Oficina Regional de la FAO para América Latina y el Caribe

South-South Cooperation (SSC) exchange for improved Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Governance Mechanisms

Ecuador y Perú.
28-08-17 - 08-09-17


In 2010, Kenya adopted its new constitution, with devolved governance and decentralization being the key tenants of the new constitution. Following the 2013 elections, Kenya transited into the devolved governance system and 47 counties with elected assemblies and executives were established, with subsequent transfer of functions and responsibilities.

Given that Kenya’s transition to the devolved system of governance is very recent, there is poor understanding of the working relationships between the national and the county level governments and related stakeholders. Inter-sectoral coordination also remains a key challenge.

In terms of the Agriculture sector, MoALF is currently in the process of formulating its new Agricultural Growth and Transformation Strategy and the associated National Agricultural Investment Plan, expected to be finalized before the end of June 2017. Currently there is inadequate inter-departmental and inter-sectoral coordination at national and county levels and this is hampering the implementation of cross-cutting policies such as the National Food and Nutrition Security (FSN) Policy and Programmes.

The agriculture sector at the national level is characterized by a large number of policies, strategies and legislations. The policies and strategies tend to be mostly generic in nature, take a long time for approval by the cabinet and the parliament, and more often than not are only partially implemented due to lack of proper linkage to the national planning and budgeting process. In addition, it is not clear how the different sectoral policies should be customized at the county level for effective implementation. Some counties have started developing their own policies although such move is inconsistent with the Constitution (which gives the mandate to national government alone).

It is within this context that the MoALF is seeking to learn from the experiences and knowledge from selected countries from Latin America (Ecuador and Peru) that has successfully transition into devolved governance systems. 

Purpose and Expected Outcomes

The purpose of the proposed South-South Cooperation (SSC) exchange is to learn from the best practices, knowledge and lessons learned from these countries on Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) vis-à-vis devolved governance systems.

The lessons learned from the study tours will directly contribute to the following policy and programmatic processes, which is being facilitated by the FAO-EU Food and Nutrition Security Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST):

  1. Strengthen the operations of the Joint Agriculture Sector Steering Committee (JASSCOM) established five (5) months ago;
  2. Provide inputs to the formulation of the new Agricultural Growth and Transformation Strategy and the National Agricultural Investment Plan.

Focus Areas for the Study Tour

Considering the fact that Ecuador’s and Perus’s administrative system at the federal, state and local levels, the study tour will focus on how responsibilities are shared and coordinated under these levels of governance. Some of the main areas of learning are given below but details of the issues to be covered and institutions to be visited will be decided in consultation with the Ministry of Agriculture of Ecuador and Peru and MoALF of Kenya. 

1)    Constitutional mandates: Get a clear picture of the mandates of MOA, State and Local governments of Ecuador and Peru with regard to public services in the food and agricultural sector (specific or concurrent or joint):

  • Design of policy, strategy investment plans and standards
  • Implementation of policies, strategies, plans and standards
  • Inspection, regulation and enforcement
  • Research, and extension and training, etc.

2)    Inter-governmental relations: Understanding the inter-governmental coordination mechanisms and structures of the identified countries, with particular focus on the role of state and local versus federal government in food and agriculture policy/strategy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Specific areas of interest include:

  • Mechanism of coordination and collaboration with national ministry(ies) of planning, finance, agriculture, livestock and fisheries
  • Mechanisms for participation in national planning and finance, agriculture sector strategy and plan and multi-sectoral strategy such as FSN policy/strategy
  • M&E at federal and decentralized levels, including accountability and review mechanisms
  • Information sharing and reporting with national ministries such as agriculture, livestock and fisheries and knowledge management and dissemination platforms

3)    Inter-sectoral coordination of FSN programmes: Understand the inter-sectoral coordination mechanisms (such as food and nutrition security councils, national planning council or inter-ministerial coordination offices) related to FSN policy and programming. Particular areas of interest include: 

  • Location of the inter-sectoral coordination office (office of the President/Prime Minister)
  • Legal Frameworks to
  • Relations between the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture on food and nutrition issues, including food safety and quality standards
  • Mandates and responsibilities of different committees and secretariat of the coordination office

4)      Agricultural policy, strategy and investment plan: Understand the overall processes, features and mechanisms for the formulation of the agricultural policy and strategy. Particular areas of interest include:

  • Mechanisms for linking food and agricultural strategy/plan to national plans and budget –sequences in the formulation of sector and national plans and the approaches in how sector priorities feed into the national plan and budget (treasury).
  • Mechanisms for mainstreaming cross-sectoral policies and commitments into food and agricultural strategy/ plans, including:
    • Food and Nutrition Security Policy
    • Climate Change/environment policy/green economy
    • Other multi-sectoral policies and strategies
    • Regional and global commitments
    • Mechanisms for inclusive policy design and implementation, particularly the role and participation of state and local governments as well as different stakeholders (farmer organizations, private sector, gender and youth)
    • Processes and mechanisms for cascading or domesticating national agricultural strategy/ policy to state and local levels
    • Role of federal, state and local governments in coordinating institutions engaged in capacity development for evidence-based planning, implementation and M&E
    • Experience in preparing monitoring and progress reports (annual) as well as mid-term and ex-post evaluation reports at national, state and local levels of government

5)    Management of specialized agencies/ parastatals:  There are several agencies/ parastatals providing various services, ranging from regulatory and inspection to knowledge and information. Through the study tour, MoALF seeks to better understand the management of agencies/parastatals and selected programmes within the food and agriculture, in particular the coordination among the different agencies, and the role of the national vs state and local governments in Ecuador and Peru. 

Proposed Dates for the South-South Cooperation (SSC) exchange between Kenya and Ecuador and Peru

A team of eight senior officials of MoALF and the County Governments (COG), FAO and Youth in Agriculture representative will visit Ecuador between 28th August and 1st September. The same team will also visit Peru from 2nd September to 9th September.

Support requested from FAO

  • Facilitate the SSC Exchange with the identified five countries, through the respective FAO Country Offices. In particular, requesting support in the identification of the key national stakeholders for the meetings and making the necessary in-country arrangements (FAO Kenya will cover the costs) for the study tour.
  • MoALF will provide any necessary support through its Embassies if required.