Italy/FAO Decentralized Cooperation Programme

Mrs Paola Castelgrande, FAO Programme Officer - Responsible for the IFDCP

The 2010-2012 guidelines and programming of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs focus special attention on the Italian Development Cooperation which favours complementarities between cooperation activities from the State and from the Regional and Local Authorities (RLA).

The Italy/FAO Decentralized Cooperation Programme (IFDCP) was launched officially in September 2002 following the signature of an agreement between FAO and the Directorate General for Development Cooperation (DGSC) of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the World Food Summit: five years later. The IFDCP aims to mobilize social, human and financial resources of Italian regions, provinces and cities to promote food security. The IFDCP intends to build a network between RLAs in developed countries and their counterparts in developing countries to achieve clear goals.

Since 2003, the Programme has co-financed 11 projects for USD 10 million, including the contribution of Regional and Local Authorities (RLA) amounting to USD 4 million.

The projects are implemented through flexible mechanisms of financing and co-financing with FAO acting both as a catalyst and a provider of external support and technical guidance, to promote a closer city-to-city or region-to-region collaboration. Joint action between local authorities in rich and poor countries contributes to promoting widespread participation in development, facilitating the intervention of NGOs, the private sector, universities and research organizations.

The joint action also makes better use of external resources, affording ever improving coordination compared with initiatives through traditional channels. The implementation of the projects is guaranteed by FAO in synergy with local partners. In particular, FAO promotes communication with institutions and monitors the entire cycle of the project alongside the Regional and Local Authorities (RLA).

The benefits of this decentralized and participative process are the creation of initiatives and policies which respond concretely to the needs of the most vulnerable populations.