Africa Lead Final Report

This report is structured in an easy-to-navigate format. It will help you learn about Africa Lead’s origins as a program, how it supported Africa’s food security policy developments from the boardroom to the farm, helped leaders and institutions across the continent advance toward achieving their shared goals, and how the program’s unique approaches were designed through continual learning and adapting.

Africa Lead’s Reach & Presence

As a cooperative agreement and buy-in mechanism through the Bureau for Food Security (BFS) the project’s scope was continental. It had an original ceiling of $70 million that was expanded to $95 million in 2017. While it is a BFS core-funded program, Africa Lead was largely funded through buy-ins from bilateral Feed the Future countries in Africa and Regional Missions. Over the life of the project, Africa Lead had various in-country and regional offices that allowed our staff to work directly with continental, regional, national, and sub-national stakeholders, including the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Feed the Future teams.

Key Project Results

Africa Lead & CAADP

African Heads of State in 2003 launched the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all. Africa Lead II’s goal was to support African-led policy transformation, where individuals, institutions, and networks are the driving force advancing Africa’s food security and resilience. Ultimately, these leaders, organizations, and groups are responsible for developing and sustaining policy priorities for reducing poverty and increasing nutrition through agriculture and achieving the goals of CAADP.

Strengthening Self-Reliance for Africa’s Food Security & Resilience

Africa Lead’s ultimate objective was to support African-led and African-owned policy processes and solutions to transform African agriculture, food security, and resilience. From the continental policy system level to the sub-national system level, Africa Lead set out to elevate the focus on policy change and country capacity to manage the policy change process.

IMPACT STORY

Tracking Africa’s Progress on Agricultural Transformation: CAADP and the Biennial Review

Improving Inclusion in Africa’s Agriculture & CAADP

The CAADP Malabo Commitments set out to ensure inclusive agricultural transformation, involving the private sector, women, and youth. In all activities, Africa Lead set out to engage and support underrepresented voices in agriculture policy and agriculture development.

Mapping Africa Lead II’s Impact to CAADP Malabo Commitments

In 2014, the Malabo Declaration introduced seven high-level commitment areas under the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) that span a wide range of issues, policies, and programs relevant to agricultural transformation in Africa with very specific targeted results that would be measured. Africa Lead’s programming support from the country to the continental level aligned to the CAADP Malabo commitments.

Africa Lead’s Model & Approach

Africa Lead II’s Story of Change & Evolution: Theory of Change

Africa Lead II (2013-2019) evolved from the predecessor project, Africa Lead I (2010-2013). The foundation of Africa Lead I’s success was primarily in leadership capacity building. In its initial design, Africa Lead II carried forward much of the programs, while expanding support to strengthen institutional capacity, the management of policy change and alignment processes, and enhance the capacity and engagement of NSAs, including the private sector.

Understanding Africa Lead’s Approach

Theory of Change

Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, and Adapting

The complex and dynamic environments in which Africa Lead operated demand a flexible and adaptive monitoring and evaluation system that responds to both the accountability requirements and knowledge and learning needs of the program and our stakeholders. Africa Lead used both quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the contribution of our interventions to changes in behavior, attitudes, norms, and performance of individuals, groups, and organizations, but also the overarching objective of African agricultural transformation.

Africa Lead II Performance Results

Performance Indicator Tracking Table (2013 - 2019)

Pillars of Impact

PILLAR 1

Transform Leaders & Institutions

Africa Lead worked to strengthen both individual leadership capacity and organizational capacity of local institutions to support policy and institutional reform, which serve as drivers and accelerators of agricultural transformation.

Leadership Capacity and Management at Scale

Africa Lead’s work at the individual level focused on building resilient skills, especially around leadership, at all levels of the policy system. The program also focused on scaling and cascading trainings and entrenching the culture, concepts and programming with long-term sustainability in mind.

Organizational Strengthening and Change Management

Strong leaders must have enabling environments to work within. To complement Africa Lead’s leadership strengthening efforts, the program worked to improve capacity among targeted and key institutions involved in developing and managing national agricultural and food security programs.

INFOGRAPHIC

IMPACT STORY

Kenya’s Agriculture Sector Finds Its Unified Voice

IMPACT STORY

Education Village

CHAMPIONS FOR FOOD SECURITY PROFILES

Rose, Beatrice, Aichi, and Vozbeth

IMPACT STORY

C4C University Institutionalization

LESSONS LEARNED & RECOMMENDATIONS

Transform Leaders & Institutions

PILLAR 2

Activate Networks & Collaborative Action

Africa Lead complemented capacity building for effective leaders and institutions with support to activate networks and collective action. Africa Lead developed and strengthened transformative partnerships and networks such as non-state actor platforms and women and youth networks that make collective action possible. Africa Lead mobilized policy actors, participants, and advocates traditionally underrepresented in policy dialogue and debate, including women, youth, private sector representatives, and community stakeholders.

Transformative Partnerships & Networks

Africa Lead sought to develop and strengthen the multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder collaborative networks, practices, and platforms that make collaborative action possible. These mechanisms help build strong linkages among policy system actors and institutions, as well as streamline communication, facilitate the mobilization of resources, and engender broad stakeholder support for policy priorities, including among groups like women and youth often excluded from policy conversations.

Mobilizing Policy Actors, Participants, and Advocates

Broad participation in collaborative networks allows stakeholders to interact with one another and engage the government with evidence-based positions on existing and potential policies. Africa Lead mobilized policy actors, participants, and advocates—such as NSAs, the private sector, women, and youth—to participate more fully in agricultural sector decision making processes.

SPECIAL FOCUS

Resilience

NETWORK MAP

Organizations connected through Africa Lead activities (2014 - 2019)

IMPACT STORY

Collective Impact for Resilience: Improving Collaboration and Learning in Northern Kenya

IMPACT STORY

Balancing Africa’s food security scales with women-led agriculture through media

IMPACT STORY

Planting the seeds of hope in Senegal’s mango sector

IMPACT STORY

Kenya’s small-scale sugar farmers reach into the policy BAG

INFOGRAPHIC

LESSONS LEARNED & RECOMMENDATIONS

Activate Networks & Collaborative Action

PILLAR 3

Empower African-Led Policy Solutions

Africa Lead supported inclusive sets of stakeholders in developing, testing, and refining local solutions, whether specific policies or policy-making processes, within the framework of improved collaborative governance. In doing so, the project played the role of catalyst and connector for learning and innovations in individual leadership behavior, institutional performance, and policy processes.

Collaborative Governance

Collaborative governance involves the government, community, and private sectors working together to achieve more than a single sector could achieve on its own. Africa Lead fostered collaborative governance by supporting inclusive public private dialogue and planning processes, while also building on its approaches to leadership strengthening, collaboration, coordination, and facilitative leadership.

Adaptive Management Systems

Africa Lead promoted learning and adaptation by building capacity for M&E in government organizations, supporting NSAs to participate and bring evidence to dialogue and policy-making processes, organizing and facilitating learning events and networking activities, and creating and disseminating tools to raise awareness of CAADP.

CAADP Backbone

Africa Lead supported African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC DREA) and countries across the continent in meeting the Malabo Declaration commitments and CAADP goals.

FEATURED TOOL

Institutional Architecture Assessment, Prioritization, and Planning Toolkit

IMPACT STORY

The word is out: Senegal is “Open for Agri-Business”

SPECIAL FOCUS

Fall Armyworm

IMPACT STORY

Building Bridges to Economic and Food Security; linking Senegal’s top priorities to action

LESSONS LEARNED & RECOMMENDATIONS

Empower African-Led Policy Solutions

Africa Lead is Feed the Future’s primary capacity building program in sub-Saharan Africa. Feed the Future (FTF) is the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative.

Strengthening Self-Reliance for Africa’s Food Security & Resilience

USAID’s focus on self-reliance presents a new vision for development and humanitarian assistance: building a country’s capacity to plan, finance, and implement solutions to local development challenges, and ensuring that there is a commitment to see these solutions through effectively, inclusively, and with accountability.

