Contributions for Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises: adequate and appropriate funding mechanisms

Dan Maxwell Convener of the discussion, United States of America

We’d like to thank all our contributors to the Community of Practice e-discussion on “Addressing food insecurity in protracted crises: adequate and appropriate funding mechanisms.”  The discussion didn’t attract as much comment as we had hoped, but we do thank those who contributed. One of the final contributions from Walter Mwasaa made several good additional points: about joint planning cells and crisis modifiers that build a more joined up approach to working in protracted crises; about mathematical modeling and the improved ability to predict when crises will hit, which makes better mitigation both possible and imperative; and about resilience, and the ways that the public, private and civil society sectors have to work together to make investments in crisis-affected contexts work. Other recent contributions noted resource constraints faced, especially by local government and local authorities, and made the plea for better resource allocation and better joined up work. The issues of accountability and the ability to cope with additional aid flows, especially where legitimate funding financing channels may be problematic, were also highlighted. The example of the Protracted Relief Programme in Zimbabwe provided some useful insights: providing a flexible and responsive alternative to more ‘standard’ relief programs; and the value of pooled funding mechanisms to facilitate collaboration (and better programming) through learning and evidence sharing.

However, even as this discussion was going on, a report was issued by OCHA that reconfirms what most of us already know: money spent on the kinds of investments we have been discussing here—particularly on the prevention and mitigation crises, most of which applies to protracted crisis contexts—continues to be a very small drop in the bucket of humanitarian assistance or development aid up through and including 2011.  Funding for post disaster recovery has fared only slightly better.  These two trends should be an on-going source of worry for anyone concerned about protracted crises—and the people caught in them.  The very same OCHA report makes it clear that not only has information about crises improved, many new means of accessing information—and of crisis affected people being able to demand attention—have become available through social media, cell phone networks, and other means.  But to date these new sources of information, or of making demands heard, remain fundamentally attached to a fairly traditional model of crisis-response.  The experience of working in—or living through (!)—protracted crises in recent decades affirms the importance of this kind of response, but also makes it clear that classic humanitarian response alone is not sufficient.  We knew this long before the forum was launched.

The contributions here make it clear that practitioners have good ideas about what to do, and there are potentials for joined up efforts between humanitarian and development practitioners, local authorities, the private sector and disaster-affected or at-risk communities.  But given that this kind of an investment is mainly a public good and therefore has to financed by the public sector, the missing element has been the (political) commitment by the public sector to make these kinds of investments.  The observation that we had no contributions to the forum from anyone responsible for allocating this kind of resource isn’t encouraging.

But it is not the staff of donor agencies where the problem lies.  After all, many of the ideas we have discussed here come from donor agencies (and to be fair, there have been times in recent years where donors were ahead of the practitioner community).  The problem is deeper:  as the discussion on the forum has progressed, there has been another discussion going on in Washington DC about reforming US food aid (long the predominant kind of assistance sent to both acute food security emergencies and chronically at-risk contexts). The Obama administration has proposed reforms to cut back on in-kind food aid and make more flexible cash resources available—either for direct transfers or to purchase food in recipient countries.  The Bush administration proposed similar reforms in 2005 and in the deliberation over a new “Farm Bill” in 2008 (US food aid has long been mandated by agricultural legislation, not foreign assistance legislation—switching it to the foreign assistance budget is another part of the reforms on the table).  Yet even though the reforms demonstrably, (i)  save money, (ii) improve both the quality and quantity of assistance, (iii) shorten the time it takes to respond to crises, and (iv) have strong bipartisan support (it is one of the few changes in US policy in recent years proposed by both the Obama administration and the Bush administration), opposition to the reforms on Capitol Hill remains strong.  This is mainly because of powerful, single-interest lobby groups that care only about their slice of the pie, regardless of the public good—and their ability to sway the votes of democratically elected representatives.

