Senior Programme Manager at IFAD Knowledge and Strategy Department
""Effective scaling up is a key measure of successful Innovation," — states the IFAD's Innovation Strategy. Development interventions — projects, programs, policies — are all too often limited in scale, short-lived, and therefore without lasting impact, even though many individual interventions have been successful in terms of their project-specific goals. Cheikh Sourang shares information about the methods and instruments of IFAD's scaling up initiative and speaks about examples of how scaling up works in the development field.
Scaling up and innovations in agricultural development
The Senior Programme Manager of the IFAD Knowledge and Strategy Department explains the machinery of the IFAD scaling up programme, revealing a lot of interesting examples from the practice.
Online, 8 May 2013. In the context of agricultural development, scaling up signifies a concerted effort to replicate, adapt and expand what already works on the ground. The ultimate goal is to reduce rural poverty through the cumulative effects of projects involving governments, partners and smallholder farmers. Senior Programme Manager of the IFAD's Knowledge and Strategy Department explains in details how this approach works in practice, highlighting such aspects of scaling up process like development of a knowledge base and building up of learning alliance.
The interview transcript will be available soon on this page.
The interview was conducted by Pascal Corbé of the Platform secretariat.
Chief Scientist of the USAID Bureau for Food Security
In 2012 at the G8 conference in Camp David, G8 leaders committed to make publically funded agricultural data available to African countries. End of April in Washington a technical conference -- the 'G8 international conference on open data for agriculture' -- looked at transforming the political committment into practical steps towards deliverables. Participants discussed the development of data-sharing platforms, improving interoperability of existing datasets and sharing of best practices. Julie Howard of USAID -- who was at the conference -- explains why it is important to have open access to agricultural data, action plans and which data sets will be made available now.
The G8 international conference on open data for agriculture
The Chief Scientist of the USAID Bureau for Food Security talks about why open data have become important for agricultural development lately and which steps will be taken now to opening up data sets.
Online, 7 May 2013. Data is two way traffic -- this is a main insight of the new world of open agriculture data which was witnessed by Julie Howard at the 'G8 international conference on open agricultural data' end of April in Washington 29/30 April. Howard, who is Chief Scientist at USAID's Bureau for Food Security, speaks about how data is already being used by developing countries and which data sets would be made available soon - all in all many exciting, concrete new developments.
// The importance of open data
Platform secretariat: Julie, before we go to the G8 international conference on open data for agriculture that you attended, I would like to touch up on why open data per se is so important for agricultural development. Why has it become such a hot topic currently?
Julie Howard: Watch We know that information is among the most important commodities in the world. And data in isolation is not as powerful as data that we can share. So making our data available and encouraging the others to do the same enables collaboration and really helps us to reduce duplicative research and let innovations to drive economic growth. This is one of the reasons why the G8 Summit in Camp David last year made this commitment for G8 partners led by the US to gather and discuss what action plans countries might put into place. We also discussed last week the ways in which open data are currently being used both in developing countries and developed countries and what further needs to be done. Agricultural data per se has received less attention in open data space than other kinds of data. Although it is much of the data that we do have available in open data , for example Weather data or GPS data that we are successfully globally does have agricultural application. But not much of the data has really been identifies as specific agricultural data per se. So why is open data for agriculture important? I think you at the Global Donor Platform know that by 2050 the world will have to sustain 9 billion people. So, opening agricultural data and finding really innovative uses of this data is going to be critical to achieving the goal of feeding the 9 billion people by 2050 in a sustainable way. So we are hoping to leverage modern data gathering and analysis techniques so we can understand better the intricate nature and the complexity of food insecurity.
// Open data and sustainability
Secretariat: It sounds very much like improving productivity. Where do you see the sustainability factor going in there?
J.H.: Watch Because it is about improving productivity. But we know that open data can also help us understand for example water, location of water resources, critical information bout soil can help us better understand cropping systems, and characteristics of landscapes, so we could understand where would it make sense to intensify agriculture, and where it makes sense to sort of back-off and reduce cultivation. So with the data that is available we are able to track landscapes and to have a much better handle on where degradation is improving where we really have to take action quickly to prevent further degradation.
