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Policy outreach and communications - what works for improving food security and nutrition at the country level?

The challenge
 
Technical notes, research reports, policy briefs, etc. on food security and nutrition (FSN) are often targeted at decision-makers and aim at contributing to evidence-based policy making. However the degree to which the FSN information produced is actually used by decision makers, and influences policy making, remains unclear. 
 
Through this forum we would like to explore the factors that contribute to our evidence and knowledge actually being used in policy making processes – in particular at the country and regional level.
 
We have prepared an optional template for capturing your success story which we encourage you to use.
 
The purpose of this discussion: collect case studies and concrete examples of successful policy outreach.
 
We would like to gather concrete examples of how the FSN information produced by your organization has been used by policy makers and influenced policy dialogue and decisions in your country or region. We would like you to think of factors such as:
 
  • What innovative strategies and channels have you used to reach policy makers and get feedback on their emerging needs? 
  • Have you ever significantly changed your communication or policy outreach strategy? How did you change it? Did you get better results? 
  • What role do intermediaries (the media, “champions” in the government, etc.) play in helping you communicate your recommendations to policy makers? 
  • If you are a policy maker or user of FSN information, how do you communicate your information needs to the information producers? What should information producers consider when trying to increase the use of their evidence by policy makers?
 
More than anything we would like to hear your success stories about what actually worked in terms of your information being used by policy makers! 
 
How we will use the information that comes out of this forum discussion
 
After the discussion closes we will compile concrete examples and a list of recommendations for making sure the FSN information we produce contributes to evidence based policy making. This document will be available through this website and sent to forum participants.
 
Looking forward to meeting you online!
 
Facilitators of the discussion: Denise Melvin (Communications and Outreach Officer, FAO), Renata Mirulla (Policy Dialogue Officer, FAO) and Cordelia Salter (Communications Coordinator for the Committee on World Food Security, FAO)

This discussion is now closed. Please contact fsn-moderator@fao.org for any further information.

Félix Tékpon Gblotchaou Alliances contre la faim et la Malnutrition ...
02.10.2014

Question 1 : Nous souhaitons recueillir des exemples concrets illustrant la façon dont l'information sur la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition produite par votre organisation a été réellement utilisée par les décideurs, et comment elle a influencé le dialogue politique et les décisions dans votre pays ou région. Nous vous proposons de considérer les facteurs suivants:

·         Quelles stratégies et voies innovatrices avez-vous utilisées pour contacter les décideurs et faire en sorte qu'ils communiquent leurs nouveaux besoins ? 

REPONSE

La stratégie qui a le plus marchée : Lorsque l’Alliance contre la Faim et la malnutrition du Bénin (ACFM), peut prendre position sur un sujet de faim, de malnutrition, de sécurité alimentaire, de droit à l’alimentation, nous organisons souvent des activités (surtout des ateliers de réflexion sous le co-parrainage du Ministre en charge de l’Agriculture et d’autres autorités telles que le ministre de la justice, le Président du Conseil économique et social, le représentant de la FAO etc..). Nous impliquons les services techniques du ministère de l’Agriculture au point où nos résolutions leurs sont transmises pour action. Le souci de professionnaliser la jeunesse agricole a été un slogan de l’ACFM qui a été récupéré par l’Etat et a fait l’objet d’un vaste projet de formation des jeunes à l’entrepreneuriat agro-pastoral au Bénin. L’épizootie du virus H5N1 (Grippe aviaire) qui avait commencée en Egypte et qui était entrée au Nigéria le dernier trimestre de 2005 ne pouvait pas rater le Bénin. Pour sonner l’alerte, l’ACFM a diffuser un communiqué de presse alarmant invitant l’Etat, les organisations internationales multilatérales et bilatérales, les Ambassades, les ONG  de concert avec les acteurs de la chaîne aviaire à mettre en place des stratégies préventives de riposte au Bénin. Nous avions ensuite organisé deux ateliers de sensibilisation en direction des acteurs. A ces ateliers, nous avions associé le Ministère de l’Agriculture qui à la suite de ces rencontre a mis en place une équipe de crise qui a travaillé à contrer cette épizootie.