Africa Lead’s ultimate objective was to support African-led and African-owned policy processes and solutions to transform African agriculture, food security, and resilience.

From the continental policy system level to the sub-national system level, Africa Lead set out to elevate the focus on policy change and country capacity to manage the policy change process. This allowed for an increase in the role and contributions of non-state actors (NSAs) to agriculture transformation – including the private sector. Success at every level was more likely when Africa Lead worked in direct collaboration with African partners in government and civil society. Additionally, coordination with USAID and other donor stakeholders, as well as donor implementers, was essential to ensure the alignment of policy and capacity building efforts focused on improving food security and resilience outcomes. Improving these outcomes required that countries and African partners brought their full suite of resources to bear, including fully inclusive human and institutional resources.

CONTINENTAL LEVEL

At the continental level, Africa Lead worked in partnership with the African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC DREA) and in coordination with USAID’s BFS. Africa Lead supported the capacity and engagement of NSAs in efforts related to the CAADP Biennial Review through various fora, including through the establishment and support of the CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC).

REGIONAL LEVEL

Working together with Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs) / Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and USAID, Africa Lead’s regional missions, Africa Lead staff, and programs supported collaboration between government, non-government and donor actors and institutions to engage in regional trade, food safety, and CAADP policy coordination and collaboration.

 

 

 

COUNTRY / BILATERAL LEVEL

With national plans and priorities at the forefront of many of our local partners’ agendas, Africa Lead’s country programs and staff supported country-level policy priorities and explored ways to link these objectives to sub-national, regional, and continental frameworks. In collaboration with USAID bilateral priorities, Africa Lead supported government agencies, NSAs, and individual leaders leading and contributing to national policy efforts.

SUB-NATIONAL LEVEL

Many of Africa Lead’s programs reached actors and organizations at the sub-national level through our distributed and targeted trainings to provide education and capacity on national, regional, and continental policy priorities and frameworks. Additionally, engagement of these actors in national planning processes was incredibly important to comprehensive and informed policy processes and decision making. Africa Lead also explored grant programs to support sub-national NSAs to develop policy priorities from the grass roots and farmer level to feed into processes from the country to continental level.

CAADP Support from Continent to Country
Africa Lead supported the launch of the CAADP Biennial Review communications and advocacy toolkit at the 15th CAADP Partnership Platform Meetings in June 2019.

Tracking Africa’s Progress on Agricultural Transformation: CAADP and the Biennial Review

The African Union celebrated 2014 as the Year of Agriculture and Food Security in Africa, marking the 10th Anniversary of the adoption of the CAADP.

With smallholder farmers at the heart of Africa’s agricultural transformation, the continent has the ability to feed every man, woman, and child. Yet, Africa is still a net importer of food, spending up to USD 35 billion annually on food, a number that is expected to rise to 110 billion by 2025. 

With a focus on rising malnutrition rates and the great opportunity to transform Africa’s economy through agriculture, African Heads of State in 2003 launched the CAADP, Africa’s policy framework for agricultural transformation, wealth creation, food security and nutrition, economic growth and prosperity for all.

“The more critical aspect of CAADP is that it is an attempt by Africa to use agriculture to drive economic growth and transformation within countries. And when you’ve got growth and transformation, then the biggest beneficiaries should be the farmers, the majority of whom are smallholder farmers,” says Robert Ouma, Africa Lead’s Senior Policy Advisor.

From 2003 – 2013, with broad goals and a few specific ones, CAADP focused attention and galvanized action on increasing public investment into agriculture and urging faster agricultural growth as agricultural production became an important issue on the continental agenda. In 2014, realizing that agricultural transformation was a more complex, multi-faceted challenge, African leaders with the support of Africa Lead, rejuvenated CAADP through the Malabo Declaration. 

The Malabo Declaration broadened the goals of CAADP to include seven high-level commitment areas that span a wide range of issues, policies, and programs relevant to agricultural transformation in Africa with very specific targeted results that would be measured.

To measure results and outcomes against its goals, CAADP established a results framework known as the Biennial Review. The first Biennial Review report released in 2018 measured progress on CAADP against 43 indicators across the seven commitments of the Malabo Declaration. The findings were intended to feed information platforms established under CAADP and those engaged with agricultural and rural development in Africa. The review will continue to occur every two years until 2025.

As one of Feed the Future’s capacity support programs to CAADP, Africa Lead worked as a key partner to enhance and advance the first Biennial Review process. Working with the AU and other partners, Africa Lead organized the initial training of trainers for the reporting process, facilitated six regional trainings in the data processing and reporting tools, and engaged its country facilitators to support the national CAADP teams in Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, Malawi, and Senegal to get the Biennial Review report to the finish line.

While the 2018 report showed that less than half of the 47 AU member states that reported were on track to meet the Malabo Declaration goals and targets by 2025, completing the first review process represented a major accomplishment in measuring progress toward achieving the specific goals set by African nations. The accompanying Africa Agriculture Transformation Scorecard (AATS) also revealed that each country was facing context-specific challenges. For that reason, each country profile in the report included three recommendations on what was needed to stay on track, or where improvements could be made to meet the Malabo targets.

“The scorecard is a transparency mechanism to drive transformation. It encourages heads of states and governments to assess original commitments made versus performance,” said AUC DREA’s Dr. Godfrey Bahiigwa in a 2018 Agrilinks blog post. The hope is, he continued, that with the Biennial Review, “Available to all stakeholders in agriculture…[it] will stimulate dialogue, collaborative problem solving and a more inclusive African-led process to increase investment in agriculture.”

The 2nd Biennial Review process and accompanying report (to be released in January 2020) was also supported by Africa Lead facilitating country reporting trainings for over 200 people from nearly 50 countries. Africa Lead also provided facilitation support for the15th CAADP Partnership Platform (PP) meeting in June 2019, where a new CAADP communications toolkit developed with communications support by Africa Lead, was launched. Available in both English and French, the toolkit provides an online interactive application to track African governments’ progress towards CAADP goals, an overview of the results of the 2018 Biennial Review, and up to date information about the 2nd Biennial Review process.

The Biennial Review process has triggered dialogue that will be more inclusive and will engage a range of non-state actors, in particular civil society and the private sector. This will, hopefully, be a big win for Africa’s agriculture and the millions of people across the continent that depend on it for their livelihood.

During Africa Lead’s Capstone Learning event in October 2019, Christopher Shepherd-Pratt, Policy Chief of USAID’s Bureau for Food Security, reflected on the Biennial Review’s significance, “What’s really encouraging for […] some of the other processes we’re seeing in CAADP right now [is] we’re seeing this type of [adaptive management] approach embodied in a continent-wide agenda. It says that accountability is important and that there’s a willingness to change and learn.”

Learn more at www.africaleadftf.org/caadp

Improving Inclusion in Africa’s Agriculture & CAADP

The CAADP Malabo Commitments set out to ensure inclusive agricultural transformation, involving the private sector, women, and youth. In all activities, Africa Lead set out to engage and support underrepresented voices in agriculture policy and agriculture development. Here’s a snapshot of some of the project’s work to advance inclusive agricultural transformation:

INCLUSION & ENGAGEMENT OF WOMEN

In sub-Saharan Africa women are heavily involved in food production, processing, and marketing. Yet, on average, only 15% of African women are landholders and are all too often left out of decisions and policy making. In African agricultural research institutions alone, women represent 24% of researchers and only 14% hold leadership positions.

Africa Lead programs and activities consciously targeted support and engagement of women leaders in government and NSA organizations. The program also sought to educate and sensitize leaders, organizations, and governments on the importance of incorporating and providing space for a more gender inclusive approach that truly represents the significant share women hold in Africa’s agricultural transformation, in the field and in the boardroom.