// G8 international conference on open data for agriculture
Secretariat: You were talking about the Camp David commitment, and this conference was now about concrete deliverables of how to actually establish data platforms on a global scale, improving that data systems can actually talk to each other, and the problems with technology involved, where they have gotten in terms of steps forward at the conference?
J.H.: Watch What happened during the conference, where a number of governments, as well non-governmental organisations and private sector entities came forward and announced the public availability of very specific data sets. I have got a long list of those from the US which I won't read to you but we can send it out to us, but that was quite exciting – from the USAID and particularly Bureau of Food security, we announced the availability of our database from Ghana and Bangladesh on baseline population surveys. So we are quite excited about it. And we are anticipating that most of our "feed the future" countries will also be coming forward and working with us to make their baseline population surveys available. We also are increasingly making our research available –this is another art of not only the G8 commitment but president Obamas commitment, and our Office's technology policy commitment to make federally funded research results and data available and accessible in formats.
// Developing standards for open data
Watch.During the conference we talked not only about making the datasets available. But about the challenge that we have – that is not only just pulling the dataset into the clouds but making them usable and accessible. Increasingly that is about improving the interfaces between databases. I think anybody who has worked with databases knows how tedious it is to try and do all the conversions by hand. Increasingly the algorithms and technologies are allowing us to have very sophisticated interfaces. For me one of the exciting parts of the conference was the discussion of how to arrive to an agreement on how the interface standards should be, so that the meteorological databases could speak to soil databases, can speak to population databases. And this process is perceived as the process that led to an informal but structured agreement on internet protocols. I think there is quite a lot of excitement and movement, there was an initial meeting of the group that is going to take this on last month in Europe and they will be meeting again in September with working groups on agriculture on many other subjects. So that was a topic of discussion on how to arrive at those standards at speed and in a process that is not formally negotiated but has the kind of flexibility and energy similar to what we saw during the Internet protocol development.
// Datasets made available at the conference
Watch. What else came out at the conference – we have released the public datasets, the private sector came forward with commitments to release datasets, for example, the orphan crop datasets coming from the World Wild Life Fund. Scientists Without Boarders have released a lot of diary data, the World Bank – livestock and food security data, UNSCA released a lot of databases, and they are also taking the lead in creating agriculture-specific website on a government-wide open data space.
As far as what other countries committed to, other G8 countries, Japan, France, United Kingdom, the EU, Italy and Canada also have released Action Plans at the conference. Most of the entities, including the US, committed to opening existing government-funded datasets to the public and to support further research that will make these datasets accessible to the public. Also what is very exciting for us and very important for the Global Donor Platform - the US and other countries agreed to support the development of national agriculture data systems in developing countries. And one the themes that came over and over again during the discussions with the development country partners was that it is fine to make open data accessible, but the data has to be good. And as you know, we have been to a long period of decline in capacity of a national statistics and agricultural statistic services in the developing countries.
// Benefits of agricultural open data for farmers
Secretariat: You talked already about how to make things accessible. Looking at the reality of the development context, the data is very complex, and it is quite often not very easy to read. You mentioned also that there are action plans. So I was wondering do they include ideas on how to set up capacities in countries to actually work with the data, to teach people how they can get into the computers and seed out the information that is retained in the data.
J.H.: Watch At the conference we did not get into details of most countries' Action Plans. It was a commitment to create capacity to build back national agricultural data systems, and contribute to and benefit from open data globally.
But the reality is that farmers worldwide are already benefiting from the open data in different ways. One of the interesting things during the conference was that we were able to hear about some of the projects that are using open data. For example, the Grameen Foundation has very interesting projects in Uganda, where they are connecting with databases and getting extension information and advice and also advice on weather, and farmers are able to access the information on their cell-phones. Also very interesting is the capacity of farmers to contribute information back to the data sphere. The Grameen Foundation spoke about the real benefits for example in Uganda of farmers being able to report on the outbreaks of disease, as well as to receive themselves very quickly the information on prices. So it really opens up the ability to track in real time on what is happening in terms of disease spread. And I think it can have very important cost saving implications: if we know that a disease is concentrated in a particular area, we can target the dissemination or a livestock vaccine campaign in areas that are harder hit. So I think we are already beginning to see the power of open data.
