quality, life-saving commodities at an optimal price and volume.

  2. Shaping local delivery markets: By 2014, local health providers and private sector actors in all Every Woman Every Child countries are incentivized to increase production, distribution and appropriate promotion of the 13 commodities.

  3. Innovative financing: By the end of 2013, innovative, results-based financing is in place to rapidly increase access to the 13 commodities by those most in need and foster innovations.

  4. Quality strengthening: By 2015, at least three manufacturers per commodity are manufacturing and marketing quality-certified and affordable products.

  5. Regulatory efficiency: By 2015, all Every Woman Every Child countries have standardized and streamlined their registration requirements and assessment processes for the 13 live-saving commodities with support from stringent regulatory authorities, the World Health Organization and regional collaboration.

Area 2. Improved national delivery:

  1. Supply and awareness: By 2015, all Every Woman Every Child countries have improved the supply of life-saving commodities and build on information and communication technology (ICT) best practices for making these improvements.

  2. Demand and utilization: By 2014, all Every Woman Every Child countries in conjunction with the private sector and civil society have developed plans to implement at scale appropriate interventions to increase demand for and utilization of health services and products, particularly among under-served populations.

  3. Reaching women and children: By 2014, all Every Woman Every Child countries are addressing financial barriers to ensure the poorest members of society have access to the life-saving commodities.

  4. Performance and accountability: By the end of 2013, all Every Woman Every Child countries have proven mechanisms such as checklists in place to ensure that health-care providers are knowledgeable about the latest national guidelines.

Area 3. Improved integration of private sector and consumer needs.

  1. Product innovation: By 2014, research and development for improved life-saving commodities has been prioritized, funded and commenced.

Reference:

Every Woman Every Child, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from http://www.everywomaneverychild.org/resources/un-commission-on-life-saving-commodities/recommendations.

Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) Policy Brief

PMNCH
PMNCH

The Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), which The Hunger Project (THP) is part of, disclosed a policy brief on “Placing Healthy Women and Children at the Heart of the Post 2015 Sustainable Development Framework” on 31 March 2014. PMNCH through its Post 2015 Working Group is advocating for a Post 2015 framework that addresses women’s and children’s health issues and is rights-based, people-centered, equity focused, gender sensitive, participatory and adopts a cross-sectoral approach to health.

The full PMNCH policy briefing can be downloaded here.

Specifically PMNCH calls for the Post 2015 Framework to:

  • Include a stand-alone health goal that maximizes health and well-being, specifying an end to preventable mortality and morbidity and fulfillment of sexual and reproductive health and rights; achieving this through universal health coverage, with targets that guide countries to leave no one behind

  • Focus on the most critical population groups for maximizing progress towards improving health and development outcomes, particularly newborns and adolescents

  • Integrate health-related targets into all relevant sectors such as nutrition, education, gender, and infrastructure such as water, sanitation and energy to address the underlying determinants of health

  • Include differentiated targets for countries based on their levels of development.

    (Adopted from PMNCH)

For a related blog on Post 2015 agendas, search Post-2015 on our advocacy page.

About Partnership for Maternal Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH).

PMNCH joins the reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH) communities into an alliance of more than 500 members, across seven constituencies: academic, research and teaching institutions; donors and foundations; health-care professionals; multilateral agencies; non-governmental organizations; partner countries; and the private sector (PMNCH, 2014).

References:

PMNCH, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from  http://www.who.int/pmnch/about/en/

World Health Day 2014: Combating vector-borne diseases

boy130WHO

World Health Day is celebrated on 7 April every year to mark the anniversary of the founding of World Heath Organization (WHO) in 1948. Each year a theme is selected that highlights a priority area of public health. The Day provides an opportunity for individuals in every community to get involved in activities that can lead to better health (WHO, 2014).

The theme/topic for 2014 anniversary is vector-borne diseases.

To download and read A global brief on vector-borne diseases by WHO, click here.

Summaries on Vectors and Vector-born diseases (Adopted from WHO)

  • Vectors are organisms that transmit pathogens and parasites from one infected person (or animal) to another.

  • Vector-borne diseases are illnesses caused by these pathogens and parasites in human populations.

  • The most commonly known vectors are :

    • mosquitoes, sand flies, bugs, ticks and snails.

  • The above vectors are responsible for transmitting a wide range of parasites and pathogens that attack humans or animals. Mosquitoes, for example, not only transmit malaria and dengue, but also lymphatic filariasis, chikungunya, Japanese encephalitis and yellow fever.