En 2008, l’Alliance contre la Faim et la malnutrition du Bénin (ACFM), consciente de la crise alimentaire et énergétique qui sévissaient, a jugé nécessaire que les plus hautes autorités du Bénin ne brillent pas par leur absence au somment de haut niveau sur la sécurité alimentaire organisé par FAO à Rome en Août 2008. Une lettre ouverte a été adressée en juin au Chef de l’Etat béninois et à son gouvernement par l’ACFM du Bénin pour exhorter le gouvernement à être représenté au plus haut niveau à ce sommet. Le Chef de l’Etat, quoiqu’en voyage au Japon, avait écouté son séjour pour rejoindre Rome. Notre organisation, au cours de la veillée aux chandelles organisée en  octobre 2008 après la journée mondiale de l’alimentation (JMA), en a fait le témoignage devant le Ministre de l’Agriculture, de l’Elevage et de la Pêche à qui il a été demandé de transmettre toutes nos reconnaissances au Président de la République.

En 2011 et 2012, l’ACFM du Bénin en concert avec les ACFM du Burkina Faso et du Mali a mis en place un projet synchronisé de communication dénommé « Projet Action et Communication pour la Sécurité Alimentaire et la Nutrition en Afrique de l’Ouest » (PACSAN). Ce projet avait utilisé le créneau des ateliers de l’ACFM pour faire de la communication sur l’insécurité alimentaire, la malnutrition et le droit à l’alimentation dans les trois pays.

Question2 :

·         Avez-vous déjà modifié de façon significative votre stratégie de communication ou de sensibilisation ? Comment avez-vous procédé à ces changements ? Avez-vous obtenu de meilleurs résultats ? 

REPONSE

La stratégie a été la même jusqu’à présent.

Question 3 :

·         Quel rôle les intermédiaires (à savoir les médias, les défenseurs ministériels au sein du gouvernement, etc.) jouent-ils pour vous aider à faire connaître vos recommandations aux décideurs? 

REPONSE

Les médias jouent un grand rôle dans la diffusion des informations. D’ailleurs, lors de nos activités, nous associons intimement la cellule de communication du Ministère de l’Agriculture qui mobilise les chaînes de service public. Mieux, nous-mêmes, nous associons la presse privée.

Question 4 :

·         En tant que responsables de l'élaboration de politiques ou d'utilisateurs de l'information relative à la sécurité alimentaire et à la nutrition, comment faites-vous part de vos besoins en information à ceux qui la produisent ? Quels sont les éléments dont les producteurs de l'information devraient tenir compte pour essayer de favoriser l'utilisation des preuves par les responsables de politiques ?

REPONSE

Il nous arrive d’organiser des cours concours sur les thématiques de droit à l’alimentation, la sécurité alimentaire etc. A l’issu de ces cours concours, nous apportons de la matière première à la presse et leur demandons de faire des productions pour lesquelles les meilleures sont primées. Nous faisons à l’occasion des coupures de presses aux autorités. Mais ce qui est important est que les productions faites dans les différents organes de presse lors de leur diffusion sont connues de tout le monde donc des autorités.

En 2012, nous avions suggérer aux journalistes qui ont pris part aux différents cours concours que nous avions organisés de se mettre en réseau des journalistes pour la sécurité alimentaire au Bénin. Actuellement, ce réseau travaille non seulement avec l’ACFM, mais aussi le département nutrition de l’UNICEF au Bénin.

Question 5 :

Et surtout, nous aimerions connaître des exemples de réussite illustrant les éléments qui ont réellement favorisé l'utilisation de votre information par les décideurs

REPONSE

  • Le déplacement du Chef de l’Etat au sommet de Rome en 2008
  • La riposte pro-active du Bénin dans l’endiguement de la grippe aviaire en 2005-2006
  • La formation à l’entrepreneuriat agricole des jeunes est devenue un vaste projet de l’Etat béninois
  • Le gouvernement béninois est très sensible au droit à l’alimentation quoique ce droit n’a pas encore fait objet de loi au Bénin.

GBLOTCHAOU Félix Tékpon
Président de l’ACFM du Bénin

Président de la Plateforme des Alliances contre la faim et la Malnutrition en Afrique de l’Ouest (PAAO)

 

Mr. H.M. Prosper Monde Réseau Nourriture Saine Bénin_Slow Food , Benin
30.09.2014
H.M. Prosper
  1. Quelles stratégies et voies innovatrices avez-vous utilisées pour contacter les décideurs et faire en sorte qu'ils communiquent leurs nouveaux besoins ? 