I don’t say any of this to suggest that the answer to the issue of addressing protracted crises is going to be resolved by US food aid reform (although it would be one important step in the right direction).  I say it because many times, the way in which policy decisions (and especially resource-allocation decisions) are made reflect almost nothing about what is known and proposed by practitioners in the field, or by the staff of donor agencies whose actions reflect higher level political decisions.  If we have a relative consensus among practitioners about the right way to respond and the right kinds of investments to make in protracted crises, perhaps we need to invest more time and effort in influencing the politics of the decision-making processes that would actually make available more flexible resources, in something like the relative amounts required, in addressing the set of issues faced by populations in protracted crises.

Perhaps our next online consultation on protracted crises should be about the politics of engagement!

Leo Kortekaas Oxfam GB, Afghanistan

Dear Moderator,

Dear Dan Maxwell,

With interest I'm following / reading the proceedings of the on-line consultation about ways of food security funding in protracted crisis’s. I'm sorry that I received the information about this consultation a little bit too late to write a serious contribution on this topic. But going through the contributions I feel encouraged to write a few words and share some of my experiences around this topic.

For the moment I'm working in Afghanistan for Oxfam GB (with a programme very much oriented towards sustainable livelihoods and food security), a country that is already some 30 years in a cycle of violence and war. I arrived only recently and I do not feel ready to contribute in details into this discussion out from the Afghanistan context.

Before coming here I worked some 2.5 years in Haïti, mainly on the issues related to (emergency) food security. It is in Haïti where I struggled with this question about finding funding for food security activities and project proposals in protracted crisis (not strange, I was in Haïti when the FAO/WFP/IFAD report talking about food (in-)security in protracted crisis came out); and if I would have had the possibility to contribute it would have been around that struggle.

The contribution would have been around the fact that to improve food security in protracted crisis more and alternative ways of analysing the situation need to be done, to find the root causes behind the food insecurity. Out from the root causes investments need to made in practical research and extension services ... etc. to find answers to the questions and to boost the production, to link the production with value adding (processing) activities, to link the added value product with the consumer’s market with or without going through the (commercial) private sector, ...  etc.

Going to donors with these proposals the emergency ones will say (including the UN system, within the CAP these proposals have been written out from the document, as being “not live saving”) sorry your proposal is too much development oriented - we cannot take it into consideration or think about funding. Going to the more development oriented donors, they will say yes - very good and the proposed approach could indeed help tackle the food insecurity - but the country is in (protracted) crisis and therefore we cannot think about starting up development oriented projects, right now – let’s wait for the situation to be stabilised.

I learned to be creative and in many cases it is possible to use emergency funding to work on longer term (development) goals.


On the other hand I could as well have shared some of the very positive experiences with the European Union in Zaïre / DR Congo. During the years 1995 – 2000 (long before people started to speak and write about food (in-)security in “protracted crisis”) the European Union was able to fund out from mixed budgets (ECHO and in the time DGVIII or development budget) activities and projects that exactly were doing what can be done in long during instable contexts (talking about the end of the Mobutu and the start of the (Papa) Kabila period) to help to increase food security for both farmers as at the consumers markets. I do not think that the EU is still able to fund these initiatives by mixed funding sources (even within the EU the humanitarian and the development departments have grown further into silos), but it would be interesting to go back to those experiences and see what can be learned from them to do better in future.

I do hope the consultation will continue and if that is the case, perhaps there will be another opportunity for me to contribute out from my food security experiences in both emergency as in development context and the many experiences that are in the grey zone in between the two.

Best regards

Leo Kortekaas.

Tessa Vorbohle HelpAge International, United Kingdom

Given the complex nature and non-linear dynamics of protracted crises, with countries experiencing recurrent shocks and both, transitory and chronic food insecurity, what would appropriate funding mechanisms look like?

Appropriate funding mechanisms would provide multi-year funding that goes beyond addressing the symptoms of the crisis and would – right from the onset - pro-actively protect people’s productive assets before a process of attrition starts. Where possible it would also promote people’s livelihoods by addressing issues that tend to be perceived as long term developmental issues such as adapting to changes, facilitating access to local markets or resolving land disputes.

Such funding mechanisms and programmes need to be guided by and draw their effectiveness from strong contextual analysis, able to capture intra-country differences and changes over time. HEA based assessments and the IPC framework with their ability to assess livelihood-zone- specific opportunities and constraints for protecting and promoting livelihoods and their ability to assess and predict both, transitory and chronic food insecurity, provide a good basis for this.

