Program Update | CONTINENTAL

Learning Series Event: Data and dialogue – local policy engagement by Non-State Actors in CAADP

Participants in Africa Lead’s Learning Series event on the Non- State Actor Small Grants Program discuss lessons learned on the sidelines of the 15th CAADP Partnership Platform meeting. Photo Credit: Africa Lead

The intentional inclusion of Non-State Actors (NSA) in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is viewed by many as critical to ensure an accountable and inclusive policy process. As a result, these processes are more responsive to and effective for citizens, including small holder farmers, entrepreneurs, and local agribusinesses.

In response uneven engagement of NSAs in CAADP across the continent, Africa Lead partnered with the CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) to launch the Small Grants Program (SGP) in 2017. With a focus on Kenya and Senegal, the purpose of the program was to help increase the number of NSAs aligned to CAADP and improve citizen engagement in key food security investment priorities. USAID’s Bureau for Food Security funded the program, with financial support going toward seven organizations to explore participatory, bottom-up approaches to collect and use data for engaging government at the sub-national level. SGP partners were encouraged to pilot new approaches and models or scale up small projects that have demonstrated success.

To share lessons from the grant program, Africa Lead as part of its Final Program Year Learning Series facilitated a learning event at the 15th CAADP Partnership Platform (PP) meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya from the 11th June – 14th June 201. Facilitated by Africa Lead’s CAADP Advisor, Robert Ouma, the side event included a panel discussion featuring key participants in the program including CNC, Kenya’s The Sugar Campaign for Change (SUCAM), Open Institute, and the Agricultural Council of Kenya. Action Aid participated in the event as a partner of the CNC.

East African Legislative Assembly member Mathias Kasamba discusses the role of non-state actors in the CAADP Biennial review process. Photo Credit: Africa Lead

With nearly 50 participants in attendance, panelists presented on engagement and data based advocacy tools, as well as models for generating monitoring data and experiential evidence for evaluating government policies. SUCAM presented on its model for Budget Action Groups (BAGs), which engage local farmers and citizens on local budget processes and develop budget prioritization proposals that are presented to local governments. SUCAM formed 45 BAGs (15 groups in 3 Western Kenya counties) with the grant support. Open Institute reviewed how it collected and analyzed data from more than 4,000 Kenyan farmers and published it online at The AGCK a non-grant funded participant in the program, presented on its work to identify 18 NSAs using the Non-State Actors Advocacy and Consultation Tool (NSA-ACT). Finally, CNC and Action Aid informed participants about the newly developed NSA Biennial Review Value Addition Toolkit.

The panelists also discussed approaches and lessons related to informing public policy agendas with NSA knowledge and the impact of empowering marginalized communities, particularly smallholder farmers, to participate in public policy through capacity building and mobilization.

Africa Lead collected feedback from the learning event and will be incorporating this additional information into a Small Grants Program Learning Brief, which will be released in the final months of the Africa Lead program.

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