INCLUSION & ENGAGEMENT OF THE PRIVATE SECTOR

Government alone can not be responsible for guiding, leading, and implementing transformational agendas. That’s one of the reasons why Africa Lead focused on including the private sector in policy discussions and capacity building, reaching over 1,800 private sector companies and organizations in its work. Africa Lead facilitated the multisectoral development of National Agricultural Development Plans in six countries, with deep engagement of the private sector.

1,800 private sector companies engaged.

INCLUSION & ENGAGEMENT OF YOUTH
Africa Lead programming set out to directly support this commitment by targeting youth in leadership development and advocacy campaigns; Champions for Change programs engaged youth networks in West Africa, NSA support targeted youth organizations, and a Youth Agribusiness Boot Camp became a popular training in Kenya and West Africa. Africa Lead also reached millions of women and youth with agriculture focused edutainment media programming in East Africa.

Mapping Africa Lead’s Impact to CAADP Malabo Commitments

Since the launch of CAADP in 2003, African nations and leaders have been striving and working together to achieve agricultural transformation at the country level. However, in the first ten years it was difficult to understand how Africa was progressing on achieving the broad commitments and goals set out in 2003. In 2014, the African Union and member states through the Malabo Commitment, recommitted to a clear and measurable set of goals, organized in seven commitment categories, to achieve CAADP by 2025. Africa Lead played an important role in facilitating the initial development of these goals and the ongoing advancement and monitoring of progress. Additionally, Africa Lead’s programming support from the country to the continental level aligned to the CAADP Malabo commitments in the following ways:

Africa Lead’s Story of Change & Evolution

Africa Lead (2013-2019) evolved from the predecessor project, Africa Lead I (2010-2013). The foundation of Africa Lead I’s success was primarily in leadership capacity building. In its initial design, Africa Lead carried forward much of the programs, while expanding support to strengthen institutional capacity, the management of policy change and alignment processes, and enhance the capacity and engagement of NSAs, including the private sector.

Theory of Change

Africa Lead’s theory of change was revisited over the course of the program as part of pause and reflect moments with stakeholders, beneficiaries, partners, and USAID staff. These pause and reflect moments included the Africa Lead Program Review (2013-2017), Africa Lead Lessons Learned Event (February 2018), and quarterly and annual staff reflections on lessons learned. Ultimately, as a result of our own adaptive management approach, a refined and updated Theory of Change (TOC) was adopted as part of a revised Performance, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (PMELP) submitted and accepted in early 2019. The revised TOC (Figure 1) includes three “pillars” that ultimately contribute to improved African-led food security and resilience. These pillars are home to clusters of similar activities which are called “Program Areas.” The following are the three pillars:
  1. Supporting the transformation of African leaders and organizations,
  2. Activating networks and collaborative action, and
  3. Empowering African-led policy solutions

The TOC also reflects that Africa Lead’s unique “Approaches” are central to the ability to deliver effective programming and activities in these pillars.

Pillar 1: Transform Leaders and Institutions
Africa Lead strengthened leadership and management capacity of key policy actors and stakeholders to improve institutional effectiveness for agricultural transformation. Institutional effectiveness in this context is defined as the capacity of individuals, organizations, and networks to develop, lead, and manage the iterative process of improving policies and programs over time. If leaders and institutions have strengthened capacity, they are better equipped to function at the system-level and perform key roles in the policy reform process, such as engage in inclusive dialogue, collaborate across organizations, and coordinate participation and platforms for coalition-building among a variety of stakeholders.
Pillar 2: Activate Networks and Collaborative Action
Activated networks and collaborative actions are key to driving transformative change. If stakeholders are able to engage in purposeful collaboration and make use of improved capacity (such as information, resources, skills, and relationships), then increased social capital and alignment will lead to inclusive and open dialogue, transparency, shared vision and trust among them. Africa Lead support under this pillar resulted in enhanced collaboration and effective coordination among food security and resilience stakeholders to activate networks, improve alignment with local priorities, and mobilize collective action.
Pillar 3: Empower African-Led Policy Solutions
When institutional effectiveness, leadership skills, and social capital are strengthened among key policy actors, then leaders and institutions are better able to collaborative effectively and institutionalize sustainable mechanisms and processes by which ongoing, incremental positive change leads to improved food security and resilience over time. Africa Lead worked to empower an inclusive set of stakeholders to lead by facilitation, adaptively manage, and hold themselves accountable for improved, broad-based food security and resilience policy outcomes.

Project Approaches under Africa Lead

  1. Adaptive Management / Design – Learning platforms and data tools for organizations to inform planning, implementation, and decision making.
  2. Collaborating, Learning, & Adapting (CLA) – A USAID practice and approach that helps USAID and USAID programs implement strategic collaboration, continuous learning, and adaptive management through all components of a Program Cycle.
  3. Collective Impact – Using a common agenda, shared measurement systems, mutually reinforcing activities, continuous communication, and backbone support organizations to achieve greater results.
  4. Facilitative Leadership – Supporting groups of people and organizations to reflect and work together in solving complex, multi-stakeholder policy and program challenges.
  5. Facilitated & Experiential Learning – Learning, knowledge, and skills through in-person learning visits, exchanges, and experiences.
  6. Institutional Integration – Facilitating the cooperation and collaboration among different government organizations, both vertically and horizontally.
  7. Individual & Institutional Inclusion – Ensuring all types of stakeholders, institutions, and voices are represented throughout the process.
  8. Integrated Strategic Communications – Include planning for and the utilization of communications tools and strategies to enhance food security and resilience initiatives.
  9. Localization / African-led prioritization – Support donors, NGOs, and other organizations to coordinate planning and decision making in the communities where their programs are implemented.
  10. Stakeholder Owned & Driven Process – Putting trust in skills and know-how of committed counterpart leaders and organizations.
  11. Transformative Partnerships – Partnerships that recognizes that no one organization or sector alone can solve complex development challenges leveraging combined skills, assets, technologies, and resources of the private, public, and nonprofit sectors.
  12. Exemplary Organizational Management & Leadership (Internal) – Program operations and management utilize the same principles, approaches, and behaviors that guide our external programming.

Monitoring, Evaluation, Learning, & Adapting

By design, Africa Lead activities were demand-driven. The project was seen as a flexible mechanism to provide demand-driven support to various USAID offices and their local partners at the bi-lateral, regional, and continental level in support of agricultural transformation. In order to appreciate the whole of Africa Lead’s impact, individual activities implemented by Africa Lead, USAID, and Feed the Future must be viewed within the larger context of the continental-wide goals which drive them. In this way,n Africa Lead as a project was truly greater than the sum of its parts.

The complex and dynamic environments in which Africa Lead operated demand a flexible and adaptive monitoring and evaluation system that responds to both the accountability requirements and knowledge and learning needs of the program and our stakeholders. From this, Africa Lead was able to adapt programming along side local counterparts and USAID buy-ins. Toward this end, Africa Lead used both quantitative and qualitative methods to assess the contribution of our interventions to changes in behavior, attitudes, norms, and performance of individuals, groups, and organizations, but also the overarching objective of African agricultural transformation.

Applying Collaborating, Learning, and Adapting (CLA)

These methods for assessing the contributions of Africa Lead to agricultural transformation were not used only for reporting accomplishments or achievements; these systems were also used to inform program staff and help identify ways to improve and more effectively design programs. As Africa Lead regularly asked institutions and individuals to take on a self-reflective and adaptive management approach, it also applied this approach to its own staff and program management when considering improvements for the Program Cycle (CLA) and enabling conditions (Culture, Processes, and Resources). Specifically, Africa Lead benefited a great deal from the reflection on how learning about the program could influence how the program adapted, utilizing pause and reflect moments and adaptive management to adjust Africa Lead’s approach. Africa Lead also became more effective at utilizing these moments as learning moments for all of our beneficiaries and stakeholders by holding facilitated learning events that reflected on Africa Lead’s role in advancing agricultural transformation and how those learnings could help shape our beneficiaries and stakeholders work and ownership of process in agricultural transformation.

