A STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR FAO
This document contains the second draft of a proposed Strategic Framework to guide the work of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in the medium and longer term. It is a revision of Version 1.0, modified on the basis of the reactions and guidance of Programme and Finance Committees and Council, as well as those comments from sister organizations in the United Nations system and other partners outside the system which had been received by the Secretariat by mid-December 1998.
A structured process of consultations, between September 1998 and September 1999, foresees the preparation of successive versions of the document, prior to its submission for discussion and adoption by the FAO Conference in November 1999 as the Strategic Framework for FAO for the years 2000-2015 (see also Annex I). This document therefore constitutes only the second step in what must be an iterative and interactive process, involving the full membership of FAO, and drawing on the wealth of knowledge and vision which its partners may offer.
Version 1.0 was discussed by the Programme and Finance Committees at their autumn sessions and subsequently by the Council at its 115th session in November 1998. On the recommendation of the Committees, the Council also received an information document containing supplementary background material on the rationale behind the Secretariat's proposals. draft statements of mission, values and vision, and updated results on responses to the questionnaire sent to Members in June 1998.
On the basis of the reports of the Committees, the additional information provided and its own consideration of the document, the Council "welcomed the progress made so far and considered that Version 1.0 provided a good basis for discussion at this stage." It recognized the wide range of expectations as to the scope and contents of future versions, which it would be particularly challenging to reconcile. Nevertheless, it agreed on "the desirability of a more concise and less descriptive document to facilitate further discussions", but pointed out that "ways would need to be found to present sufficient supporting material to meet the diverse interests of Members." In this connection, the Council made a number of specific comments and suggestions in its report.
The Council also recalled that the Strategic Framework was an essential element in the new programme planning process, and that it would be further developed through six-year, rolling Medium-Term Plans and biennial Programmes of Work and Budget. In concluding, the Council urged the Secretariat to seek ways to capture the essence of its proposals in Version 2.0 of the document, to be made available for discussion by the Technical Committees of FAO in the first months of 1999.
The Secretariat has endeavoured to accommodate, to the greatest extent possible, the recommendations and suggestions of the Council and the Programme and Finance Committees, and has also taken into account those views and comments from partner organizations which had been received by the time of finalization of Version 2.0. Accordingly, Version 2.0 has the following structure:
Part I recalls the mandate, purpose and values of FAO, and the goals of Members to which FAO is expected to contribute. It then presents, for consideration, statements of mission and vision for the Organization.
The first section of Part II proposes five major corporate strategies, to address Members' needs in the medium to long term, defining within each area two or three strategic objectives. On the basis of guidance received, further details have been added on the elements of the interdisciplinary strategies contributing to each objective. The second section of Part II identifies major strategic issues of a cross-organizational nature, and indicates the steps underway or proposed to respond to them. Version 1.0 had five such strategies; a sixth has now been added on the basis of various suggestions made during the discussions.
Annex I shows the sequence of events leading to the approval and publication of the Strategic Framework.
Annex II looks at trends in the external environment and the challenges facing countries and the international community in achieving the objectives of the World Food Summit and the outlook for agriculture, forestry and fisheries development. It then summarizes the results of the Secretariat's analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT), the results of the questionnaire to Members, and the rationale underlying the proposals for corporate strategies. It concludes with notes on the question of criteria for priority setting. Much of this material was presented in the body of Version 1.0, and in response to the Council's suggestion it has been moved to the annex to make Version 2.0 more concise and less descriptive.
Annex III contains an abridged version of the Secretariat's analysis of external partnerships, with examples presented in tabular form to illustrate the detailed work carried out in the process of formulating the corporate strategies.
The material in the annexes represents a summary of voluminous internal working papers prepared by the Secretariat during 1998. It is presented to facilitate consideration by the Technical Committees of the proposals in the document, but it is not envisaged that it constitute part of the Strategic Framework which will eventually be submitted to the Conference.
The document is submitted in accordance with Conference Resolution 6/97, reproduced below:
Strengthening the FAO 2000 Project
Reaffirming the commitment in the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Plan of Action to reduce the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015,
Welcoming the proposals by the Director-General to strengthen
the strategic management of FAO, especially the formulation of a long-term
Strategic Framework and consequently modified Medium-Term Plan and Programme
of Work and Budget (the FAO 2000 project):
(Adopted on 18 November 1997)
Box 1. Action on Version 2.0
The present document, Version 2.0, constitutes the first revision of the draft Strategic Framework, and is submitted for the views and comments of FAO's Technical Committees, as well as FAO's external partners. Reactions to Version 2.0 will be drawn upon to produce a further revision, to be presented as Version 3.0, for the consideration of the Council in mid-1999.
Sequence of Events Leading to the Approval and Publication of a
Strategic Framework for FAO 2000-2015
Background Analysis and Rationale for Proposals
Analysis of External Partnerships
1. The fundamental purpose for which FAO was created in 1945 is set out in the Preamble to the FAO Constitution (Box 2). The 1995 "Quebec Declaration", adopted by the Ministerial Meeting convened on the occasion of the Organization's Fiftieth Anniversary and subsequently approved by the FAO Conference, reaffirmed Members' dedication to the principles on which the Organization was founded and their political support to the Organization as it carries out "its mission to help build a world where all people can live with dignity, confident of food security".
2. FAO's field of action touches upon the most basic of human needs and rights, that of access to adequate food, as well as on a crucial sector of the world economy-agriculture, forestry and fisheries. Certain fundamental values underlie the Constitution which Members accept on joining the Organization, and which are enunciated in the Oath of Office by which the staff of the Secretariat is bound:
3. In 1996 the World Food Summit, the first global gathering of leaders at the highest political level to focus solely on food security, renewed the commitment of the world community to achieving the goal of ensuring food for all. The series of world conferences and summits convened in the Nineties has generated a broad-based international consensus on development which constitutes a common response by the global community to the situation at the end of the Twentieth Century. Coming towards the end of the series, the World Food Summit built on agreements reached in those fora and added the essential dimension of food security to the broad agenda for action in the Twenty-first.
4. A common thread which runs through the declarations and action plans adopted by the global conferences is that of national responsibility and international solidarity. The goals defined are goals which only states can achieve, but the multilateral institutions, each within its own mandate and sphere of competence, are called upon to assist and support them in that effort.
5. It is therefore important to identify, in the first instance, those goals of Members which FAO will contribute to achieving. Following a study of the Basic Texts of FAO and the various texts agreed by conferences, three goals have been hypothesised:
6. Related to the question of Members' goals is that of the goals of FAO as an institution. As is clear from Article I of the Constitution (Box 2) the Organization's functions make it primarily a provider of services, and its goals are inextricably linked to those of the Members it serves. It is useful, in the context of these goals, to define the Organization's mission and vision.
7. In fulfilment of the purpose for which the Organization was established (Preamble to the FAO Constitution) and in full respect of its mandate (Article 1 of the Constitution), FAO's mission is to promote separate and collective action by its Members to:
Box 2. FAO's Constitution
The Preamble states:
"The Nations accepting this Constitution, being determined to promote the common welfare by furthering separate and collective action on their part for the purpose of:
hereby establish the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, hereinafter referred to as the "Organization" through which the Members will report to one another on the measures taken and the progress achieved in the field of action set forth above."
Article I defines the mandate of FAO as follows:
"1. The Organization shall collect, analyse, interpret and disseminate information relating to nutrition, food and agriculture. In this Constitution, the term "agriculture" and its derivatives include fisheries, marine products, forestry and primary forestry products.
2. The Organization shall promote and, where appropriate, shall recommend national and international action with respect to:
3. It shall also be the function of the Organization:
8. Aiming always to remain fully responsive to the ideals and requirements of its Members, the Organization:
9. This section of the document proposes five corporate strategies under which nest twelve inter-disciplinary strategic objectives. Their origins lie in both the Global Goals of Members and in the classification and consolidation of the detailed proposals for strategies which had been developed by the technical departments and regional offices in response to the Global Goals.
10. The basic principles underlying the approach taken in formulating these corporate strategies and related strategic objectives were:
11. It has not been possible to incorporate the very detailed analysis of the partnerships envisaged as part of the response to each strategic objective, but a table giving more information on partnerships is contained in Annex III. While substantial work has been carried out in the identification of indicators, it has become increasingly clear that they will be more realistic at the level of the Medium-Term Plan in which projects with more specific time-bound objectives will be defined.
12. If the global target set by the World Food Summit is to be met by no later than 2015, special efforts will have to be made by, and on behalf of, those countries where the problems are greatest. Generally, these are countries with a high incidence of chronic undernutrition, but they also include countries vulnerable to or suffering the effects of disasters and humanitarian crises, which are important causes of food insecurity.
13. The strategy involves targeted efforts to assist such countries, with the aim of making a significant contribution to countering several of the most preoccupying trends arising from the analysis of the external environment-the persistence of poverty, the widening of the gap between the affluent and the poor, the concern that there will be continued or even exacerbated inequality among countries in access to the benefits of economic and technological progress, and the continued risk of disaster-related and complex emergencies.
14. Approaches to rural development need to take into account the interactions between agriculture, fisheries and forestry and other sectors of the economy in income and employment generation and hence of the advantage of promoting pluriactivity among poor rural families in the pursuit of sustainable livelihoods. As recognized by the WFS Plan of Action, the promotion of equitable access to resources, in particular by gender, is a sine qua non for the success of such efforts. Critical to the attainment of better rural living standards will be investment in improved access to food, water and power supplies, as well as education and health services.
15. In approaching this objective, FAO's programmes in agriculture, fisheries and forestry will give emphasis to:
16. Strategy elements include:
17. A fully inter-disciplinary approach will require a contribution from all departments and decentralized units, ensuring that advice on policy and investment builds on the normative work of the technical departments and draws on their skills. External partnerships will be crucial, and on each issue FAO will need to determine the nature of its own contribution in the light of work underway or planned by others. The long-standing cooperation with the World Bank, Regional Banks and IFAD will be deepened with the aim of increasing ODA flows in support of food security. Certain other UN organizations (notably WFP, WHO, ILO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UNIFEM) have a major role, as do the CGIAR system, academic and national research institutions, specialized NGOs, farmers', rural peoples', women's and youth organizations and the private sector.
18. While poverty eradication should eventually result in food security for all, there are compelling reasons for promoting more direct attacks on the problem of undernutrition. Adequate nutrition alone, by improving health, can contribute significantly to poverty reduction, and conversely, lack of food prevents individuals from moving out of poverty. If the WFS target is to be met there is an immediate need for countries to adopt special measures directed to the particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged (e.g. the chronically undernourished in urban and rural areas, the rural poor and producers in marginal areas) to ensure that they do not to pass their entire lives underfed and bypassed by the development process.
19. The challenge for the countries with large segments of their population falling into this group, and for FAO in its efforts to assist them, is to address this need in an era of diminished state intervention and to obtain, allocate and administer resources for "safety nets" and targeted programmes in both urban and rural (particularly resource-poor) areas.
20. Strategy elements include:
21. The major involvement would be from ES and SD, with inputs as necessary from AG, FI, FO and TC. However, this service goal contains the basis for greatly strengthened cooperation and joint work between FAO and the other Rome-based food agencies--IFAD, with its major focus on rural poverty eradication, and WFP for multilateral support to food assistance programmes which complement longer-term development efforts. Continued promotion of follow-up to the International Conference on Nutrition (ICN), and partnership with WHO and UNICEF in particular, will be equally crucial. As for A.1 above, other UN organizations and the international financing institutions, academic and research institutions, parliamentary associations, NGOs and some elements of the private sector may join in targeted efforts.
22. FAO can help to increase the resilience of countries, populations and communities and their capacity to cope with the actual and potential impacts of natural disasters and complex emergencies. Timely forecasting and early warning through combination of advanced satellite and more traditional approaches is required to alert countries and the international community to impending and actual emergencies. Moreover, once a calamity has occurred, countries generally need assistance as early as possible to restore their production capacity. FAO is well-placed within the UN system to help countries identify "exit strategies" drawing on the potential of the agriculture sector to contribute to restoring livelihoods in a sustainable manner.
