Learning from Korat, Thailand. The Route on PPP keeps moving.By the APMAS, AIT-E and PROCASUR Team
|representatives of UN CC:Learn project in Indonesia|
Maybe not everyone knows that among the many collaborative initiatives in which IFAD takes part, there is also the One UN Training Service Platform on Climate Change better known as UN CC:Learn.
UN CC: Learn was launched at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Summit as a collaboration of UN agencies committed to support and contribute to effective, results-oriented and sustainable learning to address climate change and related development challenges. It currently involves 32 multilateral organizations and includes three Programme Areas which are closely linked to each other:
- Knowledge Management and Networking – fostering sharing of information, experience and lessons learned in matters of climate change learning.
- Development of a One UN Climate Change Training Package - aiming at producing a coherent package of materials relevant for climate change learning through collaboration of UN agencies and other partners.
- Human Resources, Learning and Skills Development in Partner Countries - supporting countries in taking a strategic and results-oriented approach to climate change learning through the development of a National Strategy (5 pilot projects currently underway).
The third UN CC:Learn Steering Committee took place last week in Geneva. It was an intense two-day meeting involving a large and diverse group of UN agencies, such as WHO, WMO, UNESCO, ILO, UNDP, UNEP, UN-HABITAT - and of course UNITAR as hosting agency - as well as representatives from the five pilot countries Benin, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Malawi, Uganda.
The meeting started with a high-level opening session with statements by Ms. Sally Fegan-Wyles, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, Director ad interim, UNITAR; Ms. Phyllis Lee, Secretary, High Level Committee on Programmes (HLCP); and Dr. Elena Manaenkova, Assistant Secretary-General at the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The discussion addressed initially the Knowledge Management and Networking area, focusing on technical issues related to the Library of UN Materials Relevant for Climate Change Learning, such as planned improvements for the searching functions. The Library contains over 1,000 entries and provides a one stop window to search for and access materials prepared by UN organizations (including IFAD) relevant to climate change learning. In addition to that, UN CC:Learn facilitates access to other learning resources outside the UN, as well as joint UN capacity development initiatives and learning platforms. This is really an amazing knowledge repository that I am still discovering!
The Steering Committee then discussed the One UN Training Package, comprising Introductory Learning Modules, that can be used for awareness raising purposes, and a series of Advanced Learning Packages to support in-depth learning on particular topics. They are at different stages of development and, once available, some of them will have a great potential to support IFAD capacity building work on climate adaptation.
The presentation of country experiences that followed was found extremely interesting by all participants, who engaged in an active Q&A session with the country representatives. UN CC:Learn pilots projects in country are articulated as follows:
- Phase I: Support the countries in developing a national strategy to strengthen human resources, learning and skills development to address climate change through
- national workshops and establishment of national coordinating mechanisms
- tacking stock of existing policies, initiatives and programmes
- priority setting and strategy development
- high level launch event
- Phase II: Implementation of priority actions through
- establishment of a national implementing platform/programme
- implementation of selected priority areas
- Phase III: Evaluation and review of experiences, including through South-south cooperation
Agriculture, however, featured quite high on the agenda on the Programme Area 3 as the majority of partner countries where pilots are implemented are experiencing the extreme vulnerability of the agricultural sector and identified agriculture as a priority in their national plans.
IFAD can definitely provide support to capacity building on climate change and agriculture, however, an integrated approach to climate change should allow for the participation and coordination of all sectors, and this is where the be interest of being a member of UN CC:Learn is.
At the opening ceremony of the World Food Day on 16 October, where our President, Kanayo F. Nwanze, delivered a statement, remittances was one topic of focus. The President said:-
“Working with farmers through their organizations is the best way of ensuring enduring and sustainable economic growth and poverty eradication. This includes working with agricultural cooperatives such as SIDC in the Philippines, which has a scheme for Filipino workers here in Italy to invest in agriculture at home. The remittances are creating jobs in the rural Philippines and providing a good rate of return for the migrant workers on their investment.”
