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(EN)JEUX CLIMATIQUES A MADAGASCAR

Posted by Christopher Neglia Tuesday, April 25, 2017 0 comments

Par Marie-Clarisse Chanoine Dusingize

Le lancement des activités financées par le Programme d’adaptation de l’agriculture paysanne (ASAP en anglais) a eu lieu le 14 et 15 mars 2017 à Morondava, à Madagascar. Ce don s'insère dans la phase II du Projet d’Appui au Développement de Menabe et Melaky (AD2M II). L'atelier organisé fut une opportunité pour l'équipe de projet et ses collaborateurs clés (les ONG de terrain et les partenaires nationaux et régionaux) d’apprendre les uns des autres et d’échanger sur le thème de l’adaptation aux changements climatiques dans le secteur agricole.

L'atelier a débuté par l'organisation d'un jeu de rôle. Cette animation ludique a été menée par l'équipe FIDA pour sensibiliser les participants à l’ampleur des impacts du changement climatique sur la sécurité alimentaire et sur le développement agricole et rural à  Madagascar. Les participants ont donc pu incarner les rôles de responsables institutionnels et d'acteurs locaux en charge de la planification rurale sur une période de 5 ans. Grâce à cette simulation, ils ont ainsi dû décider d’investir soit dans les opérations courantes soit dans l’adoption de mesures innovantes afin de se prémunir contre les effets dévastateurs liés aux changements climatiques tels que les sècheresses et les inondations. Les participants ont pu expérimenter la prise de risque inhérente au statu quo – risque de famine en cas de sécheresse - et les coûts liés à l’adoption de mesures d’adaptation et d’atténuation aux changements climatiques - adoption de techniques et technologies innovantes et plus coûteux. Ce divertissement a suscité des discussions riches sur les enjeux inhérents au développement agricole et rural et les mesures d’adaptation locales.

L’atelier s’est poursuivi par des présentations courtes sur l’état environnemental et les changements climatiques à Madagascar, et plus particulièrement dans les régions du projet, Menabe et Melaky. Les intervenants ont mis en exergue les déterminants et les contraintes qui exacerbent la vulnérabilité des populations rurales causée par la dégradation environnementale et les changements climatiques. Ils ont ensuite émis des suggestions quant à la bonne mise en œuvre du projet. Pour garantir le succès du projet les participants ont recommandé, sur base de leurs expériences de terrain,, d’accentuer la mise en pratique des approches participatives, le partage et la mutualisation de la prise de risque inhérente à l’adoption d’innovation (partage des coûts), la vulgarisation et la diversification des semences améliorées, la promotion de la production intégrée (végétale, animale et la pêche) et le renforcement des capacités locales et des réseaux d’échanges des savoirs et des expériences.

Getting to grips with IFAD’s new Glossary on gender issues

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Thursday, April 20, 2017 0 comments

By Claire Ferry

Every month IFAD’s Gender Desk offers home-made cakes and coffee and the chance to learn about new gender-related initiatives and network with colleagues. At this month’s Gender Breakfast, Belen Couto and a team from IFAD’s Language Services presented the new Glossary on gender issues.

The Glossary contains 130 terms and aims to standardize the use of language related to gender issues in official IFAD documents and publications. Meticulous referenced translation into the four official IFAD languages—Arabic, English, French and Spanish—is a key resource for translators, editors, writers and interpreters. The Glossary is a unique product that will benefit all UN Rome-based agencies and other organizations, and it has been posted on the FAO Term Portal database .

The glossary does more than just standardize language, though. A flip through its pages offers education on key issues facing women and men in the drive towards gender equality.

For instance, the term "femicide" was new to me before it caught my attention in the glossary. The entry includes a definition as expected, but it also cites a source—specifically, the new law in Brazil offering greater protection in the face of the deliberate killing of women. The document offers guidelines for usage, highlights topics of importance and supplies a source for more information.

Importantly, the glossary also clarifies terms that we often take for granted or misuse.

"Gender equality" and "gender equity" are only a few letters different, but they are not interchangeable. The former refers to equal opportunities among men and women, while the latter addresses measures taken to ensure that equality. As the glossary puts it, "Equity can be understood as the means, where equality is the end." Before we slip one of these terms into our next email or publication, understanding its full meaning is key to communicating effectively.