23. The focus of efforts is likely to continue to be on FAO's capacity in early warning (GIEWS), relief and rehabilitation in the area of food and agriculture, and on the Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (EMPRES). There are also components for the fisheries and forestry sectors.
24. Strategy elements include:
25. Internal partnerships are the key to ensuring an inter-disciplinary approach, as well as solid technical foundations for the assistance provided. External partners are numerous and vary depending on the activity. For early warning and food needs assessment, links with WFP, bilateral agency and NGO systems are crucial; for emergency prevention and preparedness, links with UNDRO/IDNDR, UNEP and ICLARM. Emergency response and rehabilitation is carried out within the overall UN system framework, guided by UN/OCHA, in close cooperation with the ICRC and major NGOs, while funding partners include multilateral, bilateral and non-governmental organizations.
26. International and domestic policy and regulatory frameworks for the food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors assume ever more crucial importance in an increasingly inter-dependent and globalized world economy. The strategy thus reposes on the foundation of the Organization's long-established work in this area, within its own mandate and in cooperation with other organizations, and recognizes also the growing demand by individual countries for assistance in developing their domestic policy, regulatory and standard-setting capacities.
27. There is an increasing need to improve the international regulatory framework for food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry so that:
28. Strategy elements include:
29. Providing a forum for and facilitating the negotiation of international agreements and standards involves a multidisciplinary effort by technical, economic and legal units. External partners would include the WTO, organizations in the UN system and outside, including technical, and trade related agencies, as well as relevant NGOs and academic institutions.
30. Growing competition for natural resources, and in particular land and water resources, together with privatisation, will place increasing demands on the regulatory functions of national governments. These functions must be exercised in a full understanding of the requirements of relevant international agreements or norms. FAO possesses a unique capability in the UN system for advising Members on the implications of the international regulatory framework for national policies and legislation on food, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and for delivering technical assistance on the formulation of such policies and legislation.
31. The service offered by FAO in this area will clearly be of more importance to developing countries. Key contributions will be advice and capacity-building for the development of sound national policies, legislation and institutional mechanisms that respond to national needs and the requirements of the international regulatory framework.
32. Strategy elements include:
33. Advice on national policies and legislation must be multidisciplinary, involving technical, economic and legal units. External partners include financing agencies, WTO and GEF as well as other technical, trade related and training agencies, regional groupings, and relevant NGOs and academic institutions. FAO will also continue to work closely with UN system partners in the ACC Subcommittee on Water Resources, and with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).
34. Ensuring the required increases in supply and availability of food to meet the needs and changing requirements of growing and increasingly urbanized populations implies that the demands on the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors will change, and requires that countries make the appropriate strategic choices. At the same time, action to close the gap between yields obtained in research stations and those obtained in farmers' fields, identify appropriate agricultural practices and remove constraints to their application could make a major and immediate difference not only to supply and availability of food but also to producers' incomes.
35. The primary thrusts of this strategy are on: enhancing policy and institutional frameworks to guide sectoral development, taking into account changes in the role and functions of the state and the importance of private initiative; and supporting utilization of appropriate technologies and practices for sustainable intensification of production systems.
36. The strategy will involve providing countries with a range of proven and appropriate options, and developing new ones if needed. Particular attention will be given to helping countries develop a policy environment and institutional framework which encourages investment in productive assets and services by farmers, small-scale entrepreneurs and the private sector, and which contributes to the mobilization of domestic resources for agricultural and rural development.
37. The strategy will also address systems management at the level of the production unit, the family, the business and the community in order to bring about greater efficiency and responsiveness to the market. Particular attention will be devoted to mainstreaming the role of women in production, processing and marketing systems.
38. Strategy elements include:
39. Internal partnerships between FAO technical units and decentralized multi-disciplinary teams will be essential. At the national level a coordinated response from UN system organizations is essential, and dialogue will be fostered on aspects such as decentralisation and local area management. FAO will seek to provide the sectoral perspective, including in forestry and fisheries, to the macro policy work of the Bretton Woods institutions. For policy choices and decision tools, FAO will join forces with the CGIAR, academic and research institutions, NGOs and farmers' associations. The international private sector may have interest in joint initiatives for local-level infrastructure and agri-business development.
40. The strategy will address sustainable, intensified and diversified production systems. It will include concerted action to increase productivity and reduce the gap between actual and potential yields at farm level, as well as measures to increase farmers' net income. FAO's role is seen as primarily that of synthesiser and disseminator of technologies, approaches and decision support tools, as well as being a proponent of particularly successful solutions.
41. Work will include attention to integration of crops, livestock and trees in sustainable production systems and to best practices and participatory approaches in integrated production and pest management.
42. Strategy elements include:
43. FAO technical units and multi-disciplinary teams will primarily synthesise and transfer information, with clear value added, working with academia, the CGIAR and national research systems and other development agencies. CSOs are active partners in testing approaches locally. FAO will seek support from traditional funding sources as well as through innovative modalities such as South-South cooperation within the SPFS.
44. The major challenge which this strategy addresses is safeguarding the sustainability of the world's food production systems. While there is a logical, and fully justified link between this work and that envisaged under Strategy C, they have been formulated as separate strategies in order to give appropriate recognition and weight to the twin necessities of producing and ensuring availability of enough food for the present (Strategy C), and of conserving the resources on which future generations will depend (Strategy D).
45. Improved management of natural resources is essential to developing a rational response to the continued degradation of and competition for agricultural, forestry and fisheries resources, including their genetic diversity. The strategy will involve identification and promotion of economically viable and environmentally sustainable, socially and culturally appropriate integrated resource management systems, in order to ensure efficient and safe use and, where necessary, protection of the resources, of the genetic base and the environment. This will require attention to the incorporation of land tenure, population and gender issues, and to enhancement of national agricultural research, knowledge and information systems.
46. Strategy elements include:
47. All FAO units dealing with natural resources management will aim at integrated approaches. External partners include: IFIs, GEF, UNDP, UNESCO, UNEP, UNFPA, for funding support, information dissemination, joint work in awareness building and identification of solutions; the private sector, NGOs, farmers' and other civil society organizations for specific initiatives; scientific institutions and the CGIAR, in particular TAC and NARS Secretariats for research.
48. There is an urgent need in many countries, particularly in developing countries, to address resource and environmental issues in a way which minimises the adverse effects and rising costs of resource degradation. In so doing, a balance needs to be sought between immediate human needs for food and livelihoods and the imperative of preserving the resource base for future generations.
49. The strategy would involve providing assistance to member countries who request it:
Particular emphasis would be placed on the facilitation of cross-sectoral linkages between relevant ministries and advanced research institutions, universities, NGOs, extension services, the private sector and farmers' organizations.
50. Strategy elements include:
51. Sectoral/sub-sectoral policy harmonisation and strengthened collaborative mechanisms are essential to developing successful holistic policies for sustainable resource management. As a result, partnerships both inside and outside FAO are of crucial importance. External partners are essentially the same as for D1. There are a few additional ones that have developed a special expertise focussed on policy, information and analysis work and they include in particular: WHO, ILO and the CGIAR (as well as WB and other centres of international expertise or national such as USDA).
52. This work area derives its legitimacy first and foremost from the Basic Texts, specifically Article I of the Constitution. Moreover, the adoption of the Plan of Action of the World Food Summit, and the assignment of responsibility to FAO's Committee on World Food Security for the monitoring of progress in its implementation, add further to the Organization's responsibility for global monitoring and assessment of all aspects of food and agriculture and of progress towards achieving food security for all.
53. A common purpose is to ensure that Members and civil society have access to and the capacity to utilise data for informed decision making, policy development and effective monitoring of policy implementation. There is an emphasis on seeing data in cross-sectoral terms where considerable value is added by the juxtaposition of information from different disciplines.
54. The strategy would include the following elements:
55. This requires full cooperation between all technical departments along with strong support from AFI in providing the state-of-the-art IT infrastructure and from GII and GIL in providing the communication and public information know-how to ensure that outputs are effectively delivered to clients. External partnerships primarily in the area of information sharing will also be broad, including with IFIs, other UN Organizations, CGIAR institutions, NGOs and regional bodies. FAO's role in establishment of statistical and data standard, norms and methodologies will be supportive to those of the UN Statistical Division. Financial support will be sought from potential donors to improve national capacities to improve data completeness and accuracy.
56. This important strategic objective for FAO as a provider of global assessments and analyses includes major outputs such as Agriculture Towards 2015, the State of Food and Agriculture, the State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture and the State of the World's Forests, as well as many other publications. It covers the need to address a broad range of issues, including:
57. In addressing these areas, emphasis will be given to the need to identify and draw the attention of the international community to emerging issues requiring action. Dissemination of FAO assessments needs to be supported by professional expertise in publicising the issues to stimulate awareness and action by the international community.
58. Strategy elements include:
59. Internal partnerships are critical to make assessments and analyses comprehensive. External partnerships are numerous, as FAO analytical work depends upon data and assessments from a wide variety of sources, including the IFIs, other UN organizations or specialist organizations and academic institutions. FAO takes a leadership role in the assessment of data falling within its mandates but relies on others for inputs in areas such as scientific developments.
60. The World Food Summit's conclusions cover the range of "coordinated efforts and shared responsibilities" essential to attain its objectives, and assign to the Committee on World Food Security (CFS) responsibility for monitoring implementation of the Plan of Action. FAO provides the secretariat for the CFS and therefore has a major responsibility to collect and analyse information from all sources to facilitate the Committee's monitoring task.
61. Assistance to countries to follow up global conferences and summits is provided within a UN system-wide framework, and in addition to co-operating in this broader exercise, the major thrust of FAO's action, in cooperation with IFAD and WFP, will be to optimise the synergy between UN partners in follow up the World Food Summit. The strategy will build on these interrelated efforts also to raise awareness of food security issues in both governments and civil society.
62. Strategy elements include:
63. All FAO units are mobilised in support of the WFS Plan of Action. External partnerships mirror those established for Summit preparations, with the addition of those involved in new initiatives such as FIVIMS and the ACC Network. Work with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR), and with non-UN partners such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and other organizations with a particular contribution to make in Summit follow-up will also be pursued. The focus of FAO's efforts will be to try to engage the entire international community in the process of translating the Summit undertakings into reality. In this connection, FAO will also continue to participate actively in sessions of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), which is charged with monitoring implementation of the outcomes of recent global conferences and summits.
64. In addition to the substantive strategies to provide services to Members, several cross-organizational issues also require attention. This section contains a synthesis of these issues and proposes strategies for dealing with them. Such strategies will relate to the implementation of all of FAO's programmes, and consequently also to the achievement of the strategic objectives covered in the preceding section.
65. At a time of decreasing resources for multilateral organizations and shrinking ODA flows, coupled with the presence of many institutions working in areas touching on FAO's mandate, the Organization runs the risk of not being seen as the unique source of information, advice and assistance, and hence not always being perceived as the most authoritative.
66. On the other hand, FAO is in a unique position to build on its existing strengths including the wide range of disciplines under a single roof, fifty years of accumulated experience, its presence in many countries, its well-recognized and widely accepted independence and its world wide coverage.
67. It is therefore essential to choose those areas in which FAO expects to be able to maintain technical leadership and ensure the required action to enhance the capacity for excellence. Among the criteria suggested for choosing such areas would be that the issue is within FAO's mandate and capacity, that it has transboundary implications and the potential for agreements to support international action, that there is a clear and growing demand for work on it and that FAO has a clear competitive edge in dealing with it, due to its unique character and strengths.
68. A corollary is that wherever FAO is not the "lead" player, its activities need to be planned in the light of others' work, to minimise overlap and promote synergy. In both cases, partnerships and alliances, based on clear divisions of labour, must be strengthened.