1.1 Stratégie de Captage Expert des besoins 

La gestion de l’information dans les domaines de l’agriculture, de la sécurité alimentaire et de la nutrition demande au personnel en charge de cette action de développer une attitude experte.

L’attitude experte permet de capter rapidement les déficits en information afin d’établir les besoins à satisfaire. L’attitude experte  est utilisée pendant les évènements/rencontres réunissant les décideurs (séminaires, ateliers, séances de planification, suivi, évaluation, conférences, débats télévisés, etc.). L’attitude experte du gestionnaire de l’information se base sur des guides repères experts conçus qui permettent d’identifier les besoins non exprimés des décideurs qui n’en sont pas conscients.

1.2 Utilisation de la Vision Imagée du Changement 

C’est un outil très important pour :

  • visualiser à l’avance les effets et l’impact attendus des interventions dans la sécurité alimentaire et la nutrition au regard des difficultés et problèmes que rencontrent les acteurs locaux, régionaux, nationaux ;
  • analyser les interventions conduits ;
  • analyser les informations susceptibles d’induire ces changements aux niveaux désirés en termes de valeur et de valeur ajoutée ;
  • cibler les acteurs en rapport avec les types d’information et en fonction de la nature de cette dernière : (i)demandes exprimées, (ii)besoins sentis et non exprimés sous forme de demandes et (iii)besoins non sentis.

1.3 Enquêtes classiques pour relever ou recenser les besoins (DEMANDES) des décideurs couplée avec une Grille d’Analyse pour la  Priorisation des Options Stratégiques

Pas besoin d’expliquer ces stratégies.

  1. Avez-vous déjà modifié de façon significative votre stratégie de communication ou de sensibilisation ? Comment avez-vous procédé à ces changements ? Avez-vous obtenu de meilleurs résultats ? 

Les modifications doivent être faites tout le temps aux stratégies de communication ou de sensibilisation en terme d’innovations sous formes de produits et services, de processus, d’organisation, d’institution et de politique.

C’est un travail permanent et pas du tout facile. Mais il est efficace car impacte.

Les résultats sont toujours meilleurs en termes de rapidité, de compréhension, d’acceptation, d’adoption.

  1. Quel rôle les intermédiaires (à savoir les médias, les défenseurs ministériels au sein du gouvernement, etc.) jouent-ils pour vous aider à faire connaître vos recommandations aux décideurs? 

Ils ne sont pas toujours conscients du rôle important qu’ils doivent jouer pour améliorer les situations existantes. Leur état d’utilité change beaucoup au gré de leurs intérêts (politique, financiers) de l’instant : utiles hier et inutiles aujourd’hui ;  inutiles hier et utiles aujourd’hui, de vrais caméléons. Que reste-t-il, saisir les opportunités offertes avec des choses CONCRETES PAS LA THEORIE, des PRODUITS/SERVICES FINIS.

  1. En tant que responsables de l'élaboration de politiques ou d'utilisateurs de l'information relative à la sécurité alimentaire et à la nutrition, comment faites-vous part de vos besoins en information à ceux qui la produisent ? Quels sont les éléments dont les producteurs de l'information devraient tenir compte pour essayer de favoriser l'utilisation des preuves par les responsables de politiques ?
  • Je leur écris et fais aussi des suggestions pendant les rencontres formelles. Je fais inscrire sous forme de sous activités ou tâches à accomplir, etc.
  • La qualité de l’information :
  • vraie,
  • précise sans détour ou point à éclaircir,
  • utilisateur final
  • utilité par rapport à quoi elle est destinée. Elle va générer quoi : un produit, un service, un processus, une forme d’organisation, une institution ou une politique…..
  • Les opportunités (toutes) offertes dans les contextes en cours aux niveaux national, régional, continental, international: crise, catastrophe, etc.

