PNPM Progress: A Path Towards Sustainability in Indonesia

Indonesia’s Program Nasional Pemberdayaan Mandiri (PNPM), or National Program for Community Empowerment, is a government-led, multi-donor trust-funded pilot program, which is managed by the World Bank Group (WBG) and delivered through the PNPM Support Facility (PSF). Also funded by: AusAid, CIDA, DANIDA, USAID, EU, UKAID, and the Dutch Government 


Photo Credit: World Bank, PNPM (Peduli) Indonesia: Caring for the Invisible

 As the Government of Indonesia’s flagship community-driven development (CDD) program, PNPM strives to improve the socio-economic welfare of the poor and most marginalized groups by expanding opportunities through community consultation at all phases of the program, empowerment, and capacity building of civil society organizations (CSO). The key elements of PNPM-CDD programs include: community development, institution building, community block grants, strengthening local governance and partnerships, and technical assistance for program development

In working with numerous Indonesian and local CSOs and a handful of implementing partners, PNPM programs are currently active in roughly 6,000 sub-districts, 73,000 villages, and 33 provinces. Nearly Rp1.4 billion, which roughly equates to USD 21 million, is allocated to each village per year solely for development purposes. In the first year, PNPM programs helped nearly 12,000 marginalized individuals to build confidence, gain new livelihood skills and training, access information and public services, and to create new opportunities to participate in community life.

However, addressing the root drivers of social inclusion are not just about improving economic conditions, but about fully integrating individuals into every nook and cranny of civic life—increasing participation and breaking down social barriers by changing mindsets and reversing engrained stigmas. The Government of Indonesia realizes the marginalized are important and unappreciated assets (financial, labor, social), and often benefit less from public programs and poverty reduction schemes.

In this manner, local and national CSOs have a comparative advantage and are well positioned to empower marginalized groups to become more self-reliant and able to live dignified lives. CSOs work with a diverse range of marginalized groups in rural and urban Indonesia: female micro-entrepreneurs, street children, LGBTQ, violence against women and girls (VAWG), and people living with HIV/AIDS among others. Though CSOs have a limited financial capacity to provide services and activities such as mentoring and training, the PNPM has established grant making to mitigate the costs.


Photo Credit: Source Unknown, PNPM Program Indonesia

PNPM programs have provided women, specifically, with business training and equipment, skills training, and loan arrangements to start businesses. As a result, women’s groups are now running laundries, phone card counters, food production, and coffee shops, for example. However, CDD programs in Indonesia could benefit from a thorough gender analysis needs assessment to identify which constraints women face particularly in a rural environment. Programs also need to collect and analyze disaggregated data between men and women, between rural and urban villages, and among communities, households, and individuals, to best target those in need and to measure participation. Affirmative action and inclusion of marginalized groups, such as women, must be addressed through quotas.

In 2015, the Government of Indonesia introduced the new Village Law, which is the new master framework for village development and community empowerment and embodies many of the aforementioned principles of the PNPM-CDD program. Although adopted and enacted to ensure sustainability of the PNPM programs, this framework also brings attention to the many challenges and implications it faces for future implementation.

Firstly, the programs must find a better, comprehensive way to measure accountability. Under the new law, the some 73,000 villages are seeing a large influx of resources from the government and outside funding agencies such as AusAid, CIDA, DANIDA, USAID, EU, UKAID, and the Dutch Government. The district governments have low capacity to monitor the cash flows and implementation of village governments. Who will provide the accountability and oversight and perform the audits? Or, who will be responsible for strengthening the oversight? The programs need a strong monitoring, evaluation, and learning (ME&L) framework—built-in accountability targets and performance-based indicators—to ensure precise development results and to prevent elite capture of village transfers.

A community-led development (CLD) approach, however, introduces such social accountability measures, supporting regularized processes such as public forums, at which local governments can demonstrate transparency and accountability and citizens can review and challenge the progress of targets and goals. CLD also supports communities to generate and access timely, locally relevant data that informs priority setting and strengthens progress tracking.

Secondly, it is important to remember that an increase in resources does not necessarily equip the villagers with the skills and expertise needed to obtain jobs and administer good service delivery. CDD projects often do not benefit everyone and takes years to trickle down to the most marginalized groups. How do we streamline this process to ensure that the most vulnerable are receiving the resources?

Lastly, although the law provides a strong legal framework for mainstreaming PNPM-CDD principles in village socio-economic activities, it does not necessarily guarantee sound implementation in practice. The PNPM-CDD programs must be sustainable and fully integrated into the local system of government. The law does not specifically address what it can impact in the short term versus what it can affect in the long term, which is necessary to ensure sustainability and resiliency. PNPM-CDD programs could learn from the CLD’s approach to sustainability and resiliency.

The CLD approach addresses sustainability and resiliency by addressing challenging factors such as climate change and population growth and how this in turn puts strong pressures on rural areas. The CLD approach calls for a process that includes actions to ensure that a program and community are resilient to climatic, political, and economic shocks. Local communities must have a regularized process of disaster risk reduction and disaster preparedness.