69. The proposed strategy to enhance FAO's capacity for excellence is to:
70. Inter-disciplinary approaches are clear pre-requisites to successful and sustainable agricultural and rural development. In fact, the review of "successful" activities undertaken by the technical departments often revealed activities with a strong inter-disciplinary approach and, in several cases, attributed their success to that fact (e.g. AT 2010). This presents two fundamental challenges for the Organization:
71. This issue also has to be seen in the broader UN system context, as FAO is itself a sectoral agency which needs to ensure that its development efforts are a part of the broader inter-sectoral effort of the UN (see also section on Broadening Partnerships and Alliances).
72. The proposed strategy is to:
73. FAO is first and foremost a member of the United Nations family of organizations, and the partnerships which derive from this status, and which constitute an important comparative advantage, need to be broadened and strengthened, taking into full account the ongoing process of UN Reform. At the same time, the changing global context requires that further partnerships or strategic alliances must be developed with important actors, both state and non-state, outside the UN system, in order to ensure complementarity, reduced fragmentation of action, greater leverage on policy issues and cost savings.
74. FAO will need to maintain its proactive role in ensuring a coherent UN system approach to implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, as well as continuing and strengthening its contribution to the follow-up of other major conferences and participating in other system-wide initiatives. Special attention also needs to be paid to further strengthening the links, and potential for synergy, among the Rome-based organizations--FAO, WFP, IFAD and IPGRI.
75. Account must also be taken of the significant changes which have taken place or will occur in the respective roles and responsibilities of the state, the market and civil society. FAO needs to build constructive and effective relations and partnerships with non-state actors, based on its own and their comparative advantages. This will also permit more effective focus on the particular issues of relevance to women and youth.
76. The elements of the strategy of strengthening partnerships within the UN system will be to:
77. The strategy aimed at broadening partnerships with civil society and non-governmental organizations will be to:
78. The strategy for the private sector will be to:
79. FAO needs to provide cost-effective and responsive services in a more competitive environment, if it is not to be marginalized by private sector and non-governmental service providers which may not have an equivalent breadth and depth of technical expertise, but which are capable of moving with greater speed and flexibility. The internal analysis identified a number of areas where further improvement could be made in various aspects of the management processes. In all cases, work is already underway to respond to these aspects but, for completeness, this issue is addressed below. Two key areas have been identified: human resource management and systems support to the management process.
80. Human resources are the essence of any service institution. In the case of FAO they make up 84.5% of the Regular Budget including staff (68.4%) and Other Human Resources (16.1%). The fundamental challenge is to optimise the planning, recruitment/acquisition, management and development of these resources, in order to attract and retain staff of the calibre required to ensure its continued functioning as a centre of excellence. During the coming 15 years, staff turnover of 70% is projected, providing an opportunity to ensure that the Organization acquires and/or strengthens the skills and competencies required to face the challenges of the future.
81. In seeking solutions to immediate problems and establishing the basis for addressing the longer-term questions, FAO needs to keep in mind the principles on which the International Civil Service was founded when the UN Charter was signed. Moreover, it must continue to pursue the achievement of equitable geographical distribution, in line with its Basic Texts. Expansion of cooperation with other organizations applying the UN Common System of Salaries and Allowances, already very strong, would be an invaluable adjunct and support, particularly as part of measures to permit career development within the International Civil Service.
82. Finally, it is committed, in the words of the recent ACC statement on Gender Equality and Mainstreaming in the work of the United Nations system, to ensuring that "the institutional culture is both gender-sensitive and gender-responsive, and that ...staff policies, programme budgets and resource allocations reflect (its) commitment to gender equality goals".
83. Most of the elements of the following strategy are effectively in the process of being implemented.
84. Under human resources management, to:
85. Under systems support to the management process, to:
86. FAO's capacity to perform its mission is conditioned by tightening availability of resources, both of core funds for the Regular Programme of Work and of extra-budgetary contributions for technical cooperation. What is not clear is the future trend for resources. Will the pendulum swing back in favour of the multilateral international organizations as governments and the public at large appreciate the unique services provided by these institutions?
87. Should resources continue to stagnate, the consequence will be an increased gap between the expectations generated by the mandate and the capacity of the institution to fulfil them.
88. The proposed strategy is to increase the leverage of resources in support of FAO's mandated functions through efficient and effective programme management; effective targeting of its work to the FAO priority areas of interest to donors and consolidation and expansion of funding sources.
89. In developing the strategy, the emphasis is on expanding the total resources applied to the programmes espoused by the Organization and not necessarily on the amount of resources managed by FAO. In this regard, a key aspect will be mobilising domestic and external resources for the agricultural and rural sector, including preparation of investment programmes and projects associating all stakeholders at national and international level, so as to ensure proper follow-up in terms of local commitment and financing by major multilateral donors.
Programme design, efficiency and effectiveness
90. In the case of the Regular Programme of Work, the approach is to improve programme management so that Governments are convinced of the validity of FAO's activities and focus (see section on Enhancing Inter-disciplinarity).
91. For technical assistance and investment programmes, the concentration will be on sound formulation, efficiency and timeliness and will involve:
Targeting of programmes
92. For the Regular Programme, targeting is inherently achieved through the strategic and medium-term planning processes. However, donors should be positively encouraged to support activities of the Regular Programme so as to increase the total level of resources made available to satisfy the performance of the normative functions implied by FAO's mandate while avoiding undue influence of such donors on the resulting normative outputs.
93. For the field programme, the priorities should be ensuring sound programme and project formulation and supporting FAO pilot programmes aimed at testing and proving FAO normative hypotheses. In order to ensure the maximum effect of FAO's field activities, as well as much of its normative work, the Organization's investment promotion and preparation function should continue to be strengthened. FAO is unique among UN organizations in having a strong and well-proven investment follow-up mechanism. This should be fully exploited to ensure the widest possible impact of the Organization's work in member developing countries. Besides increasing the mobilization of multilateral funds from official sources such as the IFIs for agricultural and rural development and, in particular for food security, efforts should be reinforced to influence the flow of national public funds, as well as international and domestic private funds and savings into rural sector investments.
Consolidation and expansion of funding sources
94. Besides the current range of instruments to reach out to the traditional donor community, FAO will:
95. FAO recognises that communications must be regarded as an integral part of its substantive programmes. Even in times of budgetary stringency, it is necessary to invest in the process of influencing public opinion, as the Organization cannot rely on the influence of a knowledgeable few to sell the added value of the Organization to others. FAO's ability to secure the necessary support to fulfil its mandate depends upon the quality and effectiveness of its communications in countering misperceptions, building understanding and support and informing key audiences, including policy and decision-makers, of the unique services it offers to the international community at large.
96. FAO needs to communicate general messages related to its overall mandate, as well as specific messages directed towards particular audiences or related to the priorities of the Organization. Delivering these messages effectively involves dialogue and a genuine exchange of information and views both within the Secretariat and with FAO's constituency and key interlocutors such as the media, NGOs and national and community leaders.
97. The Organization now has a Corporate Communication Policy and Strategy, introduced in 1998, which provides the basis for strengthening of a participatory process of communication planning, and implementation through a flexible, focused and professional public information operation.
98. The strategy will involve:
ACC Administrative Committee on Coordination
AF Administration and Finance Department (FAO)
AFI Information Systems and Technology Division (FAO)
AG Agriculture Department (FAO)
CCA Common Country Assessment
CFS Committee on World Food Security (FAO)
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CSO Civil Society Organization
ECOSOC United Nations Economic and Social Council
EMPRES Emergency Prevention System for Transboundary Animal and Plant Pests and Diseases (FAO)
ES Economic and Social Department (FAO)
FAOR FAO Representative
FDI Foreign Direct Investment
FI Fisheries Department (FAO)
FIVIMS Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information Mapping System
FO Forestry Department (FAO)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GI General Affairs and Information Department (FAO)
GIEWS Global Information and Early Warning System (FAO)
GII Information Division (FAO)
GIL Library and Documentation Systems Division (FAO)
IAEG Impact Assessment and Evaluation Group
ICLARM International Centre for Living Aquatic Resources Management
ICN International Conference on Nutrition
ICRC International Committee for the Red Cross
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IFI International Financing Institution
ILO International Labour Office
IMF International Monetary Fund
IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute
IPGRI International Plant Genetic Resources Institute
IPU Inter-Parliamentary Union
NARS National Agricultural Research System
NGO Non-Governmental Organization
ODA Official Development Assistance
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
SD Sustainable Development Department (FAO)
SPFS Special Programme for Food Security (FAO)
TAC Technical Advisory Committee (CGIAR)
TC Technical Cooperation Department (FAO)
TCA Policy Assistance Division (FAO)
TCO Field Operations Division (FAO)
UNCED United Nations Conference on Environment and Development
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDAFs United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNHCHR United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNIFEM United Nations Development Fund for Women
UN/OCHA United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance
USDA United States Department of Agriculture
UTF Unilateral Trust Fund
WAICENT World Agriculture Information Centre (FAO)
WB World Bank
WFP World Food Programme
WFS World Food Summit
WHO World Health Organization
WTO World Trade Organization
Sequence of Events Leading to the Approval and Publication of ANNEX I
A STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR FAO 2000-2015
|Preparation of a Draft Strategic Framework||Secretariat||Jan-July 1998|
|Report on Progress||Secretariat and PC/FC||April 1998 for PC/FC May 1998|
|Issuance of Questionnaire to Member Nations on Strategic Priorities||Secretariat||June 1998|
|Completion and return of Questionnaire||Member Nations||Early July 1998|
|Analysis of Questionnaire and incorporation of results||Secretariat||July 1998|
|First Draft Strategic Framework (Version 1.0)||Secretariat and PC/FC||July 1998 for PC/FC Sep 1998|
|Consultation with other partners ( e.g. UN system, IFIs, CGIAR, NGOs, Civil Society, etc.)||Secretariat and Partners||July 1998 to
|Consider the Draft Strategic Framework (Version 1.0) and the Reports of the PC and FC||Council||Nov 1998|
|Amend Strategic Framework to reflect outcome of the Council and consultations with partners||Secretariat||Dec 1998|
|Draft Strategic Framework (Version1.0) to CCP for consultation||CCP||Jan 1999|
|Revised Draft Strategic Framework (Versions 1.0 and 2.0) to COAG for consultation||COAG||Jan 1999|
|Revised Draft Strategic Framework (Versions 1.0 and 2.0) to COFI for consultation||COFI||Feb 1999|
|Revised Draft Strategic Framework (Version 2.0) to COFO for consultation||COFO||Mar 1999|
|Amend Strategic Framework to reflect outcome of Technical Committees||Secretariat||April 1999|
|Revised Strategic Framework (Version 3.0) to PC/FC for consultation||PC/FC||May 1999|
|Consider the Draft Strategic Framework (Version 3.0) and the Reports of the PC and FC||Council||June 1999|
|Final Revision of Draft Strategic Framework (Version 4.0) for submission to CL and Conference for approval||Secretariat||Aug 1999|
|Review by PC/FC||PC/FC||Sept 1999|
|Review by CL (along with PC/FC Reports)||CL||Nov 1999|
|Review and approval by Conference (along with CL and PC/FC Reports)||Conference||Nov 1999|
|Publication of Approved FAO 2000 Strategic Framework (2000-2015) with distribution to members and partners||Secretariat||Jan 2000|
1. In response to the suggestions of the Programme and Finance Committees and the Council, this Annex summarises the analysis carried out by the Secretariat during the first half of 1998 to prepare the first version of the Strategic Framework for FAO 2000-2015, as well as the rationale for the corporate strategies proposed in the document.
2. Much of this material was contained in the body of the text of Version 1.0 or in the supplementary document presented to the Council (CL 115/INF 22). Further information has been added on the results of the internal analysis, and to the extent possible comments and views of Members and of external partners consulted on the basis of Version 1.0 of the Strategic Framework have been taken into account.