Etudes de cas et des exemples concrets de réussite en matière de sensibilisation

Objet de la sensibilisation : Rendre plus efficace la stratégie de constitution des stocks de sécurité alimentaire gouvernementaux basée essentiellement sur le maïs collecté par les commerçants et le riz don japonais en vigueur jusqu’en 2004 au Bénin (à l’Office National d’Appui à la Sécurité Alimentaire - ONASA)

Cibles de la sensibilisation :

- Ministre de l’agriculture (ex Ministre Fatiou Akplogan)

- Membres du Gouvernement

- Conseil d’Administration

- Directeurs, Chefs service et autres collaborateurs

Bénéficiaires finaux de la sensibilisation :

- Producteurs de vivriers excédentaires du Bénin

- Ménages consommateurs nationaux (populations, parlementaires, personnel de la Présidence de la République, tous les personnels des ministères et des autres institutions)

- Ménages consommateurs de la sous-région

Outils de sensibilisation :

- Mémorandum sur la sécurité alimentaire au Bénin

- Plaidoyers 

- Fiches d’opération technique et économique

- Fiches communication

- Démonstration

- Guides pour la nutrition (Pourquoi manger le riz produit localement ; Pourquoi manger les produits vivriers sains ; Pourquoi manger le sorgho ; etc.)

Canaux de communication pour la sensibilisation :

- Comité de direction

- Sessions spéciales négociées

- Séances personnalisées

- Session ordinaire du Conseil des Ministres

- Session ordinaire du Conseil d’Administration

- Courriers ordinaires aux institutions publiques et non

- Radios et télévisions

Innovations proposées AU NIVEAU MACRO:

- Nouveaux Produits : Achat des excédents vivriers paysans (Riz local, Sorgho, Mil, Soja) et Gari issu du Manioc transformé dès 2005 et intensifié dès 2008. Cession des engrais spécifiques pour les cultures vivrières dès 2008.   

- Nouveaux Services : Assistance-Conseil en alimentation et nutrition aux ménages (en rapport avec l’approvisionnement, l’utilisation des nouveaux aliments) grâce aux informations de l’Unité SQR (Service Questions - Réponses)

- Nouveaux Processus : Financement spécifique du Gouvernement ; Les processus de collecte, de conditionnement, de stockage et de cession des nouveaux produits

- Nouvelles Formes d’organisation : Gestion comptable des fonds spécifiques ; Décentralisation, déconcentration, contractualisation de quelques tâches  

- Nouvelles  institutions et politique : Nouvelles institutions créées en 2008 (87 Boutiques Témoins dans toutes les Collectivités décentralisées), en 2010 (02 rizeries installées à Malanville et Glazoué). Elaboration du PNSA (Programme National Sécurité Alimentaire) en 2007. Avènement de nouveaux projets.

Lalita Bhattacharjee FAO, Bangladesh
26.09.2014
Lalita

Contribution posted by Lalita Bhattacharjee and Antonio Schiavone, FAO Bangladesh

FAO’s National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP) in Bangladesh - Communication and Outreach

FAO’s National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP) has been providing technical support to strengthen Bangladesh’s institutional and human capacities to design, implement, and monitor food security and nutrition policies. Apart from strengthening the capacity of relevant ministries and government agencies, the Programme also promotes better access to food-security related information and knowledge exchange.

The Food Planning and Monitoring Unit (FPMU) of the Ministry of Food is the Government unit responsible for monitoring the food security and nutrition situation in Bangladesh and the implementation of related policies. The FPMU collects stories and disseminates information for food security and nutrition analysis and policy formulation, and delivers evidence-based policy advice to the Government on issues relevant to food security and nutrition.

The NFPCSP Outreach Strategy is characterized by:

Objective 1. Enhancing dissemination to promote stability and efficiency (Food Security and Nutrition): Stability and efficiency can be achieved only if updated information of food security (e.g. production; government imports; price for domestic procurement) reaches market actors.

Objective 2. Creating an enabling environment for policy making: in addition to products, the FPMU’s outreach should contribute in creating an enabling environment for government policy decisions to happen.

Audience/Stakeholders

FPMU is targeting a wide range of actors that includes development partners, research institutions, private sector (importers/producers/traders), media and the general public. Each group is important and can influence the policy process in different ways.

Dissemination strategy

The Food Security and Nutrition Information System (FSNIS)

The FSNIS comprises: i) a Data Management System and its Food Security and Nutrition Data Portal (through the website) which provides the public an easy access to a comprehensive and continuously updated database of information on food security and nutrition data in Bangladesh. Through this portal data can be downloaded and analyzed in different formats; ii) the document repository consisting of an online Library (through the website) and physical documentation center; iii) a website containing all information on recent events and published reports (www.nfcpsp.org and www.fpmu.gov.bd)   

ES Connect Mailing list

The website offers a space for publishing all the information products that are developed or stored. For the ‘promotion’ of FPMU/NFPCSP products, a more pro-active outreach approach to disseminate information products is the ES Connect mailing list. ES Connect is an online Customer Relation Management service of FAO's Economic and Social Development Department: by registering through the ES connect or the NFPCSP website, users receive emails with hyperlinks to some of the latest information products. While the hyperlinks to regular reports and policy briefs are systematically disseminated through the ES connect mailing list, products such as presentations, training and workshop materials, and interim research grants reports as well as events are in some cases uploaded on the website but not promoted.