The CABI from the United Kingdom is making many of its research publications available online, and in a ways that are accessible to extension agencies in the field. So they are able to be connected to recommendations that are changing all the time, they are able to send the pictures of plants diseases or animals with problems to the database to have a recommendation, and a diagnosis or recommendation comes back to them. So I think it is quite an exciting time. During the conference we have heard quite a bit from genomics experts who are pioneers in this whole area, they worked quite diligently to create standards and agreements among scientists to publish articles related to genomics in journals, making these data available at the same time. They also talked about dramatic changes in the way that breeding is done. And we see in the developing countries that scientists working on issues such as cassava diseases are beginning to use those databases to make their models. In enables them to identify genetic traits much more quickly and to make a decision quite rapidly on the traits that control the resistance to diseases (or in another case, we have discussed the gens that control the propensity to manufacture a provitamin A).
// Implications of open data for donors
Secretariat: We have been talking about information sharing basically. I guess the whole idea of a donor and a donation is changing fundamentally. Do you think that donors are adjusting their role? And are they investing maybe more into providing common knowledge instead of putting money to the table? Is that a shift of thinking that we recognise here?
J.H.: Watch I would put it in a different way. We are increasingly recognising that data is a two-way traffic: there is a lot of information and knowledge that we have to share. But technology, including open data, is making it easier for farmers to also directly share their data and knowledge. So certainly, information, research results and making the results of surveys are quite important. We have a lot of excitement at the conference about possibilities of this kind of sharing – they seem eventually boosting resources to us, but we should be able to cut down duplication. Recently I was speaking with the colleague: if we have population data, if we are sharing population information and sampling frames, we should be able to plan more effectively – donors and countries together – what are the real strategically important surveys that we need to plan – probably we need to do less. So I think there are all kinds of possibilities for sharing, for more strategic targeting of resources and for a two-way information flow. All of us at the conference felt strongly that this is a global marketplace of ideas, and it is much in technology and in open data that should make it easier for developing country- partners to participate directly without that some filters that donor organisations put between us and developing countries.
The interview was conducted by Pascal Corbé of the Platform secretariat.
Senior policy analyst at Africa Partnership Forum of the (OECD)
Hunger and malnutrition are caused by injustice and political failure - this powerful message emerged at the Dublin conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice. Participants emphasised their strong commitment to get this message across during the next phase of the post-2015 process. Earnan Ó Cléirigh shares his views on the results and possible outcomes of the event.
Dublin conference on hunger, nutrition and climate justice
Earnan Ó Cléirigh
OECD Senior policy analyst
Online, 18 Apr 2013. Earnan Ó Cléirigh, OECD Senior policy analyst, summarises the key outcomes of the Hunger, Nutrition and Climate Justice conference, that took place in Dublin on 15-16 April 2013.
// Main messages
Platform secretariat: Earnan, you were just over in Ireland at the Dublin conference. The conference was on hunger, nutrition and climate justice. Big nouns, high-level speakers and strong demands were put forward there. Did that conference deliver in terms of its aim to inform on a new approach to the post-MDG discussion?
Earnan Ó Cléirigh:Watch I suppose in terms of the big ideas – the critical one is the idea about justice and equity – that message came over very strongly. The idea around climate, that there is an injustice involved in the impact of climate change being largely born by people who have very little to do with creating the problem of climate change in the first place.
But also very clearly the idea was put forward strongly, by a lot of people, including the Irish president, all senior-level people, as well as the grassroots participants, that hunger is a justice problem as well, and that hunger and ongoing malnutrition, poverty and inequality are the results of a political failure rather than a technical failure of not knowing what to do. So, that message got across very strongly.
The importance of local knowledge and local experience and the need to match that up with scientific research was certainly emphasised as well. The outcomes from the conference emphasised the need to make those connections, the need not only to hear what people say, but to get resources directly down to the local level, to support local initiatives and the solving of local problems. So there were calls to get climate finance delivered to local level, as well as ODA.
