Donors should have a good look how their policies impact on food security in developing countries - concluded the OECD consultation on assessment methodology for OECD policy impact.
More specifically the workshop - held together with the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) - focused on developing a methodology to assess impact of OECD policies relating to the food security situation in developing countries. Participants were experts in policy coherence for development (PCD) and methodology. The Platform secretariat attended and posts this report.
// Purpose of the methodology
The aim of the methodology is to help OECD countries in pursuing their PCD policy objectives through providing evidence for policy change domestically and for development programme design at country level. It was also intended to enable partner countries to assess and design responses to the impacts of external policies and provide an evidence base to advocate for stronger development coherence.
Since there was a trend to an emerging global biofuels market and a shift from policy-driven to market-driven biofuels, an urgent need was seen for close and proactive coordination of food security, biofuel/bioenergy policies and energy policies at national and international levels, as well as for rapid crisis response mechanisms. Creating an enabling, responsible climate for food and nonfood investments compatible with food security is part of this equation.
In the long term, findings from impact analysis could add nuance to public debate, improved policymaking, development effectiveness and budgetary spending.
Watch interview with Quentin de Roquefeuil, Policy Officer in ECDPM's Food Security Programme, on the initiative of OECD and ECDPM to develop a new methodology.
OECD plays an important role in informing discussions on PCD. This stems from the premise that not only official development assistance but also nondevelopment policies of OECD member countries (e.g. agriculture, trade, investment) can impact on developing countries. Recent discussions suggest that a focus on specific policy areas, such as food security would provide a useful complement to the analysis of general PCD approaches. In this context OECD contracted ECDPM to develop the methodology described above.
// Key points
- The assessment should start at country-level__ It was agreed to start with a country analysis with local researchers and stakeholders to assess the food security situation. After that, it could be analysed which policy had an impact on the situation and whether it is rather an external or own government policy
- Donors are the major target group for the assessment__ The results of the impact analysis are supposed to help donors improve policy coherence in their own countries. It should also be discussed whether negative impacts of OECD policies could be mitigated by donor programmes
- Developing country policies should be considered as well__ Developing country governments should be encouraged to look at their own policies
- Food security indicators are needed to provide evidence__ A comprehensive set of indicators is to be developed to analyse the food and nutrition security situation in the concerned partner country. By applying those indicators it is intended to provide evidence to policymakers
- Ownership of assessment should be on national level__ There was consensus to involve local researchers and stakeholders to ensure national and local ownership. The consultation of local stakeholders was also important to make choices more relevant to the country
// Conclusions and next steps
Overall, the workshop produced numerous insights to work on methodology. After revision of the methodology, a pilot impact assessment will be conducted which will then lead to a validation and dissemination workshop for developing the final methodology.
The Platform will track the different phases of the methodology development and provide information via the website.