The PNPM-CDD programs in Indonesia are promising and making considerable progress. However, the programs can build upon this progress by introducing several key distinguishing principles introduced by the CLD approach, namely: a keen focus on facilitators as mobilizers and “agents of change” rather than “beneficiaries,” a gender-mainstreamed approach, built-in social accountability measures, timely and disaggregated data, strengthening legal existence through ME&L, and implementing sustainability and resiliency safeguards.

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


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

IPCC, 2013. “Summary for policy makers”. Retrieved from


Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food

Olivier De Schutter, a United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, has recently presented a report to the UN Human Rights Council. The Rapporteur called for the world’s food system to be radically and democratically redesigned. (SRFOOD.ORG, 2014). In the final report, Olivier De Schutter presents his main conclusions and a summary of recommendations issued over the course of his mandate as Special Rapporteur (2008-2014).

According to the Special Rapporteur, “the right to food is the right of every individual, alone or in community with others, to have physical and economic access at all times to sufficient, adequate and culturally acceptable food that is produced and consumed sustainably, preserving access to food for future generations.1 Individuals can secure access to food (a) by earning incomes from employment or self-employment; (b) through social transfers; or (c) by producing their own food, for those who have access to land and other productive resources.”

To download and read the final report, click here.

To download and read the final report in Spanish, click here and for French, click here.

The following is a summary from the final Report on the right to food/ (Adopted from Report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter).

The eradication of hunger and malnutrition is an achievable goal. Reaching it requires, however, that we move away from business as usual and improve coordination across sectors, across time and across levels of governance. Empowering communities at the local level, in order for them to identify the obstacles that they face and the solutions that suit them best, is a first step. This must be complemented by supportive policies at the national level that ensure the right sequencing between the various policy reforms that are needed, across all relevant sectors, including agriculture, rural development, health, education and social protection. In turn, local-level and national-level policies should benefit from an enabling international environment, in which policies that affect the ability of countries to guarantee the right to food – in the areas of trade, food aid, foreign debt alleviation and development cooperation – are realigned with the imperative of achieving food security and ensuring adequate nutrition. Understood as a requirement for democracy in the food systems, which would imply the possibility for communities to choose which food systems to depend on and how to reshape those systems, food sovereignty is a condition for the full realization of the right to food. But it is the paradox of an increasingly interdependent world that this requires deepening the cooperation between States.

 The following are few excerpts from the key recommendations made by the Special Rapporteur in past thematic reports, from 2008 to 2013, to the Human Rights Council:

A. Ensuring access to resources

1. Access to land

 In a context in which commercial pressures on land are increasing, it is crucial that States strengthen the protection of land users (A/65/281) and implement the Voluntary Guidelines on Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land and other Natural Resources. In particular, States should:

(a) Ensure security of tenure, by adopting anti-eviction laws and improving the regulatory framework concerning expropriation;

(b) Conduct decentralized mapping of various users’ land rights and strengthen customary systems of tenure;

(c) Adopt tenancy laws to protect tenants from eviction and from excessive levels of rent;

(d) Respect the rights of special groups, such as indigenous peoples, fisherfolk, herders and pastoralists, for whom the protection of commons is vital;

(e) Prioritize development models that do not lead to evictions, disruptive shifts in land rights and increased land concentration, and ensure that all land investment projects are consistent with relevant obligations under international human rights law (A/HRC/13/33/Add.2);

(f) Refrain from criminalizing the non-violent occupation of land by movements of landless people;

(g) Implement redistributive land reform where a high degree of land ownership concentration is combined with a significant level of rural poverty attributable to landlessness or to the cultivation of excessively small plots of land by smallholders, and supporting beneficiaries of land redistribution to ensure that they can make a productive use of their land; and

(h) Regulate land markets to prevent the impacts of speculation on land concentration and distress sales by indebted farmers.

2. Seeds

Guaranteeing food security in the future requires that we support crop genetic diversity, including agro-biodiversity (A/64/170). This is particularly important for small-scale farmers in developing countries, who still overwhelmingly rely on seeds which they save from their own crops and which they donate, exchange or sell. In order to ensure that the A/HRC/25/57 22 development of the intellectual property rights regime and the implementation of seed policies at the national level are compatible with the right to food, States should:

(a) Make swift progress towards the implementation of farmers’ rights, as defined in article 9 of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture;

(b) Not allow patents on plants and establish research exemptions in legislation protecting plant breeders’ rights;

(c) Ensure that their seed regulations (seed certification schemes) do not lead to an exclusion of farmers’ varieties; and

(d) Support and scale up local seed exchange systems such as community seed banks and seed fairs, and community registers of peasant varieties. Donors and international institutions should assist States in implementing the above recommendations, and, in particular:

(a) Support efforts by developing countries to establish a sui generis regime for the protection of intellectual property rights which suits their development needs and is based on human rights;

(b) Fund breeding projects on a large diversity of crops, including orphan crops, as well as on varieties for complex agro-environments such as dry regions, and encourage participatory plant breeding;

(c) Channel an adequate proportion of funds towards research programmes and projects that aim at improving the whole agricultural system and not only the plant (agroforestry, better soil management techniques, composting, water management, good agronomic practices).

