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Effective policymaking that helps reduce rural poverty

Policies affect every dimension of the institutional and legal context in which poor rural people pursue their livelihoods, and so shape the economic opportunities that are open to them. 

Supportive policies can go a long way towards providing the conditions in which people can lift themselves out of poverty. 

For IFAD, country-level policy engagement is about collaborating, directly and indirectly, with partner governments and other country level stakeholders, to influence policy priorities or the design, implementation and assessment of formal policies that shape the opportunities for inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. 

We see policy engagement as critical to expanding IFAD’s development impact; ensuring sustainable project results; and enhancing our relevance in the growing number of countries where the government looks to us for knowledge, experience and lessons, as well as financial resources.

Our country-level policy activities help to strengthen the capacity both of national governments to develop, implement and assess the effectiveness of their policies, and of organizations of rural people to engage in policy dialogue with their governments. They help to create the space for policy dialogue between the different players. Above all, they draw upon successful models piloted under IFAD-supported projects and promote their adoption through national policies and programmes. 

IFAD also engages directly in policy processes, wherever possible working in the established fora of sector working groups. We engage throughout the policy cycle: when issues are being identified; when policies are being drafted and approved; when they are being implemented; and when they are being evaluated for impact and effectiveness. 

The country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP) and project design documents assess the policy and institutional aspects that affect the outcome of IFAD-supported projects and their impact on the poor and, wherever appropriate, they offer clear and realistic plans for supporting national policy processes. IFAD does not, however, utilize policy conditionality in any of our programmes of loans and grants.

Our team of policy experts help to design COSOPs, projects and grants to enable IFAD-supported projects to contribute more effectively to national policy processes. 

We also conduct policy engagement training for country programme managers and other operational staff, hold workshops to increase understanding, share experiences and lessons learned, and work to develop improved approaches for monitoring and measuring policy engagement and impact.


Related publications

Country-level policy engagement-opportunity and necessity

září 2013

Describes what IFAD and the Policy and Technical Advisory division are supporting country-level policy engagement.

It also summarizes past experience and explains how Country Programme Managers can access funds to engage in country-level policy dialogue.

LANGUAGES: English

IFAD’s approach to policy engagement

duben 2017
Policies affect every dimension of the economic environment in which poor people pursue their livelihoods, and enabling policies are essential for providing the conditions for inclusive and sustainable rural transformation. Because the policy framework can have such a dramatic impact – positive or negative – on the opportunities open to rural people and on their livelihoods, IFAD recognizes that it has a key role to play, drawing on its specialized expertise to promote enabling country-level policies for rural people. Thus, the IFAD Strategic Framework 2016-2025 makes it clear that policy engagement is one of the four pillars supporting the achievement of IFAD’s development results in its country programme delivery, and that in IFAD’s business model, partnerships and policy engagement with governments are the basis for the formulation and country ownership of IFAD-supported programmes. 
LANGUAGES: English

Policy case study - Benin: Farmers’ organizations interview presidential candidates on agricultural development

listopad 2016
In Benin, agriculture plays a central role in the national economy, contributing 32 per cent of GDP and employing a large part of the workforce. Despite significant productive potential and a diversified agricultural sector (crop production, livestock, non‑timber forest products, fisheries), the country relies heavily on imports of food products, which represent 25 per cent of the total value of imports.
LANGUAGES: English

Case study: Tonga Agriculture Sector Plan (TASP)

listopad 2016
IFAD
Agriculture is the predominant economic activity in Tonga, contributing around 20 per cent of GDP. About 75 per cent of Tonga’s population lives in rural areas, and agriculture and fishing are the main sources of livelihoods. Fewer than 10 per cent of farmers are commercial producers and most of Tonga’s agriculture is thus still based on traditional/subsistence farming systems. The agriculture sector has been stagnant for a decade, with virtually no growth recorded between 2005 and 2012. Factors contributing to this situation include outmigration of the rural population, an ageing farmer population, declining export opportunities, and the increasing frequency and impact of climate change-related extreme weather events. Tonga’s export vulnerability lies in its reliance on very few commodities, such as squash, the exports of which have been falling since 2003. Rising production costs have contributed to a decline in export competitiveness, as has the difficulty in meeting quality and phytosanitary requirements for the principal markets of New Zealand and Australia.
LANGUAGES: English