Africa Lead Pause & Reflect Moments

Annual and Quarterly Buy-In Reviews and Reporting

Africa Lead performed regular and required quarterly and annual reporting from the inception of the program in 2013. Across each of Africa Lead’s regional and buy-in offices (East and Southern Africa, West Africa, and Continental), each office was encouraged to hold quarterly review meetings to reflect on successes and achievements during the previous quarter. During these quarterly review sessions staff also explored areas for improvement and invited stakeholders and other projects to attend the sessions to inform coordination and future planning. At the continental level, BFS staff were included in regular meetings, including an annual review session at the end of each fiscal year.

2013 – 2017 Program Review

After four years of implementation, working with many partners since 2010 under the first phase of Africa Lead, the goal of the Program Review was to gather information, feedback, and input on Africa Lead’s impact and broader learning about progress toward agricultural transformation. Between April and June 2017, Africa Lead conducted the Program Review which engaged a total of 153 individuals, representing 83 organizations, through a total of 64 interviews in nine countries across 10 national and regional programs. The review drew on in-depth key informant interviews and focus group discussions with Africa Lead’s partners, exploring local context and country or region-specific findings and conclusions to understand changes attributable to the program. Utilizing a newly developed Benchmarking Performance for Agricultural Transformation (BPAT) tool, the Program Review led facilitated self-assessments with over 50 of Africa Lead’s key beneficiaries, focusing on the following themes linked to improving institutional effectiveness for agricultural transformation: Transformational Leadership; Inclusivity; Coordination; Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E); Evidence-based Adaptation; and Resource and Investment Attraction. The results which can be found in the Program Review report, were intended to help inform Africa Lead and other organizations on effective strategies for improving the performance of individuals, organizations, and networks working to align to CAADP and to transform agricultural programs and policies to improve food security outcomes. The newly developed BPAT, used for self-assessment across key Africa Lead partners, was designed to serve as a gauge to monitor progress over time.

2018 Lessons Learned Event

In early 2018, Africa Lead hosted a four-day stakeholder-driven event involving 80 individuals from USAID Missions, partner institutions, government agencies and organizations. The facilitated learning event reviewed lessons learned from the Program Review, as well as identified other emerging trends and lessons from Africa Lead’s work. The goal was to gather lessons learned about Africa Lead’s programming and provide recommendations for future food security capacity building programming. Africa Lead developed eight thought pieces and established breakout groups over three days, focused on the following areas: Capacity Development (Champions for Change, Organizational Development, Communications); Facilitative Leadership; Continental to Country Coordination; Inclusive Policy Process; and Sustainability (Scaling, Mainstreaming, and Institutionalizing). Results of lessons learned were incorporated into the final year of programming (program year six) and are reflected in the lessons learned sections in this report.

2019 Final Program Year Learning Series

The objective of the Africa Lead Final Year Learning Series, held over a six-month period from June – November 2019, was to educate Africa Lead’s partners about how the program evolved over the last six years and how the flexible mechanism allowed USAID and Feed the Future to respond to the rapidly changing African-led food security and resilience policy landscape. The learning series sought to transfer experience, knowledge, best practices, and lessons learned through a series of online webinars and in-person events (across Africa and a select number of events in Washington, DC), as well as through online materials (such as blogs and articles) and thought-leadership pieces. Kicked off by a webinar in partnership with Agrilinks and the African Union, more than ten events were held from June 2019 – November 2019, concluding with two capstone learning events in Washington, DC. The first was a final learning event about African-led policy efforts held at the National Press Club and hosted in partnership with the African Union. A final resilience learning event focused on resilience partnership models in conflict areas was held in partnership with USAID’s Center for Resilience. Learning event material is available on Africa Lead’s website at www.africaleadftf.org/learning.

“Africa Lead is uniquely broad in terms of your reach, stakeholders, what you’re hearing from the ground, all the way up to high-level governments and intergovernmental organizations. So, you’re uniquely positioned as a learning activity to provide feedback to USAID as well, on gaps and opportunities … not to just learn internally, but identifying gaps and opportunities for USAID as well.”

– Luis Tolley, USAID East Africa

Performance Monitoring

Africa Lead’s original Performance Monitoring Plan (PMP) was approved in FY2015. In 2017, Africa Lead redesigned and expanded the original PMP to better address evaluation and learning objectives, and to reconcile data collection and indicator reporting standards with lessons learned during implementation. The 2017 revised Performance Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Plan (PMELP) retained the focus on CAADP and Feed the Future Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) frameworks and indicators, while incorporating improved data collection processes and additional analysis (such as the design of Africa Lead’s internal evaluation, called the Program Review) to measure significant project outcomes.

In Africa Lead’s final year (FY2019) the project updated the PMELP to reflect the recently validated TOC, plans for end of program learning series, and updated targets for additional FY19 activities.

While it retained the same spirit and focus as previous iterations, the 2019 revised PMELP incorporated a number of important adjustments including:

  • Replacement of the Africa Lead-specific results framework from the original PMP with the Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS) results framework.
  • Addition of an updated project TOC, including realignment of project indicators under the new TOC.
  • Alignment with the new GFSS indicators released officially in FY18 through the Feed the Future Handbook published in March 2018.
  • Adjustment to project targets, including update to FY18 targets and addition of FY19 targets, given the project’s no-cost extension through December 2019.

Africa Lead also reported to USAID’s Feed the Future Monitoring System (FTFMS) on an annual basis. Monitoring data for FTFMS was disaggregated by Mission, and reported separately for each Mission, including BFS activities funded centrally by USAID/Washington.

Africa Lead Key Indicators

Indicators for monitoring and evaluating Africa Lead programs were classified into output, outcome, and context indicators. Output indicators focus on the delivery of tasks and activities that were under the direct control of Africa Lead. These indicators measured progress against performance targets, such as the number of individuals who received training and the number and type of institutions and organizations that received capacity building support from the project.

Outcome indicators measured intermediate results such as changes in knowledge, behavior, and practice at the individual and organizational levels due to training, knowledge transfer, technical assistance, and capacity building that are directly attributable to the project.

Context indicators assessed change in areas that Africa Lead sought to contribute to indirectly, but were beyond the project’s direct influence. While these outcomes are relevant and important to better understanding Africa Lead’s results, they are not attributable to the project. Several of Africa Lead’s context indicators were inspired by Feed the Future and Malabo Declaration indicators, but they were in fact custom context indicators.

Incorporating the 2018 Global Food Security Strategy (GFSS)

Africa Lead’s 2019 revised PMELP incorporated three of the GFSS indicators published in the March 2018 Feed the Future Indicator Handbook.

  • EG.3-2 Number of individuals participating in United States Government (USG) food security programs
  • EG.3.2-24 Number of individuals in the agriculture system who have applied improved management practices or technologies with USG assistance
  • EG.3.1-d Number of milestones in improved institutional architecture for food security policy achieved with USG support

In addition, Africa Lead’s Institutional Architecture Assessing, Prioritization and Planning (IA-APP) toolkit and approach, which was piloted in Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda, includes a self-assessment of NSA participation in policy development and implementation process, which effectively captures NSA feedback on mutual accountability process as well. The data and results of the IA-APP process were also important monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) information for Africa Lead and local stakeholders.

“In 2018, Africa Lead held a four-day Lessons Learned Event (LLE) in Kenya to capture lessons learned and generate recommendations for near and long-term programming.”

PILLAR 1: TRANSFORM LEADERS & INSTITUTIONS

Leadership Capacity & Management at Scale

Africa Lead’s work at the individual level focused on building resilient skills, especially around leadership, at all levels of the policy system. Research has shown that investments in individual leadership and change management capabilities generate substantial rates of return for organizational development and help to prepare future workforces. Africa Lead focused on strengthening the leadership and management capacity of key policy actors and stakeholders with targeted training focused on improving individual leadership capabilities.