Other Dissemination Tools

Courier-Post Mailing list (printed documents): For products such as the Fortnightly Food grain Report, Quarterly Food Situation Report, the FPMU prints and mails about 50 copies to government agencies (and the Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry –FBCCI).

Events and Meetings: Information products are also distributed in meetings/events organized by development partners and other stakeholders or by the FPMU/NFPCSP. Events organized by the FPMU/NFPCSP such as the Research Grant Workshops offer an important opportunity to reach out to a considerable amount of stakeholders, usually with products such as the monitoring report and policy briefs.

Conclusions

Results and Challenges:

  • An Outreach Strategy was produced half way through the project and provided an excellent guide to plan, implement and monitor outreach activities
  • Producing: Recognized quality of work produced has increased reputation and visibility of the project and of FPMU (now recognized as central focal point for food security policy). Good outreach and communication has of course contributed to this achievement, but most of all reputation and excellence greatly helps outreach!
  • Publishing: Policy tools used have been adequate to the scope of the programme. For example the website has been maintained and developed thanks to dedicated resources assigned, as also the case for the documentation center.
  • Promoting: The main challenge of the outreach process has been probably the promotion part. Frequent public events have effectively facilitated the distribution of products and increased visibility and availability of information to the general public as well as its uptake. However, more ad hoc promoting events could have been organized if more resources would have been assigned to this specific activity. From the project side, the programme and outreach officer, given also the size of the project, was forced to spend more time on the programming and management activities rather than communication. To this end a communication and outreach expert was not planned at the beginning of the project and the situation was adjusted half way. From the government side persistent delays in the recruitment of specialized personnel in FPMU (a librarian, a web site manager, etc) has hampered efforts to effectively transfer certain skills, leaving the burden entirely on the project’s programme and outreach officer. In general it seems that outreach and communication activities are still low in the agenda and the full potential of expanding this activity is yet to be fully recognized. It has to be said that also scarcity of resources force senior management to make strategic decisions that often tend to penalize communication. 

Recommendations

  • Communication and outreach starts with planning from the beginning of the project
  • Assign dedicated resources
  • Most of all, outreach will be greatly facilitated if there is a quality product to promote and for the target audience to uptake!

 

 

 

Enoque Albino Manhique APDCOMA-Association For Community Development and, Mozambique
24.09.2014
Enoque Albino Manhique

There should be a comprehensive communicating programme that vibrantly will keep people at the house level well informed about the importance of food production and productivity. Clear programmes that address the importance of food production at all levels. This can be done by promoting workshops where community leaders and household members with influence in their communities can be invited to discuss all matters about food security and make clear its real concept.
Therefore, decision makers should be invited in every possible workshop at the country level, a platform for food security should establish and research institutions should be involved as they play a great role in community development  

Government should establish programmes that provide to small farmers and producers the implements that will enable them to engage lovely into food production, in some extent credit schemes are needed so that they can move from small farmers to the other level including agro-processing and be able to building the production chain.

A door for young people to engage themselves into agriculture is needed by creating programmes that push them to see this area as the potential for their job creation and income generation both for house and the country level.

Infrastructures and media services are necessary to keep all level updated about the importance of food production and productivity. This will take people to understand the essence of food securit nutrition y and at all level including countrywide.

It is quite  obvious that women are playing great role as household heads therefore they should provided with implements that will permit them to work and produce as much as needed, both for home consumption and for market so that they are able to cover their needs and of the others.

For this to happen, governments as exposed above play great role for making such programmes sustainable. It is understood that most developing countries enjoy a vast number of natural resources which should equitable be distributed and this will occur if all countries if governments allow a faire distribution of the resources.

Creating programmes that empower female farmers and youth to engage into agriculture. For youth the graduates before seeking any job in towns should be assigned a house and inputs and portion of land with all necessary tools to work the land and increase production and productivity. This will effectively cover the gap on food security and nutrition at country level.