Even the concept of marriage is more complex than first appears. I've often heard the term "arranged marriage," but I unknowingly and wrongly equated it with "forced marriage." The Glossary helped clarify the difference, and it also brought other marital gender issues to my attention—namely, child and early marriage. I found that, not only had I been using some terms incorrectly, but I was also unaware of some important related issues.

A significant amount of work went into providing complete definitions for each term, and their translation into other languages was just as involved. The Language Services team explained the nuances of translating the terms, including the difficulty of maintaining meaning across languages. They also explained the hierarchy of sources used, where international conventions are regarded as top sources.

With positive responses from IFAD staff and other UN organizations, Language Services is considering creating glossaries on other topics. The creators of the Gender Glossary describe it as a "living document," which will be expanded and revised where necessary. Colleagues wishing to add terms to the Glossary were invited to write to Language Services with their proposals.

We sometimes pay scant attention to the words we use in everyday language, but perhaps we should be more attentive. As one of the participants at the breakfast said, “Language can be a wall and language can be a window." As IFAD continues its work to empower women, using the right words is an important tool.

By Elisabeth Steinmayr & Steven Jonckheere

"It is important, when so much effort is being put into irrigation infrastructure and a lot of opportunities are created by a project, to make sure that people can actually benefit from it. We have built the infrastructure and are now aiming at maximizing the impact."

This is what Doro Niang, one of the local champions of Maghama in Mauritania, said with regard to the use of land developed through an IFAD project. We met Doro Niang during the 10-day Learning Route on Securing Land and Water Rights in Senegal and Mauritania from 6 to 16 March 2017, orga-nized by Procasur with technical support from IPAR (Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale) under the IFAD grant project Strengthening Capacities and Tools to Scale Up and Disseminate Innovations.




The importance of land and water in contributing to the increase of agricultural production, income, health and sustainable land use have separately been recognized, however, little is understood about their interface. The intricacies of land and water governance are only beginning to be understood. Securing access by rural poor people to land and water rights is key to reducing extreme poverty and hunger, since land and water are among the most important assets that poor rural women and men have.

From Dakar to Maghama and back – the Learning Route 


Procusar took up the challenging task to organize a Learning Route with 22 participants from 9 countries (Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Malawi, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone), crossing the border, and thus the river Senegal twice, travelling 1.800 km by bus and car, giving us the possibility to meet with 250 crop and livestock farmers, project coordinators and local champions, translating at times into four different languages.


 The participants, mainly IFAD supported project and government staff, and the team of the Learning Route, made up of Procasur, IPAR and IFAD staff, met up on 6 March in the IFAD office in Dakar for the kick-off workshop, already having in mind the three objectives of the learning experience: Besides learning more about the methodology of the Learning Route, the participants, all working in the field of land and water governance, also shared their previous experience in the thematic areas, the issues their projects are dealing with and the learning needs and objectives they had identified for themselves.
Participant Mato Maman talking about land tenure security in Niger

Land use and allocation plan in Diama 



The day after we embarked on our trip and drove from Dakar north to the region of Saint Louis where are first visit introduced us to the community of Diama. In the region, rich in land and water resources, irrigated agriculture, flood recession farming, and rain-fed agriculture are practiced. The community had been part of the Support Programme for Rural Communities of the Senegal River Valley (PACR-VFS) (2008 - 2015), supported by the French Development Agency and the Irrigation and Water Resources Management Project (IWRM) (2009-2015), and supported by the Millennium Challenge Cooperation. The local champions and community members introduced us to two innovative tools meant to complement institutional arrangements and correct shortcomings of the land legislation:

Land use and allocation plans (POAS) 

The POAS, which development are undertaken in an inclusive and participatory way, identify land use zones, giving priority to activities without excluding others (residential zones, pastoral zones, agro-pastoral zones etc.) The plans essentially consist of rules governing the management of space and natural resources, an organizational framework for decision-making and M&E, and mapping tools. The POAS are legally binding and can be enforced.