3. Fisheries

It is urgent that States move towards sustainable resource use while ensuring that the rights and livelihoods of small-scale fishers and coastal communities are respected and that the food security of all groups depending on fish is improved (A/67/268).

B. Supporting local food systems

1. Reinvestment in agriculture

Reinvestment in agriculture and rural development should effectively contribute to the realization of the right to food (A/HRC/12/31). In order to achieve this important goal, the international community should:

(a) Channel adequate support to sustainable farming approaches that benefit the most vulnerable groups and that are resilient to climate change;

(b) Prioritize the provision of public goods, such as storage facilities, extension services, means of communications, access to credit and insurance and agricultural research;

(c) In countries facing important levels of rural poverty and in the absence of employment opportunities in other sectors, establish and promote farming systems that are sufficiently labor-intensive to contribute to employment creation (A/HRC/13/33/Add.2); and

(d) Ensure that investment agreements contribute to reinforcing local livelihood options and to environmentally sustainable modes of agricultural production.

2. Agro-ecology: Moving towards sustainable modes of agricultural production is vital for future food security and an essential component of the right to food. Agro-ecology has enormous potential in that regard (A/HRC/13/33/Add.2).

3. Support small-holder farmers: The realization of the right to food for all will require proactively engaging in public policies aimed at expanding the choices of smallholders to sell their products at a decent price (A/HRC/13/33). To achieve this, States should:

(a) Strengthen local and national markets and support continued diversification of channels of trading and distribution;

(b) Support the establishment of farmers’ cooperatives and other producer organizations (A/66/262); A/HRC/25/57 24

(c) Establish or defend flexible and efficient producer marketing boards under government authority but with the strong participation of producers in their governance;

(d) Encourage preferential sourcing from small-scale farmers through fiscal incentives or by making access to public procurement schemes conditional on the bidders’ compliance with certain sourcing requirements.

4. Contract Farming: To ensure that contract farming and other business models support the right to food (A/66/262), Governments should ensure that regulatory oversight keeps pace with the level of the expansion and the complexity of business models.

5. Agricultural workers: To guarantee that those working on farms can be guaranteed a living wage, adequate health and safe conditions of employment (A/HRC/13/33)

C. Deploying national strategies

1. National Strategies: States should build national strategies for the realization of the right to adequate food, which should include mapping of the food- insecure, adoption of relevant legislation and policies with a right-to-food framework, establishment of mechanisms to ensure accountability, and the establishment of mechanisms and processes which ensure real participation of rights-holders, particularly the most vulnerable, in designing and monitoring such legislation and policies (A/68/268).

2. Human Rights Impact Assessments: To ensure consistency between domestic policies aimed at the full realization of the right to food and external policies in the areas of trade, investment, development and humanitarian aid, States should establish mechanisms that ensure that the right to food is fully taken into account in those policies. The Special Rapporteur has presented Guiding Principles on Human Rights Impact Assessments, based on a range of consultations with governmental and non-governmental actors, which provide guidance as to how to conduct such assessments, both ex-ante and ex-post (A/HRC/19/59/Add.5).

3. Women’s Rights:

 In order to strengthen the protection of the right to food of women (A/HRC/22/50), States should:

 (a) Remove all discriminatory provisions in the law, combat discrimination that has its source in social and cultural norms, and use temporary special measures to accelerate the achievement of gender equality;

(b) Recognize the need to accommodate the specific time and mobility constraints on women as a result of the existing gender roles, while at the same time redistributing the gender roles by a transformative approach to employment and social protection;

(c) Mainstream a concern for gender in all laws, policies and programs, where appropriate, by developing incentives that reward public administrations which make progress in setting and reaching targets in this regard;

(d) Adopt multi-sector and multi-year strategies that move towards full equality for women, under the supervision of an independent body to monitor progress, relying on gender-disaggregated data in all areas relating to the achievement of food security.

4. Social Protection:

 The provision of social protection can substantially contribute to the realization of the right to food (A/68/268, A/HRC/12/31).

5. Nutrition: To reshape food systems for the promotion of sustainable diets and effectively combat the different faces of malnutrition (A/HRC/19/59), States should:

(a) Adopt statutory regulation on the marketing of food products, as the most effective way to reduce marketing of foods high in saturated fats, trans-fatty acids, sodium and sugar (HFSS foods) to children, and restrict marketing of these foods to other groups;

(b) Impose taxes on soft drinks (sodas), and on HFSS foods, in order to subsidize access to fruits and vegetables and educational campaigns on healthy diets;

(c) Adopt a plan for the complete replacement of trans-fatty acids with polyunsaturated fats;

(d) Review the existing systems of agricultural subsidies, in order to take into account the public health impacts of current allocations, and use public procurement schemes for school-feeding programmes and for other public institutions to support the provision of locally sourced, nutritious foods; and

(e) Transpose into domestic legislation the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and the WHO recommendations on the marketing of breast-milk substitutes and of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, and ensure their effective enforcement.