Africa Lead’s focus was not only on delivering leadership training and building the capacity of leaders. Africa Lead also focused on scaling and cascading trainings and entrenching the culture, concepts and programming of Africa Lead’s approaches with long-term sustainability in mind. This involved working to build networks of leaders and facilitators, and to “institutionalize” the training curricula within local institutions and other donor programs.

  • Leadership Training and Capacity – A critical tool used by Africa Lead to build capacity was the C4C leadership training, which consisted of several modules on CAADP, national agriculture policy and food security, leadership, and change management. Africa Lead also developed an executive leadership course to build a cadre of leaders capable of facilitating a collaborative multi-stakeholder CAADP process.
  • Facilitator and Trainer Capacity – Africa Lead established and supported the development of a continent-wide Africa Lead Facilitator/Trainer Network by providing extensive training to hundreds of new and existing teachers, trainers, and facilitators. Now, a cadre of 80-plus trainers and facilitators are equipped to meet the continuing demand for their services and facilitate transformational processes for Africa’s agricultural reform.
  • Institutionalization of Leadership Training and Programs – To foster local ownership of agricultural leadership programs, Africa Lead institutionalized C4C training into the curricula of universities and institutions, including six universities in Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria. In Kenya, Africa Lead partnered with GIZ and the Ministry of Agriculture to deliver training to hundreds of leaders across all 47 counties.
  • Cascaded Training and Programs – Through cascaded trainings and training of trainer (TOT) approaches, Africa Lead achieved scale and established a sustainable legacy for the C4C leadership training in countries including Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria, and Tanzania. Now, a cadre of local trainers is replicating the training curriculum, enabling it to reach more beneficiaries in a cost effective and efficient way.
  • Agri-Business & Agri-Professional Capacity – Africa Lead established internship programs and provided agribusiness support to hundreds of young professionals and entrepreneurs. The Agribusiness Leadership Internship Program (A-LEAP) placed interns with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Ghana. Africa Lead also piloted an Agribusiness Boot Camp in West Africa and Kenya and provided coaching support to early stage agribusiness in Tanzania.
HIGHLIGHTS

CONTINENTAL

Champions for Change

The “Champions for Change” (C4C) leadership training was a cornerstone activity of Africa Lead, based on the core curriculum from Africa Lead I. A five-day customizable course given by trained facilitators, the C4C training was designed to train and motivate individual leaders at all levels of agriculture – farmers, government, NSA groups, and other key food security institutions – to catalyze the transformation of the agriculture sector and improve food security.

CONTINENTAL

Facilitator and Trainer Network

Nearly all of the Africa Lead trainings were delivered by Africa Lead-trained facilitators. The program invested in building the capacity of experienced facilitators and trainers and creating a network that was able to understand and facilitate discussions relating to agricultural transformation. This network of nearly 100 trainers across the continent conducted training in over 27 different content areas for approximately 312 different organizations, institutions, and agencies.

WEST AFRICA

West African Universities & Champions for Change

In an effort to institutionalize transformative food security leadership development, Africa Lead worked to build the sustainability of the C4C Leadership training by institutionalizing the C4C modules into university curriculum in three countries including Ghana, Senegal, and Nigeria. In total, six universities have adopted the C4C modules into their core agricultural curriculum and 600 students have completed the courses.

EAST AFRICA

Executive Leadership Course for Africa’s Food Security

In the sixth and final program year, Africa Lead piloted a new leadership training program based on lessons learned from Africa Lead I and II. The intensive six-month program combined in-person workshops and online learning with action learning projects and on-the-job feedback. Delivered to a cohort of 20 competitively selected leaders from East and Southern Africa, the training required participants to pay for or enlist their organization or company to pay for a portion of their tuition. At the conclusion of the course, Africa Lead collected feedback from peers and colleagues of the participants. Ninety-five percent of respondents reported an improvement in some combination of leadership ability, effectiveness, and motivation of the relevant participant during the period of the course.

KENYA

Kenya Institutionalization of the Champions for Change Leadership Training

To develop leadership capacity in Kenya’s agricultural sector, Africa Lead provided C4C training to individuals throughout the country, including staff at the Council of Governor’s Secretariat, County Executive Committee members, and NSAs, as well as many others. After the success of initial training sessions with top county officials, stakeholders requested that the training be replicated and expanded to county executives, officers, and other officials in all 47 counties. Africa Lead trained 60 trainers and worked with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MoALF) to roll out a national C4C training program. This training is ongoing with support from the German development agency GIZ and the Agriculture Sector Development Program (ADSP).

PILLAR 1: TRANSFORM LEADERS & INSTITUTIONS

Organizational Strengthening & Change Management

Strong leaders must have enabling environments to work within. To complement Africa Lead’s leadership strengthening efforts, the program worked to improve capacity among targeted and key institutions involved in developing and managing national agricultural and food security programs. Africa Lead applied different approaches across the program to assess organizational capacity, diagnose issues, and ultimately, prepare a plan and recommendations to support organizational strengthening and change management.

Africa Lead focused on strengthening organizations and institutions in the following ways:

  • Public Sector and Government Strengthening – Africa Lead worked with 2,226 public sector and government organizations to build capacity for better communication, collaboration, and more effective policy-making and implementation. Africa Lead worked at all levels of government, including local county governments in Kenya, ministries in multiple countries such as Ghana and Senegal, with intra-governmental organizations like Bureau de Strategie et Developpement (BSD) in Guinea, and national-level governmental organizations such as the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) in Kenya. In many of these cases, Africa Lead provided organizational strengthening support in the form of leadership training, facilitation, team building, and collaborative work activities that addressed internal roadblocks and resulted in positive steps forward.
  • Non-State Actor Strengthening – Africa Lead made it a priority to work with NSA organizations to help move the needle on agriculture and food security policy transformation. Over the course of the project, Africa Lead supported 940 NSAs. Much of Africa Lead’s support to NSAs involved capacity assessments, change management, training, facilitation, and targeted technical assistance to key organizations. Africa Lead also provided support to six NSAs through the NSA Small Grants Program, which sought to strengthen the network of NSAs aligned to CAADP to improve citizen engagement in food security at sub-national and national levels.
  • Organizational Development of Regional Intergovernmental Organizations – Policy reforms that can have the greatest impact on broad-based growth and food security usually present significant coordination, information, and mobilization challenges. Regional Intergovernmental Organizations (RIGOs), such as the East Africa Community (EAC), African Union Commission’s Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC DREA), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Conseil ouest et centre africain pour la recherche et le développement agricoles/West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) are uniquely positioned to encourage policy reform and help overcome these challenges. However, many RIGOs struggled with organizational capacity challenges themselves. Africa Lead worked with these organizations to identify issues, in some cases through institutional architecture assessments or institutional audits, and helped develop recommendations and strategies to improve organizational capacity.
  • Training Needs Assessments and Customized Training – Africa Lead support often began with an organizational capacity assessment (OCA), which is a tool that holistically examines an organization to identify and address critical issues. But in some cases, Africa Lead moved immediately to support identified needs (either through rapid assessments, workshops, or training needs assessments) with organizations to achieve targeted results. This approach is based on the idea that some organizations have clearly identifiable weaknesses that do not require an OCA, and that an effective approach is to start working on building capacity in targeted areas that provide a win to the project’s goals and establish a first demonstrable step in organizational change. Africa Lead utilized this approach with ECOWAS and BSD in Guinea.
HIGHLIGHTS

TANZANIA

Agriculture Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF)

ANSAF, an umbrella organization of farmer groups, NGOs, and private companies in Tanzania, received a variety of assistance from Africa Lead including a C4C training, CAADP sensitization, a stakeholder mapping, and technical assistance and facilitation support for several critical learning events. Africa Lead and ANSAF also worked together to create and facilitate the Policy Action Group, which coordinates research for agriculture policy reform. With support from Africa Lead, ANSAF successfully influenced the Government of Tanzania to lift the export ban on cereals, as well as enhance legislation and certification of fertilizers. The lift of the export ban on cereals led to increased income for farmers and an increased food supply for regional trading partners.