As the communication focal point for Rural Finance, amongst the many aspects of rural finance, I have been following the topic of remittances. I have been reading up on the various projects and activities. One of the topics that really interested me was financial literacy.
You never stop learning: Ever heard of financial literacy?
The remittance team briefed me on the ‘Mobilizing Migrant Resources Towards Agri-based Cooperatives in the Philippines’. This a project that helps migrants from the Philippines who came to Italy as domestic workers and helpers to save and invest in agri-based cooperatives back home.
Thanks to the training received, over 1,000 migrant workers have invested in the Soro-soro Ibaba Development Cooperative (SIDC), the largest cooperative in the Philippines.
SIDC, Athikha and the Filipino Women’s Council launched the SIDC Investment Program. One of the many projects of this programme is the SIDC Egg Layer Program which has already raised 220,000 Euro for investment in agriculture. This amounts to 59% of all investment in SIDC in 2011. As investors, the migrant workers have a guaranteed return of 6-7%, considerably more than from any bank account. I wish they would allow me to invest as well… !
Recently I had the pleasure of attending the first Filipino Europe-wide Diaspora 2 Dialogue (D2D) Conference held in Rome. Minda Teves, the leader of financial literacy courses in North Italy, who I met in June when I participated in a financial literacy course invited me to this conference. My IFAD colleague Pedro de Vasconcelos, Programme Coordinator for the Financing Facility on Remittances (FFR), gave a presentation on ‘ Best use of Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) Remittances: Community, National and International Development Programs’.
A recent video that was filmed in the Philippines ‘Lily’s Story’ was shown as part of his presentation. Pedro gave IFAD’s perspectives on remittances, highlighting the programmes and success stories and explained how the FFR is helping to support developing rural investment opportunities for migrants and community based organizations.
Meet Minda Teves – a powerhouse of hope
Teves is is a powerhouse. When she first came to Torino over 20 years ago, she was supporting 26 family members! She was working seven days a week and yet could not earn enough money to send home. As the pressure mounted on her, although she was feeling hopeless, she decided to turn her life around and went for a training course on financial literacy, eventually becoming a trainer herself.
Minda often says “I have to realize that our situation as a migrant is just like a … “bird in a cage… with the head outside.
The bars imprisoning us are the work conditions that we have to follow, the responsibilities towards our family back home and to the family here, the cultural shock, language barriers, low self-esteem, fears, etc.
The head outside the cage symbolizes the desire to know the world, to be part of the bigger space, to participate in community life, our curiosity, waiting and willing to Live….”
I am so pleased to have attended this event, as I realized that Financial Literacy is a worthwhile activity. One of the participants told me, ‘it gives us the possibility to analyse our financial condition and create our dream map for the future and keep our family together in spite of the distance that separates us.’
The financial trainers are in the right place and at the right time, many of the migrant women who are earning money in Italy are eager to learn from them about the concepts of savings, investments, budgeting and financial planning.
Since the training is delivered by members of the community, they take into account their own social and cultural backgrounds. It was so moving to see the loyalty to their community and country, especially when they sang their national anthems with their heart at the beginning of each day. Another impressive fact was their solidarity. The trainers shared their delicious home cooked food with the participants The participants received complete information material and workbooks. I was so impressed on their meeting facilitation techniques… They used icebreakers at the beginning and energizers during the breaks. They had put together a well-structured programme that covered all aspects of financial planning.
Teves has created a Facebook page called Northern Italy Financial Counsellors with over 500 members and it serves as their meeting point. Teves has a full-time job as a ‘helper’ . This means she only has Sundays to dedicate to the Filipino community.
Apart from being a financial counsellor, in 1996 she established an association called ACFIL ‘Associazione Culturale Filippina del Piemonte’. This organization aims to strengthen solidarity among Filipinos in the region, promoting their native culture, , organizing work and social activities. Teves manages ACFIL’sa monthly newsletter and acts as the focal point for all the activities in the community.
