Better evidence, better programmes, better outcomes

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Better evidence, better programmes, better outcomes

Experts and donors harmonize approaches to monitoring and evaluating food security programming

Rome, 23 July 2013 – More than 20 food security and nutrition experts, partners and donors taking part in the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) partnership, gathered at the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Rome headquarters today to launch the Food Security Learning Framework (FSLF). This aims to prioritize key challenges and possible solutions to improve development programming around the world.

The framework focuses on eight dimensions of food security and nutrition: improved livelihoods and rural productivity; resilience of vulnerable populations; research and innovation; improved policies and institutions; markets and value chains; enhanced nutrition and diet quality; natural resource management and adaptation to climate change; and gender equality and women's empowerment. In each area, key issues, causal pathways and data gaps are identified in the framework.

"A distinguishing feature of this initiative is the emphasis on the need for robust evidence and the recognition that rural transformation must be part of any sustainable development strategy if food and nutrition security are to be achieved," said Thomas Elhaut, IFAD Director of Statistics and Studies for Development.

The framework builds a cohesive and comprehensive approach to monitoring, evaluation, and knowledge management that enables organizations to capitalize on their collective efforts. In addition, the initiative creates synergies between similar endeavours in order to facilitate an exchange of experiences in measuring the impact of food security interventions, which will also help to avoid duplication of effort.

Over the past year a diverse group of organizations and agencies have been working together on the shared framework, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Food Policy Research Institute, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, ¿the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, the United States of America Agency for International Development, and the World Bank.

The launch of the framework will be followed by the 6th M&E Harmonization Group Meeting. The partners will continue building on their achievements and begin to plan to operationalize the framework at country level. This meeting will see Ghanaian and Tanzanian officials take centre stage. The two countries have been selected to further build on their progress towards establishing strong monitoring and evaluation systems. The partners strongly believe in the importance of working towards a harmonized country-led and country-owned system. The desired outcome of the meeting is an agreed plan of action towards coordinated approaches to filling critical knowledge gaps for which evidence is required to enhance efforts to improve food security programming.

"Building a solid evidence-base is the first step to establish a system and culture in which investment and policy decisions are based on facts related to what works and what does not," Elhaut said.

Press release No.: IFAD/33/2013

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) works with poor rural people to enable them to grow and sell more food, increase their incomes and determine the direction of their own lives. Since 1978, IFAD has invested about US$14.9 billion in grants and low-interest loans to developing countries through projects empowering over 410 million people to break out of poverty, thereby helping to create vibrant rural communities. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized UN agency based in Rome – the United Nations' food and agriculture hub. It is a unique partnership of 172 members from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), other developing countries and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).