Personally, I think that the Protracted Relief Programme (PRP) carried out in Zimbabwe (2004-2012) is a positive example of a funding-mechanism/programme that helped to protect and - to a certain extent – promote livelihoods of poor and vulnerable households in the context of a protracted crisis. Initiated and led by DFID, it became a multi-donor funded programme over time. PRP provided an alternative to the prevailing more traditional types of relief programmes in the country.

The programme supported livestock protection schemes and the production of food by promoting improved and drought resilient techniques and this even during very severe phases of the crisis. Its grounding in strong contextual analysis – over time increasingly using HEA based concepts and tools - allowed the programme to make informed and strategic choices about appropriate interventions for the different livelihood zones and considering how the crisis affected the zones differently, balancing livelihood protection and promotion needs. The inclusion of MoA extension workers in training and delivery efforts built capacity at the local level. T

he programme was flexible and responsive in that it allowed for including new beneficiary groups such as internally displaced people when the need arose. PRP was not only effective in pooling funds but also in establishing a ‘community of practice and learning’ among the various implementing partners (ranging between 23 - 36 NGOs at different times).

The evidence and learning informed the re-design of activities within PRP from one phase to the other but it also had an influence beyond the programme. The analysis framework and generated evidence was for example useful to challenge the timing, targeting and type of the more traditional relief assistance (mainly in-kind food assistance) that was provided separately from the PRP by other programmes. To conclude, to me the biggest lesson to learn and to replicate in other protracted crises is the value of using pooled funding to facilitate collaborative learning, evidence gathering and sharing for being able to grasp and respond to the complex and changing reality of protracted crises.

Another strength of the PRP was that it included most vulnerable households in its livelihood protection and promotion work.

This included elderly headed households and households affected by chronic disease. This is something to highlight, learn from and develop further. While these and other households characterized by constrained labour capacity generally benefit from short term relief and - where in place - from social protection measures, the PRP experience shows that labour constrained households can engage in productive livelihood activities when these are designed with labour saving considerations in mind. This is not meant as an argument to replace relief assistance and social protection for vulnerable households but rather a call for greater inclusion of labour constrained households in (appropriately designed) livelihoods activities as a complementary intervention. Given the unpredictability of short term relief provision and the limited adequacy of current social protection measures in most protracted crises, the inclusion of labour constrained households in interventions that actively protect and promote their productive assets and activities will contribute to increased and sustained food security and livelihoods outcomes of a group that tends to be overlooked in this type of programming.

Al Hassan Cisse Oxfam, Senegal

Contribution Oxfam sur les mécanismes de financement adéquats et appropriés pour les crises prolongées

Les contraintes sur les mécanismes de financement doivent vues selon la nature des crises prolongées. Celles qui sont dues aux catastrophes naturelles ont des contraintes plutôt liées à la durée du financement qui ne permet pas de s’attaquer aux causes structurelles. Il est plus difficile d’assurer un financement adéquat dans les pays où les crises sont dues à des conflits. Ainsi tout mécanisme mis en place doit tenir compte des facteurs ayant entraîné la crise. Généralement il est plus compliqué d’intervenir dans un pays où la crise est causée par un conflit en ce sens que les risques de déviation des financements sont plus élevés. En situation de crises prolongées, les mécanismes de gouvernance et de transparence sont pauvres. Les modalités actuelles de financement des réponses à des crises prolongées doivent évoluer vers un modèle pluriannuel permettant aux intervenants de pouvoir développer des réponses intégrant la réponse précoce, la réponse proprement dite, la réhabilitation (avec une dimension SISA et alerte précoce) et lancer les bases du développement. Ce type de programme, dans le contexte du Sahel nécessite une stabilité de financement sur au moins trois ans pour une zone et un programme donnés. Le mécanisme de financement doit ainsi permettre de s’attaquer aux causes structurelles et répondre aussi aux besoins immédiats. Il faut ainsi établir une approche qui donne la voix aux pauvres parce que dans ce genre de contexte où les garanties d’avoir un appui qui arrive à ceux qui en ont besoin sont faibles. Il faut donc faire un diagnostic participatif des besoins pour déterminer non seulement les besoins réels mais les facteurs sociaux, économiques et culturels contraignants pour la mise en œuvre. Dans les pays qui ont des programmes de financement de l’agriculture par exemple, les populations pauvres n’ont pas du tout accès aux intrants mis en place par les Etats de par leur prix, mais aussi de par les conditions d’utilisation et les relations sociétales de pouvoirs au niveau local qui peuvent notamment faire que les associations de femmes agricultrices soient d’office exclues (cas d’une association soutenue par Oxfam dans le Guera au Tchad) qui s’est vu refusée l’accès au tracteur en 2012, les associations masculines étant privilégiées).