On a personal note
It was an overwhelming show of solidarity and human bonding between people who had come a long way away from their homeland to support their families. I came away from this one-day seminar admiring their strength, at the same time feeling humbled. The trainers are not only professional and skilled, their dedication to their community and country is extraordinary. These trainers themselves had their share of negative experiences when they were in great difficulty after having ‘sent all their money home’. They didn’t know then what financial literacy meant . These women have a strong sense of community and want to ‘give back’ by sharing their experiences and teaching participants that while remittances provide a life line for their families, they are also essential for the development of their communities and country. And the migrants need to learn that taking care of their own needs is equally important as the families’ needs. This was a valuable message emphasized by the trainers. Too often being so far away makes it difficult for them to turn down requests from our families and the challenge is to set priorities and learn to say ‘no’ to meet their own goals.
Tarija Aromas y Sabores, a public-private initiative designed to promote the rich gastronomic offerings from the Tarija region - including agro-tourism, hams, cheeses, wines and Bolivia's signature grape brandy Singani. The Tarija Aromas y Sabores Program is part of a program supported by Discovering Territories through Products and People Program, Rimisp, the IFAD-supported Scaling-up of Rural Innovations Program that is working in Bolivia and Peru, IDRC-Canada and the Ford Foundation.
Slow Food and Terra Madre videos shared at the Salone del Gusto Internazionale and Terra Madre Event in Torino highlight the opportunity to connect family farmers, local chefs and regional cuisine with the rest of the world.
Juliette Taco Viza is a young enterpriser from the Colca Valley in Peru. Juliette also participated in the Scaling-Up Rural Innovations Program. Also in this photo, Dario Fo, Nobel Prize winner in literature, Carlo Petrini, Slow Food President, and FAO President José Graziano da Silva. (Photos Slow Food)
Tweets by @SlowFoodHQ
By Terra Madre
Etson is a young Peruvian from the Colca Valley. Edwin is a chef in southern Bolivia. Fernando collects a sought-after shellfish, the loco, in Chile. Saleheddine cultivates fields in a northern Moroccan biosphere reserve. What do these four have in common?
They are all working to try to guarantee sustainable and socially inclusive development based on the value of biological and cultural diversity in their countries, a huge challenge. They all believe in the value of the natural and cultural heritage that makes their land, their history and their way of life unique, a heritage that is the result of thousands of years of interaction between nature and migrating populations, millennia of overlapping and integrating people, products, customs and beliefs.
They all want to preserve this identity, and above all to promote it. They want to turn the uniqueness that originates from diversity into an economic and social resource.
Regina, who promotes social gastronomy in Rio de Janeiro, and Pavlos, whose family has been producing excellent olive oil in the hills of Thrace for centuries, have the same objectives. They have joined many other farmers, fishers, cooks, food experts, young leaders and representatives from local organizations in setting out on an ambitious and innovative path, leading towards local development and the spread of fair work conditions.
They are all the protagonists of a pilot project run by Slow Food and the Rural Territorial Development with Cultural Identity program of Rimisp – Latin American Center for Rural Development.
The project, run by Slow Food and support of the Ford Foundation, is called “The paths of excellence: Discovering Territories through Products and People”. It will be presented at the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre in Turin, the first stop for a traveling exhibition about the project.
The exhibition will present 12 different areas often characterized by inequality and marginalization, in both developed and developing countries in Latin America, North Africa and Europe. The public will be able to meet the custodians of each area’s gastronomic and cultural traditions, taste their excellent products and experience a true journey of discovery via images, sensations and flavors.
From October 25 to 29, the people who live and work in these areas will be sharing the beauty of their land and the wealth of their culture with the visitors and producers of the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre.
An IFAD delegation is attending the event in Turin. Wish you were there? Follow the proceedings via Facebook and Twitter.
Tweets by @Bioculturaldev
Tweets by @SlowFoodHQ
|‘Passion rebuilds the world for the youth. It makes all things alive and significant.’ - Ralph Waldo Emerson|
By Adolfo Castrillo
As we continued on our learning route in Nicaragua, the passion and potential of youth took the forefront.