  • They are most commonly found in tropical areas and places where access to safe drinking-water and sanitation systems is problematic.

  • The most deadly vector-borne disease, malaria, caused an estimated 660 000 deaths in 2010. Most of these were African children.

World Malaria Report 2013 is accessible here.

  • The fastest growing vector-borne disease is dengue, with a 30-fold increase in disease incidence over the last 50 years.

  • 40% of the world’s population is at risk from dengue (2014)

          To learn more about Dengue, click here.

  • More than half of the world’s population is at risk of these diseases. Increased travel, trade and migration make even more people vulnerable.

Goal: better protection from vector-borne diseases

The campaign aims to raise awareness about the threat posed by vectors and vector-borne diseases and to stimulate families and communities to take action to protect themselves. A core element of the campaign will be to provide communities with information. As vector-borne diseases begin to spread beyond their traditional boundaries, action needs to be expanded beyond the countries where these diseases currently thrive.

More broadly, through the campaign, WHO member states are aiming for the following:

  • families living in areas where diseases are transmitted by vectors know how to protect themselves;

  • travelers know how to protect themselves from vectors and vector-borne diseases when travelling to countries where these pose a health threat;

  • in countries where vector-borne diseases are a public health problem, ministries of health put in place measures to improve the protection of their populations; and

  • in countries where vector-borne diseases are an emerging threat, health authorities work with environmental and relevant authorities locally and in neighboring countries to improve integrated surveillance of vectors and to take measures to prevent their proliferation.

References:

WHO, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from http://www.who.int/campaigns/world-health-day/2014/en/.

CDC, 2014. Retrieved on 1 April 2014 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncezid/dvbd/about.html.

 

Climate change threatens to put back the fight to eradicate hunger by decades (OXFAM)

Bllomberg

The 38th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) opened yesterday in Yokohama Japan. According to the IPCC news briefing, governments meet in Japan from 25 March 2014 until 30 March 2014 to discuss a major scientific report by IPCC. The Working Group II (WGII) contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report on impacts, adaptation and vulnerability will be considered. The summary for policy makers released by IPCC outlines the scale of the threat climate change poses to people worldwide and suggests ways to help people cope. On 31 March 2014 IPCC will publish its Fifth Assessment  Report (final) on Climate Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation.

To download and read IPCC’s Climate Change 2013 Report, click here.

A related analytic publication by Oxfam titled ‘Hot and hungry:how to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger’ warns that climate change threatens to put back the fight to eradicate hunger by decades – and our global food system is woefully unprepared to cope with the challenge (Oxfam, 2014). The publication analyzes how well the world’s food system is prepared for the impacts of climate change and assess ten key factors/areas that influence a country’s ability to feed its people in a warming world.

The following are excerpts from ten key policy and practice areas – or gaps assessed by Oxfam to demonstrate the size of the global adaptation gap. To find out about the scoring process and detailed illustrations of the ten areas, click here.

1. Adaptation Finance

At the Copenhagen summit in 2009, world leaders promised to provide $100 bn per year by 2020 to help poor countries adapt to a changing climate and reduce their emissions (mitigation). They also committed to providing $30 bn of ‘Fast Start between 2010 and 2012, balanced between adaptation and mitigation. Fast Start Finance has not been balanced – adaptation initiatives have received no more than 20 percent of fund sat best. But even 50% would have been far too low to meet estimated needs calculated to be at least $100 bn per year for adaptation alone (Oxfam, 2014).

2. Social protection

While most industrialized countries ensure that the majority of their population is covered by some form of social protection, globally just 20 % of people have adequate social protection. In many poor countries,such as Zambia, Mali and Laos, coverage is less than 5 %. However, coverage is notably higher in poor countries that are bucking the trend of food insecurity and climate risk, for example in Malawi, Ghana and Vietnam, where coverage reaches 21%, 28% and 29% respectively (Oxfam, 2014).

3. Food Crisis aid

On average, over the past decade, 66% of the funds requested have been provided. However the cost of humanitarian aid is sharply increasing and the gap between the funds requested and those committed is steadily widening – the annual humanitarian funding shortfall has approximately trebled since 2001 (Oxfam, 2014).

4. Food stocks

The ratio of food stocks to food consumption has fallen to levels which are very low by historic standards –  each year in the past decade the stock-to-use ratio has fallen below the long-term 25-year average, with lowest ratios coinciding with significant world food price spikes, as in 2007 – 8 (Oxfam, 2014).