Enoque Albino Manhique
DVM, MSc in Agricultural Development
Agricultural Research Institute of Mozambique

Ms. Laura L. Dawson, MAOM, Dipl.Ac. Food Physics & Body Dynamics LLC, United States of ...
23.09.2014
Laura L.

President Obama authorized a new Food Safety Modernization Act http://www.fda.gov/Food/GuidanceRegulation/FSMA/here in the USA, to be implemented by our national Food and Drug Adminstration. Meetings began on how to protect Americans and all peoples of the globe, in order that we may continue to trade food products and commodities, while assuring this food did not carry unwanted disease carrying bacteria and other issues relating to poor food safety standards. I was invited to act as a capacity building member of meetings in Washington DC where other nations had sent their food policy specialist in June 2012. During the meetings we discussed the portions of our food in the USA that were already being imported, as well as how to create a global food security system in which all counties in active food trading could participate and share in the responsibility. We came up with several strategies that would use the food industry leadership in each country along with universities and in some cases military in order to manage food safety regulations and outbreaks of food borne illness. I am grateful and honored to provide both verbal and written recommendations that will make the world's food supply safer for all peoples.

Knowledge Outreach Team FAO, Italy
23.09.2014
FSN Forum

Name of your organization, country

 

FAO, Project: Capitalization of good practices in support of agricultural production and food security in Niger and Burkina Faso (2009-2013)

Your role

Strengthen local capacities in experience capitalization and production of good practices in different formats

Who are your target users?

Different targets for different products (radio series for farmers, fact sheets, posters, theatre plays and videos for farmer organizations, policy  brief for government officials and decision makers, …)

How do your target users use the information you provide and how do they give you feedback on their emerging needs?

The experiences that lead to good practice fact sheets were documented jointly with the farmer organizations. This enabled them to share information with other farmer organizations as well as to reflect upon their practices, learn lessons from failures and success and improve the practices so they could become “good practices”. The inclusion of gender sensitive approaches throughout the implementation of the practice also contributed to improve the practice. Including the end users in the experience capitalization process, enabled them to provide timely feedback. The farmers were able to provide feedback on the radio series through the listeners clubs organized by the community radios. A share fair was organized to share experiences and knowledge but also to collect feedback and promote collaboration.

What role do intermediaries* (‘champions’ in government, media, etc) play ?

The project office was located within the Ministry of Agriculture (Niger and Burkina Faso), which ensured a fruitful collaboration. The Secretary General of the Ministry supported the project which ensured a better uptake of the good practices within the policy of the Ministry of Agriculture. The community radio’s also played an important role in the dissemination of the information. Radio producers where trained to improve their radio programmes on gender and the use of the good practices documented by the project.  Community radio stations also collected feedback throughout their listeners clubs on the radio programmes produced.

What is the main communications or policy outreach challenge you face?

The challenges were merely related to the capacity development needed in the field on different topics (experience capitalization, gender,…). Multiple trainings workshops and short follow-up sessions were needed to ensure that the principles were well understood and that project staff and partners could ensure the sustainability of the work. Another challenge was the lack of resources that were needed to implement the programme. To ensure a large uptake of practices another phase to the project should have been funded immediately after this phase.

What recommendations would you give to someone, in a similar organization, wishing to improve the uptake and relevance of the information they produce?

-          Use of the experience capitalization process to identify, document, reflect on  different experiences so that the practices can be improved and shared with others.

-          Use of participatory methodologies throughout the whole process so the information corresponds to actual needs and actual realities.

-          Use local languages where possible to improve the accessibility of the information for farmers.

-          Strengthen partnerships

In your own words, tell your success story !

An experience capitalization process is not completed as long as the knowledge products and the know-how gained during the implementation of the practice are not used to improve it or scale it up. In other words, the different materials developed need to be used and start a new activity cycle that allows applying the new knowledge and obtain a larger impact.

In Burkina Faso, the cooperative called COPSA-C, for example, continues their inventory credit activities and ensures continuous training within their information and training centre to promote equitable inventory credit. In the same way, the Cigaba Union of Konkorindo in Niger shares its experience on inventory credit with other farmers ‘unions or organizations through exchange visits. Within the union itself the practice of inventory credit was strengthened with income generating activities for women.