Land use and allocation plan in Diama


Land information system (SIF) 

The SIF is a set of principles governing the collection, processing, use and storage of data on the occupation of public land, which informs decision-making. It allows to document three dimensions of land tenure: "who? and how?" by carrying out socio-economic land tenure surveys; “where?" by mapping and a plot numbering strategy. The system is made up of registration procedures, a land allocation map, land administration forms, a register with requests for land allocations, a land regis-ter, and can be managed autonomously by the local authority. Beyond land allocations management, the SIF coupled with the POAS allows a gradual improvement of local territorial and land policy, through a clarification of geographic and land tenure information. The inclusive and participatory approaches used by the community of Diama foster good local governance, democratic processes and representative decision-making. After having spent a very interesting day and a half in Diama, including delicious local food, dance performances and a theatre play by the local youth to celebrate the International Women's day on 8 March, our next destination was Maghama in Mauritania. Our drive took us from Rosso to Kaedi where we spent the night, and allowed for a short stop-over and half-day workshop in M'bout and PASK II where we learnt about the challenges faced when developing land agreements (entente fonciere). The land agreements there are social agreements and are not legally binding: through a territory-centred approach and a consultative process, groups of producers agree on the use of the land. The many hours of driving finally brought us to Maghama, where we were overwhelmed by the welcoming and hospitality of the local community.

Entente Fonciere in Maghama 


When the IFAD-supported Maghama Improved Flood Recession Farming Project (PACDM) (2002 – 2009) was being designed in the 1990's, it was noted that families with a weak status in the in the community would not have been able to access and benefit from the 9000 ha of land that were to be developed. This is why IFAD made the establishment of the entente fonciere, the land agree-ment, a pre-requisite for its funding. The agreement that was then developed in a long consultative process is based on three key principles: justice, solidarity and efficiency.

Field visit it Maghama


What was interesting for all participants was the establishment of the National Coordination, an informal body with representatives of all villages in the Walo (flood recession farming area). Those representatives were natives from the villages, but resided in the capital. Their role was to facilitate the negotiation phase of the agreement while also defending the interests of the beneficiaries during the period of drafting and signing the protocols of the agreement with the State. Not only the learning opportunity was unique in Maghama – far away from hotels and guesthouses we had the chance the live with the community for three days, stay in people's houses, eat delicious food and enjoy an evening of theatre and music performances. Another drive and adventurous boat ride took us then to our last stop in Matam, and thus back to Senegal.

One household, one hectare & pastoral units in Matam/Senegal 


The Agricultural development project of Matam (PRODAM) in Senegal is supported by the West African Development Bank (scaling up of former IFAD-supported project (2003 – 2011)). PRODAM contributed to improving land tenure security by supporting the one household, one hec-tare-principle for allocation of land in village irrigation schemes and the establishment of pastoral units responsible for the management of pastoral resources. In order to guarantee land access in the irrigated areas to returnees and dispossessed people, PRODAM facilitated a regrouping and redistribution of land amongst all families effectively living in the village. Each household could receive only one irrigated plot of up to one hectare, the size of which was calculated on the basis of their operating capacity. By facilitating access to land for returnees and dispossessed people the project hoped to improve their socio-economic situation. Special attention was also given to ensure that also women were recognised as land owners.

Participants and local champions discussing village irrigation schemes

PRODAM has also supported pastoral units to ensure good rangeland management, improve access to water and reduce pressure on the grazing lands. A pastoral unit is made up of a group of localities that - given their economic interests, historical ties and physical proximity - share the same pastoral and agricultural areas and use the same water points.

What did we learn? 


Once back in Dakar we spent one last day together in the IFAD office, holding a wrap-up workshop. This very instructive learning experience left us with some main conclusions: In many cases, water rights become operationalized through user organizations. Ensuring that women, smallholders, livestock keepers, or other poor and marginalized water users are represented in these organizations is an important step to strengthening their water rights. However this is often difficult because of overt resistance from those who do not want to share water rights and decision-making, or because of social challenges of including marginalized groups in local organizations. With irrigation becoming an increasingly private investment, access to capital becomes a determining factor for access to water and land for vulnerable groups.