This learning space was presented to us by Procasur with the support of the Ministry of Family Economy, the implementing agency for the IFAD-funded PROCAVAL and PRODOSEC projects that we visited along the route.
Some questions come to mind from the interesting discussions fostered along the way. How can we empower young rural talents to rebuild our world? How can we invest resources, know-how and manpower to ensure long-term sustainability, peace and progress?
First off, we must understand the context that frames the issue. According to Procasur, there are 120 million young people in Latin America and the Caribbean today, if we define “youth” as people between 15 and 29. Of these, about 30 million live in rural areas, with boys outnumbering girls (53 to 47 per cent). In the countryside as a whole, young people comprise about 25 per cent of the population today.
Their access to opportunities, education, assets and the such will be a deciding factor in the future of food security, economic development and environmental sustainability not just in Latin America but across the globe.
The stakes are high, indeed. As we learned during the presentations by Procasur and from the young people themselves, besides having an abundance of passion, energy and ambition, there is a competitive advantage of this new generation of rural talents. If we look at the region as a whole, young people have higher levels of education than their parents, they know how to use new technology and are open to innovation.
Perhaps most importantly, young people stand at a crossroads. In the next few years, these rural talents will choose to stay in their communities, leave for the bigger cities (or mid-sized rural hubs that are growing exponentially in the region). They will decide to follow the road of peace and inclusion into the society as a whole or they will fall into a non-virtuous cycle attached to the drug trade, gangs and easy money.
It’s not going to be easy making these choices. And while there are numerous comparative advantages to being young, there are tons of disadvantages, too. With complex inheritance systems and relatively high levels of population growth, we simply don’t have the land, assets, institutions or policies in place to empower these youth.
If we continue on the path we are on today, most of Latin America’s young people will remain an invisible majority.
So what can we do to make it better?
Four clear themes are emerging from this Learning Route and our work with youth in the region over the past several years.
Young people need
• Access to technical and business development assistance
• Insertion into labor markets
• Access to land and productive capital
• Access to financial services
Young Rural Enterprisers Program
The IFAD-supported Procasur Corporation is running this Learning Route along with similar learning spaces across the Global South. Procasur started looking at rural youth in the region in 2008 with the Young Rural Talents Program. The program sought to identify problems and needs, challenges and opportunities.
The Young Rural Enterprisers Program builds on this work, promoting innovation and focusing its energies on meeting the unique demands of today’s rural youth. The project will achieve this goal and work toward reducing rural poverty by using knowledge as a key driver for change, by fostering political dialogue and by co-financing innovative youth-run micro-enterprises. This venture funding will invest at least half of its resources in women-run enterprises, also providing the means to share these lessons between a new network of tomorrow’s rural leaders.
Videos (en español)
Video courtesy Canal 13
SAMCERT puts smallholder farmers first
For its part, SAMCERT is bringing together the key actors involved in the sustainability certification process: producers, the private sector, standards bodies and consumers. While certification is not an end in itself – and is not the solution for all poor smallholder farmers – it can be a viable option to improve and diversify market access, and develop longer-term commercial relationships.
|IFAD COM team assembles communications toolkits.|
When I sat down at the computer to write this blog, I had to admit to myself that I’m not an experienced blogger. I didn’t really know how to start. Then I remembered that the new Toolkit for IFAD communications includes a whole section on writing a memorable blog post! Following the tips offered in the toolkit – which will be rolled out at IFAD today – I started to type. And with that my story unfolds.
When I was asked to coordinate development of the toolkit, I jumped at the opportunity. Little did I know what a learning curve I was in for.
How do you build a communications toolkit from scratch? I wasn’t sure, but my first thought was simply to start with a vision. As the person in the Communications Division who takes care of the budget and other corporate processes, I’m aware of all the areas of expertise that COM has to offer, but I’m not an expert in any of them. So I decided that what we needed was a practical guide for non-experts like me who want and need to know how to use communications more effectively.
