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Public institutions

The World Food Summit (WFS) Plan of Action stresses the importance of the role of public institutions in ensuring food security, combating poverty and promoting the development of human and natural resources. It recommends to governments to include in their policies, in collaboration with all civil society actors, the promotion of political, economic and administrative decentralization.

The Sustainable Development Department has been undertaking several normative and operational activities to assist FAO Member Nations to strengthen and restructure their rural public and private institutions through the implementation of decentralization policies and programmes. Guidelines on processes for transferring capacities from sectoral Ministries to local government authorities have been produced to support decentralization and capacity building at the grassroots level. New concepts and training materials for the analysis and restructuring of local public institutions have also been disseminated and their adaptation facilitated.

These activities serve several purposes. They render public and private institutions compatible with their evolving role in a market-oriented economy. They promote decentralization. They also provide local authorities and civil society organizations with the necessary powers and resources to strengthen their capacity to participate, at district and local levels of governance, in defining and implementing rural development policies and programmes, as well as the sustainable management of natural resources.

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