While the ultimate duty to realize the right to food rests with the State, civil society plays a crucial role. Civil society is an all-encompassing term and includes organized and non-organized non-state and non-government actors.These could be special interest groups, such as Farmer Associations, faith-based groups or simply individuals living in the same area and are thus interested in the development of this location. And, that food security and nutrition stays high on the political agenda and the plight of the most vulnerable and marginalized members of society is not forgotten.
FAO is convinced that true and meaningful participation of civil society in planning, implementation and monitoring of public policies leads to better results. This requires however that civil society is empowered and well trained, has access to information, is able to voice its concerns freely and is allowed to inform about malpractices when they occur. In a nutshell, FAO’s work with civil society closes the gap between those that hold information and resources and are close to decision making and those that lack all of these three things. The outcome of a more vocal and constructive civil society may be a more just, equal and inclusive development for the benefit of all citizens.
What do we concretely? We strengthen technical and political capacity of civil society groups. We support such groups to participate in a meaningful manner in all aspects of national development. And we teach tools and techniques that allow civil society to track expenditure, monitor implementation and understand national budgets.