Donors of the Global Donor Platform are the driving force behind the “50 x 2030” initiative: USAID, Germany’s Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), DFAT Australia and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. They are working closely with the multilateral organisations, World Bank, FAO, IFAD and World Food Program. FAO will provide the foundation for the initiative’s data collection efforts, whilst experts from the World Bank and FAO, in parallel with their GRAInS Partnership (Global Rural and Agricultural Integrated Surveys), will supervise much of the technical work.
Underlining their joint effort in the United Nations Trustee Council Chamber in New York, agency representatives outlined their commitments to filling the data gap. “Poverty doesn’t give up on victims easily,” admonished Rodger Voorhies. He and Laura Tuck underlined the role of agriculture in the effort to end hunger and as a driver of the waves of poverty reduction in the last decades. Supporting better agricultural data has been part of USAID’s and the Gates Foundation’s strategies for several years. Whilst since 2015, the World Bank has been doubling its effort to address “poverty data deprivation” through IDA financing. Justin Lee reminded the audience that when we speak of data we are speaking of real people. In Papua New Guinea, for example, 1 in 2 children are stunted and 80% of the population rely on agriculture for livelihoods, the last national agricultural survey was conducted in 1963.
World Bank and FAO, responsible for the technical implementation, also highlighted the role of technology to make quality data affordable. The World Bank is already piloting new tools, for example, for real time, high resolution data collection to better detect anomalies in growing conditions to better prepare for food crises. IFAD emphasized the necessity of disaggregated data to ensure programmes to reach small holder farmers and rural communities. For the World Food Program now is the opportunity to improve data availability and introduce new technology. Collaboration and sharing of data are keys for success.