En fin de compte, dans certains cas, le problème se situe moins dans la faiblesse des Etats que dans la volonté politique des gouvernants en lien avec des tendances lourdes de nature politique et de gouvernance. Donc ce que nous devons apprendre est qu’il faut de bonnes structures de gouvernance et s’assurer aussi que les besoins des pauvres soient bien identifiés. Cette approche permet de contribuer à la construction de la résilience en permettant aux populations affectées de mieux se sortir des effets des crises et de pouvoir se réhabiliter.

La vulnérabilité des populations vivant dans les pays en crises prolongées s’accroit au fur et à mesure que les crises durent entrainant du coup une augmentation de la pauvreté. Plus les crises sont prolongées, plus les moyens d’existence sur lesquels les populations comptent pour survivre se dégradent avec comme corollaire des taux élevés de malnutrition. Et les enfants et les femmes sont les premières victimes. L’absence de financement à long terme ne permet pas dans ce cas de s’attaquer aux causes structurelles et augmente le coût des interventions humanitaires. Ce constat fait au Sahel appelle à un financement qui va au-delà des réponses d’urgence.

La question du financement viable et flexible reste centrale. Il s’agit de voir quel est le canal où doit passer l’aide pour s’assurer au moins qu’elle soit bien dépensée. Il est difficile de trouver des canaux légitimes de financement lorsqu’il n’y pas de contre partie nationale fiable et le risque est de créer des systèmes parallèles basés sur les agences humanitaires. Cette situation favorise le désengagement de l’Etat dans la durée ou l’absence de renforcement des capacités /accompagnement des Etats dans leur mandat. En même temps il se pose le problème de la redevabilité et de l’implication de la société civile, quand le tissu social a été détruit par de longues crises. Vu la faiblesse de l’administration étatique dans les pays à crises prolongées, les agences humanitaires restent le seul réceptacle du financement. Ainsi pour que le financement soit durable, il faut établir un mécanisme de transfert de compétences aux Etats en favorisant la participation des structures étatiques dans le processus mais aussi la société civile. L’inclusion des communautés dans le processus est nécessaire pour garantir la transparence et l’efficacité du financement qui doit reposer sur un horizon long terme et répondre aux priorités identifiées. Mais bâtir un développement viable et durable repose sur l’appui à la reconstruction d’une administration étatique capable de bien délivrer les programmes.

Etant donné le caractère faible des structures de l’Etat dans ce genre de pays, les bailleurs de fonds et la communauté humanitaire devraient s’efforcer d’appuyer le renforcement des capacités des Etats et de la société civile. Les actions devraient s’inscrire dans une dynamique et une approche d’ensemble pour mieux harmoniser les actions.

Au niveau du Tchad, il y a eu une évolution significative depuis 2012. Le concept de résilience semble avoir eu une oreille plus attentive auprès des donateurs tels que ECHO qui se sont appropriés le plaidoyer pour des financements plus intégrés et inclusifs des différents pans de la réponse à une crise qui dure. Cette vision plus en phase avec les lignes de plaidoyer des acteurs tels qu’Oxfam a permis l’émergence de nouveaux instruments de financement, notamment par l’Union Européenne, à travers son Programme Thématique sur la Sécurité Alimentaire. Cet instrument permet aujourd’hui d’assurer la durabilité des acquis des projets de réponse d’urgence financés par ECHO et les autres bailleurs « d’urgence », à travers le développement de programmes plus orientés vers la construction de la résilience communautaire, mais aussi vers la valorisation des potentialités agricoles et économiques dans les régions de la bande sahélienne du Tchad, dans une logique de moyen et long termes, de création de la richesse et de renforcement de la citoyenneté paysanne.

