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Food Security Capacity Building

Systematic review of seed security assessments

Almost 50 seed security assessments/seed system security assessments have been conducted since 2006 in emergency and rehabilitation contexts, and yet no evaluation of quality or impact have been undertaken to generate lesson learning.

There is a general agreement about the need to conduct a thorough analysis of what has been done to date, in order to:

  • identify strengths and weaknesses;
  • determine the ownership of the process and results;
  • describe concrete actions taken as a result of the assessment.

Such an analysis can inform the development of an improved approach to implementing assessments in order to more effectively improve seed security. This is also an important precursor to revising the training materials for the Seed Security Assessment.

Project staff, FAO seed and accountability experts as well as CRS technical staff worked together to provide a critical overview on seed security assessments. Field trips to all the pilot countries except Somalia were completed between December 2013 and February 2014. During these trips, a wide range of stakeholders were consulted and materials were gathered. Country level reviews of all seed assessments undertaken in the last ten years were drafted, including for Somalia, using consultations and materials gathered in Nairobi.

The reviews analysed assessments for their technical quality and also on the extent to which they were acted upon by decision-makers. This process has proven to be very useful for a number of reasons, including:

  • to engage and sensitize key stakeholders in each of the eight pilot countries;
  • to inform the design of the new rapid assessment tools which have been piloted in South Sudan and Mali;
  • to inform the development of training materials;
  • to lay the platform for the creation of a community of practice in the pilot countries which will be engaged throughout the project;
  • to give insights on successful strategies for maximizing uptake of assessment findings by decision-makers.

The country reviews are informing project activities. The summary of the review can be downladed here.