3. As part of the process of identifying major trends which would need to be taken into account by the Organization in defining its Strategic Framework, the Secretariat reviewed, more specifically, the global perspectives for food security towards 2015. FAO is currently in the process of taking a fresh look at the long-term assessment of its Agriculture: Towards 2010 (AT2010) study, mainly in order to better evaluate the prospects for progress towards the World Food Summit (WFS) target. For this reason, the time horizon of the analysis is being extended to 2015. It is too early to report in detail on this new assessment, but preliminary findings suggest that the broad dimensions of the major food and agriculture variables would not be very different from those depicted in AT2010 and in the technical documentation prepared for the WFS.
Primacy of policy reforms
4. In spite of unprecedented progress in technical and economic potential, the close of this century witnesses a continuing slowdown in the growth of world agricultural production while hundreds of millions of people, in particular children, continue to be chronically hungry and malnourished. The coincidence-incidence of these two tendencies does not, in any way, reflect a lack of capacity of the world as a whole to produce the additional food required to eliminate undernutrition. Rather, the persistence of hunger is due to development failures. In many low-income countries with high dependence on agriculture, this includes in particular lack of promotion of local food production and rural development. With appropriate policy reforms and institutional adjustments and with due attention to social and gender-based equity, incentives can and should be provided to stimulate innovations and investments towards a sustainable path of agricultural development which would ultimately provide enough food for all. What are the prospects that progress may be made during the next 10 to 15 years?
Further improvements in average food and nutrition indicators
5. Population growth is the main determining factor for growth in aggregate food demand. The absolute annual additions to world population, which peaked at nearly 90 million persons in the second half of the 1980s, are now slowly declining, and are at present about 80 million, over 90 percent of which are in the developing countries. In parallel, the latest World Bank assessment of economic growth prospects indicates some improvement in the overall outlook of the developing countries for the next decade, though with considerable differences between countries. These prospects indicate that further improvements may be expected in the average food and nutrition indicators for the world including the developing countries as a whole, but also that the food insecurity and undernutrition problems will persist (possibly at slightly attenuated levels) in many countries.
Modest declines in the numbers of undernourished
6. Per caput food availability, in the developing countries as a whole, is expected to increase. The incidence of undernutrition in the developing countries may decline in relative terms (as a percentage of population) but, given population growth, if past trends continue there would be only modest declines in the numbers of undernourished from the current level of over 800 million persons. High rates of undernutrition may persist in sub-Saharan Africa, and be somewhat reduced in South Asia. Therefore, the efficiency of policies to address the issue of poverty and promote sustainable livelihoods among the vulnerable groups will be a major determining factor in the fight against undernutrition.
Local production as main source of food in developing countries, but imports also expected to rise
7. To meet the growth in effective (i.e. as expressed in the marketplace) food demand, world agricultural production will have to grow at an annual rate of approximately 1.8 percent. Local production will be by far the main source of the increases in the total food supplies of the developing countries. For many of them, agricultural and rural development is not only essential in generating food supplies, but also to the livelihood of large numbers of rural people.
8. Nevertheless, net food imports of developing countries are expected to continue to grow. Net imports of cereals may grow from the 100 -110 million tons of recent years to more than 160 million tons by 2010 and increase further thereafter. Part of these food imports would have to be supplied as food aid.
9. The rest of the world (mainly the major exporting OECD countries) should face no major constraints in generating these additional exports of cereals (and of livestock products), given that (a) their own demand will grow very slowly in volume, and (b) part of the additional exports to developing countries will probably be offset by strongly declining exports to Eastern Europe and countries of the former USSR. This latter region will probably become a modest net exporter of cereals.
10. The group of developing countries (as currently defined) could in the
longer term turn from being a net exporter of agricultural primary products
into a net importer, with the consequence that they will have to pay for
their food imports partly with earnings from exports of non-agricultural
goods and services and higher value-added agricultural products.
Lower stocks and firmer but more volatile prices
11. Regarding world market prices for agricultural products, and cereals in particular, there are reasons to expect that the secular decline, in real terms, may not continue in the medium term. There will be less downward pressure on prices as the Uruguay Round Agreements are implemented leading to declining structural surpluses and lesser distorting support to agricultural production and trade. There is also an expectation that lower public stock holdings, together with geographical shifts in global stocks, may enhance the risk of higher volatility in world market prices and of reduced availabilities for food aid.
Sustainable intensification as main source of production growth
12. It is expected that about four-fifths of the projected crop production increases in developing countries will come from intensification of agricultural production with two-thirds in the form of higher yields and the remainder as a result of increased cropping intensity (more multiple cropping, shorter fallows), particularly in countries with appropriate agro-ecological environments and little or no potential to expand land in cultivation. Achievement of this yield growth depends on high priority being accorded to investment in primary agriculture and in agricultural research and extension, making a wide range of modern technologies accessible.
13. Some of the environmental and sustainability implications of the foreseen increase and intensification of agriculture are that (a) the limited agricultural land expansion need not be associated with the rapid rates of tropical deforestation observed in the past provided sustainable land use is achieved; (b) water is rapidly becoming a severe limiting factor and policies need to be introduced for effective water management, including increasing the cost to users; (c) there will be further increases in the use of agrochemicals (fertilizer, pesticides) in developing countries, though at declining rates compared with the past; and, (d) safe use of external inputs (fertilizer, pesticides and improved varieties) is indispensable for sustainable agriculture.
14. The achievement of sustainable agricultural and rural development will be critically dependent on the concerted application of a combination of appropriate policy instruments. Considerable potential exists for the efficient use of existing, and the development of new, technologies for sustainable intensification of production. With appropriate incentives that induce innovations and investments towards the full use of this potential, it should be possible to keep any trade-offs between food production growth and protection of the environment to a minimum.
15. The paragraphs above present the "most likely outcome." However, a number of factors, about which it is not possible to be certain at this stage, may cause future developments to be different. An important departure from foreseen developments would be the successful implementation of the Plan of Action adopted at the World Food Summit, and in particular, achievement of the target of halving the number of hungry by no later than 2015. Present trends point to a further reduction, but not a halving, of the number of chronically undernourished by that year. Hence, a major effort will have to be made if the Summit target is to be achieved. Globally, the additional amounts of food to be produced and traded would be minor. The objective is also feasible at the individual country level provided that those countries experiencing widespread undernutrition accord high priority to their agricultural development and engage in a much more rigorous policy effort to enhance the access of the poor to income earning opportunities. It is also estimated that investment in agriculture in these countries should be 20 to 30 percent above what it would otherwise be.
16. Preliminary analysis suggests that, even assuming exceptionally high rates of income and demand growth as well as feasible combinations of domestic production and imports, meeting the WFS target will be extremely difficult for many countries unless they succeed in achieving significant improvements in their intra-national distribution of food. Typically, such countries currently have high population growth rates (over 2.0 % p.a.), low per caput calorie availability (less than 2000 Kcal per day), and a rather unequal food distribution. Efforts to overcome inequities of access to food through a broad range of poverty alleviation measures, including better access to means of production and employment, will represent a key policy problem for these countries if they are to achieve the WFS target.
17. To conclude, the world food security situation seems, by and large, to be developing along the lines of slow and uneven progress as foreseen in the FAO technical documentation for the WFS. In practice, and as far as can be determined so soon after the WFS, progress is not yet being made at anywhere near the rates required for meeting the WFS target. Unless major efforts are made to improve food supplies as well as to overcome inequities, some countries may still have an incidence of undernutrition ranging from 15 to 30 percent of their populations. It was precisely this kind of outlook, particularly the realization that undernutrition would decline at too slow a rate, that fuelled the WFS debate which led to the adoption of the target of halving undernutrition by 2015.
18. One of the first steps undertaken within the Secretariat in preparing the draft Strategic Framework was an analysis of the external environment in order to identify those political, economic, social and technological trends or factors which were likely to have direct implications for or bearing on the Organization's future work. Twelve major trends were identified; these are summarised very briefly below:
Changes in the role and functions of the state
19. It is expected that governments will continue a progressive disengagement from productive functions, in favour of provision of public goods and of a framework conducive to sustainable economic growth and poverty alleviation. However, policy instruments available to the state will be increasingly conditioned by international agreements. It is expected that public administrations will be downsized and decentralized, with major emphasis being placed on accountability and efficiency, and privatization of some government services. Within public services, increasing reliance on the principle of subsidiarity will also result in devolution of more authority, in many countries, to sub-national, provincial or municipal levels.
Continuing globalization and trade liberalization
20. The growing integration of trade and financial markets is likely to continue, further limiting domestic policy options. Agricultural trade liberalization is expected to continue in line with the Uruguay Round Agreement on Agriculture and international regulatory frameworks, conventions and other legal instruments. The experience of the economic recession following the regional/global instability in 1997/98 has demonstrated that excessive openness and volatility of financial markets may adversely affect employment, agriculture and food security. It is envisaged that lessons will be drawn from this and mechanisms put in place at international and national levels to increase the transparency of financial markets, ensure greater sustainability of investments and recognise the importance of social safety nets for periods of transition. More technology transfer will be made through private investment and trade.
Growth in the number of countries in the middle income group, and increased reliance on regional blocs
21. It is envisaged that there will be further differentiation between countries in the middle income and poorest groups. Middle income countries will experience a rapid evolution from subsistence to commercial agriculture even though pockets of urban and rural poverty may persist. They will also be less reliant on the international community for technical assistance in agricultural development. A strengthening of regional and sub-regional groups, and an increase in their influence in global affairs, may be expected.
Persistence of poverty and mounting inequality -- a widening of the gap between the affluent and the poor
22. Present trends indicate little congruence between stated goals (such as equity in human, social and economic development) and actual results. The disparity between the rich and the poor, both globally and nationally, is being exacerbated. Economic growth, per se, is generally not reducing food insecurity in the poorer segments of societies. Likewise, increasing disparities in access to resources, education and technology are widening the gap between the "haves" and "have-nots". Persistent inequalities, along gender, age and ethnic lines, in access to and control over productive resources, information, employment, public education, technology and decision-making processes, if not corrected, could have a serious effect on household and national food security.
Continued risk of disaster-related and complex emergencies
23. The number of disaster-related and complex emergencies may continue to be high, with the potential for further exacerbating problems of food insecurity, migration, and social, economic and political instability, as well as the continued diversion of scarce resources away from assistance addressing the root causes of these emergencies. Emergencies may have natural or human causes, but in any case the affected countries are often among the poorest and most vulnerable, with predominantly agriculture-based economies. Increased vulnerability to economic/financial crises and over-dependence on a limited range of commodities and technologies present additional risks for many countries.
Changing demands on agriculture in increasingly urbanized societies
24. A rapidly increasing share of the population of developing countries will live in cities, having major implications for the role of agriculture both in rural and peri-urban areas. Access to food will become more complex as an increasing proportion is acquired through market exchange. Agricultural production will become more intensive and commercial, requiring further increases in productivity of agricultural labour and land. The multi-functional role of the agricultural sector, extending beyond economic aspects to include social, cultural and ecological dimensions, may be expected to raise various policy implications. The recognition of the crucial role of women, as producers and consumers, will also entail reorientation of policies to address their special needs, enhance their already considerable contribution to food security and agricultural production, and enlist their support for the responsible use of natural resources. The growing proportion of youth in developing country populations will also require attention in agriculture sector policies and programmes.
Changing consumer perceptions and increasing public awareness of food and environmental issues
25. Changes in consumer preferences and dietary consumption patterns, already evident in developed countries, may continue and become more widespread also in middle income countries. Greater demand may be expressed for fish, fruits and vegetables and non-staple products as well as for "organic" products. Increased consumer awareness, particularly among women, of food safety and environmental issues will give rise to requirements for further science-based standards in national and international trade, and greater attention to questions of food quality and safety at the national and local levels.