Participants from Nigeria and Sierra Leone are discussing the take-aways from the Maghama case

 Participants from Nigeria and Sierra Leone are discussing the take-aways from the Maghama case. Officially-recognized rights help ensure that their holders have a “seat at the table” in discussions about further water development or land use changes that may impinge on their rights. Joint plan-ning and modelling of water resource development with government agencies and different user groups helps to put this into practice, but it may require strengthening the capacity of both the agencies and the users. There is no single, optimal property right system for irrigations systems—in developing countries or elsewhere. Rather, we need a range of options and the understanding necessary to be able to tailor them to their (ever-changing) physical and institutional context. This, however, requires that enough time is dedicated to understanding the local context and reaching a consensus through an open and inclusive dialogue.

What's next? 


During the learning journey the participants had worked on their own innovation plans, aimed at replicating innovations in their country/organizations/projects, and the last day provided the space to present the first drafts of these plans and to give a first round of peer-to-peer feed-back. It is important to put enough effort in projects dealing with land and water issues in irrigation schemes into joint planning and modelling of water resource development, promoting more equitable access to water and irrigated land, addressing the issue of access to capital. At the same time we should step up our efforts of documenting and sharing the experiences of IFAD-supported projects in dealing with land issues. This Learning Route and a paper written on the three cases for the 2017 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty are a first step in the right direction. The end of the Learning Route left all participants tired but satisfied and inspired. It is now up to all of us to capitalize on this experience and support the implementation of the ambitious innovation plans. And since after the game is before the game, Procasur and IFAD are already starting to think about the next Learning Route on land tenure – we'll let you know more about it soon.

The Learning Route team – happy about the success of the route © Veronica Wijaya


Useful links 


IFAD brings together experts on migration and remittances

Posted by RachaelKenny Thursday, April 13, 2017 0 comments

IFAD brought together leading experts on migration and remittances in the historical city of Perugia to look at why migrants matter, both in Italy and back home.

Over 80 attendees, including students and journalists, gathered to hear top experts discuss issues around migration and remittances at the panel session, Money Talks - Why Migrants Matter at the International Journalism Festival, the largest annual media event in Europe.

Over 80 people attended the session "Money Talks - Why Migrants Matter" at the International Journalism Festival
The panel of experts included: Adolfo Brizzi, the director in the Office of the Associate Vice President at IFAD; Charito Basa, the founder of the Filipino Women's Council(FWC) and Leon Isaacs the CEO of Developing Markets Associates. Moderating the event was Karima Moual, an award-winning journalist, whose writing and reporting focuses on the Arab World, Middle East policy, Islamic issues and immigration/migration.

The panel discussed the impact money from remittances has on local economies. Last year, 250 million international migrants sent almost half a trillion US dollars back to their communities in developing countries, 40 per cent of which – around US$200 billion – reached rural areas.

"Migrants’ money represents a critical lifeline for millions of households,  helping families raise their living standards above subsistence and vulnerability levels while investing in health, education, housing as well as entrepreneurial activities," said Adolfo Brizzi, Director in the Office of the Associate Vice President at IFAD. "Remittances can reunite families, promote development and slow migration. In Italy for example, migrants send back home about 25 per cent of their earnings, while 75 per cent stays in the country – this is contributing to the country’s GDP and is a win-win situation all round.”

Remittances also offer other opportunities, in particular, "remittances are a great possibility for investment, as they give the opportunity to rebuild rural communities and stabilize families, " said Charito Basa, the founder of the Filipino Women's Council  (FWC). Basa is an economic migrant herself whose reason to come to Italy was to help her family back home.

IFAD estimates that one in ten people originating from a developing country either sends or receives international – or domestic – remittances. Although remittances are critical for communities in developing countries, there is always a risk when sending money.

According to Leon Isaacs, CEO of Developing Markets Associates, migrants lack financial protection when making these transfers:
"To transfer money, different countries implement different laws for the legal and informal migrants,” Isaacs noted. “There is a danger for everybody that wants to transfer money, especially in countries where there isn't a well-developed financial system, if a legal migrant transfers money, they have some sort of protection, but an informal migrant has none, and the country on the receiving end also needs information for its use".