EAST AFRICA

The East Africa Community (EAC)

Africa Lead conducted an Institutional Architecture Assessment (IAA) focused on the Department of EAC Secretariat that provided useful findings that led to immediate action on several key recommendations, such as the development of a new Regional CAADP Compact and a revised Food Security Action Plan and Results Framework, which outlines specific indicators to track progress against commitments to the overall investment plan for the region. The recommendations from the IAA also helped the EAC to develop a revised Regional Agricultural Investment Plan to prioritize resources and investments to improve food security at the regional level.

KENYA

Agricultural Council of Kenya (AgCK)

Africa Lead provided critical organizational development for AgCK by advising the organization on developing a governance structure, annual work plans, a business plan, and resource mobilization and institutional sustainability strategies. Africa Lead also helped AgCK establish a secretariat to guide its work and increase engagement with sub-national NSAs. With Africa Lead’s support, AgCK now serves as an apex body to facilitate private sector and youth and farmer group participation in the country’s processes to develop its Agriculture Sector Transformation and Growth Strategy (ASTGS) and NAIP.

WEST & CENTRAL AFRICA

West and Central Africa Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF)

A council with 22 member states in West and Central Africa, CORAF has a mission to promote and enable sustainable improvements in agricultural productivity, competitiveness, and markets in West and Central Africa. Africa Lead provided targeted technical assistance including support to the Board of Directors via a Board Governance Capacity Development Workshop, Advanced Leadership and Team Building Training, M&E/Results Based Management (RBM) training, and an institutional audit to identify areas of improvement in CORAF’s management structure and practices to reinforce its financial sustainability and mandate as the lead agricultural research institution in West Africa.

GUINEA

Bureau de Strategie et Developpement (BSD)

The BSD was an existing intra-governmental coordination mechanism between the four key ministries involved in agricultural issues. Africa Lead conducted a participatory training needs assessment for BSD staff that showed that the BSDs in charge of agriculture in Guinea faced challenges in the formulation and monitoring and evaluation of agriculture development policies. The BSD also faced challenges in terms of lack of trust, conflict, and confusion among the members about their roles. Africa Lead designed a capacity-building plan for the BSD to address these weaknesses. In addition, the process to review and revise the Plan National d’Investissement Agricole, de Sécurité Alimentaire et de Nutrition (PNIASAN) – generally referred to as the National Agriculture Investment Plan (NAIP) in Guinea – helped the four ministries build a common vision for success across each organization. The strategic planning exercise and other facilitated sessions supported by Africa Lead helped clarify roles and fostered a sense of collective ownership over the PNIASAN II development, and ultimately, its implementation.

Kenya’s Agriculture Sector Finds Its Unified Voice

JUSTUS MONDA

Justus Monda walks through a dry, shrub-filled plot of land to meet his neighbors who have gathered to help him harvest this season’s maize. The field was once filled with pyrethrum flowers, but he’s had to turn to maize as his main crop due to poor pyrethrum yields and prices. Growing up in the fertile highlands of Southwestern Kenya famous for bananas, Justus was raised by crop-growing parents who always ensured they had enough food to eat, and some to sell to cover basic needs. After finishing his education, Justus moved to Kenya’s Central Rift Valley to work as a banker, and bought his first piece of land to venture into farming pyrethrum.

Thirty-two years later, Justus is a leading advocate for farmers as the chair of the Agriculture Council of Kenya (AgCK), an institution supported by USAID Kenya through Feed the Future’s Africa Lead program. AgCK was established in 2015 by six agriculture sector interest groups. Now the organization includes 10 apex organizations and 13 affiliate organizations, representing the interests of about 2.8 million individuals involved in agriculture across Kenya.

“AgCK is unique because it was formed by the leaders of Kenya’s agriculture interest groups – farmers and producers, the private sector, extension services, academia and research, youth, women, agro-dealers – to speak with one voice. We see our interests as the same, to create a more food-secure Kenya,” says Justus.

Justus, like many of his colleagues on AgCK’s Steering Committee, became a leader in Kenya’s agriculture sector because of the challenges he faced as a farmer. As a young farmer in the pyrethrum industry, he saw many ups and downs. In his early years, Justus enjoyed the great rewards of the little known crop; there was a ready market and farmers’ payments were always on time. In the years that followed, this “magical crop”, as he calls it, no longer fetched meaningful returns. Prices dwindled and the lack of a proper regulatory body meant that middlemen could cripple profits. These experiences inspired him to be a voice for farmers’ issues and a more organized agriculture sector, and in 2001 he formed the Kenya Pyrethrum Growers Association.

Over the years, millions of Kenya’s agriculturalists have been represented by various interest groups, depending on their crop or business. And while there has been individual success for the various organizations, many of the organizations realized they lacked a unified voice to coordinate lobbying, advocacy, and education efforts targeted at the various levels of government and agriculture planning. The result, according to Justus, has been an agriculture sector that is failing to feed Kenyans like it fed him when he was a child.

The launch of AgCK’s Strategic Plan 2016 – 2021

“It is a pity that 3.5 million people are staring at hunger.  The government [is] running up and down distributing food,” says Justus. “But food can be produced, organized, and distributed by the farmers themselves, given the right infrastructure.”

Justus is clear to point out that AgCK is not an organization for leaders of agribusiness. Instead, it seeks to represent under-represented groups that make agriculture a major part of Kenya’s economy. Seventy-five percent of Kenyans derive all or part of their livelihoods from agriculture which also accounts for more than half of Kenya’s gross domestic product. Yet small farmers and those who rely on agribusiness struggle to reach policy makers with their grievances and solutions for better policies.

“Farmers’ problems at grassroot-level don’t seem to reach the decision makers at the top. We need a voice to take our plight and ideas to the national government for them to know our state as farmers,” says Steven Ndambuki, a farmer from Makueni County in Eastern Kenya, who is represented by Kenya’s Small Scale Farmers Federation, a member of AgCK’s Steering Committee.

Africa Lead’s support came just as AgCK was beginning to take shape in 2016. As part of the program’s continental focus on supporting NSAs’ engagement in agricultural policy dialogue, Africa Lead provided AgCK with technical support for organizational development. 

Africa Lead supported AgCK through stakeholder consultations, membership and communication strategy development, and development of a new website to host the organization’s materials and updates.

Justus points out that Africa Lead’s support not only helped AgCK grow and become more stable, it also linked them to other African NSAs through the CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC), another Africa Lead partner. He also points out that the support helped to improve Kenyan NSAs’ engagement in CAADP and associated processes.

“We now have a space at the presidential roundtable, so that…issues that affect farmers at whatever level, are picked from there,” says Justus.

With a growing membership, and leadership structure made up of champions like Justus at the helm, the future looks bright for AgCK. More importantly, Justus and his colleagues know that they have now found their unified voice.

Champions for Food Security Profiles

Rose Funja, Tanzania

Young Champions for Change Fellows Training, Tanzania, 2014

Rose is passionate about the use of information communication technology (ICT) for agriculture. Today, she runs Agrinfo Company LTD, a technology company she started to organize the agribusiness sector’s information and make it accessible and easily searchable for farmers.

“The Champions for Change training empowered me to pursue ICT for agriculture, specifically the use of drones for agriculture. It also equipped me with leadership skills and knowledge on how to be an agent for change. Today, we are working in three villages in Chemba district, and piloting a maize pre-harvest loss project in Dodoma (Tanzania) that will use drone data to calibrate satellite imagery.”

Beatrice Kirui, Kenya

Bomet County Kenya – Champions for Change Training Kenya, 2016

In 2015 and 2016, Africa Lead delivered 35 C4C trainings in partnership with 22 of Kenya’s 47 county governments reaching 1,075 government employees and NSA leaders.

