Decision makers need timely and good quality food security information and analysis to help them:
foresee coming food security crises and take appropriate actions;
plan more effective food security polices; and
monitor the success of these polices.
In this context, The Sudan Institutional Capacity Programme: Food Security Information for Action (SIFSIA) works with national institutions in Sudan to strengthen their capacity for:
It also promotes the use of this information for policy making, research, and planning.
SIFSIA is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in collaboration with key national institutions in Northern and Southern Sudan.
Food Security, because of its multidisciplinary focus, requires specific cross-cutting institutions with the mandate of increasing food security. In this light, SIFSIA has:
advocated for the establishing and re-activating Food Security Councils at the highest levels of government;
helped set up Food Security Technical Secretariats to support the councils by providing them with the information and analysis they need; and
- strengthened human and physical capacities in ministries at the central and state levels.
Decision makers wishing to improve food security require good quality information and analysis to understand:
the transient and structural causes of hunger;
what the best strategies for improving food security might be; and
if actions taken have been effective.
In this light, SIFSIA has been strengthening capacity in existing food security information systems (FSIS).
SIFSIA promotes participatory approaches to analysing food security. Indeed, a participatory approach not only improves the quality of information available, but also increases its credibility and utilization.
The SIFSIA programme has also set up a Research Fund. The fund provides competitive grants that focus on Action Research and aim at:
strengthening local research capacity in public organizations; and
increasing the amount of available food security related information,
fills the knowledge gap in food security through in-depth action research.
SIFSIA also provides technical support to researchers.
Calls for Proposals are widely advertised in local press. Eligible public and non-governmental organizations can apply for grants. Selection panels composed of government partners and FAO evaluate proposals and award grants for winning proposals.
Market Information Systems (MIS) can help:
farmers plan their production and get fairer prices;
traders make decisions about what, where and when to buy and sell; and
provide policy makers with the information they need to make markets more efficient and prevent shortages; and
researchers conduct historical analyses of markets and trends.
SIFSIA is working with the government to strengthen its capacity in managing existing market information systems. In the meanwhile, they are working together to build more modern systems and fostering private-public partnerships to make them sustainable.
Information is currently provided on the prices of:
The main challenges include:
In Northern Sudan, SIFSIA is working with the government, the WHO and UNICEF to create a National Nutrition Information System Unit. The Unit which will be fully managed by the government and will:
In Southern Sudan, SIFSIA is supporting the Department of Nutrition in the Ministry of Health by:
- providing training, including on measuring dietary diversity; and
- supporting the development of a national nutrition policy.
Chief Technical Advisor
FAO/SIFSIA Programme in southern Sudan
Chief Technical Advisor
FAO/SIFSIA Programme in northern Sudan