Increasing pressure on natural resources and competition for their use
26. The risks arising from pressure on natural resources, in particular water and land, and degradation of the natural resource base are likely to increase as competition for resource use intensifies, particularly where markets fail to ensure efficient management of these resources. The average per caput availability of freshwater will continue to decline. Problems of water quality will continue, causing increased risk of diseases and salinization of irrigated land. Competition for freshwater resources, including across national boundaries, will increase. Degradation of land and competition between agriculture and other sectors, in particular through urbanization, will increase. Land use will become even more intensive. Biological diversity will continue to be threatened as traditional crop cultivars are abandoned, deforestation continues and habitats are lost. Some 30% of livestock breeds are already at the point of extinction while, in fisheries, introduced species threaten to erode natural genetic diversity. An increase in demand for wood products will provide the engine for commercial forestry development although conversion of sub-tropical and tropical forest to agriculture will continue. Widespread depletion of marine and inland fisheries resources is feared. Climatic fluctuations, the main cause of variability of agricultural production, will probably increase. By 2015 it should be possible to have a much clearer picture of climate change and the extent to which it has anthropogenic causes.
Steady progress in research and technological development, and continued inequality in access to its benefits
27. Technological developments will occur in all areas, but will not be equally accessible to all countries, which may influence countries' ability to compete in global markets. Technological advances are likely to be important in the areas of energy, transportation, biotechnology and information technology. Agricultural research will become increasingly globalized with the private sector conducting most biotechnology research. The needs of resource-poor farmers in developing countries are unlikely to be addressed adequately by the private sector, with a need for the public sector, including international institutions, to fill the gap.
Increasing impact of information and communications technology on institutions and societies
28. As the "information and communications revolution" advances and becomes more global, the use of these technologies is likely to become a significant source of wealth. It is expected that inequalities will be exacerbated since developed countries will have at their disposal the bulk of information technology resources. Developing countries will have increasing access to these resources but the amount of investment may be insufficient, due to scarcity of capital, to close the gap relative to developed countries.
Changes in nature and composition of funding for agricultural development
29. The total pool of external assistance resources, excluding IMF support, is not expected to expand significantly and may, in fact, fall. The part of that assistance delivered by private non-profit organizations may grow. Total external assistance to agriculture, both from bilateral and multilateral sources, may continue to fall in real terms. Lending from multilateral financial agencies may, however, be maintained or perhaps expand moderately. There will also be a growing role and competition for foreign direct investment (FDI).
Changing role and public perceptions of the United Nations system
30. It is difficult to predict how the UN system will be perceived in 10-15 years in the light of scepticism in some countries of the developed world. The improvement of the system's image will depend to a large extent on better communication of the results being achieved, as well as on current reforms underway in many UN organizations and on the capacity of the system to forge a coordinated approach based on greater synergies in the work of its component parts. The trend of setting up "parallel" structures involving also non-UN actors, to deal with issues requiring international cooperation and/or global collective action seems set to continue; non-governmental and civil society actors are likely to continue to press for a greater voice in UN affairs.
31. Following the methodology adopted for the exercise, it was considered important to define the basic values of the Organization, as well as its mission and vision for the future. This internal reflection constituted the first step in the iterative process which led to the proposals for corporate strategies and strategic objectives as well as strategies to address cross-organizational issues. On the basis of those proposals, as finally formulated, the text of such statements has now been refined and is contained in Part I of the document.
32. The extensive process of reflection and internal analysis carried out within the FAO Secretariat was synthesized with a view to determining what were the Organization's strongest comparative advantages. The conclusions of that exercise are summarised below, recognizing however that they apply at the general level; within each technical discipline, comparative advantage will vary depending on the nature of the specific problem to be addressed and the expertise required.
Authority and status as a global inter-governmental organization.
33. FAO has the mandate and membership to enable it to take a global view of problems in its domain of competence. As an inter- governmental organization, it is able to address issues at both the national and international levels, both directly and in partnership with other organizations, and to act as an "honest broker", identifying and advocating common solutions independent from specific ideological and national perspectives. FAO can both furnish technical, economic and legal expertise, and provide a neutral forum for the negotiation and development of international agreements, codes of conduct, technical standards and other instruments.
Broad networking capacity with Members and other partners
34. The Organization has wide access to decision-makers in Member Nations. As part of the UN system, it is involved with many international initiatives, and able to offer an institutional framework for inter-country cooperation, cutting across geographical boundaries and even political or cultural divides. The success of a number of the Organization's past activities has been attributed to this world-wide networking capacity, including FAO's direct access to specialised sources of expertise relevant to food and agriculture, the numerous technical cooperation ventures it sponsors, and its wide array of expert panels and advisory bodies. Growing links with the world of NGOs and civil society organizations, which facilitate outreach of FAO activities beyond government circles, add a further dimension.
35. Co-existing with FAO's global vocation and networking capacity are its decentralized capabilities. They facilitate and in many cases provide the major justification for implementation of both single country and multi-country activities requested by the membership. The immediate presence at national level (through FAORs) and at sub-regional and regional levels (through the Regional and Sub-regional Offices) is instrumental in ensuring timeliness in responding to requests and relevance to local needs.
Unparalleled information source and institutional memory
36. FAO's wealth of experience, accumulated over a period of more than 50 years, and of information, collected, analysed and disseminated on a continuous basis, constitutes an unique asset, which is both available to Members and a support to the Secretariat's activities. Without this, it would be virtually impossible to carry out much of the essential work which is expected by the membership, and which depends for its authority and value on FAO's being able to provide a dimension (its institutional memory) not obtainable from other sources.
Fast communication capabilities
37. As the Organization has accelerated decentralization to bring its capacities closer to countries, it has also developed its communications infrastructure through electronic mail and more generalised access to the Internet, to ensure that staff, wherever located, can rely on fast communications for information exchange and backup when needed. At the same time FAO's widely-praised Internet Web-site facilitates access by others to FAO information and analysis.
Professional and multi-disciplinary staff
38. The professionalism and dedication of a multi-disciplinary and multi-lingual work force, devoted to the cause of multilateralism and bound by the standards of conduct of the International Civil Service, must count as a major comparative advantage. The existence of a wide range of disciplines within the Secretariat (at Headquarters and in the decentralized units) provides continuity of action and a unique resource for normative activities and for support to technical cooperation and investment mobilisation activities.
Capacity to respond to emergencies and unforeseen needs of Member Nations
39. As a support and adjunct to FAO's Regular Programme activities and its field programmes funded from extra-budgetary sources, the Technical Cooperation Programme provides a valuable mechanism to respond to member countries' immediate and/or unforeseen needs. This, combined with the Organization's contacts with governments and the presence of Permanent Representatives in Rome, enables the Organization to take some immediate action while making efforts to mobilise or leverage resources for further assistance.
Responsible financial and administrative management
40. The Organization has sound and responsible financial and administrative management. Financial and internal controls are highly effective, as is evidenced by the fact that in over 50 years of activity the FAO accounts have always been approved by the External Auditor without qualification and the Organization has avoided any significant financial default.
41. In the light of the conclusions concerning the likely evolution of the external environment, and of FAO's comparative advantages, preparations for the Strategic Framework required an examination of what FAO could and should do to help address the challenges of the future. An important step, at this stage, was to consult FAO's major stakeholders, its Members, on their own goals and on the services which they would wish the Organization to provide.
42. Three "global goals" were identified in the questionnaire sent out to all Members in June, 1998, and respondents were asked to indicate whether they agreed with the goal as stated, agreed with the substance but not as stated, or disagreed. The preliminary analysis of responses received by 27 July 1998 indicated massive support for the substance of these goals, but at the same time concern that the proposed concise formulations might not adequately cover all aspects agreed upon by the international conferences. As the purpose of the Strategic Framework exercise was certainly not to reopen debate on goals already agreed by Members, but rather to guide FAO's response to them, it was judged preferable to refer Members to the texts in question rather than to attempt, in the document, to summarise them.
43. As part of the same questionnaire, Members were asked to rate the priority they accorded to five goal-related areas, or major categories of work, and then to indicate their view of the importance of FAO's role as a supplier of services in that area. The preliminary results of the questionnaire responses were available during July 1998 and drawn upon to further refine the formulation of objectives and strategies, first by individual departments and subsequently at the corporate level. Finally, proposals for corporate strategies both for the five major substantive areas of work, and for five important issues of a cross-organizational nature, were presented as Version 1.0 of the Strategic Framework for the years 2000 to 2015.
44. The rationale for the proposals made in the document, based on the external and internal analyses and the results of the questionnaire to Members, is analysed below.
45. Several options were considered before settling on the approach used. One would have been to take as the point of departure the disciplinary base of the Organization, or its ongoing programmes as expressed in the Programme of Work and Budget, and project them into the future. The risk of this approach, however, could have been to close off avenues of reflection and innovation and thus to perpetuate the status quo in a rapidly evolving external environment.
46. Another approach would have been to use as an organising principle the overall development goals of Members, as expressed, for example, in the World Food Summit Plan of Action. This also could have been misleading. Many of the specific measures called for by the Plan of Action are outside the mandate and competence of the Organization, and defining objectives for which successful achievement depends almost entirely on the contribution of others would have meant that the impact of FAO's own actions might have been too diluted to be measured.
47. It was therefore considered necessary to define major thrusts for FAO's work in the coming years in a manner broad enough to relate them to the real challenges which the international community faces but at the same time sufficiently circumscribed to allow for clear definition of strategies to implement them, and later on for the identification of specific projects and corresponding resource allocations. Each of the five corporate strategies (A through E) was designed to constitute a response by FAO to one such challenge, seen in terms of Members' goals, external factors and internal capacities. Within the five strategies, twelve strategic objectives were formulated, aggregating departmental strategies and indicating in each case the partnerships-internal and external-necessary for implementation.
48. Definition of the challenges started from the analysis of the likely developments in the external environment, used as a mediating principle the Organization's mandate and comparative advantages, and tested the resulting hypotheses against the goals defined and the strategies proposed by the FAO departments. The result was then compared to the responses to the questionnaire to Members.
49. The sequencing proposed for the five Corporate Strategies did not represent an order of priority. If anything, it appeared to represent a logical progression; the sequence begins with the specific response to an urgent problem, identified by the World Food Summit; it proceeds to three Strategies (B, C and D) addressing different facets of crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry management and development; it concludes with the strategy to address the global community.
Corporate Strategy A-Contributing to the eradication of food insecurity and rural poverty, and addressing food, agriculture and natural resource emergencies.
50. The World Food Summit Plan of Action recognises that "extraordinary efforts" will be required to reach the Summit's target of reducing the number of undernourished people to half their present level no later than 2015. Both the Rome Declaration and the Plan of Action state that poverty is a major cause of food insecurity, and that sustainable progress in poverty eradication is critical to improve access to food.
51. Commitment Two calls for policies aimed at eradicating poverty and inequality, and improving physical and economic access by all, at all times, to sufficient nutritionally adequate and safe food and its effective utilization; it envisages both measures to maximise the incomes of the poor and ensure safe and accessible food supplies, and measures targeted to assist the neediest, most vulnerable and disadvantaged. Commitment Five commits countries to endeavour to prevent and be prepared for natural disasters and man-made emergencies and to meet transitory and emergency food requirements in ways that encourage recovery, rehabilitation, development and a capacity to satisfy future needs.
52. The analysis of the external environment foresees the persistence of poverty and a widening gap between the affluent and the poor, both among countries and within many societies. It notes that present trends support general economic growth but only a slow reduction in food insecurity. A conclusion of the external analysis is that many of the actions required are made more difficult by a number of trends external to agriculture and rural economies, and that the magnitude of the problems to be addressed justifies a particular focus on assisting the poor countries and vulnerable groups, where the needs are greatest.
53. The internal analysis identified, as a major strength, FAO's authority and status as a neutral global organization able to address such issues, at both the international and national levels, directly and in partnership with other organizations. Also cited were its range of relevant disciplines and technical expertise, and its fifty years of accumulated experience and institutional memory.
