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Research Series Issue 9 - Social protection and inclusive rural transformation

January 2017
This paper analyses how different types of social protection interventions affect rural livelihoods. It examines how these interventions can help rural transformation by increasing productivity and asks how they can influence inclusiveness. Using country-level evidence, it suggests that the effectiveness of social protection depends upon specific contexts and combinations of interventions, and asks what this means for building policy.

Household mentoring Handbook for Household Mentors: Project for Restoration of Livelihoods in the Northern Region (PRELNOR)

January 2017
This Household Mentoring handbook is a tool to assist household mentors to mentor selected poorer households.

Investing in rural people in Nigeria

January 2017
IFAD’s support to the Nigerian Government’s poverty reduction programme in rural areas targets large numbers of smallholder farmers and is essentially people-centred. IFAD supports programmes and projects that work with communities, and with smallholder farmers as the key players.

Investing in rural people in Malawi

January 2017
IFAD began operations in Malawi in 1981 and has provided US$224.9 million in financing for 12 programmes and projects. These have benefited 1,452,950 households at a cost of US$441.4 million. A country strategic opportunities programme (COSOP), approved in December 2016, sets out a framework for the partnership between IFAD and the Government of Malawi to 2022. It builds on lessons from the four programmes included in the previous COSOP 2010-2015. IFAD has a comparative advantage in transforming smallholder agriculture by linking improved service delivery to community organizations. Its approach in Malawi is to: - Work with and strengthen district-level government services; and - Deliver those services via community organizations to smallholder farmers.

Grant Results Sheet PAMIGA - Responsible and sustainable growth for rural microfinance in sub-Saharan Africa

January 2017
During the period covered by the project, the landscape of global microfinance was deeply modified and “the game has changed”. On the one hand, the saturation of the market has led to over-indebtedness of very poor clients, scandals and systemic crises that have swept the whole sector in some prominent countries. On the other hand, it has been difficult for the industry to demonstrate tangible impact and, therefore, show that it has delivered against its promises of lifting hundreds of millions of very poor people out of poverty. In this challenging context, the project aimed to help unlock the economic potential in sub-Saharan Africa, by promoting the growth of existing financial intermediaries that serve rural areas (rural financial institutions, RFIs) so that local entrepreneurs could take advantage of new opportunities to be more productive and more competitive, and improve their living conditions sustainably.

Guide for Practitioners on ‘Institutional arrangements for effective project management and implementation’

January 2017
The purpose of this guide is to provide some generic steps and principles to be followed when setting up institutional arrangements for the management and implementation of IFAD projects.

Grant Results Sheet MIX - Improving performance monitoring and effectiveness in rural finance

January 2017
Transparent performance reporting is a key requirement for effective resultsbased management of IFAD rural finance interventions. Better reporting, tracking and management have benefits throughout the entire IFAD project cycle, from design to implementation and learning from performance data, and for actors at different levels: partner financial service providers (FSPs); programme coordination units (PCUs); government policymakers; and IFAD decision makers and managers. The goal of this initiative was to contribute to establishing an inclusive financial system that meets the needs of the rural poor by supporting the growth of healthy microfinance markets and microfinance service providers. Underpinning this goal is the notion that timely and credible information is critical to the functioning of markets.

Grant Results Sheet INBAR - Producing and selling charcoal - Income for women and benefits to the environment

January 2017
The goal of the grant was to develop home-based production of charcoal from cooking with firewood into a new livelihood opportunity – and thus create a sustainable value chain for the economic empowerment of poor rural women. Women from poor rural households in Ethiopia, India and Tanzania were trained to put out fires when they had finished cooking in order to prevent smouldering, and to collect household charcoal through collection clusters, process it into briquettes and market the output through innovative partnership-based enterprises.

Grant Results Sheet IWMI - Mainstreaming innovations and adoption processes from the CGIAR Challenge Programme on Water and Food in IFAD’s portfolio

January 2017
The programme supported innovation funds working directly with communities to scale up approaches in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Uganda and Viet Nam.

Investing in rural people in Nicaragua

January 2017
IFAD’s strategy in Nicaragua supports the efforts of farmers’ organizations and the government to increase inclusive growth in the agricultural sector as a vehicle for reducing poverty, generating employment and improving family food consumption, as well as contributing to sustainability and the replication of good practices. The strategic objectives centre on: • Inclusion. Access is facilitated to assets, markets and income-generating activities, and job opportunities increase. • Productivity. Labour productivity is increased through incentives that facilitate access to information, technology and technical and financial services. • Sustainability. Environmental, fiscal and institutional sustainability are improved.