“After the Champions for Change training, my county [Bomet County] realized that transforming the agriculture sector needed more extension officers and technical staff. We trained and employed more [youth] extension workers reducing the extension officer to farmer ratio from 1:2,000 to 1:1,200,” said Beatrice Kirui who participated in the training at the time as the Bomet County Executive Commissioner for Agriculture and Agribusiness. As a result of action planning completed in the trainings, the county enhanced productivity in the dairy, feed, and fodder sectors, and identified opportunities for local sale and export of sweet potatoes produced in the county, leading to the development of a new sweet potato bread factory.

Aichi Kitalyi, Tanzania

Training of Trainers Course, Continental 2016

With a PhD in Agriculture from the University of Reading, UK, Aichi Kitalyi a Tanzania-based Africa Lead facilitator and trainer, says the Training of Trainers (TOT) course gave her the skills that have allowed her to provide facilitation for various country-level policy efforts and several food security focused organizations including the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Bank, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and Heifer International.

“The Champions for Change training matured me into a professional facilitator. I learned the meaning and values of emotional intelligence and got introduced to cognitive psychology concepts. I have facilitated more than 30 professional convenings, the biggest being the nationwide socialization convening for the Agriculture Sector Development Program (ASDP 2) in Tanzania.”

Vozbeth Kofi Azumah, Ghana

Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship Development Bootcamp, Ghana 2017

Before October 2017, Vozbeth Kofi Azumah had never thought of getting involved in agriculture. Then he participated in USAID/Ghana and Africa Lead’s Beige Foundation Agribusiness and Entrepreneurship Development Boot Camp, which he says is where his “agricultural journey started and was shaped by the training.”

“The good news,” he told Africa Lead in 2018, “is that after the training, the skills acquired have helped me to win a pitching competition worth 120,000 GHS (or $20,000 USD) as equity financing to support my startup livestock company Breeder’s Hub.” Vozbeth was the lead feature in the May 2019 New York Times article about Africa’s agripreneurs entitled Millennials ‘Make Farming Sexy’ in Africa, Where Tilling the Soil Once Meant Shame by Sarah Maslin Nir.

PILLAR 1: LESSONS LEARNED & RECOMMENDATIONS

Learning from Transforming Leaders and Institutions

Since 2010, Africa Lead has been adapting  its programming to build off lessons learned related to transforming leaders, which was the singular focus of Africa Lead I. The second phase of Africa Lead included a major shift in the design to focus on strengthening the institutions that leaders work within or are attempting to work with to effect change, rather than just the leader on their own. Leadership development, when complemented by improving institutions provides a comprehensive set of tools to transform both leaders and institutions. Good leadership achieves much more when exercised in the context of a functional and facilitative institutional environment.

Lessons

  • Leadership is an important factor in achieving development outcomes. Africa Lead’s experience has demonstrated that facilitative leadership leads to more inclusive and sustainable outcomes. To sustain gains from facilitative leadership, its application must be consistent and long-term.
  • Emotional intelligence is foundational for effective leadership. Leadership is a journey that requires long-term commitment through self-directed learning required to strengthen one’s emotional skills, behaviors, and habits. Africa Lead’s experience demonstrated that emotional intelligence is just as important as technical skill or experience for leading organizations and inspiring change.
  • Applied learning enhances application of leadership skills and action. Applied learning for leaders, such as individual action learning projects, leads to organizational and systems change. Learning together in small groups (cohorts) consisting of diverse stakeholders who share the same challenge can result in solutions to complex systems-level problems and projects.
  • Longer, action-oriented training engagements, using different sets of tools and approaches, may have greater impact on commitment. Africa Lead found evidence that while providing short, five-day courses led to people being inspired, longer, six-month courses both inspired people and led to results in terms of committed, self-directed continuous learning and applied action.
  • Leadership development opportunities should be demand-driven, not supply-driven. Africa Lead’s experience demonstrates that competitive application processes lead to greater individual engagement. Evaluation criteria and a selection process that requires individuals to apply vs. being chosen by supervisors, donors, or other means, leads to more committed participants who place a higher value on the leadership development opportunity. Further, demand is best demonstrated when participants and/or their sponsoring organizations show commitment by sharing costs.
  • Scaling or cascading of training requires continuous support and tracking. Africa Lead’s efforts to encourage trainees, including trainers, to independently cascade training on a volunteer basis, presented some challenges as a strategy for scaling. While continued support from a project or local partner could achieve better results, we believe scale can best be reached by supporting a market-driven approach with the participation of training institutes, universities and/or other organizations.
  • Open-minded and receptive leaders within organizations advance reform efforts. Open, reform-minded leaders, who see the need for external support and are ready to act on recommendations, are a critical success factor in enabling constructive engagement. Champions with a high level of organizational influence need to be identified early and engaged in the organizational development process.
  • Organizational development interventions should be designed in the context of the client’s/organization’s broader role in the policy system. To ignore the institutional and policy landscape, and in particular the expectations of other players, could undermine the entire organizational development effort. Thus organizational development intervention and design should be customized to address specific organization gaps that hinder an effective policy environment and agricultural transformation. Over time, Africa Lead developed and utilized a variety of approaches and tools to assess and support organizational development.
  • The effectiveness of organizational development support hinges on strong commitment from the organizations’ leaders. Donors and other interested parties, despite good intentions, cannot drive or influence the outcomes of organizational development support. The success of organizational development support depends almost entirely on the organizations’ awareness of its shortcomings and desire to improve. Further, the organizations’ leaders and managers should be engaged in the organizational development strengthening process from the initial diagnosis stage onward.

Recommendations

  • Create applied learning experiences and opportunities for networking/sharing of learning between peers in their training journey. Incorporate applied and experiential learning experiences to ground the learning concepts in everyday scenarios.
  • Link agricultural leadership development to a larger policy context and a specific outcome. These could be national policy reviews, CAADP processes or any other relevant convening issue. The training/OD support should have a specific agricultural transformation or policy challenge as a focus of the leadership development.
  • Create selection criteria and a competitive process that requires trainees to self-select. A thoughtfully designed, competitive, diligent selection and application process for participants helps to identify the most committed and ready trainees. It also removes those who do not want to be engaged in the learning process, allowing programs to reach those who are ready.
  • Provide an opportunity for individuals to “buyin.” Individuals and leaders should prove they are invested in the process by “buying-in” or paying for all or a portion of the training costs, participating in a challenging application process, or through other means.
  • Increase length of engagement with participants. Training of several months or more, as well as sustained post-training engagement with participants, including through coaching, can enhance training results and foster a commitment to long-term, self-directed training.
  • Create immediate and long term feedback and monitoring moments. Immediate and ongoing assessments of behavior change and feedback allow for understanding how trainings truly impact an individual. An extended period of time allows for monitoring of changes to behavior over a longer period of time.
  • Create performance benchmarks early to help counterparts monitor and track their own progress. Benchmark key NSA and government actors in the agricultural transformation process at the beginning of the program, and follow up every one to two years. This baseline helps to understand if change is happening.
  • Create competitive and selective grant programs to ensure committed institutions seek out the development opportunities themselves. Grant programs create a selective process that requires institutions to show capacity and commitment, generate ownership and locally generated concepts. As a result institutions create their own plan and self-determined direction and goals. Funding can be distributed incrementally based on measurable milestones that allow organizations to meet their goals and prove ability.
  • Utilize a variety of appropriate approaches. The implementing partner should have a variety of approaches and tools for organizational capacity development, and should customize assessment and support according to each organization’s unique context, strengths, and weaknesses.

Tools and Resources

Champions for Change Curriculum

This training curriculum has become a flagship offering of the Africa Lead program and can be customized to a variety of contexts and stakeholder groups to scale up the cadre of individuals who understand the impact of strategic thinking and planning related to CAADP. https://www.africaleadftf.org/knowledge-base/transformative-leadership-training-curriculum/.

