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Investment Learning Platform (ILP)

Investment Themes and Tasks

This page provides an overview of specific tasks to undertake in the course of investment planning and management, as well as key themes that are of a mostly cross cutting nature and relevant to different phases of the investment cycle. The brief notes highlight why the particular task or theme is important in the context of agricultural investment, and point to useful resources that provide more detailed or specific guidance.

Annual planning and budgeting: with increasing adoption of results-based management approaches, governments and institutions need to introduce and strengthen the important connection between annual work plans and budgets.

Climate change considerations: successful incorporation of climate change considerations in agricultural investment project design enables stakeholders to capture the synergies and manage the trade-offs between adaptation, mitigation, food security and sustainable development.

Environmental and social safeguards: social safeguards policies aim to prevent and mitigate undue harm to people and their environment in the development process; to compensate affected people; and to restore livelihoods to at least the level prior to development intervention. The objectives of environmental safeguards policies are to avoid or minimize and mitigate adverse project (or investment plan) impacts on the environment and affected people.

Financial and economic analysis: tool to understand whether a planned investment is worthwhile and how different alternatives compare in terms of value creation.

Gender analysis: focused examination of the differences in the asset base, livelihood strategies and vulnerabilities between women and men, and the reasons and implications of these differences.

Impact evaluation: type of evaluation to provide evidence about whether or not a specific project worked. Impact evaluation methodologies deliver best results when the project M&E system is designed with this objective and the necessary rigor in mind from the outset.

Investment plan: sector-wide plan that maps the investments needed in the agricultural sector to achieve national development targets. While this website refers to national investment plans at sector level it can also refer to other levels and sub-sectors.

Monitoring and evaluation for learning and performance improvement: integral part of the plan/project cycle and of good management practice as it can make a valuable contribution to decision-making and learning and to enhanced accountability.

Nutrition-sensitive investment activities: in light of enormous costs of malnutrition Agriculture and Rural Development investments can be “nutrition sensitive” to help reduce malnutrition.

Project and investment plan costing: project cost tables summarize annual project activities. They provide a breakdown of the costs which defines the necessary inputs required to ensure project results can be achieved within the envisaged timeframe.

Project identification: initial decision making process to decide which project, compared to other possible projects, would help the government to achieve its goals, as stipulated in the national policy, development plan, sector strategy or other.

Results-based management: strategy to orient all actions and use of resources towards the achievement of clearly defined and demonstrable results.

Risk analysis: various types of risks need to be considered in investment planning. Qualitative and quantitative risk assessment tools can help to identify and measure potential risks’ to project outcomes and expected returns.  

Scaling up: when examining the potential of scaling-up project activities to address the needs of a larger population, it is important to identify what has worked and why, and what implementation lessons can be drawn from the project experiences, as well as what additional issues must be considered in order to operate at a larger scale.  

Sector wide approaches: practical approach to planning and management, which is about coherence of policies and strategies, decision-making, resource allocation and interventions within a sector.

Social analysis: essential tool to enhance the ability of agricultural growth to help reduce poverty within rural communities by enabling agriculturally-based investments to better target the poor, increase their assets and enhance their resilience to shocks.

Supervision and implementation support: ongoing capacity development for implementing entities includes: (i) assisting implementing teams with their work plans through implementation guidance materials; and (ii) establishing collaborative structures to enable successful implementation, sustainable project impacts and opportunities for scaling-up.