With that vision in mind, my next step was to collect tips, best practices and guidelines from my colleagues, the communications professionals. I turned to the COM team to share their many years of collective knowledge and expertise. Their contributions were then compiled into a living document, which can be updated on the basis of changing needs and feedback from toolkit users.
|The toolkit is a practical guide for|
At the end of this process, I took a deep breath and felt a sense of great satisfaction.
Of course, developing the toolkit has been very much a team effort. As I worked on the project, I shared my vision and ideas with colleagues, both at IFAD headquarters and in the field, who provided valuable feedback. Their enthusiasm kept me motivated at times when it all seemed overwhelming. Now that the toolkit is ready to roll out, I want to thank all those who helped in so many different ways. You know who you are.
And to anyone at IFAD who is faced with a communications dilemma: Help and support are always available from COM, but if you just don’t know where to begin, you can also reach for your copy of the Toolkit for IFAD communications. May all your visions come true!
Download IFAD communications toolkit
By Adolfo Castrillo
“The youth of today and the youth of tomorrow will be accorded an almost unequaled opportunity for great accomplishment and for human service.” - Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler
The potential of youth is outstanding. Today’s young people will feed the world tomorrow. They will lead nations and build bridges. They will work toward peace and hopefully engineer a world that is greener, cleaner, friendlier and more inclusive.
Yes, there is great potential here. But for most young people living in Latin America’s countryside, there simply aren’t the opportunities to access the land, education, capital and other assets needed to achieve this great potential.
Will this be a lost generation of young rural talents? We hope not.
With the goal of sharing experiences, building trust and empowering young rural people to be the central protagonists in their own development, we are gathering young enterprisers from across Central America for a Learning Route in Nicaragua from October 17 to 21.
During the learning route, participants will have the chance to see first hand how micro-enterprise development in Nicaragua is enabling young people to continue their studies, make more money, build their assets, create alternatives to the violence that has become pervasive across the region, and play a proactive, leading role in our society, culture and economy.
In all, some 39 young people will take part in the Learning Route, run through the IFAD-backed Procasur Corporation. The learning route begins with three days of visits to IFAD-sponsored enterprises in the Nicaragua countryside, and is followed by workshops, where young people will work to shape their futures. The potential of youth, it seems, is truly unequaled.
Illustrations of young entrepreneurs in the Photos and illustrations by Greg Benchwick.
Ladislao Rubio is IFAD's Country Program Manager for Nicaragua. In this video, he looks at IFAD's funding for the Central American country, and how innovations in funding for rural micro-enterprise development are making a difference.
Tweets by @PROCASUR
IFAD-funded projects face 'up-front' gender challenges in the Bhutan + 10
Selected projects in Afghanistan, China, India, Nepal, and the Philippines, of Asia and the Pacific; Bolivia and Peru of Latin America and Caribbean and Uganda and Ethiopia of the ESA Regional Divisions of IFAD sent participants to this international conference. The IFAD-supported delegation met October 15, 2012 to face ‘up-front’ gender challenges which will be tackled at the Ministerial High Level Panel and the Road from Rio + 20 High Level Panel and the two scheduled plenary on ‘Gender and Transformative Change’ and “Climate Change and Gender’, on the second day of the conference. The meeting among IFAD projects was initiated and facilitated by Maija Peltola at the Khang’s Residence where all the IFAD participants are billeted. Participants introduced each other, and shared what they do and why they came to the conference. The participants shared that they came to learn more about gender and mountain development, gain insights from project experiences to enhance their own projects and to share also their own stories on gender in natural resource management. Ms. Peltola encouraged the participants to form learning pairs to enhance together insights and learning from the conference sessions and discuss among themselves how these can enhance their own projects and how they plan to implement these on their way back to home stations.
Plenary 1: Gender and Transformative Change
October 15, 2012
The Chair and Discussant was Dr. Devaki Jain, Founder of Dawn, India and was joined by Amuradha Koirala, Director, Maiti Nepal, CNN Hero of the Year 2010; Dr. Eva Rathgeber, Chairperson, Gender and Water Alliance; Dr. Jeanette Gurung, Executive Director, WOCAN, Thailand; Dr. Manjari Mehta, India and Rupar Mya, Deputy Director, Department of Social Welfare, Myanmar.