The private sector should:

(a) Comply fully with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, and comply with the WHO recommendations on the marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages to children, even where local enforcement is weak or non-existent;

(b) Abstain from imposing nutrition-based interventions where local ecosystems and resources are able to support sustainable diets, and systematically ensure that such interventions prioritize local solutions;

(c) Shift away from the supply of HFSS foods and towards healthier foods and phase out the use of trans-fatty acids in food processing.

D. Shaping an enabling international

1. Food price volatility: The international community should find ways to better manage the risks associated with international trade and ensure that least-developed and net food-importing developing countries are better protected from the volatility of international market prices.

2. A new framework for trade and investment in agriculture

The realization of the right to food requires designing trade rules that support the transition toward more sustainable agricultural practices. The multilateral trade regime as well as regional and bilateral trade agreements must allow countries to develop and implement ambitious food security policies including public food reserves, temporary import restrictions, active marketing boards, and safety net insurance schemes, in support of the progressive realization of the right to food (A/HRC/10/5/Add.2).

3. Regulating agribusiness

States should take steps towards the establishment of a multilateral framework regulating the activities of commodity buyers, processors, and retailers in the global food supply chain, including the setting of standards by these actors and their buying policies (A/HRC/13/33). In particular, States should use competition law in order to combat excessive concentration in the agribusiness sector. This requires having in place competition regimes sensitive to excessive buyer power in the agri-food sector, and devising competition authorities with mechanisms that allow for affected suppliers to bring complaints without fear of reprisal by dominant buyers.

4. Agro-fuels

The international community should reach a consensus on agro-fuels, based not only on the need to avoid the negative impact of the development of agro-fuels on the international price of staple food commodities, but also on the need to ensure that the production of agro-fuels respects the full range of human rights and does not result in distorted development in producer countries. Public incentives for the production of crop-based bio-fuels must be reduced and eventually removed, while only those advanced bio-fuels that do not compete with food production for land or other resources should be incentivized.

5. Food aid and development cooperation:

 International aid remains an important component of the right to food (A/HRC/10/5). Donor States should:

(a) Maintain and increase levels of aid calculated as Official Development Assistance as a percentage of GDP;

(b) Provide food aid on the basis of an objective assessment of the identified needs in developing countries;

(c) Fully respect the principle of ownership in their development cooperation policies by aligning these policies with national strategies for the realization of the right to food;

(d) Promote the right to food as a priority for development cooperation

To watch a related YouTube Video on Food Sovereignty Dialogue, click here.

Web Source :

The Importance of Multi-sectoral and Integrated Nutrition Strategies


Those who wish for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world are helping to make ending world hunger a major priority… Together we can end hunger.  Robert Alan Silverstein

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), an estimated 870 million people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing countries, and there are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries (FAO, 2012). An outcome of malnutrition, stunting alone affects 165 million children under 5 years of age around the world. (UNICEF, 2013). Malnutrition is the largest single contributor to disease, according to the UN’s Standing Committee on Nutrition (SCN), and under-nutrition among others, affects school performance, leads to a lower income as an adult, depletes immunity to diseases and causes women to give birth to low birth-weight babies. (WFP, 2014). The multidimensional effects of malnutrition makes nutrition interventions imperative to incorporate a multi-sectoral and integrated development approach . The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) , WHO, World Food Programme (WFP), FAO, and projects by several bilateral and multilateral organizations have helped reduce child and maternal mortality, extreme hunger, malnutrition and poverty over the past decade. Despite the achievements, there still a long way to go to end malnutrition problems. The causes, effects and relationships between malnutrition and other development challenges makes it important to  have a multi-sectoral approach as it enables planning and programming nutritional programs efficient and sustainable. ¨The determinants of malnutrition are multifaceted; stemming from individual health status to household food access, to social, economic, political, and environmental factors at national and global levels¨ (USAID, 2013).

USAID Nutrition Strategy 2014- 2015 Draft and The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Targets 2025

In response to the challenges of malnutrition , the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has released the USAID Nutrition Strategy 2014- 2015 draft in late 2013,  and the agency’s  nutrition strategy draft calls for public comment before its final draft. The aim of the nutrition strategy( NS) 2014- 2025 is to improve nutrition to save lives, build resilience, increase economic productivity, and advance development. As to interventions and approaches, the NS 2014 -2025, advances two types of interventions : a timely nutrition-specific interventions at critical points in the lifecycle that can have  a dramatic impact on reducing malnutrition globally if taken to scale in high burden countries; and nutrition-sensitive interventions which have more potential to enhance the effectiveness of nutrition investments worldwide.(USAID, 2013). According to the ND 2014 – 2025 draft there are opportunities for nutrition impact with a number of nutrition-sensitive interventions including :

  • Family planning,

  • Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH),

  • Nutrition-sensitive agriculture,

  • Food safety, food processing, and dietary diversity in partnership with industry,

  • Early childhood care, development and education and

  • Economic strengthening and livelihoods and recovery

To download and read USAID’s Nutrition Strategy 2014-2025 draft, click here.

