Overview
 
 

Overview of the SIFSIA Programme

Background

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:

  • generating;
  • analysing; and
  • disseminating food security information.

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.

Main Activities

Building and Strengthening Institutions

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.

Food Security Information and Analysis

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.

Promoting Research

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)

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:

  • basic crops and staples;
  • livestock; and
  • widely traded and consumed goods.

The main challenges include:

  • improving the quality of data collection; and
  • developing manuals, training trainers and enumerators.

Nutrition

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:

  • lead and coordinate all nutrition related activities in the country; and
  • support ongoing nutrition surveillance at State level.

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.

Contacts

Ali Said
Chief Technical Advisor
FAO/SIFSIA Programme in southern Sudan
Email: Ali.Said@fao.org

Alemu Asfaw
Chief Technical Advisor
FAO/SIFSIA Programme in northern Sudan
Email: Alemu.Asfaw@fao.org

See also

Toolbox

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European Union

SIFSIA is funded by the European Union