54. The external and internal analyses noted the persistence of crises and emergencies, both man-made and natural disaster-related, and a consequent exacerbation of current problems of food insecurity, migration, instability and diversion of scarce resources away from the type of assistance needed to address root causes. FAO's capacity, within its sphere of competence, to address all phases of the emergency cycle, from early warning and disaster preparedness through relief and rehabilitation to development, was seen as a strength and an indication that the Organization should strengthen its partnerships with others to contribute to an increasingly well-targeted and coordinated international emergency preparedness and response system.
55. The questionnaire results indicated the importance Members assign to this area of work, with all but a handful assigning it the highest, or high priority. With regard to FAO's role as a provider of services, the majority of respondents saw it as major if not of central importance. The formulation of the three strategic objectives takes into account comments made by several Members in the questionnaire responses.
56. The strategic objective covering emergencies was included in this Corporate Strategy because, although it addresses problems which are generally caused by specific events and in some cases may be transitory, it nevertheless involves targeted action to assist particular countries and population groups facing food insecurity and loss of livelihoods.
Corporate Strategy B-Promoting, developing and reinforcing policies and regulatory frameworks for food and agriculture.
57. The globalization of the market economy, increasing competition for resources and the withdrawal of governments from production and marketing entities all accentuate the need for the development of regulatory frameworks at the international and national levels which are equitable, sustainable, conducive to economic development, and which allow for conflict resolution. This has been amply recognised in the outcomes of global conferences and summits of recent years, and most recently by the World Food Summit, particularly in Commitments One, Three, Four and Seven.
58. The analysis of the external environment confirms that domestic and international trade in agriculture, fisheries and forestry is an important factor of food security. It also underlines the increasing recognition of the relevance of regulatory frameworks both among and within countries. The internal analysis notes that at the international level, FAO can furnish technical, economic and legal expertise and provide a neutral forum for the negotiation and development of international agreements, codes of conduct, technical standards and other instruments, as well as injecting food and agriculture interests into negotiations in other fora, in particular those relating to trade and the environment. It is uniquely well placed to provide support for the adoption of national policies and legislation that meet national needs and international requirements.
59. The responses to the questionnaire indicated the importance attached to this issue by Members, with all but a few according it highest, or high priority. With regard to the role of FAO as a provider of services at the international level, the consensus was equally high. For FAO's role in assisting individual countries, the responses were spread more evenly across the spectrum, reflecting the fact that the extent to which Members will need FAO assistance depends to a great extent on the state of development of their national capacities.
60. Many such countries are or will be in the "middle income" group, which may be less reliant on the international community for traditional forms of technical assistance but will look to FAO for a specific expertise and experience which is not easily available from others and which the Organization is uniquely placed to provide. Because of the specificity of the questions addressed and the approaches required, it was considered desirable to have a separate focussed strategy in this area.
Corporate Strategy C-Creating sustainable increases in the supply and availability of food and other products from the crop, livestock, fisheries and forestry sectors.
61. Commitment Three of the WFS Plan of Action commits countries to "pursue participatory and sustainable food, agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural development policies and practices in high and low potential areas, which are essential to adequate and reliable food supplies at the household, national, regional and global levels, and combat pests, drought and desertification, considering the multifunctional character of agriculture." The very substantial needs for investment, especially in technology generation, rural infrastructure, irrigation and agro-industries, were highlighted in the documentation prepared for the WFS. Furthermore, the need for the optimal allocation and use of such investments was taken up in Commitment Six.
62. The analysis of the external trends and forces indicated that, with the state no longer seen as the main executor of development programmes, but rather as providing the enabling framework, progress in the sector will depend even more on the initiative of producers, the private sector and especially small-scale entrepreneurs. Increasing urbanization and growth in the proportion of the population not involved in agriculture and in food production points to changes in the demands on agriculture, forestry and fisheries, including supply of a different range of products and streamlining of the supply chain.
63. The need for sustainable increases in production, particularly in Low-Income, Food-Deficit Countries, pointed to the importance of capitalizing in the short and medium term on technologies already available, adapted to the extent possible, to expand food output by small farmers. FAO would need to assist in closing the gap between yields in research stations and those in farmers' fields in the promotion of ways and means to increase farmers' net income, as well as in identification, analysis and removal of constraints to adoption of appropriate agriculture practices. FAO could transfer knowledge to countries and assist them in making it widely available to farmers, fisher-folk and other rural entrepreneurs, promoting demonstration of comprehensive approaches through the field programme, including the SPFS, as a catalytic tool.
64. In the initial analysis of questionnaire returns, this work area was regarded by a large majority of Members as of highest or high priority. With regard to FAO's role as a provider of services, Members placed more emphasis on assisting countries in making strategic choices than on facilitating adoption of appropriate packages and solutions. The formulation of the two strategic objectives takes into account comments made by a number of Members.
Corporate Strategy D-Supporting the conservation, improvement and sustainable utilization of land, water, fisheries, forest and genetic resources for food and agriculture.
65. Much of the impressive increase in food production which has occurred in recent decades is due to an intensification in the use of natural resources, in particular land and water but also forestry and fishery resources. In future, however, technologies which make more efficient - and sustainable - use of land and water resources must be the principal source of incremental food output.
66. While the production enhancing technologies of the future must pass the test of sustainability, safeguarding the sustainability of the world's food production systems remains a much broader issue. There has been an awakening over the past 10 to 20 years to the threats posed by over-exploitation of the world's marine resources, by the wholesale destruction of forests, by the growth in release of greenhouse gases, by the destruction of the ozone layer, by desertification and salinization, and by the erosion of biodiversity, but the full implications of these human-induced processes on world food supplies are not yet well understood and only limited action is being taken to curb them. A major challenge is, therefore, to ensure that adequate monitoring systems are in place to track the extent of destruction, that instruments are created to induce a more responsible use of global resources and that the means are mobilised to allow for the natural resources on which food supplies are dependent to be husbanded in a sustainable manner.
67. The global community committed itself to tackle these issues as part of Agenda 21, adopted at UNCED in 1992. In the World Food Summit Plan of Action it reaffirmed this commitment, recalling also a number of other international agreements and instruments concerned with the conservation and sustainable utilization of natural resources (land, water, fishery, forestry and genetic resources), and called upon international institutions to support the actions of governments and civil society. FAO, assigned a responsibility in this regard by its Constitution "to promote and, where appropriate, ...recommend national and international action with respect to... the conservation of natural resources and the adoption of improved methods of agricultural production," cannot fail to accord high priority to assisting members to meet the challenge.
68. In responses to the questionnaire, the two proposed specific "areas of FAO contribution" received strong support, with most countries seeing FAO's role as "central" or "major" . Only a handful of countries gave little support. On the basis of written comments attached to the questionnaire, this seemed generally traceable to the fact that for developed country respondents natural resources management was a national matter for which no assistance from FAO was required.
69. In discussions on Version 1.0 of the Strategic Framework, the possibility was discussed of combining this strategy with Strategy C. However, while they address goals which need not be seen as incompatible, the different nature of the work involved, and the different partnerships necessary to achieve the desired results, suggested that separate strategies would permit a more incisive definition of problems and proposed solutions. For fisheries and forestry, in particular, a combination of Strategies C and D might send the wrong signal regarding the Organization's commitment to resource conservation.
Corporate Strategy E-Improving data availability and information exchange, monitoring, assessing and analyzing the global state of food and nutrition, agriculture, fisheries and forestry, and promoting a central place for food security on the international agenda.
70. The analysis of external trends and forces identified a number of potential implications for FAO. The demand for information, both existing time series and new data elements, is forecast to continue to grow and to change, with an increasing requirement for information in support of policy advice, and to ensure that crucial emerging issues are authoritatively and forcefully placed upon the international agenda. This is particularly the case for natural resource assessment. Similarly, the growth in importance of regulatory frameworks brings with it a concomitant requirement for accessible information on the related standards and norms.
71. The internal analysis demonstrated that despite the success of the WAICENT project in consolidating FAO data in a single repository using common standards, FAO's ability as an Organization to protect the quality of the incoming statistical data is limited. There appears to be a decline in the quality of country level data collection systems which the Organization has limited capacity to correct. The internal analysis saw information as being one of FAO's greatest strengths: "an unparalleled source" - the risk is that the Organization could lose this important strength if it does not make determined efforts to capitalize on it and further expand and improve the quality of its data. In addition, concern is expressed that the traditional closed environment allowing only FAO approved and generated information on WAICENT and related systems may be excluding FAO from the more innovative information exchange networks now in place.
72. Both the external and internal analyses noted the probable increase in demand for FAO's analytical products and the opportunity this represented for the Organization to render services for which it was uniquely suited. A related, but separate, sphere in which FAO should further focus its efforts was that of global advocacy for food security and the achievement of the Summit's target, promotion of the necessary action and monitoring of progress.
73. The questionnaire results also demonstrate that these areas of work are accorded high priority by Members. Scoring highest was work concerning the analysis and assessment of trends where three-quarters of respondents considered this to be of the highest priority and essential. Next was the maintenance of an accurate and accessible global set of data which scored almost as high. The third area of work, which concerned the promotion of food security on the international agenda, had more balanced support between those who considered it to be of the highest priority and essential and those who rather saw it as being of high priority, to be addressed to the extent that resources permit.
74. FAO's role as a provider of services in the domain of assessments and analyses of trends, was considered of central importance to the global community by nearly 90% of respondents in responses to the questionnaire to date, the single most positive score accorded by Members to any of the questions. Predictably fewer countries seek FAO's assistance to do this work at the national level. FAO's role in the maintenance of an accurate and accessible global set of data also scored very high with three-quarters of Members responding indicating that they considered it to be of central importance, while in the case of promotion of food security on the international agenda, two-thirds considered that FAO's role was of central importance.
75. All three strategic objectives contributing to this corporate strategy received the highest degree of support from Members, and in fact the only question raised has been whether or not the third element-promoting a central place for food security on the international agenda-belongs under E or should be moved to Strategy A because it deals with food security.
76. However, Strategy A has been formulated as an FAO response to the need to assist those countries where extraordinary efforts must be made if the Summit target is to be reached. In different ways, Strategies B, C and D would also contribute to the achievement of various objectives in the World Food Summit Plan of Action, and thus also to food security.
77. On the other hand, it needs to be recalled that the Summit committed all countries to ensuring food security for their peoples, and called upon many actors in addition to FAO to assist in reaching its goals. FAO's main contribution to this broader effort is in information dissemination, facilitation of inter-agency cooperation and monitoring of progress through the CFS. These activities are covered under a Strategic Objective which appeared most amenable to inclusion as E.3 because all work under Strategy E is addressed to the entire membership and to the international community at large, and relies on similar means of action at the global level (information, analysis, advocacy).
78. While the strategies referred to above are proposed as responses to challenges facing the Members and the international community, the strategies to address cross-organizational issues concentrate on measures to better equip the Secretariat to provide services to its Members. Their rationale derives primarily from the Secretariat's internal analysis, but draws also on the opportunities and hazards for the Organization identified in the analysis of the external environment, as well as on the views of Members. The strategies to address cross-organizational issues should therefore be seen as an integral part of the Strategic Framework, in that they have implications for the successful implementation of all of the strategies to address Members' needs.
A. Ensuring Excellence
79. The analysis of the external environment pointed to many areas in which FAO may need to strengthen its capacity to meet new needs (e.g. biotechnology) as well as to areas in which its present--often unique--capacity would be in greater demand (e.g. on regulatory and legislative matters, including on land tenure and cadaster, water management and use, commodity and trade support, food quality and safety). These conclusions were taken into account in formulating the elements of the strategies to address Members' needs.
80. The internal analysis highlighted the need to keep technical staff up-to-date with cutting edge developments in their respective disciplines. It also yielded the strong suggestion that the Organization should further sharpen its focus on certain priority areas, in which it could, with recognised authority, take the initiative, propose collective action and exercise leadership (but not exclusivity) in implementing concrete programmes. The need was identified for a strategy focussing on identification of such priority areas and implementation of specific action to maintain and reinforce the Organization's capacity as a centre of excellence.