5. Gender

Women make up 43% of the agricultural workforce in developing countries and play a vital role in food production and preparation around the globe. As a result, the impact of climate change on food is felt particularly sharply by women. Despite their immense contribution, women in developing countries  are still deprived of land ownership and are shut out from receiving vital weather information that will impact their crops, livestock and their lives (Oxfam, 2014).

6. Public agricultural investment

Official Development Assistance to agriculture has been slashed during the last 30 years, falling from around 43 % in the late 1980s to around seven today. In 2003, African leaders committed to increase their spending on agriculture to 10% of their national budgets. A decade later, just four out of 20 countries included in this study are meeting that target (Oxfam, 2014).

7. Agricultural research gap

Global seed diversity has declined by 75 % in the last 100 years, depriving communities of native varieties that may be better suited to changing local weather patterns. The development of new and rediscovery of old seed varieties adapted to changing weather and growing conditions is therefore crucial.Yet public investment in agricultural R&D lags behind in the countries that need it most. For every $100 of agricultural output, developed countries spend $ 3.07 on public agricultural R&D, whereas developing countries spend just $0.55 on average. Countries that are bucking the food and climate trend, such as Malawi and Ghana, are investing more in agricultural research (Oxfam, 2014).

8. Crop irrigation gap

Over 80 percent of worldwide agriculture and 95 per cent of African agriculture is rain – fed, and at the mercy of changing rainfall patterns and intensity. In a warming world, where seasons are less predictable, access to responsible, sustainable irrigation is critical, especially in hot and dry regions. In many developing

countries, the irrigation that does exist is dedicated to big industrial farms at the expense of community water and small – scale irrigation. Women in sub-Saharan Africa collectively spend 40 billion hours every year collecting water (Oxfam, 2014).

9. Crop insurance gap

While 91% of farmers in the US have crop insurance, this compares with 50% in Australia, 15% in India, 10% in China and just 1% or less in Malawi and most low- income countries (Oxfam, 2014).

10. Weather Monitoring

Providing good weather data is an important way of helping farmers to cope with a changing climate. Yet the concentration of weather stations varies hugely around the world. Ironically, countries which are most vulnerable to climate change impacts on food, have the lowest concentration of weather stations( Oxfam, 2014).

Source links:

OXFAM, 2014. “Hot and hungry:how to stop climate change derailing the fight against hunger“. Retrieved from http://oxfamilibrary.openrepository.com/oxfam/bitstream/10546/314512/1/mb-hot-hungry-food-climate-change-250314-en.pdf

IPCC, 2013. “Summary for policy makers”. Retrieved from http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/report/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf

 

CSW Networking

banner-CSW58Brianna Clarke represented THP at two key meetings during the UN Commission on the Status of Women and reports on them here:

March 13, IFAD Luncheon, “Elevating the Role of Rural Women in the Context of a New Development Framework.” This was a 25 person luncheon & discussion led by International Fund for Agricultural Development’s (IFAD’s) North American Liaison Office, in partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP). All three offices opened the discussion on how to include and prioritize rural women in the Post-2015 Agenda and then invited the rural women in the room to lead the discussion. There was a strong emphasis on the need to include rural women right away as they were not included in discussions leading up to the formation of the MDGs. Success stories and challenges were shared.

THP engaged in discussions with representatives from FAO, IFAD, WFP, the World Farmers Organization, as well as rural women from Argentina, Kenya, and Uganda – all of whom were impressed by THP’s methodology and eager to learn more about THP’s work. We will be in touch in the coming weeks.

March 14, FAO Side Event, “Closing the Gender Gap in Agriculture” & IFAD Lunch, “Country Level Policy Engagement for Rural Women.” The speakers and many audience members of the Side Event (approximately 60 people in attendance) attended the IFAD lunch. IFAD hosted approximately 30 people at a restaurant to discuss IFAD projects that had successfully engaged rural women and/or achieved success on a national level. I sat with an Economist from the World Bank who spoke at the FAO side event earlier that day and who wants to learn more about our THP’s Monitoring and Evaluation, an Economist from FAO who spoke at the FAO side event earlier that day, one of the rural women from Kenya who spoke at the IFAD luncheon the day before, two UN representatives from Bangladesh, and representatives from other international NGOs, including the Executive Director of Tebtebba, the Indigenous Peoples’ International Center for Policy Research and Education, who knows Tarcila, and her work in Peru, well. Multiple IFAD staff members approached me to praise The Hunger Project and to learn more about our current partners and what we are doing with rural women across Africa, South Asia, and Latin America.