Governments also play an important role within the process. The good practices identified on input management, such as inventory credit, the agro-input shops and the community listeners clubs have been integrated in the 3N Initiative “Les Nigériens Nourrissent les Nigériens”, the global programme of the Government in Niger to fight food insecurity. The uptake of the practices within the initiative has promoted the upscaling of the practices throughout the country. The good practice of the community listeners clubs was also integrated in the strategy of the Ministry of population, promotion of women and the protection of children on economic empowerment of women.

In Burkina Faso, inventory credit is part of an important World Bank Programme using the knowledge gained with the FAO project on experience capitalization.

More information on the project can be found on: http://www.fao.org/capacitydevelopment/km-gender/capitalization-gp/en/

* Intermediaries are people who can deliver your information/ key messages to your target audience – they may be mid level policy makers, ‘champions’ in the government, the media, etc.

Mr. Subhash Mehta Devarao Shivaram Trust, India
22.09.2014
Subhash

 Success Story Template on shifting organic for all not just the haves with the PC intervention assisted by successful farmers in the area to minimise cost increase production, taking over risks and responsibilities for the 'cash to cash cycle', group PGS - no packaging costs, access at little or no cost to members, ensurring long term sustainability

Name of your organization, country

 

Devarao Shivaram Trust, India

Your role

Trustee

Who are your target users?

Governments, NARES, Multilateral Orgs, National and Global Research Institutions

How do your target users use the information you provide and how do they give you feedback on their emerging  needs?

Most cases we will rewrite draft in track, keeping in mind the needs of the rural poor smallholder producer communities, submit it back to the author for finalization as a Government  document.

What role do intermediaries* (‘champions’ in government, media, etc) play ?

Provides the required inputs during meetings, discussions, public hearings, etc., ensure meeting needs of the smallholder focus is not lost

What is the main communications or policy outreach challenge you face?

Addressing the causes, effects of errors made, making investments for essential corrections to be made, involving all the concerned stakeholders as equal partners and following a bottom up aproach

What recommendations would you give to someone, in a similar organization, wishing to improve the uptake and relevance of the information  they produce?

Follow a bottom up approach, involve all concerned stakeholders as equal partners, not loosing focus of the end objective, ‘Meeting the needs of the rural poor smallholder producer communities in an effort to ensure they set up producer company (PC) managed by professionals to take over all risks and responsibilities for their ‘cash to cash cycle’ access to own requirements of nutritious food and thus improving their livelihood and long term sustainability

In your own words , tell your success story !

I did a course in organic farming at IAMB (CHIEM), Bari, Italy, after my retirement in 1999, to be able to get to the bottom and understanding the standards, agro ecology, certification – holistic approach.

Following Qs stood out as I was doing the course and since I have raised my voice on these issues:

·         Rigidity of the standards when agriculture is dependent on soil and agro climatic conditions

·         Justification of organic premium as production is higher and cost is lower  than conventional

·         Organic follows GAP, is safe and still is required to invest in the high cost packaging & certification

·         Conventional has very high pesticide residues, unsafe and thus certification should be mandatory

·         AR4D in organic is done by only a few orgs Globally – FiBL, Soil Assn, etc. The successful farmers do this season after season for adapting to climate change, if they are to remain prosperous

·         Post harvest losses of perishables (40%)

 

Focus has been shifted to following organic principles as applicable to each area (successful models in each area), PGS replaces certification as a policy, producers no longer look for premium, access to own requirements of safe nutritious food produced by the community, at little or no cost, having access to models of  successful farmers in the vicinity to follow for their long term sustainability  

PC intervention ensures creating human and institutional capacity, value addition to increase shelf life of produce, minimizing post harvest losses

Attached is curriculum - manual based on a success story:www.navajyoti.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22.09.2014
Bhubaneswor

Dear FNS Forum team members,

First learn from the practices of colleagues in your organization(FAO)

I would like to advise your team to learn from the practices of your FAO colleagues if you want to understand the degree to which the FSN information produced is actually used by decision makers, and influences policy making. I believe the information would be useful to many FAO staffs who have very low level of knowledge about many problems in developing countries but have been working as experts to prepare many policy reports about the countries. I read many policy guideline documents prepared by FAO staffs and most postings on the FSN Forum. The information shared in the forum were very useful to make the policy documents practical and useful but the information are poorly used. For instance, some members in the FSN explained the nutritional issue of the indigenous people as a critical agenda but the FAO staffs ignored the vital issue when preparing on the zero draft of the Framework for Action (FFA).  FAO members are supposed to adopt the information and demonstrate to others that the information are useful. If the FAO staffs do little trust and follow the information of the FSN forum what do you expect from others?    