Dr. Gurung started the session by stating that resistance is part of transformation and that in order to transform there is a need to focus on the structures and the leaders. She further shared that in gender mainstreaming – there is no real transformation for this can only happen when women start to use their own power in changing and to change.
Ms. Anuradha Koirala on the other hand stressed that ideas put forward should help build institutions for gender mainstreaming and that women’s empowerment initiatives only affirms that women are not empowered and that they are so because there has been no real transformation that has taken place yet largely.
The sessions introduced the participants to diverse issues revolving around the need for gender and transformative change. These opening statements and issues shared opened more questions from the participants which were responded to by the discussants. The participants became more aware of the real issues confronting gender concerns and for real transformation to happen and to become a reality.
Plenary 2: Climate Change and Gender
October 15, 2012
The Chair and Discussant was Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba Rana, ICUN, Nepal joined by Dr. Andrea Nightingale, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; Elbegzaya Batjargal, Mountain Partnership, Italy; Dr. Govind Kelkar, ICRW, India; Dr. Jyoti Parikh, IRADe, India; and Dr. Ruth Meinzen-Dick, IFPRI, USA.
The chair posed the question “What does the gender lens reveal in looking at climate change?” Dr. Meinzen-Dick started off by saying that gender roles will affect men and women differently and because of varied control of assets and resources – men and women react differently for climate change has differential effects to men and women.
Dr. Nightingale posed the question why are there no professional women highlighted in the world of natural resource management; how wide are the women affected differently; what are the effects of male migration; how critical is women’s knowledge and what are the most effective adaptation practices. These questions started the discussions among the panel speakers.
Dr. Nightingale shared that we need to understand that in adaptation some maybe secured more than others thus there is a need to regain knowledge on access to and control over resources relevant to climate change. She also stressed that adaptation and mitigation measures require coordination and collective actions and the need for data and evidence especially as there has been no complete data yet on gender and climate change – thus the need for consistent evidence-based data collection. She further added when data from female-headed are gathered it is important to note that in male-headed there are women also.
These discussion points made the participants aware of the intricacies in exploring further climate change and its significance to women and to men which provided the depth of insights and sharing that will surface in the sessions that will be opened as the Bhutan+10 international conference unfolds in the succeeding days.
The Road from Rio + 20 High Level Panel
October 15, 2012
The Chair and Discussant of the “Road from Rio + 20 High Level Panel is Honourable Lyonpo Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Minister of Agriculture, Bhutan together with Dr. Devaki Jain, Founder of Dawn, India; Dr. Elizabeth Migongo-Bake, UNEP, Kenya; Meena Khanal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Nepal; Nathalie Eddy, GGCA, USA; and Dr. R.S. Tolia, Doon University, India.
A question was posed on whether there has been a backsliding on women/gender issues after Rio + 10 and where did we go wrong. Dr. Devaki Jain, founder of DAWN, India commented that Bhutan +10 is a gender achiever and that we should not start with a perspective of a backsliding view but rather from a point of view of where we are right now.
Another question was posed before the discussants on ‘what do the Bhutan +10 delegates need to consider’. Dr. Jain stressed that the gender and women agenda are addressed on a need-basis and that on women’s role on the environment, strong consideration on proximate production resources must be considered. Ms. Meena Khanal, Joint Secretary, Ministry of environment of Nepal said that we need to change our mindset so we can achieve transformative changes and that the fear of losing power is what makes men vicious.
The RIO + 10 sessions introduced the participants to the various issues and concerns on gender and mountain development which will unfold as the days progress in this international conference, “Bhutan +10: Gender and Mountain Development in a Changing World.”
Virginia Verora is the Gender Coordinator for IFAD Philippines.
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Perspectives. This series of first-person accounts from project participants and other key stakeholders takes a candid look at rural development. The purpose of Perspectives isn't just to share information, but also to empower stakeholders to voice their opinions, share their perspectives and provide fresh new looks into the world of international development.