Many of the current development interventions in the above listed areas of are being approached in separation from each other. The one-sector approach lacks synergy and fails to integrate nutrition intervention with other projects . Today, there are far more governmental, non-governmental, bilateral and multilateral, for profit and nonprofit organizations  working in the development arena, and many of them follow a one-sector approach while the challenges of the poor_especially malnutrition and poverty are interrelated and interdependent. For instance, provisions of nutritious foods in schools and de-worming at health centers will only capture a few percentage of population with access to the two services. But, an alternative intervention of the above would reach far more people if coupled/integrated with robust agricultural and rural development programs projects. An excerpt from NS 2014- 2025 draft notes the following about nutrition intervention strategies.

Although economic growth has been linked to improvements in under-nutrition (Shekar & Elder, 2013; Webb & Black, 2011), investments in agriculture have demonstrated even greater impact on both poverty alleviation and malnutrition since most of the poor are working in agriculture (Headey, 2011; Webb & Black, 2011).

The World Health Organization (WHO) Global Targets 2025

At the global level, the World Health Organization (WHO) member states have endorsed the Global Targets 2025 for improving maternal, infant and young child nutrition following the sixty-fifth World Health Assembly that took place in Geneva, Switzerland from 21-26 May 2012. The assembly approved a comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition. WHO’s Global Targets 2025 include the following:

1. 40% reduction in the number of children under-5 who are stunted

2. 50% reduction of anaemia in women reproductive age

3. 30 % reduction in low birth weight

4. no increase in childhood overweight

5. increase the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months up to at least 50%

6. reduce and maintain childhood wasting to less than 5%

To read more WHO’s Global Targets 2025, click here

Both the USAID’s Nutrition Strategy and Global Targets 2025  call for comprehensive and all inclusive implementation plan on malnutrition. Though the former stresses the importance integration of nutritional programs and advancing a multi-sectoral approach to solving the global nutrition challenges, the resolutions and decisions annexes of the Global Targets 2025 falls short of calling upon member states to adopt an integrated and multi-sectoral nutrition intervention strategy. The following is an excerpt from USAID’s NS 2014- 2025 draft.

Effective interventions must reach across disciplines to address the multi-sectoral nature of malnutrition. In the past, many nutrition initiatives have been vertical programs implemented through isolated delivery systems: however, there has been a recent recognition that multi-factorial causation is best addresses with multi-sectoral interventions. (Lartey, 2008).

Multi-sectoral  and Integrated Approach to Nutrition Intervention

¨A successful strategy for alleviating poverty and hunger in developing countries must begin by recognizing that they are mainly rural phenomena and that agriculture is at the heart of the livelihoods of rural people.¨ (FAO, 2014).

To ensure sustainability of the nutrition programs and to bring about a lasting solutions to malnutrition and poverty in developing world,  development players at level should keep in mind the role of agriculture in the livelihood of the majority global poor and the advantages of multi-sectoral and integrated nutrition intervention approaches.  Nutrition interventions should be part of agricultural and rural development policies as 75% of the poor live in rural areas, and governments and decision makers at level should integrate nutritional interventions in their policies. (FAO, 2012).  “Economic and agricultural growth should be ¨nutrition-sensitive” and growth needs to result in better nutritional outcomes through enhanced opportunities for the poor to diversify their diets; improved access to safe drinking water, and sanitation; improved access to health services; better consumer awareness regarding adequate nutrition and child care practices…” (FAO, 2012)

To download and read FAO’s State of Food Insecurity in the World 2012, click here.


FAO. (2012). The State of Food Insecurity in the World: The multiple dimensions of food security. Retrieved on 19 February 2014 from

USAID. (2013). Nutrition Strategy: 2014-2025 Draft. Retrieved on 19 February 2014 from

Making Agricultural Policies Nutrition Enhancing

Photo Credit: The Guardain

An important article on the importance of making agricultural policies nutrition-enhancing was published recently on The Guardian under a title Agriculture and Nutrition: you are what you saw. Policies that foster agricultural investments and increase food production are important to ending hunger, ensuring food security, increase export earnings and rural income. The alarming climate change, increasing food prices, increasing global population and environmental degradation is getting the attention global leaders. Agreement has been reached among leaders to revamp the agriculture sector and boost production, but always neglected is  the importance of making agricultural policies are nutrition-enhancing.