Cette approche permet également une rationalisation de l’aide : les fonds de réponse d’urgence (life saving) sont réellement destinés à sauver des vies, avec une assurance que des programmes à moyen terme dans la même zone pourront contribuer à limiter les externalités négatives d’une réponse d’urgence (logique Do No Harm), tout en renforçant la capacités de la communauté à faire face à la prochaine crise (étant donné qu’il y aura toujours des pics de sécheresse dans la bande sahélienne à des intervalles plus ou moins réguliers).

Pour le financement des réponses à des crises prolongées, il est primordial de ne pas perdre de vue la capacité des Etats à faire face, avec un complément de l’aide extérieure, via les acteurs étatiques ou non étatiques.

Les CAP non annuels et les fonds groupés comme le MDTF peuvent être considérés comme solutions pour éviter la dispersion dans des situations aussi complexes. Il permettra une analyse commune et des interventions plus coordonnées des acteurs tout en favorisant la participation des communautés nationales et locales.

Au niveau des fonds qui transitent via le système des nations unies, il n’y a pas eu une grande évolution, sauf au niveau de la forme. En 2012, au moment de la définition du CAP 2013, une consigne avait été donné à tous les acteurs de considérer les besoins pour deux ans, c'est-à-dire que le CAP devait couvrir 2013 et 2014. Mais avec le très faible niveau de financement du CAP en 2012 déjà, il est probable que cette initiative n’ira pas plus loin que ça.

Samuel Kouakou Ministère de l'Agriculture, Côte d'Ivoire

Le problème de l'insécurité alimentaire dans les crises prolongées amène à analyser la durabilité des actions humanitaires qui se déroule alors sur un long temps.

Une activité humanitaire se veut, par essence, courte et limitée dans le temps. De ce fait, en situation de crises prolongées la mise en œuvre des activités doit impliquer les structures gouvernementales ou les ONG nationales qui sont pérennes. Elle peu également s'appuyer sur les coopératives ou des groupements de producteurs des zones affectées. Les institutions gouvernementales étant celles en charge de la mise en mise en œuvre des politiques, elles doivent être fortement impliquer dans la coordination des activités humanitaires afin d'assurer la relevé une fois les programmes des ONG internationaux achevés.

Des réunions de coordination doivent être organisées avec toutes les parties prenantes pour une meilleur appropriation. Les institutions gouvernementales doivent être appuyées en moyens logistiques et financiers, au cas ou le financement des activités revenait à un organisation non étatique, afin d'assurer un meilleur suivi mais surtout être à mesure d'évaluation. Très souvent les gouvernements n'ont pas de mécanismes suffisamment souffre pour la gestion et le financement des activités humanitaires qui se veulent à intervention rapide. Cela est dû surtout au procédure de gestion des finances publiques en vigueur dans nos pays. L'exemple de la Côte d'Ivoire où le Ministère de l'agriculture a mis en œuvre un programme d'urgence en réponse à la crise socio-politique, est assez éloquente.

Les Directeurs régionaux et Centraux de l'agriculture ont été impliqués dans la formulation, le suivi des activités. Il s'agit entre autres, de la distribution des intrants agricoles aux différentes coopératives des régions sinistrées. Des fiches de suivi et un contrat de performance ont été élaborés pour chacune de ses structures déconcentrées de sortes qu'après chaque activités, la mise en œuvre d'une autre (appui logistique ou financier par exemple) était basée sur l'évaluation de leurs prestations.

Cette situation a permis un meilleur suivi des activités des coopératives agricoles impliquées dans la production agricole. En retour ces coopératives ont pu soutenir d’autres activités telles que les cantines scolaires des écoles de ces régions et couvrir les besoins alimentaires des populations. Enfin, même si pour des raisons de bonne gouvernance, les financements ne peuvent pas être confiés aux structures gouvernementales, ces structures doivent néanmoins être étroitement impliquées et les moyens mis à leur disposition suivant des contrats de performances.

