Policy Support and Governance Gateway

Case study

Evaluation of the Food and Nutrition Security, Impact, Resilience, Sustainability and Transformation (FIRST) Programme. Project code: GCP/INT/244/EC

The FIRST Programme aims to support the governments of targeted countries to strengthen the enabling policy and institutional environment for food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture (FNSSA). The programme is designed as a demand-based “policy assistance” facility which has its roots in the long-term partnership between FAO and the European Union and aims to add value to both partners’ actions at the country level.

The programme approach of embedding a policy officer within partner country administrations, constitutes the best option for building trusted relationships to support improved policy processes. FIRST has created a high level of trust with government partners and other key stakeholders, acting as a catalyst, lever and trigger for changes and reforms that generate benefits beyond the scope of European Union/FAO interventions in the concerned countries. FIRST’s approach to capacity strengthening through learning-by-doing and mentoring was effective.

The follow-up programme should be designed with a sufficient duration to allow country partners and stakeholders to assess the effectiveness of policy implementation and to draw lessons from a better understanding of successes and failures. This would also allow the FIRST global management team to consolidate (sub) regional and global analyses of lessons learned with the view to inform global governance processes.