Read more about agricultural policies and nutrition on:

Development Strategy and Investment Plan (DSIP) of Uganda and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP)

Uganda tourism destinations

As a landlocked country in sub-Saharan Africa and with a population of 36.35 million (2012), Uganda will face a daunting task in reducing poverty and ensuring sustainable development in the coming years. Despite the challenges, over the past decade, the country has managed to reduce national poverty levels from 33.8% in 2000 to 24.5% in 2009, increased life expectancy at birth from 48 in 2000 to 58 years in 2011, and the gross national income (GNI) per-capita increased from $260 in 2000 to $440 in 2012. (World Bank, 2014). Like that of most African countries in the region, agriculture has been the backbone of Uganda’s economy. Agriculture accounts for 73% of total employment, and the proportion of women employed in agriculture is 83% while that of men’s is 71% in 2005. (MAAIF*, 2010).  Thus development of the agriculture sector in Uganda means, development of the economy,improvement in food supply, increased house hold income and above all improvement of the life of the majority of the people including women and children.  Among the major agricultural outputs in Uganda are maize (main staple food), coffee main export commodity), fish, diary cattle’s, beans, tea, poultry, bananas and cassava. The country still imports wheat, palm oil, refined sugar and other which could have been produced at home.(MAAIF, 2010). Future development plannings and investments should target these products which serve as a source of nutrition and export earnings.

*MAAIF, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries

To download a PDF version of the 2010/11-2014/15 DSIP of Uganda, click here:

In order to eradicate poverty, increase export earnings, maintain food security, improve nutrition and increase income, investment in sustainable agriculture and rural development is crucial.  In 2003, the African Union formed a Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) deligating New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) as its implementing agency. CAADP members including Uganda signed compacts and designed investment plans. Member countries pledged to increase public investment in agriculture by 10% per year and raise agricultural productivity by 6% per year. Similarly, in 2010, the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) of Uganda designed development strategy and investment plan (DSIP) in alignment with its National Development Plan (NDP) and CAADP goals. As a revision of 2005/06 -2007/08, the 2010/11 – 2014/15 DSIP sorts the governments’ plan and strategy to reinvigorate the agriculture sector which contributes to 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP), 48% of export and most of the employment. (MAAIF, 2010).  According to a data from MAAIF, real growth in agricultural output decreased from 7.9% in 2000/01 to 2.3% in the years 2008/09 which was alarming considering the population growth and increasing food price. (MAAIF, 2010).

For more about CAADP,  here:

Imports of major agricultural commodities (2007)

Quantity (tonnes)

Value (current US$)




Palm Oil



Sugar, refined



Exports of major agricultural commodities (2010)

Quantity (tonnes)

Value (current US$)

coffee, green



Cotton lint



Sugar Raw Centrifugal



Source: FAO

In order to meet the demand for food, poverty and increase income from agriculture, it is imperative that the government work in cooperation with the private sector, international organizations, development agencies and civil societies. Among others, the government of Uganda on its next post 2014/15 DSIP, should focus on investments that centered around small scale farmers to increase production, income, export and ensure food security. A 2008 research by IFPRI demonstrated that “if agriculture in Uganda grew at 6% per year, the national poverty headcount level would fall from 31.1% in 2005 to 17.9% by 2015.” (MAAIF, 2010). Emphasis should be given to agricultural commodities  with export potential and those nutritious to increase caloric intake which is very low as compared to World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.The caloric intake per person in Uganda was 1,971 in 2005 which is less than the 2,300 recommended by WHO.(MAAIF, 2010).  It is also important that the government work with private investors to increase domestic supply of staple foods and avoid falling for corporations rushing to seize land for production of bio-fuels while 17.7 million (2007) people are food insecure. (MAAIF, 2010). Promoting climate resilient small scale agriculture, investing in transportation and agricultural infrastructures, promoting sustainable natural resource management, investing in agricultural research and technology, and collaborating with international donors help boost individual income, export earning, production output, food supply and also help eradicate poverty. The government of Uganda should also improve its bad image and record on human rights protection, political freedom, corruption and bureaucracy. Encouraging civil society organizations (CSOs) and development organizations that work at the grassroots level, and creating an accountable and transparent government system from top to village level will help achieve the DSIP and CAADP goals.


NEPAD-CAADP. (2010). Agriculture for food and income security: Agriculture Sector Development Strategy and Investment Plan 2010/11 – 2014/15. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from

World Bank. (2013). Data: Uganda. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from

Joan Akello. (2013). The Independent. IMF: aid cuts good opportunity for Uganda. Retrieved on January 29, 2014 from

AU Summit on Agriculture, Food Security and Post-2015 Prospects


The 22nd African Union (AU) Summit kicked off yesterday at the headquarter of the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. According to the AU’s press release, the central theme of the discussions will be “Transforming Africa’s Agriculture: Harnessing Opportunities for Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Development”. Leaders and representatives participating in the Summit are expected to discuss a various topics including peace and security, gender inequality/gender integration, disaster management, climate change, agriculture and food security. The Summit also considers reports by African leaders and experts. The last two days of the Summit, 30 and 31st January, will feature the 22nd Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU. According to the AU, for the 22nd Summit, the Heads of State and Government will launch the year 2014 as the ‘Year of Agriculture and Food Security’ marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP).

