Flexible Multi-Partner Mechanism (FMM)

Closing the agricultural data gap: contribution to the 50x2030 initiative

Objective

To increase and sustain evidence-based decision-making in the agriculture sector by empowering countries to build national statistical systems that produce and use high-quality and timely agricultural data through survey programmes. Indirectly, the subprogramme contributes to improving the effectiveness of policymaking and investment decisions in the agricultural sector.

Status of the subprogramme
On going

Major results

SET-UP AND PLANNING

  • Intended to complement two existing grants and scale up work in countries eligible for the 50x2030 Initiative, the project did not undergo a planning phase. Rather, it harnessed advantages of ongoing projects by channelling resources to already planned activities, thus generating immediate and tangible results.

PARTNERSHIPS

  • The subprogramme benefited tremendously from previously established partnerships (namely IFAD and the WB through the Global Rural and Agricultural Integrated Surveys Partnership), and through two existing grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Existing partnerships have also contributed to the first steps of the 50x2030 Initiative, expanding its activities to new countries.

CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT

  • Activities strengthened the capacity of national government agencies (in Armenia, Nepal, Uganda) to collect and analyse data through numerous workshops and technical support missions, namely benefiting National Statistical Offices and Ministries of Agriculture. In Nepal, these trainings were key in building national capacity in using sampling methods (according to the 50x2030 principle), thus ensuring future independent ownership and the implementation of agricultural survey activities in Nepal.

POLICY ADVICE

  • Given the initial 12-month duration of the subprogramme and the long-term nature of this goal, direct policy-related achievements were not yet realized. Statistical work done under the subprogramme ultimately aims to inform the design of policies and programmes for the agriculture sector.

CATALYTIC EFFECTS

  • Activities to date led to the adoption of better and more efficient survey-related tools in three countries – Armenia, Nepal, Uganda –, exceeding initial targets. These countries customized and adopted the recommended methods.
  • The expected catalytic effect of the subprogramme is a progressive technical and financial take-over of countries in the medium-term. This will be measured when the project is completed.

CROSS-SECTORAL WORK

  • The work carried out thus far directly contributed to increasing visibility of findings from surveys facilitated by the project, through funding of workshops for dissemination of results. In one country (Uganda), the subprogramme funded the workshop for the dissemination of the key findings, which was attended by the community of data users and producers in the country. This in turn led to additional activities (funded through other grants) focused on use of empirical evidence for policymaking.

GENDER

  • The work contributed to increasing the availability of sex-disaggregated data for critical topics such as asset ownership, decisionmaking, control over economic resources and tenure rights, thanks to the adoption of advanced survey tools developed in the context of the 50x2030 Initiative and promoted by the subprogramme, and to the support provided to countries to analyse data from a gender perspective in order to inform and make policies and programmes more gender inclusive.

INNOVATION

  • The subprogramme contributed to the highly innovative 50x2030 Initiative. The main innovative elements included: the setup of integrated system for farm-based surveys characterized by an annual core questionnaire; the integration of household-based survey system and farm-based survey system; synergies between three components led by respective partners (methodological research [WB], data production [FAO] and data use [IFAD]); and the partnership between three implementing agencies and creation of unique multi-donor trust fund.

CHALLENGES and LESSONS LEARNED

  • There was a requirement to stipulate country project agreements with national governments for the implementation of small programmes, even if they were complementary to larger programmes funded through other sources for which an agreement had already been signed. This obligation was not well received by countries that were required to carry out a burdensome process of revision and signature even for activities that were marginal with respect to the main plan.
  • The plans and priorities of national statistical programmes are sometimes subject to change, which may unexpectedly oblige the rescheduling of planned activities. This happened in Nepal, where initial plans for national-level data collection in 2020 were overhauled, following the expressed unavailability of the national stakeholder to conduct activities due to conflicting agricultural census commitments. The 2020 activities were therefore limited to only including a commercial holdings survey with national coverage.
  • In addition, a factor that might oblige a rescheduling of planned activities in a 2020 is the COVID-19 pandemic, which has bearings on human health, the safety of workers and travel restrictions.

FOLLOW-UP ACTIONS AND OPPORTUNITIES

  • The subprogramme duration was extended (at no additional cost) from June 2020 to December 2021 so as to align the subprogramme with the LOA with Nepal. Subject to additional funding, intensified technical assistance can be delivered to the beneficiary countries.

Some examples of intended activities are the following:

  • In Armenia, a routine for the calculation of the two SDG indicators 2.3.1 and 2.3.2 can be developed in the second half of 2020, and capacity development activities targeting the technical staff can carried out. In addition, additional trainings can be done in the second half of 2020 in the already targeted four regions, before each data collection round (quarterly and annual surveys). Finally, preparation activities and trainings (Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing [CAPI] and survey tool trainings) should be organized in the remaining six regions starting from the third quarter of 2020.
  • In the second half of 2020 in Georgia, the development of a new rotating questionnaire (production methods and the environment) is planned. This will allow for the calculation of agro-environmental indicators and the coverage of some elements of SDG.
  • Indicator 2.4.1 (sustainable agriculture). Additional subprogramme funds may be used to contribute to the pilot tests planned for the end of 2020 and for the full-scale survey planned for 2021.
  • In Ghana, activities were delayed due to the signature of the country programme agreement and coordination with other implementing partners. Additional funding will allow the start of activities in this country.
  • In Uganda, additional funding may be used to support the data collection activities of the Integrated Survey Programme.

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