Also there was an idea of joining up issues around hunger and food security on the one hand with the issues of climate change on the other. There were commitments made by some of the senior participants there to ensure that hunger becomes an issue in the UNFCCC process and that climate becomes a significant issue in the post-2015 framework.
The other thing was the instrumentality and importance of empowering people, the importance of producers' organisations having voices in policy-making and that the policy-making processes should be inclusive. So the conference has succeeded in terms of getting things across. It was much more focused on the politic of the problem, and the making the connections and getting the communication in going.
Hunger is a justice problem,.. hunger and ongoing malnutrition, poverty and inequality are the results of a political failure rather than a technical failure of not knowing what to do.
// Learning circles
Platform secretariat: As much as I recall, there was an aim to collect practical samples in terms of how you could respond to peoples life and come up with more hands-on strategy for coping with climate change. Did you see that happening?
E. C.:Watch Well, they had this quite good concept of "learning circles" where you had this mix between senior-level policy-makers and practitioners. The discussions were based on case studies - real examples, that have been written up beforehand, and that people who were involved in were there to talk about it. I think that was useful. The time was very short to turn practical hand studies examples into policy messages. But it was probably useful for the interchange between people from different parts of developing world and initiatives from relevant regional groups, like from the one from Latin America to another one from Africa.
I think the messages for the bigger process like post-2015 or the UNFCC were there. But they were not so much about technicality, about how you solve the problems, but more about the politics and the need to do things around empowerment . And I would suspect that those would be the issues that will go forward.
// Governance and inclusion
Secretariat: It was obviously quite a strong message there that policies are the things that can actually do a change, on the example of what Ireland had experienced, when the agriculture was solely dependent on potatoes, and then policy change had changed that. Do you think that the other aim to inform the MDG discussion was picked up properly?
E.C.:Watch In terms of the MDG – it certainly points to the need of looking at targets and indicators around governance and political inclusion of poor and vulnerable people and as being important for food security and for reducing the impacts and vulnerabilities to climate change. Of course those are systemic sort of things, they will not only benefit food security, but also would influence climate change. But still, I expect some of the participants of the conference to follow up very strongly on those aspects in the process of post-2015.
// Food security on the post-2015 agenda
Secretariat: Earnan you have been speaking about two things: the MDG–debate and food security. My personal observation was that the notion of food security, at least on the high-level panels and the speeches, was not there as often as I would have expected half of a year ago. We also have that discussion on whether the food security should become a separate goal of the new MDGs. Do you think that food security slipped off the agenda a little bit?
E.C.: Watch I think that after the conference there was a strong commitment and desire to have nutrition targets included in the new framework. I think also that there was a general idea of the need for the post-2015 framework to look at not only what is to be achieved in terms of targets, but also how to get there.
There is ...a need for the post-2015 framework to look at not only what is to be achieved in terms of targets, but also on how to get there.
It is not my impression that a general idea of food security would be off the agenda, but I think we may need to think about food security beyond the traditional targets, that we have used in the past. Thinking about things like nutritional outcomes for particular groups, having targets around those, and also having targets around some of the things like governance and inclusion. There was a very interesting set of information made available at the conference, so it is well worth having a look at the documentation. It is all admirably brief, but very informative.
// Political commitment
Secretariat: What do you think can be done as a result of the Dublin conference?
E.C.:Watch I was quite impressed by the level of political commitment that the Irish government showed afterwards. I am not saying that because I am Irish, but the statements that were made at the end of the conference by the Irish foreign minister were very strong on using the role that Ireland has at the moment in terms of presidency of the European Union and also its role of a co-facilitator for the UN General Assembly event on the MDGs this year. The foreign minister committed to using those actively to bring the messages from the conference and to try to get them reflected in the processes. It was a very public commitment made in front of an audience which you could be quite sure that it would be followed-up that it is done. He also refrained to the G8 process and to the upcoming London Summit on Hunger which will be before the G8 summit. So I would expect to see the Irish government to push some of justice and equity and empowerment issues, as well as a strong focus on nutritional outcomes.