Due to the rapid population increase, the rise in food prices and declining agricultural production, it is imperative that African leaders and representatives attending the Summit press hard to bring about development in the agriculture which employs 65 percent of the continents labor force, contributes 32 percent to the GDP and above of all, serves as a source of income and livelihood millions Bank, 2013). Despite the progresses in the agricultural development and food security,  Africa, as an agrarian continent has long way to go to feed its growing population, eradicate poverty and bring about sustainable development.  Development and investment in agriculture has multiplicative positive impact if coupled with sustainable economic policies, accountable and democratic government, protection of human rights, environmental stewardship, gender integration/women empowerment, engagement of civil society organizations (CSOs) and local capacity building. Despite the strides towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), ending poverty and extreme hunger in Africa will likely to call for another round of development goals which should incorporate experiences of past 14 years in addition to new propositions.

The participation of H.E. Mrs. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of the Republic of Liberia and Co-Chairperson of the High Level Panel on Post-2015 Development is expected to present the position of Africa on the Post 2015 Development Agenda. She is expected to share the findings from High Level Panel with other African leaders.  One of the proposed goals that came out of the Panel’s report is ensuring food security and nutrition. Ensuring food security and nutrition in Africa where the economy of most countries depends on agriculture requires empowering  men and women of the continent  to end their hunger. This can be realized by mobilizing people at the grassroots level to build self-reliance, empowering women as key change agents and forging partnerships with local government (THP, 2014). Moreover, leaders of the continent should incorporate the policy recommendations that come out of this Summit and develop policies that specifically address hunger and hunger related challenges in the foreseeable future. Also is bringing about good governance and establishing institutions that will help eradicate hunger and implement other Post-2015 Agendas with women and men of the continent as the driving forces.


African Union. (2014). Agriculture, Food and Security at the centre of African Union Summit. Retrieved on January 22, 2014 from

The Hunger Project. (2014). Program Overview. Retrieved on January 22, 2014 from

High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda. (2012). A NEW GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP: ERADICATE POVERTY AND TRANSFORM ECONOMIES THROUGH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT. Retrieved on January 22, 2014 from

World Bank. (2014). Fact Sheet: The World Bank and Agriculture in Africa. Retrieved on January 2, 2014 from,,print:Y~is CURL:Y~contentMDK:21935583~pagePK:146736~piPK:146830~theSitePK:258644,00.html

2013 Ending Hunger Top 10

As the MDG deadline approaches and the world debates “bold but practical” post-2015 development goals, what difference did 2013 make? Here are what I’ve seen as the top 10 milestones of 2013 and the important trends they reflect.

Update – January 31, 2014: In our year-end poll, members of our Global Advocacy Team from six countries voted for their top three milestones. There was strong consensus behind the Post-2015 High-Level Panel Report, the Nutrition for Growth Conference and the new World Bank Goals.

1. Post-2015 High-Level Report. In 2012, Ban Ki-moon launched a massively inclusive process to create the post-2015 goals with seemingly impossible mandates: keep them as simple and compelling as the 8 MDGs, but include human rights, good governance and the environment. As a first step, he created a High-Level Panel co-chaired by the British PM and the Indonesian and Liberian presidents – as well as other leaders, scholars and a Tunisian women’s rights street activist. Their recommendations published in June fulfilled the mandate and astonished skeptics – 12 clear goals based on five “transformative shifts.” Click here to read more.

wtd2. World Toilet Day. Seriously? Yes. The UN General Assembly approved this November 19 as the first official observance. Lack of safe sanitation has been called “the blind spot” in India’s high rates of malnutrition by none less than Robert Chambers, and data overall shows that hand washing and better access to clean drinking water could cut stunting by 15% worldwide. Click here to read more.

one_billion_rising_handsup3. One Billion Rising. The mass demonstrations in India following a fatal gang rape of a New Delhi medical student went global, culminating in an unprecedented mobilization on V-Day – February 14. In India, laws were changed, fast-track courts were established, yet the struggle to end gender-based violence has a long way to go. Click here to read more.

4. Global Fund Replenishment: In December, the world community committed more than US$12 billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria – a 30% increase over the previous replenishment. This is seen as a critical time, when the possibility of an AIDS-free generation may soon be at hand. The head of UNAIDs pointed to “an end of paternalism” and more authentic partnership as African countries pledged their own funds for the first time. Click here to read more.

5. Nutrition For Growth: In June, British Prime Minister David Cameroon organized a global pledging conference on nutrition. It coincided with the launch of an updated Lancet series on maternal and child nutrition, with new data showing that the role of maternal nutrition is twice as important in eliminating stunting as previously thought. Meetings in Washington launched the second 1000 days of international action in support of improving nutrition in the “1000 Day” window, and more countries joined the SUN – Scaling Up Nutrition movement. Click here to read more.