B. Enhancing Inter-disciplinarity
81. The internal analysis confirmed the need to improve programme planning methodologies. There was strong endorsement of the need to ensure multi-disciplinary approaches, to exploit FAO's comparative advantage in this area to the full. The review of successful activities often highlighted those with a strong inter-disciplinary approach (e.g. AT 2010). As well as greatly increased proactive efforts to carry out joint activities among units, there was the need to ensure adequate application of resources at the proper time, including the appropriate mix of staff and consultants. Often, an additional key to success was to focus on truly innovative approaches.
82. Among the opportunities for FAO identified in the external analysis was the possibility of capitalizing on its multi-disciplinary capacities, within the sphere of its mandate, to help Members deal with trends such as changes in the role and functions of the state, continuing globalization and trade liberalization, changing demands on agriculture in increasingly urbanized societies, changing consumer patterns and perceptions, increasing awareness of food and environmental issues, and increasing pressure on natural resources and competition for their use.
C. Broadening Partnerships and Alliances
83. The analysis of the external environment stressed the role of an enhanced UN system to effectively address multi-sectoral problems. Global conferences and summits, including the World Food Summit, have had a major impact on the way in which goals, strategies and the development agenda are defined by the international community. UN organizations' action to help countries translate commitments, particularly those taken within the framework of international conventions and follow-up to UNCED, into practical action must capitalize on the wealth of expertise and potential for synergy inherent in the system.
84. In the internal analysis, it was noted that FAO has decades of experience and institutional memory in relations with non-governmental organizations working in its spheres of competence, particularly rural producers' organizations, and strong links with some private sector organizations, notably in the food industry. Importance was given to building on established contacts in member countries and in partner institutions. However, in reinforcing external partnerships, a condition for success was to act on the basis of mutually acknowledged comparative advantage, ensuring that each partner had a stake in the process.
D. Continuing to Improve the Management Process
85. The internal analysis pointed to a number of areas where there would appear to be a need for further improvement in the near term:
86. As regards systems support to the management process and its impact upon streamlining of procedures and upon the flow of management information, the internal analysis revealed concern about a number of areas:
87. However, it was emphasized that the other side of the same coin was the effectiveness of FAO's financial control and management. The internal analysis also took note of the fact that the Organization has never had its accounts qualified, it has always managed its resources within approved budget limits and has never suffered a serious financial default. Therefore care has to be taken so that, in improving efficiency and streamlining, this great strength - one which is much valued by donors who consign their resources under trust to FAO - is not lost.
E. Leveraging Resources for FAO and its Members
88. The Secretariat's analysis (external and internal) noted that changes were likely in the nature and composition of funding for agricultural development, and that the trend would probably generate a requirement for more selective targeting of assistance according to emerging priorities, and a need for new partnerships in funding. New directions and approaches for work under the Regular Programme would probably be mirrored in requests for assistance under extra-budgetary programmes (e.g. legal assistance, help with regulatory issues, decentralized rural finance, capacity-building in the areas of policy formulation and monitoring, etc.).
89. Of particular importance would be to help create a policy environment conducive to the sustainable intensification of agricultural production and accelerated rural development, and to mobilisation of increased investment in agriculture generally. Other lines which might be explored include shifting from project to institutional and programmatic approaches and managing increasingly complex partnership arrangements. It was noted that FAO traditionally has looked at Official Development Assistance (ODA) more than at Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and that information and analysis would be needed to take FDI better into account. Possibilities should also be explored for facilitating private sector capital flows and financial intermediation, and mobilizing private sector resources for development activities.
F. Communicating FAO's Messages
90. The external analysis concluded that concerted efforts would be required to reverse the present tide of skepticism about the UN system in some parts of the developed world, and that better communication of results achieved would be a crucial component of these efforts. The internal analysis noted that in the past FAO had operated without a coordinated communication policy, and that as a result some key audiences had been neglected and channels for effective communication had not been established or had been allowed to atrophy.
91. The Corporate Communication Policy and Strategy approved in 1998 was designed to respond to several perceived needs, including: coordination of communication and information activities within a well-defined, focussed programme; identification of key target audiences and strategies to reach them; enlistment of FAO's own staff as informed and convinced partners in communication efforts; establishment of mechanisms to define key corporate messages and to inform staff of them; adequate planning and budgeting for information needs related to major technical publications.
92. In recalling the expected contribution of the Strategic Framework to guiding the more detailed formulation of programmes over medium and short term time horizons, the Council recommended further attention to refining criteria for priority-setting in future versions. In this regard, it emphasized that the Organization's comparative advantage should continue to be a key criterion, as previously identified by the Council.
93. In its own preparations for the Strategic Framework, the Secretariat referred to these general criteria based on the Council's previous consideration of the matter:
94. It was recognised from the outset that such criteria could and should guide the formulation of corporate strategies to address both Members' needs and cross-organizational issues. At the same time, their major field of application was likely to be in the Medium-Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget, when resource questions would be considered and choices would have to be made between activities. At that point the criteria would need to be applied to the specific situation, and would be conditioned by the technical discipline or problem under consideration.
95. The question of comparative advantage, as one of the criteria, would also require consideration of the individual context. The major comparative advantages covered in paras. 33 to 40 above were derived from an analysis of the Organization's general strengths, recognizing that while they were considerable, they would constitute comparative advantages only when appropriately brought to bear on problems for which the intervention of an Organization such as FAO was needed.
96. At the level of the Strategic Framework, which would identify the areas in which FAO should concentrate its efforts in response to Members' needs, it was therefore essential to choose areas which met the general criteria, and particularly in which FAO had a major overall comparative advantage. The corollary of the argument was that at the level of technical projects, in the Medium-Term Plan, and of specific activities in each Programme of Work and Budget, fulfilment of the criteria, including comparative advantage, would have to be further verified, taking into account the expertise and activities of other partners working in the same field and planning work to enhance synergy and avoid duplication.
97. A useful start on providing the basis for such detailed verification was made in the Secretariat's analysis of external partnerships for each of the 12 strategic objectives, in which partner organizations were listed and the role of FAO was categorized as "lead", "primarily supportive" or "mixed". While the full partnerships analysis was too voluminous to be published, a selective summary of it is presented in Annex III to illustrate the approach taken.
1. Selected illustrative examples of external partnerships are summarized in tabular form under each Strategic Objective, indicating the major groups as follows:
2. Since FAO maintains direct and privileged links with a broad range of governmental authorities and institutions at country level, such links are not highlighted to avoid repetition. It must be stressed that the areas of partnership mentioned in the left column do not correspond precisely to the strategy elements cited in the text, as full correlation would have led to excessive repetition and for reasons of brevity the tables have been kept as concise as possible.
3. The substantive area of cooperation is mentioned, often in telegraphic form, in the left-hand side column. The scope or nature of collaboration is on the right-hand side, where a capital letter also indicates the type of FAO's role (L: expected lead role; S: primarily supportive role; and M: "mixed" role). Often, FAO may need to act both as a "leader" and a "supporter", or needs to participate in broad-based consultations or international initiatives, where such distinction is not relevant or feasible. The word agriculture in the tables generally refers to agriculture lato sensu, i.e. including crops, livestock, fisheries and forestry.
4. Cooperative relationships with the above groups build on established institutional links and intrinsic complementarities. They entail different practical modalities and instruments, depending on the context. As a general approach, FAO seeks to ensure that cooperation addresses specific problems and policy issues and aims at achieving tangible results, particularly at country level.
5. In respect of the UN system, as explained in the body of the document, a key aspect is follow-up to global conferences and summits, including the World Food Summit, which are shaping the agenda for action by the international community. The system must help countries translate commitments, particularly those taken within the framework of international conventions and follow-up to UNCED into effective and practical measures, building on the potential for synergy inherent in the system. In particular, FAO will need to maintain a proactive role in ensuring a coherent UN system approach to the implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, and participate in other system-wide initiatives from the perspective of food and agriculture issues. Special attention needs to be paid to further strengthening the links among the Rome-based organizations.
6. FAO will continue to use its multi-disciplinary technical expertise for the generation of investment in food and agriculture, through the fruitful tri-partite relationship it enjoys with the World Bank and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and the concerned governments themselves. In the policy advisory area, the Organization will seek to dovetail its sectoral advice with the overall macro-economic assistance provided by these institutions. It will also build on their readiness to establish a broader base of cooperation to support specific national programmes such as agricultural statistics or aquaculture, as evidenced by new memoranda of understanding signed with them at the highest policy level.
7. In pursuing institutional links with the CGIAR, of which it is a co-sponsor along with the World Bank, UNDP and UNEP, FAO will further develop close contact and joint activities with the individual centres themselves, facilitating outreach of the results achieved by research institutions through catalytic action in support of technology transfer, taking maximum account of local conditions. Collaboration with research-oriented organizations will be well served by the presence of the NARS and TAC (and in the future probably the IAEG) Secretariats at FAO, and maximum use will be made of networking modalities.
8. A number of other International Governmental Organizations (IGOs), particularly many regional ones, have interest in agricultural issues and may be actively involved with food and agricultural cooperation programmes. In full recognition of the comparative advantages these Organizations may have in specific regional contexts, FAO will continue to explore avenues for cooperation to maximise complementarities in keeping with its mandate.
9. FAO will continue to adjust to the significant changes which are taking place in the respective roles and responsibilities of the state, the market and civil society. FAO cannot match the capillary outreach of Civil Society Organizations, particularly the farmers' and consumers' organizations and the large number of NGOs active in food and agriculture, down to the level of farming communities themselves. However, it can play a useful catalytic role in mobilizing action at national level, supporting coalitions and fostering exchanges of experience. It will, therefore, expand constructive partnerships with non-state actors, building on its long experience and institutional memory in joint practical work, e.g. with rural producers' organizations.
10. Links with the private sector should include active dialogue to foster mutual understanding of the potential for cooperation, while respecting each other's characteristics. FAO can marry its extensive field experience and knowledge of the requirements of food and agriculture development with the unique entrepreneurship qualities of private sector agents, for instance by playing an "honest broker" role in increasing private sector investment in agriculture and investments in new technology to bring greater benefit to developing countries.