Investing in rural people in the United Republic of Tanzania

January 2017
The United Republic of Tanzania has made great strides in economic and structural reforms and this has helped achieve average annual economic growth of 7 per cent over the last decade (World Bank 2015). But most people living in rural areas remain extremely poor, and improvements in the overall level of human development have been only marginal.

ASAP Ethiopia factsheet

January 2017
Ethiopia is the second most populated African country with an estimated 96.9 million citizens. Of the total population, 81 per cent are classified as rural. The population is also growing at a rate of around 3 per cent per year. Whilst extreme poverty is declining, it is still widespread and in 2011 was counted at 30 per cent.

ASAP Malawi factsheet

January 2017
Malawi is a densely populated landlocked country with a population of 17.7 million. Its population growth is about three per cent per year, and it has one of lowest GDPs in the world, with a human development index (HDI) ranking of 174 out of 187 countries. Many Malawians (51 per cent) live below the poverty line of US$1 per day, and this poverty incidence is mainly rural (85 per cent). Endemic poverty has also led to chronic food insecurity and malnutrition for 2.8 million Malawians, combined with HIV/AIDs prevalence of nearly 12 per cent.

Research Series Issue 8 - Fostering inclusive rural transformation in fragile states and situations

January 2017
This paper seeks to answer three main questions: (i) What are fragile states and situations and how do they relate to issues of inclusive structural and rural transformation? (ii) In three selected case studies of diverse fragile situations (in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Haiti and the Republic of the Sudan – drawing on IFAD financed programme and country experience), what have been the key elements of structural and rural transformation and to what extent has rural transformation been inclusive? (iii) In these cases, how does fragility affect the inclusiveness of rural transformation? Which policies and approaches can successfully promote inclusive rural transformation in fragile situations?

Grant Results Sheet: Tebtebba - Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility: Asia and the Pacific

January 2017
The IFAD Indigenous Peoples Assistance Facility (IPAF) is an innovative funding resource that indigenous communities can access to support their own solutions to development challenges. It supports self-driven development by investing in small projects that build on indigenous peoples’ culture, identity, knowledge, natural resources and income-generating activities. The goal of the IPAF programme is to empower indigenous peoples’ communities and their organizations in Asia and the Pacific to foster their self- driven development.

Annual report on Investigation and Anticorruption Activities 2016

January 2017
In 2016, the Office of Audit and Oversight (AUO) and its Investigation Section (IS) played a critical role in upholding IFAD’s zero-tolerance stance towards corruption, fraud and misconduct. AUO ensured a timely and effective response to alleged wrongdoing by completing its investigative actions for 56 complaints during the year – a closure rate much higher than in previous years – and generally ensuring a prompt and effective conclusion to issues. Anticorruption awareness outreach was intensified through AUO participation in regional and other events, the pilot launch of an anticorruption e-learning module, celebration of International Anticorruption Day and increased coordination with the Financial Management Services Division (FMD), the Ethics Office (ETH) and the Programme Management Department (PMD). Investigative and sanctions processes were improved through revised procedures and AUO investigation capacity was strengthened through new forensic tools and segregated physical and IT environments.

Nutrition-Sensitive Interventions in East and Southern Africa (ESA) infographic

December 2016
IFAD Investments have opportunities for improving food security and nutrition outcomes. In 2016 ESA conducted a mapping exercise on nutrition sensitive interventions to provide insight for an effective nutrition mainstreaming and operations at project level.

How To Do Note: Engaging with farmers’ organizations for more effective smallholder development

December 2016
Smallholder farmers use different strategies to improve their market presence and to capture more value added in the agricultural sector. These strategies include the creation of cooperatives and other farmers’ organizations (FOs).

Module 1: How and when to do mapping and profiling of farmers’ organizations

December 2016
Why is FO mapping and profiling essential?

Module 3: Support to farmers’ organizations business models

December 2016
A business model is a means by which a farmers’ organization (FO) structures its resources, services and collaboration with members, stakeholders (traders, suppliers, public and private sector), clients and partners to create and capture value.

Toolkit: Designing and implementing conservation agriculture of IFAD investments in sub-Saharan Africa

December 2016
Conservation agriculture (CA) in sub-Saharan Africa has multiple, but often very specific, niches for investment that need to be understood to support its inclusion and implementation in projects.

Lesson learned: Designing and implementing conservation agriculture of IFAD investments in sub-Saharan Africa

December 2016
This “Lessons Learned” document of the conservation agriculture (CA) in sub-Saharan Africa toolkit reviews experiences over the last two decades.