Les ONG locales et même la société civile n'ont pas toujours les capacités pour une gestion efficient des finances mis à leur disposition.

Walter Mwasaa Save the Children, Ethiopia

Allow me to throw in my contribution albeit further down the conversation. I have enjoyed reading the thought provoking contributions and would like to add below:

With dwindling domestic budgets and limited impact most traditional donors are beginning to seek development solutions that deliver cost effective interventions with clear impact. A term that has recently come to the center stage is resilience which I revisit later. Better integration/coordination and planning by donors, government, aid agencies and stakeholders is called for.

Taking the Horn of Africa as an example, there is a renewed sense of integration/collaboration and joint planning, a better appreciation of the factors that affect program delivery and new terminology such a Layered, Integrated and Sequenced program are emerging (USAID - Joint Planning Cells framework - The essence is to see all interventions as contributory and building onto one picture.

An old development truth that has been in place over the years is that human development is not linear but a chain of complex interdependent variables that together determine economic and developmental outcomes on communities. Increase in these variables ranging from climate, government policies and administrative borders and national, regional and global impact on markets of products have led to increased disenfranchisement. Wealth thought through project designs are brought to naught as are development gains are wiped out by any or a combination of these and a myriad of other variables.

The crisis modifier approach has been lauded as a success in reducing the erosion of developmental gains and needs to be promoted. The setting of the crisis modifier enable aid community under USG funding to shift gear in the 2011 drought in Ethiopia and deliver immediate life saving interventions reducing the losses. Its timely triggering, delivering the correct interventions and to the right persons in appropriate quantities is essential. Another approach is the contingency budget incorporated into the Government of Ethiopia's PSNP program its success in protecting regression on the "livelihood ladder" is also dependent on the same factors as affects the crisis modifiers.

Coming back to the factors affecting livelihood there is a more pressing need to accurately anticipate the challenges and their impact. As interventions flip flop between development and relief and all the mutations in between, a better understanding of the resilience affecting factors and outcomes is requisite. Science has equipped us with a good understanding of many complex phenomenon through models (eg By creating mathematical models including temperatures, atmospheric pressure, and prevailing winds, scientists can forecast how these factors will affect the development and movement of a storm. Much of the programming of these models is based on the study of previous hurricanes- we can tell where a hurricane will fall way ahead of its time- Now more than ever, it is paramount that we begin to model the impact of shocks and other livelihood challenges in a process to determine the impact of the shocks and get to closer to understanding the potential impact and the most appropriate responses including the levels of engagement required.

Another area that I believe needs a closer look into is the whole area of the logic of resilience. (“The ability of a system, community or society exposed to hazards to resist, absorb, accommodate to and recover from the effects of a hazard in a timely and efficient manner” United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction) from my little I would take this definition to elasticity which has been used to explain resilience as ability to bounce back think of a tennis ball or an elastic band. There is a reality that all the natural objects bounce back only within the limits of elasticity. I don't intend to demote the complexity of human development and economics to physical matter but I believe in the same manner households, livelihoods options and communities have levels of elasticity beyond which recovery cannot be anticipated.

Inclusion - we need two contextual and dynamic models that provide us with the:

- ability to determine when to stop supporting which intervention with some level of accuracy with all factors considered by determination of livelihood "elasticity limits".

- ability to determine and quantify within a dynamic context the various factors and impacts each variable has on a household, livelihood, community so as to tailor flexible programs that will be responsive and adoptive and provide a range of responses given identified challenges.

I believe we can move towards more predictable outcomes once we model the community level challenges with a clear eye to the dynamics that exist. This will most likely then develop a confident donor , government , private approach to development problems in recurrent crises.

Dan, I look forward to seeing the conclusions to the conversations and specifically on the third bullet which is what I have attempted to deal with.


Walter Mwasaa

Chief of Party for Save the Children's USG funded Development Food Program that supports the GoE's PSNP program

Dan Maxwell Convener of the discussion, United States of America

Again, we’d like to thank the contributors who have shared their ideas on this complex topic. Many themes have emerged, but perhaps too much is being read into the purpose of this online discussion. The focus here is specifically on protracted crises—contexts in which either very long lasting or repeated crises make the attainment of food security a particularly challenging policy goal.

