Look listen learn promoting the use of csos evidence in policies for food security
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“Look, Listen & Learn” Promoting the use of CSOs evidence in policies for food security. By Lindiwe Majele Sibanda linds@ecoweb.co.zw lsibanda@mweb.co.za. The Food Crisis in Southern Africa. Southern Africa is lagging behind global trends in strengthening food security

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Look listen learn promoting the use of csos evidence in policies for food security

“Look, Listen & Learn”Promoting the use of CSOs evidence in policies for food security

By Lindiwe Majele Sibanda



The food crisis in southern africa
The Food Crisis in Southern Africa

  • Southern Africa is lagging behind global trends in strengthening food security

  • Hunger has increased in the region over the last decade

  • Progress in the region is too slow to meet the Millenium Declaration goal of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger by 2015

The food crisis in southern africa1
The Food Crisis in Southern Africa

  • There is evidence that in Southern Africa, poor progress with strengthening food security has been as much the result of weaknesses in policy processes as failures in food production and utilisation technologies

Public policy food security
Public Policy & Food Security

  • Better policies for increasing food availability, strengthening effective access to food, and improving food utilisation are now recognised as priority

  • There is concern to move beyond focus on domestic food production to considering the opportunities & constraints for using cross border trade to strengthen food security

The role of csos
The Role of CSOs

  • Where countries have conducted reviews of national food and nutrition security policies, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have actively contributed by providing evidence of the failures of past policies and communities’ current policy priorities

Csos regional policy
CSOs & Regional Policy

  • In the same way that at country level CSOs have played an important role in promoting more appropriate policies for food security, there is a need for them to increase their influence on regional policies

Cso definition
CSO Definition

  • CSOs include a wide range of institutions:

NGOs, Faith Based Institutions,

Farmer Organisations, Trade Unions,





Professional Associations, Research

Institutes, Think Tanks

Csos and policy processes
CSOs and Policy Processes

  • The policy process can be defined as a purposive course of action followed by an actor or set of actors

  • CSOs can strengthen policy processes by working in the arena between the household, the private sector and the state to negotiate matters of public concern

Different roles of csos in policy influencing
Different Roles of CSOs in Policy Influencing


Science Based



Environmental Petitioning

(eg Green Aliance)

Policy Briefings

(eg ODI)


Inside Track


Outside Track

Company Lobbying

(eg RTZ)

Direct Action

(eg Greenpeace)





Source: www.odi.org.uk/rapid

Role of csos in policy influencing
Role of CSOs in Policy Influencing

  • CSOs are in a unique position to present & promote the needs of poor and vulnerable people, whose voices may not otherwise be heard effectively in the policy process

  • How this evidence is best presented is determined by the political context, by the nature of the links between policy makers and other stakeholders

Evidence policy links
Evidence Policy Links

The Political Context

– political structures/

Processes Institutional

pressures, prevailing

concepts, policy streams

And windows etc

External Influences

International factors,

Economic and cultural

Influences etc


Between policy makers and

Other stakeholders,

Relationships, voice, trust

Networks, the media &

Other intermediaries etc

The Evidence

Credibility, methods,

relevance, use,

how the message is Packed

and communicated, etc

Project objectives 1
Project Objectives(1)

  • The project is intended to engage with a range of development partners at national and regional level in Southern Africa to:

    • Promote the contribution of CSOs to debate within Southern Africa on food security policy

    • Promote the voice of CSOs in the international debate o food security policy

Objectives 2
Objectives (2)

  • The project will:

    • Publicise within the region and internationally the policy and practice lessons learnt

    • Disseminate within the region relevant evidence and policy lessons from civil society organisations elsewhere in the world

Implementing partners
Implementing Partners

  • Food, Agriculture & Natural Resources Policy Analysis (FANRPAN)

  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI)


Food security
Food Security

  • The project recognises that all three basic components of food security are important

Food Availability:

The sum of domestic production, imports &

Exports and changes in national food stocks



Food Access:

People’s entitlement to food; the amount they

Can produce or obtain through transfers

Food Utilisation:

Effective preparation & consumption of food,

& the biological capacity of individuals to

Absorb & utilise nutrients in the food they eat

Project approach 2
Project Approach (2)

  • The project will use action research to develop understanding around:

    • Lessons about how CSOs use evidence to influence policy

    • Lessons about how CSOs relate to their downstream and upstream partners

    • Lessons about food security priorities for poor & vulnerable people in Southern Africa


  • Stage 1 Planning (1)

    • Prepare & circulate draft concept paper

    • Inaugural project meeting

  • Stage 2 Regional Activities

    • Research current policy processes at regional level

    • Host one-day country meetings in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia & Zimbabwe

    • Ongoing preparation of project alerts

Activities 2
Activities (2)

  • Stage 3 Pilot Influencing Activities

    • Project stakeholders will disseminate information products

    • After action review meeting of project partners and lessons learnt report

    • Regional Meeting