The panel later opened to questions from the audience. One, in particular, addressed the role of women within migration and remittances. 
"Women are great factors of stability due to their remittances, as a majority of international migrants that send money back to their communities in developing countries are women," said Karima Moual, the moderator of the panel.
The panel wrapped up with an interesting view on remittances  mentioned by Adolfo Brizzi is that it might be a way to halt migration, after all, who really wants to leave their home, their country when they are able to live and work there.

Over the last ten years, IFAD has given rural people and communities more options to invest their money and create opportunities for business development and employment in approximately 40 developing countries by piloting over 50 programmes. Learn more about our work with remittances here.

Watch IFAD's Rome to Home video to learn more about migrant remittances.

By Nerina Muzurovic 



Britain’s Prince of Wales visited the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 5 April 2017.

As part of the British Royal’s visit, the Permanent Representation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the United Nations invited Dr Khalida Bouzar, IFAD Director for the Near East, North Africa and Europe Division, to introduce the work of IFAD in Somalia.

“We have been investing in rural people for the last four decades – targeting the poorest and most vulnerable communities in the most remote areas,” Dr Bouzar said, after greeting His Royal Highness. “IFAD’s investments have so far reached about 464 million people.”

Almost half of IFAD’s ongoing operations are in fragile and conflict-affected countries like Somalia, she added, where IFAD has supported 9 programmes since the 1980s for a total cost of US$140 million and an outreach of 1.8 million people.

In places like Somalia, IFAD’s work is more important than ever, she said. “Many activities designed and financed by IFAD in such areas have proved to be resilient to conflict and still continue.”

Noting that the United Kingdom has demonstrated active leadership in raising awareness of the current food crisis in Somalia, she added, “Our experience shows that even in the most challenging circumstances, investment can bring about positive change in the lives of poor people.”

One good example of positive change brought about under challenging circumstances is the IFAD-financed North-Western Integrated Community Development Programme (Phase II), which ran despite a devastating drought and ongoing conflict in Somalia from 2010 to 2015. The programme reached 1.4 million beneficiaries, of whom 40 per cent were women. Working with 124 communities in 9 districts, this programme focused on improving farming in areas where water is scarce.

Among other measures, the programme helped introduce 15 sand storage dams to hold and absorb floodwater. These dams replenished water sources and allowed people to farm profitably in a community where, previously, water scarcity caused frequent disputes. The Prince of Wales noted that he was familiar with sand storage dams, having seen them in India.

In addition to empowering communities, the sand dams had a markedly positive impact on local women’s lives. “With this project, we see how resilience, security and gender empowerment go hand in hand,” noted Dr Bouzar. “In the village of Aada, for example, a woman herder told us, ‘we used to walk long distances, sometimes the whole day to get water. Now fetching water is easy; in just a few minutes we have water for washing, cooking and cleaning. And a lot of women have become interested in farming.’”
Speaking before the British Royal, Dr Bouzar also introduced two new IFAD projects in Somalia. The first, co-financed by the Italian Development Cooperation, is aimed at irrigation needs in Somalia’s Lower Shebelle region. The second, funded by a regional grant covering Djibouti and Somalia, will provide technology for enhanced farming, rangelands, and watershed management.

Famine begins and ends in rural areas, which is why measures like resilience building, strengthening livelihoods, and keeping animals alive are key. With an eye to the future, IFAD is currently also using climate modelling to carry out climate change vulnerability mapping, along with the World Food Programme (WFP), to assess effects on smallholder agriculture in Somalia.

“Sustainable rural development can be a potent stabilizing force—which is why we have established “FARMS, ”the Facility for Refugees, Migrants, Forced Displacement and Rural Stability,” Dr Bouzar concluded. “We believe tools like FARMS are powerful means of change in places like Somalia, where there are currently 1.1 million internally displaced people.” Giving people the ability to feed their children today is crucial, but it is also of paramount importance that we help the rural poor to secure sustenance for future generations. To accomplish this, IFAD plays a pivotal role in bridging the gap between humanitarian assistance and long-term development.

Despite ongoing conflict in the region, where security remains a problem, IFAD’s work in Somalia will not slacken, she said. At present, new collaboration is being planned with the Italian Development Cooperation to address food insecurity in the country’s Puntland area.