Staff members from IFAD, FAO, and WFP have invited THP to lunch in the coming weeks to discuss the possibility of furthering our partnership.

International Women’s Day Observance: THP Global Staff Members Bridget Barry also attended CSW events. I (Brianna) also went to International Women’s Day on March 4 (Chelsea Clinton spoke), and Annica Thomas, Maria Scharin, and I attended the International Women’s Day launch on March 7 (Hillary Clinton spoke).

IWD2014

IFPRI: 2013 Global Food Policy Report

ifpri2013
Credit: IFPRI

The International Food Policy Research Institute has launched a 2013 Global Food Policy Report yesterday. The report was launched at the event held at the Institute’s Washington, DC main office. Among the speakers during the report launch event were  Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General of the Institute, and guest speakers Homi Kharas from Brookings Institution, Asma Lateef from Bread for the World institute and Tjada McKenna from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAIDs) Bureau for Food Security. Dr. Fan presented an overview of the major food policy developments presented in the Report and discussed about post-2015 development efforts that can help achieve the aspirational target of eliminating hunger and undernutrition in a sustainable manner by 2025 (IFPRI, 2014). Following Dr. Fan the guest speakers provided their own perspective on food and nutrition security, and they later responded to participant questions and suggestions.

To download and read the full report, click here.

To download and read the overview booklet, click here.

To watch the full report launching on YouTube, click here.

The release of report is pivotal as the process of defining the  post-2015 agenda and the new sustainable development goals (SDGs) are underway. Among others, the report calls for the need to improve nutrition at a global level and advocates for inclusion of nutrition in policy dialogue and development programs to end hunger and under-nutrition by 2025. According to Fan, “divergent views on agriculture, food, and nutritional goals in the post-2015 framework show that despite good information for debate, we still far from consensus on final decision.” citing the lack of coherence on strategies and goals. Further more, on the path to ending hunger and undernutrition, we should also ensure environmental sustainability(IFPRI, 2013).  The report suggests that the post-2015 agenda needs to be grounded in a multi-sectoral approach that (1) focuses on clear goals and targets, (2) uses comprehensive data and indicators that can be monitored and measured accurately, (3) supports partnerships among all stakeholders, and (4) promotes accountability (IFPRI, 2014).

The following are suggestion on approaches to accelerating the pace of hunger and undernutrition reduction:

– Country-led strategies and investments

– Evidence-based policies and policy experiments

– Knowledge sharing and transfers

– Data revolution, and

– Enhanced role of private sector

 Attention was also given to agriculture which employs majority of the global poor and the role it plays to end hunger and under-nutrition over  the next ten years leading to 2025. “Growth in agriculture sector is shown to reduce poverty three times faster than growth in any other sector-manufacturing, industry, or service.”(IFPRI, 2014). The report discusses how agricultural intensification and innovative farming to accelerate the end of hunger and under-nutrition by 2025. The report states that for  agriculture to address under-nutrition and hunger, scaling-up agricultural production and increasing productivity should couple with production of vegetables, fruits and other nutritious food.

To download the full pdf version of the report, click here.

The following is 2013 Food Policy Timeline (source: IFPRI)

Source: @IFPRI 2013 GLOBAL FOOD POLICY REPORT

Forging resilience: defining next steps and building on initial gains

resilience
Source: DAI

Forging Resilience: A Symposium at American University (AU) Washington, DC, February 25, 2014

A number of practitioners, evaluators, educators, researchers, funders, and representatives of civil society organizations and development agencies convened at the American University Washington, DC campus for a daylong symposium themed Forging resilience: defining next steps and building on initial gains. The participants compared and explored approaches on how to operationalize resilience building. Resilience was explained and discussed in the light of conflict and fragility, peace building, food security and nutrition, humanitarian assistance and other areas of development. Discussions on the definition, the applicability, the institutionalization, the sustainability, the funding and piloting and the scaling-up of resilient programs dominated most of the day. Also discussed were the intersection of systems theories and resilience thinking, and the need for institutionalizing resilience and incorporating it in the policy making process. A participant from TANGO International suggested that resilience measures/indicators should look at the absorptive, adaptive and transformative capacity. The symposium sponsors and participants hope to have similar discussion next April before the planned May 2020 Vision Initiative Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

To download and read the Development Alternatives Incorporated (DAI) publication on resilience, click here