The contribution from Bangladesh indicates that it is possible to have coordinated efforts involving the government, donors and agencies; an appropriate mix of short-term interventions to protect both food access and longer-term action to improve livelihoods—and the flexibility to adapt to circumstances in implementation of those interventions. Although Bangladesh doesn’t appear on the list of countries in protracted crisis, many of the issues faced in Bangladesh are similar, in that the threat of weather related crises and the context of food security more generally are similar. We would welcome some further information or documentation from this effort—and from efforts of a similar nature in other places.

Unfortunately, we have not yet had direct comments on this forum from donor agency officials. We would like very much to hear from individuals working for donor agencies, commenting on both the innovations that have been tried out, and some of the constraints.

To reiterate, the context of protracted crisis is one in which outside support is necessary. Broadly speaking, the notion of engaging in these areas is based on the “ounce-of-prevention” hypothesis — that risk reduction, mitigation and building more resilient livelihoods is not only an ethical imperative, it also makes good economic sense from the point of view of donor and government investments, even though they are by definition not high-production, high-return areas. But, as we found when we did the 2010 State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI), the evidence about this hypothesis remains fairly thin. We would very much like to hear a wider range of experience from practitioners about your experiences.

We hope to hear from more of you on some of these themes in the coming days.



Suneetha Sapur Akkshaya Foundation, India

First and foremost we are not sure about funding agencies that are willing to fund for food security especially to achieve nutritional security.

We established vision garden to prevent nutritional blindness, with the support of an eye institute and able to continue it for 2 years but not able to mobilize the funds, so we were not able to scale up the program. similarly working on sustainable nutrition to prevent skeletal Fluorosis in children by reducing undernutrition.

Undernutrition deficiency of calcium, magnesium enhances the absorption of fluorine and leads to deformed bones and crippling, even for this project we were not able to mobilize much funds. when i approached an organisation for funding, they asked me what is the business model after end of 2 years, which is difficult to define and develop a business model.

I am looking for organizations who can consider agriculture based interventions.

Solomon Tesfaye BFPDI, Ethiopia

I greatly need to appreciate to those who initiated this important discussion that has significant contribution both for donors and policy makers to re-think the current development approach by evaluating their existing approach in terms of alleviating food insecurity problem in protracted area of East Africa pastoralists.As you all know drought in east Africa specially in pastoralist and agropastoralist area become very common due to the fact that climatic shocks(impacts) and associated resource dwindling resulted in recurrent drought and inter and intra-ethnic conflict due to shortage of resources(water and pasture)however these protracted humanitarian crisis approached by all actors in manner that address only short and immediate causes rather than underlying causes.The recent past great east Africa drought interventions could be a recent experience that donors and other international organization should draw a valuable lesson.Very few organization designed a recovery and drought resilience program in Borena and Somali pastoralists and majority are expecting another cycle to come to extinguish the immediate fire. Drought become short cyclical event in east Africa pastoralists, even if this is well recognized by many donors they are stick to old program design fashion that doesn't adress the root cause of drought.

Revocatus Lazaro United Republic of Tanzania

we must look food security in broader way as it is the multidimensional phenomenon (that involves food availability, accessibility, stability, and utilization). this means that making food availability, accessible, stable and its proper utilization we need a coordinated knowledge from the upper level to the lower level (producers/consumers), these are through improving policies on food production, improving physical and economic access to food, and good coordinated food transfers. also market availability for products is important that the produces may not get lose, and this goes on hand with good infrastructure and communication. proper policy formulation and implementation on food production is the basic for farmers. most of the policies on food production do not improve productivity. i have one example in Tanzania we have a policy "kilimo kwanza' means "agriculture first' this has failed to achieve its objectives of improving food in the country because its implementation is not good to lead to the objectives. so policy implementation is also required for successful food production. one report from The citizen newspaper asking "Has Kilimo Kwanza policy strategy failed to deliver'? i have included on the attachment so that you can reflect what policies needs to achieve our goals.