Nature of collaboration
policy formulation and studies with prime focus on the agricultural sector, including fisheries and forestry
|UN, IFIs, CGIAR, institutions networked with FAO on policy issues||L - with consultation at formulation stage to elicit partners' involvement|
farmer-centred resource management
|CSOs (particularly farmers organizations)||L - to devise mechanisms to enhance resource management at farm level|
rural enterprise expansion and rural markets performance
|CSOs, private sector, IFIs||L - to identify opportunities, and develop and disseminate techniques, information and improvements|
sustainable livelihoods of rural families and communities, access to resources
|UN (members of the ACC network on rural development and food security), CGIAR, CSOs||L - to develop policy measures, technological solutions and institutional mechanisms|
implications on agriculture sector of macro-level policies
|IFIs, UN, CGIAR, CSOs
|S - by providing inputs from perspective of agricultural sector, and participating in round-tables and consultative meetings|
|integrated coastal area and basin development||IGOs, CSOs||S - through technical inputs to national strategies and programmes|
|utilization of the productive functions of forests, including participatory forest conservation and management, for sustainable livelihoods||UN, IFIs, donors supporting the Forests, Trees and People programme, CSOs||M - to catalyse action and applied research and disseminate useful results|
|gender-responsive development, including population concerns||UN, CSOs, (particularly women's groups) and mechanisms at country level||M - through broad-based cooperation in the framework of the Beijing Plan of Action, to ensure due recognition of roles of rural women; participation in UNFPA-financed programmes; mobilization of action at country level in support of balanced policies|
|assistance to food-insecure and disadvantaged communities, including fisherfolk and forest-dwellers||UN, CGIAR, CSOs||M - to design and assist input supply programmes (e.g. seed production multiplication and distribution)|
Nature of collaboration
|incorporation of nutrition objectives in policies and programmes||UN (e.g. members of ACC Sub-Committee on Nutrition), CSOs, CGIAR||L - to sensitize partners both at policy level and more particularly in support of national initiatives and plans at country level|
mapping of food insecurity
|UN, NGOs involved in FIVIMS||M - as mandated by the World Food Summit, to promote information exchange and joint work|
|support to food assistance programmes||UN (WFP, IFAD), bilateral assistance programmes, NGOs||S - in making sure that programmes are consistent with nutritional and developmental policies and objectives of countries and reach target disadvantaged groups|
|access by marginalized groups to productive capacities||CGIAR, CSOs, private sector||M - to identify, develop and disseminate information on mechanisms to ensure access|
|efficient use of social capital though participation||UN, IFIs, CSOs, private sector||M - through policy analysis work and field-testing of methodologies, and seeking outreach through training, as well as generating interest of IFIs|
Nature of collaboration
|prevention and preparedness||UN, IFIs, CSOs||L & S - by supporting international programmes/initiatives|
|monitoring and early warning (food emergencies)||established partners of the GIEWS (UN, donors, CSOs, etc.)||L & M (i.e. in sharing of information and experiences; joint work with WFP on crops and food needs assessments)|
|monitoring and early warning, as well as enhanced preparedness (plant pests and diseases)||IGOs and NGOs (established partners of the EMPRES programme under its two components, i.e. animal health (principally rinderpest) and locusts||L - in seeking multiple involvement of partners, i.e. in research and methodologies for control, implementation and funding of specific projects, policy coordination for concerted action and preparedness plans|
|emergencies regarding fisheries and aquaculture||UN, IGOs, CGIAR, bilateral programmes, CSOs||L - in promoting exchange of information and joint monitoring, e.g. of fish stock habitats, epizootics of aquaculture, threats to fisheries genetic resources; assistance with mitigation measures|
|early warning and mitigation of risks on forest eco-systems||UN, IFIs, IGOs, CSOs||L & M- in fostering exchange of information and monitoring of specific risks|
|immediate relief and rehabilitation assistance to affected countries in areas of FAO's competence||UN (Inter-Agency Standing Committee mechanism), IFIs, CSOs||L & M - overall strategic coordination and facilitation role in complex emergencies and post-natural disaster intervention; participation in joint appeals, implementation of agricultural relief and rehabilitation as well as resettlement and reintegration programmes on behalf of donors|
|rebuilding member countries' capacities to take the lead for agriculture recovery||UN, IFIs||L & M - by supporting national institutions/programmes|
|technologies and support services to mitigate impact of disasters and for quick rehabilitation||UN, IFIs, CSOs, regional and national early warning systems||S & M - through participation in the analysis of situations to prepare timely responses to countries needs; joint design of emergency measures, e.g. seed stocks|
|medium term rehabilitation and reconstruction||UN, IFIs, CSOs||L & M - planning of agricultural rehabilitation and reconstruction; definition of investment priorities; implementation of investment projects|
Nature of collaboration
|food standards||UN, IGOs, CSOs (producers and consumers organizations) and private sector||L - through Codex, co-sponsored by WHO, and with strong links with WTO in implementation of Uruguay Round agreements|
|phytosanitary standards||UN, IGOs (regional plant protection organizations), CSOs||L - implementation of phytosanitary standards in context of Uruguay Round Agreement|
|standards for distribution and use of pesticides/ implementation of PIC procedure||UN, IGOs||L - through joint programmes (PIC procedure with UNEP)|
|commodity consultations and actions, dissemination of commodity intelligence||UN, IGOs (International Commodity Organizations), producers and industry organizations, IFIs||L & M - through exchanges of information, cross-representation at meetings, dovetailing of activities|
|quality and safety of fisheries products (within general work on food standards above)||IGOs (regional fisheries organizations), CSOs (particularly producers and consumer groups)||L - in seeking inputs from partners for advice to countries, including information on local constraints and potential solutions|
|support to adjustments of trade regimes||IGOs (WTO)||S - to assist countries from the perspective of agriculture (studies, analyses, training)|
|support to follow-up of international conferences and conventions||UN (Convention Secretariats on Biological Diversity, Climate Change and Combatting Desertification) and other international organizations||
S - to facilitate participation of countries in follow-up mechanisms, through direct advice, networks, etc.; technical inputs and studies
|regulatory frameworks for agricultural resource and input use||IGOs||M - to assist countries to develop frameworks on PGR and seeds|
Nature of collaboration
|strengthening national food control systems and programmes||UN, CSOs (National CODEX Committees), private sector||L - to carry out joint promotional efforts of food control systems, including import/export certification|
|policy and legal framework for sustainable forest management||UN, IFIs, CGIAR||L - by ensuring exchange of information and experience, sensitization of IFIs and donors to support implementation of sound policies|
|policy framework for responsible fisheries (cf. Also D1)||UN, IGOs (regional fisheries organizations), CSOs||L - to discuss technological solutions and trade practices compatible with responsible fisheries objectives|
|policy and institutional mechanisms to regulate agricultural resource and input use||UN and ACC partners, private sector, CSOs and environmental NGOs, IPU||M - to promote appropriate national regulatory frameworks|
Nature of collaboration
|priority needs for sustainable agriculture||UN, IFIs, CGIAR, CSOs, bilateral programmes||L - in drawing lessons from experience, testing of hypotheses|
|establishing more efficient land markets||UN, CGIAR, CSOs||L - in promoting exchanges of information and experiences, joint studies|
|support to fisheries management systems||IFIs, CGIAR, IGOs (regional fisheries organizations), CSOs||L - in the exchange of information, provision of advice|
|competitiveness of agricultural commodities||UN, CFC and other IGOs, CSOs, private sector||S - in the formulation of projects (CFC financing)|
|complementarity of forest policies with other sectors||IFIs||S - to assist countries in dovetailing forest policy with more general policies|
|adequate agricultural support services, diversification and specialization of production, farm and agro-business efficiency||UN, CGIAR, CSOs and private sector (small-scale entrepreneurs)||M - to work on problem identification and resolution, and with national/local institutions on implementation|
|approaches to improved marketing of farm produce in response to changing consumption patterns; peri-urban agriculture||CGIAR, CSOs, private sector||M - to assist on developing approaches and measures|
|diagnostic tools for rural development and decentralization||UN (Members of ACC network), IFIs, CGIAR, NGOs||M - for problem identification, testing of tools, dissemination of experiences|
|institutional mechanisms for the rural sector||UN, IFIs, CSOs||M - for joint production of materials, exchange of experiences|
|improving efficiency of fisheries and aquaculture activity||IGOs (regional fisheries organizations), CSOs, private sector||M - for joint assessment of more appropriate technologies|
|technologies and methodologies for knowledge management related to sustainable forestry||UN, IGOs, CGIAR, IFIs, bilateral programmes, CSOs||L - to promote exchange of experience, harmonization of approaches and definitions, and support by IFIs and donors|
Nature of collaboration
|intensification of production through choice of economically viable and sustainable technologies||UN, CGIAR, IFIs, CSOs, private sector, bilateral programmes||L - in synthetizing, testing and disseminating technologies, approaches and decision support tools|
|enhanced technologies for sustainable fisheries||IGOs (Regional fisheries organizations), CGIAR, CSOs||L - to carry out joint assessments|
seeking greater efficiency of the agribusiness production and commercialisation chain
|UN, private sector||M - for feasibility assessments for agribusiness establishment|
|improving the research-production link||UN, CGIAR, IFIs, CSOs||M - through various means (host of NARS Secretariat, networks, joint evaluation studies, etc..)|
Nature of collaboration
|farmer-identified land and water management practices||CGIAR, CSOs (farmers groups)||L - to facilitate interdisciplinary work to synthesize, test and disseminate practices for adoption|
|balancing conflicting demands on forests through participatory forest resource management||CSOs and partners of the Forest, Trees and People programme||L - to catalyse action and disseminate lessons from successful experiences|
|implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries||IFIs, IGOs (regional fisheries organizations and agreements), NGOs||L - to ensure human and financial resources flows to responsible fisheries and aquaculture management|
|genetic resources management and threats to biodiversity||UN, CGIAR, IFIs, CSOs, donors||M - in providing guidance on multidisciplinary policies and activities that impinge on food production and food security, monitoring implementation of GPA on PGRFA|
|capacity-building for impact assessments (for sustainability)||UN, IFIs, bilateral programmes, CSOs||M - to organize technical exchanges and seek donor support|
|integrated fisheries resource management||CGIAR, IFIs and donors, CSOs||M - for building awareness, supporting exchanges, seeking donor support|
|integrated management of natural resources for agriculture||UN, CGIAR, CSOs||L - in joint development of strategies and their implementation|
Nature of collaboration
|reflection of pertinent social, economic and environmental issues in agricultural policy||UN, IFIs||
L - to sensitize partners about the need to incorporate the appropriate factors in policy analysis and formulation as they affect agriculture, fisheries and forestry
|holistic and balanced land and water use policies and strategies||UN, CGIAR, CSOs||M - in evaluating, developing and promoting land and water use policies and strategies|
|integration of sustainability concerns into work of NARS and allied institutions||UN, IFIs, CSOs (involved with education and extension systems)||M - to promote conceptual and practical application efforts at country level, information exchange, and seek external financial support|
Nature of collaboration
|further development of WAICENT||UN, CGIAR, donor community (besides national sources)||L - in the development and dissemination of access tools, support to enhanced Internet connectivity, exchanges of data and information, capacity-building for data collection and validation and financial assistance with donor support|
|expansion of FAO specialized data systems feeding into WAICENT (agriculture, fisheries, forestry, food and nutrition, gender, pertinent aspects of sustainable development, etc...)||UN, IFIs, IGOs, CGIAR, organizations partners of FIVIMS, etc..||L - to ensure continued information sharing|
|enhancement of standards, norms and statistical methodology||UN, IGOs, NGOs and CSOs||S - on matters relating to food and nutrition, and agriculture (including forestry, fisheries and natural resources)|
Nature of collaboration
|periodic assessments of the state of agriculture and nutrition, commodity developments, state of fisheries and forestry resources||UN, IFIs, bilateral programmes, CGIAR, IGOs (e.g. international commodity bodies or regional fisheries organizations), CSOs||L - in terms of consultations, exchange of information, validation of hypotheses, experience with modelling, etc...|
|medium-term outlook and longer-term perspectives studies||UN, CGIAR, IGOs||L - in ensuring exchange of data, methods and models, collaboration on selected issues and assessments|
|forest sector outlook studies||WB, Regional Banks, European Commission||L - with funding contribution from partners|
|assessment of the implications of technical and scientific developments on agricultural trade||UN, IGOs, CSOs||S - by dovetailing of analytical work, consultations|
|trend analysis of key factors in agricultural resource management||CGIAR, IFIs, CSOs||M - to apply its global perspective to analysis and interpretation of key factors and call attention of partners to areas needing further attention|
|trend analysis of key factors in sustainable development||UN, IFIs, IGOs, members of ACC network on rural development and food security at local level||M - for exchange of information and experiences, joint studies|
Nature of collaboration
|monitoring of implementation of the World Food Summit Plan of Action, promoting exchange of experience||all organizations involved in the various reporting streams to the Committee on World Food Security (see also FIVIMS under A-2 and E-1)||L - in maintaining continuing contacts;
facilitating participation and reporting by all concerned
|servicing of the ACC network on Rural Development and Food Security (in close cooperation with IFAD and WFP)||UN (members of the network and, at country level, thematic group members) CSOs and donor representatives||L - to animate thematic groups at country level under the aegis of UN Resident Coordinator|
|strengthened partnerships in implementing various provisions of the WFS Plan of Action||in addition to those mentioned above, the UNHCHR, IPU and others||M & S - in promoting contribution by all actors to WFS Follow-up|