How to do note: Designing and implementing conservation agriculture of IFAD investments in sub-Saharan Africa

December 2016
This “How To Do” note offers guidance on the design, implementation and scaling up of a CA programme or project in sub-Saharan Africa. It begins with a summary of the key issues and associated questions and follows this with lessons gained from experience.

Toolkit: Engaging with farmers’ organizations for more effective smallholder development

December 2016
Smallholder farmers use different strategies to improve their market presence and to capture more value added in the agricultural sector. These strategies include the creation of cooperatives and other farmers’ organizations (FOs).

Module 2: How to support farmers’ organizations in designing their business plans

December 2016
The business plan of an FO is a document providing information on how the FO intends to organize and implement activities so that it is profitable and can succeed. It is an essential tool for the planning, managing and running of a business. It clarifies the operational and financial objectives of a business and contains the detailed plans and budgets showing how the objectives are to be achieved. It may also contain background information about the organization that is attempting to reach those goals.

IFAD and Italy - A partnership to eradicate rural poverty

December 2016
IFAD is unique in being both an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency. It is also unique in mandate – the only institution exclusively dedicated to eradicating hunger and poverty in rural areas of developing countries. IFAD provides low-interest loans and grants to developing countries to finance innovative agricultural and rural development programmes and projects, and is among the top multilateral institutions working in agriculture in Africa. The decision to create IFAD was made in 1974, in the wake of the great droughts and famines that struck Africa and Asia in the preceding years. At the 1974 World Food Conference, world leaders agreed that “an international fund … should be established immediately to finance agricultural development projects”.
Additional languages: English, Italian

Research Series Issue 7 - Measuring IFAD's Impact

December 2016
This paper examines the impact of IFAD-supported projects so as to learn lessons for future projects. It analyses the different methods used by IFAD to measure a project's impact, finds that IFAD is improving the well-being of rural people, and recommends that impact assessments be built into future projects from their inception.

Mapping nutrition-sensitive interventions in Eastern and Southern Africa

December 2016
The purpose of this study is to map nutrition-sensitive interventions in IFAD-funded projects in the ESA region, and to provide guidance for effective nutrition mainstreaming operations. The specific objectives are to: (1) map the various interventions used in delivering nutrition-sensitive activities; (2) identify pathways for nutrition outcomes; (3) evaluate the scale and scope of intervention implementation; (4) assess the effect of the project on beneficiaries; (5) identify and map areas of opportunities for scaling up; and (6) identify challenges, weaknesses and gaps.

South-South and triangular cooperation: changing lives through partnership

November 2016
South-South and triangular cooperation has an enormous potential role in agriculture and rural development in developing countries, both in unlocking diverse experiences and lessons and in providing solutions to pressing development challenges. From the cases that follow, a number of common lessons emerge. First, it is important to create a space for interaction and cross-country learning. In the Scaling up Micro-Irrigation Systems project or with the household mentoring approach, for instance, workshops and ‘writeshops’ gathered people from diverse countries who could then share their own knowledge and experiences. In such spaces, participants could compare how a similar approach or technology required certain adaptations to better fit with local cultural, social and environmental contexts, offering important lessons for future scaling up. Sometimes individual champions can make a difference. In Madagascar, the project design for a public/private partnership improved drastically when an IFAD consultant with similar experience in another country became involved. In this case, it was also an ‘unexpected outcome’, as the innovation came from a replacement for the regular consultant, who had broken his foot …. So even through small staff changes, knowledge of a complementary innovation from another country can have a big impact.

The Biodiversity Advantage: Global benefits from smallholder actions

November 2016
Biodiversity is about more than plants, animals, and micro-organisms and their ecosystems – the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD, 1992) recognizes that it is also very much about people and our need for food security, medicines, fresh air, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment. Biodiversity is also essential for the maintenance of ecosystem-based services, such as the provision of water and food for human, animal and plant life. When we make an effort to conserve biodiversity, we are helping to maintain critical global biological resources to meet our needs today as well as those of future generations. Biodiversity conservation is therefore central to achieving recent global commitments for sustainable development under “Agenda 2030”, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) recognizes that losing biodiversity means losing opportunities for coping with future challenges, such as those posed by climate change and food insecurity.

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Communities Intro

Communities of Practice (CoPs) and networks are important ways to develop, capture, curate and share knowledge, especially by building on the collective knowledge of members. 

IFAD supports a growing number of communities and networks. You are welcome to join any of them and contribute your ideas, experience and content, as well as take part in on-line discussions.