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Community driven development

IFAD's engagement in community-driven development

IFAD's Western and Central Africa Division began to support community-driven development (CDD) projects about seven years ago. In 2004, a review was conducted of five IFAD-supported CDD projects in Cape Verde, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. Following the review, IFAD organized a two-day workshop to develop a better understanding of CDD approaches based on experience to date, and to develop a common vision. It also sought to identify areas for partnership, innovation and research, and to scale up best practices to increase the impact of CDD projects on rural poverty reduction.

In preparation for the March 2006 workshop in Ghana, IFAD held a series of electronic conferences to enhance learning and information exchange, and to identify the themes to be discussed in the workshop. In addition, a number of documents have been produced:

  • Lessons of experience and IFAD's approach to CDD in WCA. This paper identifies the lessons learned and issues to be addressed regarding CDD, based on experience of IFAD projects that used a CDD approach.

  • CDD decision tools. Based on an in-depth discussion of CDD policy and cross-cutting issues, the paper provides guidance to project design decisions and considerations, and region-specific issues related to CDD approaches.

In focus


  • Whenever global food prices rise, developing countries that import food, like Senegal, are hit the hardest. Rising food prices make the most basic foodstuffs unaffordable. Senegal needed to become more food self-sufficient, but a major obstacle was a lack of access to good quality seeds. Two years ago, the European Union decided to allocate €3.6 million from their Food Facility Fund to help farmers grow more and better seeds. Not only has seed production increased, but there has been a change in the role these farmers play in Senegal's economy.

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