One problem to be the information or Knowledge actually used in policy making processes. 

If policy decision makers requires to prepare policy documents themselves they would explore interesting issues, experiences and other information. But in some countries, consultants of funding agencies, particularly institutionally weak aid dependent countries (e.g.Nepal),  prepare most of the documents and send to the decision makers on email or by curriers. The decision makers require to read and sign the documents but do little exercise. The consultants work with personal relationship with staffs of the funding agencies, and do little value and read the information shared in the FSN forum. These are the reasons the policy documents of funding agencies supported agencies find highly formal but impractical. 

Thanks for reading my responses on your queries.

Bhubaneswor Dhakal    

Dr. Santosh Kumar Mishra Population Education Resource Centre (PERC), Department of ...
22.09.2014
Santosh Kumar

Warm greetings from the S. N. D. T. Women's University (SNDTWU), Mumbai, India and thanks for your mail. I am sending (see attachment below) my comments / contribution on how to improve the uptake and relevance of FSN information for decision making.
It runs in 12 pages. I hope you will find it interesting and relevant.

With best regards.

Respectfully,

 

Dr. Santosh Kumar Mishra (Ph. D.),
Technical Assistant,
Population Education Resource Centre (PERC),
Department of Continuing and Adult Education and Extension Work,
S. N. D. T. Women's University,
Mumbai - 400020, Maharashtra, India.

See the attachment:Dsr Santosh Kum2.docx
Manuel Castrillo Proyecto Camino Verde, Costa Rica
21.09.2014
Manuel

[Original contribution in Spanish]

Mucha de la información  que nos deja este ( y otros foros ), tratamos siempre de darle la mejor orientación, aunque a veces estos no sean datos concluyentes sino, debates y observaciones, que conforman cuerpos más completos que sirven para plantear políticas y/o acuerdos de mayor aplicación. El punto es, que sirven de incentivo para la discusión y proposición de ideas con colegas, decisores políticos, actores directos ( beneficiarios ) y facilitadores y medios. En ciertos casos tratamos de llegar a sectores de poder de acción, sin embargo, es muy somero la atención, pues están inmersos en su burocracia.

Así pues, cambiamos de estrategia, dirigiendo a grupos específicos que eran más susceptibles de mostrar interés, sin dejar de lado, lógicamente a otros actores indirectos. Las redes sociales han sido un instrumentos que llega a todos, se sabe, el uso es discrecional, pero sabiendo encauzarlo puede ser de gran efectividad.  La diseminación en congresos y foros precesenciales siempre será valiosa para hacer legar la información.

Otro factor es la cantidad de información, abundan investigaciones y proyectos relacionados, es vital, contar con datos realmente relevantes para situaciones específicas y conocer los destinarios potencialmente  y finales que podrán darle imlementación a estos.

Creemos como facilitadores, que uestra finción es tener claro quiénes necesitan la información para llevarles lo que corresponda.

Saludos.

[English translation]

We always try to draw as many lessons as possible from most of the information provided in this (and other) forums, despite occasionally data is not conclusive and rather consists of discussions and observations which are part of more comprehensive issues used to raise far-reaching policies and/or agreements. The key, however, is that these forums act as an incentive for discussing and proposing ideas with colleagues, policy makers, direct stakeholders (beneficiaries), facilitators and the media. In some cases, we try to reach sectors with power of action, although their interest tends to be limited as they are immersed in their own bureaucracy.

This is why we changed strategy, addressing specific groups with a potentially higher interest, without neglecting, of course, other indirect stakeholders. Social networks have been a far-reaching instrument. They are used on a discretionary basis, but can be very effective if properly channelled. Dissemination at face-to-face conferences and forums will always be useful to deliver the information.

Another relevant factor is the amount of information. There are numerous research studies and related projects. Gathering all the data relevant to specific situations and knowing the potential and final recipients that can implement them is deemed essential.

As facilitators we believe our role consists in knowing clearly who needs the information to provide it accordingly.

Regards