I was quite impressed by the level of political commitment that the Irish government showed afterwards...It was a very public commitment made in front of an audience which you could be quite sure that it would be followed-up that it is done.
// Science, funding, space and policy coherence
Secretariat: Any key takeaways from the conference for the Platform members – the donors, looking towards September UN General Assembly, and what could be the next stepping stone there in terms of the MDG process?
E.C.:Watch Well, a lot of the issues that have been discussed within the Donor Platform fall under the agenda of the conference. The key one would be perhaps about knowledge and science, the need to make sure that everything we do in terms of research and policy analysis, that it is done locally, is useful for local people and policy makers. This was an agenda around research and innovation.
The other takeaway for the Platform members would be around funding, how to deliver funding and get into the local level. Even while delivering through national programs on food security, to ensure that those programs actually deliver funds to local level and support local initiatives and processes.
Space. Creating space for producer's organisations and presumably for trading organisations, and providing support to them – this is also important. And at the same time matching up what you are doing in different spaces, matching up the support you are providing to civil society or producers organisations and matching that up to what you are doing through other parts of your food security program.
There were a couple of other issues; obviously the policy-coherence for development came up as well. The need to think about correct global policy that would be supported in all countries. Quite a lot of speakers spoke on the idea of the political failure and injustice. And the Irish president spoke very strongly about the need for international regulatory framework on the agricultural commodity markets to protect people and to do something about the induced price volatility and to prepare impact on peoples livelihoods.
The interview was conducted by Pascal Corbé of the Platform secretariat.
Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Progress monitoring is essential to enhance accountability of both donor and recipient country governments to achieve global food security. Shenggen Fan, DG of IFPRI, calls for strengthened commitment and increased cooperation and coordination between traditional and emerging donors.
Director General of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
Online, 22 Mar 2013. Shenggen Fan, IFPRI Director General, highlights possible ways to overcome constraints to implementation of global food policies, stressing the importance of coordination between donors of the South and North countries.
// Successful food policies in 2012
Platform secretariat: Shenggen, IFPRI's new report throws the light on policies that impact food and nutrition security: in other words, not only food policies, but also trade policies and alike. What have you found is the best development that contributes positively in terms of policies towards food security?
Shenggen Fan: Well, first of all, food policies include policies related to production, technology, processing, consumption and trade. The trade is a core pillar of food policy. For 2012, positive aspect is that, first of all, many donors and national governments have heavily increased their investments in agriculture, and in agricultural research in particular. These countries include India, China, Brazil and some African countries. The donor agencies include Germany, United States and IFAD. They have committed and implemented many programs to support agriculture and food production. And, indeed, we have already seen a tremendous impact of that heavy investment: increased production and productivity, increased smallholder income and poverty reduction. So there have been some positive aspects in terms of food policy in 2012.
The trade is a core pillar of the global food policy.
// Barriers to food security progress
Platform secretariat: On the other side of the medal, what in terms of policies hinders the food security progress mostly?
S.F.:Watch Some of the policies that have hindered the progress of food security, poverty reduction, and hunger reduction have been the same or similar for the last several years. Yes, many countries have increased investments, but many others have not. Many parts of Africa still underinvest in agriculture and agricultural research. South Asia continues to underinvest in agriculture and ARD. And many countries continue to use export bans or import policies to distort the global food markets. And as you know, when everybody try to isolate their markets from international market, it actually increases global market volatility, this would come back to hit individual countries. So we need to work together to make sure that trade is more open, and that there are no trade restrictions, and in particular export bans, otherwise prices continue to rise.
We have also seen a lot of discussions and commitments and promises to increase the investment, to work together, to tackle some trade issues, climate change issues, to link agriculture to health and nutrition. But we have to make sure that these discussions and debates are also converted into actual implementation. At IFPRI, we call it “Walk the talk.”
// Accountability and assessment
Secretariat: We often have the impression, especially on the development arena, that certain policies never grow teeth. Do you have any indication on why that is? How can certain governments claim certain policies that never really put money on it, how can that be?
