IFAD and FAO Investment Centre sign cooperation agreement

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IFAD and FAO Investment Centre sign cooperation agreement

©IFAD/Petterik Wiggers

IFAD has long drawn on the services of the FAO Investment Centre (DPI) to assist it in its operational work at country level. The main focus of the collaboration has been DPI’s offer of technical expertise to support IFAD’s processes for designing and supervising investment projects that reduce rural poverty, improve food security and promote rural transformation. It’s an arrangement that has worked well in terms of the quality of the technical expertise provided and it also offers good value-for-money – while IFAD pays 67 per cent of the costs of DPI’s services, FAO pays the other third. It’s precisely the proven success over the years of this collaborative model, and the partnership underpinning it, that led IFAD and DPI to look to strengthen the partnership.

At the end of 2019, Dan Gustafson, Deputy Director-General, Programmes in FAO and Donal Brown, Associate Vice-President, Programme Management Department in IFAD signed a cooperation agreement aimed at strengthening the partnership between the FAO Investment Centre and IFAD’s Programme Management, and Strategy and Knowledge, Departments. That they did so represents a vivid and meaningful example of collaboration between the Rome-based food and agriculture agencies in action.

The agreement establishes structured working arrangements that make it possible for FAO/DPI to better plan and manage their resources. Through IFAD’s inter-departmental hub planning process, the expected needs for assistance from DPI during 2020 across the five regions have been identified and costed. The requirements of the Operational Policy and Results Division (OPR) have also been added. These have all been aggregated, and this has made it possible for us to provide DPI with a strong (if preliminary) indication of the requirements for all individual missions and the timing of these, as well as an estimation of the total associated costs. Taking these projections as a starting point, we will provide a partial upfront payment to FAO at the start of 2020. These measures will enable FAO to better plan the use of their staff time, and make it possible for them to recruit any additional staff they may need to respond effectively to IFAD’s specific requirements. Regular follow up and dialogue during 2020 will serve to monitor DPI’s performance, assess the effectiveness and results of the arrangement, and to take steps to remedy any difficulties. Together, these various steps should enable FAO/DPI to provide a better service to IFAD, and for IFAD to realise efficiency gains and improved project quality.

This collaboration will be tested during 2020 and is expected to be extended in future years.