6. Africa Union (AU) End Hunger Commitments. Former President Lula, who led Brazil’s comprehensive and rapid Zero Hunger campaign, established a new partnership with the FAO and the AU at a High Level meeting in July.  Their declaration calls for an end to hunger in Africa by 2025, and launching new initiatives in a first round of four countries: Angola, Ethiopia, Malawi, and Niger. Click here to read the declaration.

7. Commitments by President Obama, Pope Francis. Not since FDR’s Four Freedom’s speech in 1941 has a US president spoken out as strongly for ending world hunger and poverty in a State of the Union Address, as did President Obama in January. On December 10 – Human Rights Day – Pope Francis launched the Catholic Church’s first-ever global campaign to end world hunger by 2025. Click here and here to read more.

8. Right to Food. The world has long agreed that people have a Right to Food, but there have not been laws to enforce that right until now. After a year of high-level national debate and years of civil society campaigns, this September India passed a Right to Food Act, greatly expanding its subsidized food distribution system. Click here for the AP news story.

9. World Bank Targets and Fragile States. The new World Bank President Jim Kim convinced his board to focus the Bank on two targets for the year 2030: Ending Poverty and Shared Prosperity. He defines “Ending Poverty” as bringing it below 3%, “after which you’re dealing with an entirely different phenomenon.” By Shared Prosperity he means that the bottom 40% in every country will see real income growth. He also intends to transform the World Bank back into being the “Go To Agency” for Fragile States, where the majority of the extreme poor now live. Click here to read more.

10. Halting Child Marriage. High profile debates in Yemen and other countries catalyzed a renewed push to halt child marriage – a particularly tragic form of gender-based violence. In 2012, the UN launched a global campaign on the first official observance of the International Day of the Girl Child – and this year WHO, UNFPA and numerous governments and civil society initiative joined. Click here to read more.

Biggest Missed Opportunity in 2013

US Food Aid Reform: The US provides food aid very inefficiently – moving US grains long distance on slow-moving but expensive US ships. It could feed at least four million more children per year and empower countless small-scale farmers if it would just send cash and purchase locally-produced food. President Obama pushed for the change; however Congress failed to reform the practice in 2013. Click here.

Top Opportunities to Watch in 2014

Here are some important milestones on the calendar that bear watching:

Civil Society Engagement: Our long-held goal of more meaningful partnership between civil society and government policy makers may become significantly more real in 2014, as funding from USAID and the SUN Movement supports civil society platforms in program countries. Click here and here.

Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals: The next phase of negotiations for the Post-2015 agenda rests with this rotating group of national governments meeting thematically in NYC. Their report is due in 2014. Click here.

G20 in Australia: The voice of the G20 is strong in the Open Working Group meetings, so the 2014 G20 will be particularly important. THP can leverage the participation of Lorena Vazquez in the last two G20 meetings in Mexico and Russia (where the first formal Civil Society “C20” forum was held, and the strength of our mighty Australia team.

Africa Union and Maputo+10. In 2003 in the Maputo Declaration, Africa made a bold declaration to take charge of its own agricultural policy, investing 10% of its budget. Only a few countries have fulfilled that pledge so far, although the NEPAD-CAADP mechanism is now in place and is pushing more countries towards that goal. At its January 2014 Summit, leaders are expected to launch an Africa Year of Agriculture – in some ways consistent with the UN Declaration of 2014 as the International Year of Family Farms. Click here to read more.

Resilience. This is definitely the top buzzword in the food security community as more and more countries are affected by recurrent natural disasters. IFPRI is holding their next 2020 Conference in Addis on May 15-17 entitled “Building Resilience for Food and Nutrition Security.” Click here.

National Elections in India and Bangladesh. India, the country with the largest number of hungry people, will have national elections before May, and Bangladesh is expected to have them in January. Polls currently indicate changes in government may occur, with possible shifts to the right. Click here and here.

Micronutrient Forum. For a decade, the Copenhagen Consensus of top economists have agreed that investing more in overcoming micronutrient deficiencies is the best investment on earth. Despite broad commitment to maternal and child nutrition, the needle has not moved significantly on micronutrient deficiencies. This coming June in Addis, the Micronutrient Forum hopes to bridge the gap between scientific advances and field programs. Click here.

ICN2: The Second International Conference on Nutrition will be held in Rome from November 19-21, 2014 with Heads of State and Government. The meeting will be jointly organized by the FAO and WHO, and will focus on how to address major nutrition challenges. THP attended ICN1 in Rome in 1992. Click here.


Pope Launches End Hunger Campaign

Pope Francis has launched a global campaign of Caritas – the worldwide federation of Catholic service organizations – for the end of world hunger by 2025. To launch the “One Human Family – Food For All” Campaign, the Pope has called for a “Global Wave of Prayer” for the end of hunger at noon on December 10 – Human Rights today, in everyone’s local time. UPDATE: The US site link is here.


Last April, Jouwert van Geene and I had the opportunity to be briefed on the forthcoming campaign by Vatican staff.