S.F.:Watch This is probably due to a couple of interrelated and important issues. The first one is clear accountability. If people keep making promises, who is going to make them accountable to meet their promises. Second, we have to develop indicators, some measures to track the progress. When we have the indicators, we can make people accountable. Without these indicators, we will not be able to do that. These two issues are interlinked: the accountability and the way to track and measure the progress.
// Raising agricultural productivity and sustainable consumption
Secretariat: Usually food policies are looking at raising agricultural productivity and all the processes that are related to the amount of food actually produced. There are scientists, for example Tim Lang, that indicate that this is not going to make the trick for very much longer (innovations of processes and so forth). Are you also looking in that context on overconsumption and lifestyle patterns, and what can be done in terms of policies to change the outlook, maybe also family planning and so forth?
S.F.:Watch Well, we do have to produce more. As you know, by 2050 we have 9.3 billion people. So we have to produce 60 per cent more food. In developing countries, the food production has to double. Therefore, we do have to increase food production and productivity. On the other hand, we have a tremendous opportunity to make sure the diet, particularity in rich countries, is sustainable and healthy. For instance, production of beef or any other meet increases water use and greenhouse gas emissions, making a negative impact on the environment. By overconsumption of these commodities, we also need to treat heart diseases, diabetes, and all these chronicle, non-communicable diseases. So our future diet pattern has to be nutritious, sustainable and healthy. The conclusion is that we need to produce more, but on the other hand, we need to make sure that our consumption pattern is sustainable, healthy and nutritious.
Donor countries should also improve the coordination among themselves and engage with emerging donors, such as India, China and Brazil, that also begin to invest in food and agricultural development in many developing countries.
// Liberalisation of trade and price volatility
Secretariat: Coming back to trade liberalisation, since the discussion is very old: do you think that it is not so much about trade liberalisation, but it is more about state interference that creates volatility, especially if the policy changes too often, and the expectation in the market gives rise to speculation, and therefore, prices might go up?
S.F.:Watch Trade liberalisation needs a framework, needs some regulation from a global level. If we have that framework, no country will interfere their markets unilaterally. If they do that to eventually, they will also hurt themselves. These issues are actually interlinked. We know there is a political interest in countries to protect a certain group of people by trade policy. Whether it is a long-term distortion or a short term-interference - any "economic efficiency laws" will cause more volatile global food market, leading to an increased number of hungry and poor people. It will also give a wrong signal to producers. Because producers would face volatile and unpredictable markets. So it is a "lose-lose" proposition, if a country uses a distortive policy to protect a certain group of people in their countries because of some political reasons.
// Cooperation between traditional and emerging donors
Secretariat: We are working for the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development. Donors are also countries with their own interests. What from your findings could be your message to the donors?
S.F.: Watch Well, first of all, I have to acknowledge that some donor countries have been very committed in supporting agriculture and food security. But they need to do more. More investment is needed to support agriculture productivity growth, particularly a smallholder production and productivity. And to support countries' capacity. As you know, L'Aquila declaration aimed to use 22 billion dollars to support countries-led initiatives and programs. So do make sure that donors support will build up the countries' capacity.
Traditional and emerging donors can work together, share the experience, coordinate their interventions and make sure that there is no duplication and no competition. I think, the potential is just great.
Secretariat: Do you have any particular thing in mind, when you think of concrete actions to take forward? What would have the most positive impact?
S.F.: Watch There are many ways. One is to promote mutual learning among developing countries and North-South learning. Data, policies and statistics are weak. So if we can have these countries to set up a good statistical system to monitor their progress and to build their own capacity, then these countries will bring a very strong case to their political constituency to use agriculture to achieve broader development outcomes, such as nutrition, health or overall economic growth. I think, donor countries should also improve the coordination among themselves and engage with emerging donors, such as India, China and Brazil, that have also begun to invest in food and agricultural development in many development countries. Traditional and emerging donors can work together, share the experience, coordinate their interventions and make sure that there is no duplication and no competition. I think, the potential is just great.
The interview was conducted by Pascal Corbé of the Platform secretariat.
Interlinkages between gender, climate, and water/energy/food security
The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) urges donors to reconsider their role and become investors into the future of the planet and of our children.
Bonn, Germany, 4 Mar 2013. Stressing the importance to understand the links between gender issues, climate change and food security, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, also highlights how gender aspects are integrated into the UNFCCC's guidelines for National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs). She was video interviewed by the secretariat after a panel discussion at GIZ gender week.
// Links between gender, food security and climate change
Platform secretariat: Reflecting on what has been discussed tonight in terms of climate adaptation, where do you see the most critical link between gender on the one hand and climate change and food security on the other hand?
Christiana Figueres: It's not 'on the one hand' and 'on the other hand'. The fact is that gender, climate, food security, energy security and water security are all absolutely interlinked. They all either get worse together or we can address them successfully and improve them all together.
What we do to address climate, is one point of triangle. What are the gender sensitive needs and data is another point of the triangle. Water, food and energy is the third point. All of those three aspects of the triangle are absolutely interlinked.
// Incorporating gender issues into National Adaptation Plans
Platform secretariat: In terms of your work on the guidelines for national climate change adaptation plans, what is your approach to including gender aspect into NAPAs?
C.F.:Watch The national adaptation plan – and that is the mandate that I have received – needs to incorporate gender sensitive data, gender sensitive needs assessment, and eventually they will move forward to a gender sensitive policy. But that policy needs to be based on the data gathering and on the needs assessment.Those two pillars would be then used to define the gender policy aspect of the adaptation plan.
Secretariat: Is it more a mainstreaming approach?
C.F.:Watch Well, you can call it whatever you want. You know, I don't like using buzz words, because everybody is using buzz words, and eventually, we either mean everything or nothing with those buzz words. The point is that if you are going to move forward towards policy of adaptation in the developing country, there is no doubt you need to base that on specific needs that women have in those countries and on the data that is collected for the reality of women in those country. If you want to you can call it mainstreaming, I prefer to go exactly to the action.
// Social impact of climate change__ Time for action
Secretariat: Thinking of the National Adaptation Plans and the guidelines, there might be some fundamental changes in least development countries, and the climate change would ultimately change the whole set-up of these societies. Do the guidelines have any provisions for that, how that change can come about?
C.F.:Watch It's not that climate is going to change societies, it is that climate change is changing societies. In particular, in least developing countries and in small island states, in sub-Saharan Africa – in all the countries that are the most vulnerable. This is not something in the future, it is already is a reality. And in that sense we need to think about two things at the same time. We need to think of how do we bring down global emissions – because this is what is causing the change, and we need to begin – and that is what the NAPs and NAPAs do – we need to begin thinking about how do we support communities, families, societies to adapt to all those effects that are by now already inevitable.
[Climate change]is not about a donation. This is about an investment that has a very high rate of return
// Message to donor community__ Climate change is a highly profitable investment
Secretariat: We are working for the Global Donor Platform. Do you have any suggestions for donors with regard to promoting gender aspects in climate change and food security?
C.F.:Watch I have two suggestions there. The first is that the stakeholders that you call donors do not see themselves as donors. This is not about a donation. This is about an investment that has a very high rate of return, because this is the only way for future generations to become productive citizens. So it is not a donation, this is an investment into future of this planet and of our children.
Point number two: what investors should keep in mind, is that there is a three part triangle: what we do to address climate, is one point of triangle. What are the gender sensitive needs and data is another point of the triangle, and water, food and energy is the third. All of those three aspects of the triangle are absolutely interlinked. If you are going to improve the world situation on water, energy or food, you cannot do that without taking into account the gender aspect of water, food or energy. And if you do those two things, you are by definition already beginning to address climate. Conversely, you cannot address climate without necessarily addressing food, water and energy issues. And if you are going to do this, you need to address the gender issue as well. So those three parts of the triangle are absolutely interlinked, and the quicker we all understand that, and the quicker we approach the solution from an integrated point of view, the better off we are going to be.
The interview was conducted by Pascal Corbé of the Platform secretariat.