 

Facilitative Leadership Learning Brief and Presentation

These resources draw upon examples of Africa Lead’s work in three countries to use facilitative leadership to better enable policy reform progress around agriculture and capture useful lessons around what enables this type of facilitation to work and what makes it challenging. https://usaidlearninglab.org/library/facilitative-leadership-using-facilitation-enable-strategic-collaboration.

 

Benchmarking Performance for Agricultural Transformation (BPAT) Tool

The BPAT is a facilitated, self-assessment tool that helps key governmental and non-state actors assess their performance in implementing CAADP commitments. Africa Lead developed the BPAT in 2017 through the internal Program Review, and has developed a modified/abbreviated version to guide more interim follow-up with relevant organizations. https://www.africaleadftf.org/knowledge-base/benchmarking-performance-in-agricultural-transformation-bpat-tool/.

 

Africa Lead Trainer Directory

Africa Lead has invested in building the capacity of experienced trainers/facilitators that are able to understand and facilitate discussions relating to agricultural transformation and have a proven track record in delivering capacity building training programs for multiple stakeholders within the agricultural sector. https://www.africaleadftf.org/trainersdirectory/#1519165942001-1b945814-22d7.

Africa Lead Program Review (2013-2017)

Between April and June 2017, Africa Lead conducted an internal Program Review which engaged a total of 153 individuals, representing 83 organizations, through a total of 64 interviews in nine countries across 10 national and regional programs. Additional detail on the local context and country or region-specific findings and conclusions, can be found in accompanying material. https://www.africaleadftf.org/knowledge-base/africa-lead-program-review-2013-2017-cross-cutting-conclusions/.

 

Article: The Hard and Soft Facts of Facilitative Leadership

This blog describes the importance of facilitative leadership and examines the research on the critical role it plays in multi-stakeholder initiatives. https://www.africaleadftf.org/2019/07/31/facilitative-leadership-the-cornerstone-of-multi-stakeholder-collaboration/.

 

Video: Agriculture Council of Kenya

As part of Africa Lead’s continental focus on supporting NSAs’ engagement in agricultural policy dialogue, the program provided support to the Agricultural Council of Kenya to strengthen its organizational development. This learning product depicts the organization’s journey. https://www.africaleadftf.org/2018/08/27/kenyas-agriculture-sector-finds-its-unified-voice/.

PILLAR 2: ACTIVATE NETWORKS & COLLABORATIVE ACTION

Transformative Partnerships & Networks

Africa Lead sought to develop and strengthen the multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder collaborative networks, practices, and platforms that make collaborative action possible. These mechanisms help build strong linkages among policy system actors and institutions, as well as streamline communication, facilitate the mobilization of resources, and engender broad stakeholder support for policy priorities, including among groups like women and youth often excluded from policy conversations. By giving stakeholders opportunities to work together successfully, they also build the trust to sustain collaboration and improve policy coherence.

Africa Lead’s work in this program area focused on the following:

  • NSA Platforms – A key aspect of improving policy dialogue is broadening stakeholder participation. NSA platforms are an effective means of bringing together diverse agricultural stakeholders to discuss, prioritize, and advocate policies. Africa Lead supported numerous platforms of this sort, including at the national and continental levels, in participating more fully and effectively in policymaking discussions.
  • Women and Youth Networks – Youth and women’s networks can draw new participants into the agricultural sector, build the skills of existing agribusiness entrepreneurs, and advocate the development and implementation of policies related to youth in agriculture. Africa Lead built the capacity of several such networks, as well as offered skills training to agribusiness entrepreneurs across the continent.
  • Online Learning and Collaboration Networks – One of the major recommendations from the first CAADP Biennial Review was to establish a country-to-country, peer-learning and collaboration platform for the exchange of best practices. In response, Africa Lead worked with the African Union to create such a network to facilitate learning and sharing among practitioners and technicians working on CAADP at the country level.
  • Resilience Learning and Collaboration Platforms – These platforms facilitate the joint humanitarian and development analysis, planning, and implementation central to USAID’s use of resilience as an analytical, programmatic, and organizing concept in East Africa. To help put this approach into practice, Africa Lead facilitated the development and use of tools and approaches for joint analysis, learning, and work planning.

Types of Organizations & Support Provided to Africa Lead’s Key Partners (2014 – 2019)

HIGHLIGHTS

CONTINENTAL

CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC)

To broaden stakeholder participation in CAADP processes, Africa Lead supported NSAs to launch and strengthen the capacity of the CNC, an inclusive platform for discussing and advocating policies to increase agricultural productivity and enhance food security. Through a grant to the Agency for Cooperation and Research in Development (ACORD), Africa Lead supported the organizational development of the CNC Secretariat. The project also raised CNC’s profile among key CAADP actors, including the African Union Commission, the Regional Economic Communities, and the African Union Development Agency’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD). Today, the CNC represents more than 250 affiliate NSAs that serve as a collective voice on CAADP with the African Union, regional bodies, and country leaders.

GHANA

African Youth Network for Agricultural Transformation (AYNAT)

AYNAT aims to “build a network of youth in agriculture who are empowered to lead change toward achieving food security, sustained economic growth, and agricultural transformation in Africa.” Africa Lead supported AYNAT with training, including the Champions for Change leadership course and public policy advocacy and engagement training. AYNAT’s leaders have put their new skills and knowledge into practice, organizing a youth dialogue program to exert pressure on the government to update Ghana’s youth in agriculture policy, improve inclusive consultation with the public, and provide regular updates on its plans.

PILLAR 2: ACTIVATE NETWORKS & COLLABORATIVE ACTION

Mobilizing Policy Actors, Participants, and Advocates

A key aspect of building sustainable and effective networks and platforms is ensuring they are inclusive and representative of a diverse set of stakeholders. Broad participation in collaborative networks allows stakeholders to interact with one another and engage the government with evidence-based positions on existing and potential policies. As such, Africa Lead mobilized policy actors, participants, and advocates—such as NSAs, the private sector, women, and youth—to participate more fully in agricultural sector decision-making processes. To mobilize stakeholders, the project used grants, capacity building, training, and media and outreach. As a result, more stakeholders—from sectoral associations to farmer groups to young agricultural entrepreneurs—are participating in CAADP processes, and their perspectives are increasingly integral to policy making.

Africa Lead’s work in this program area focused on the following:

  • NSA and community advocacy – NSA groups and networks have an important role to play in mobilizing individuals and communities to participate in policy discussions, especially at the sub-national level. Moreover, they are well placed to amplify individual and community voices in national policy discussions. As such, Africa Lead supported NSAs in engaging new agricultural stakeholders and in strengthening their advocacy, outreach, and communications skills.
  • Mobilizing and educating youth and women through media programs – To continue to grow and innovate, the agricultural sector needs fresh ideas and new market participants. In response, Africa Lead helped mobilize youth and women—who are often underrepresented in agriculture—to participate in the sector, educating them on the sector’s opportunities as well as building their skills to become successful agribusiness entrepreneurs.
  • Facilitating private sector investment and engagement – Members of the private sector often understand the constraints to increased productivity, growth, and investment in the agricultural sector better than policymakers. But agribusinesses, banks, and trade associations, among other private sector actors, are often left out of policy discussions. In response, Africa Lead supported the private sector in playing a more meaningful role in policy discussions, from helping agricultural associations conduct evidence-based advocacy to assisting in the establishment of sector-specific agricultural organizations.
HIGHLIGHTS

KENYA & SENEGAL

NSA Small Grants Program

To strengthen the network of NSAs working in agriculture and on food security, Africa Lead and the CNC launched the NSA Small Grants Program. Grants were designed to improve citizen engagement in food security at the subnational and national levels in Kenya and Senegal. In Kenya, for example, Africa Lead issued a grant to the Open Institute to train farmers and households in Nakuru County to collect and use agricultural data to develop evidence-based policy recommendations. Some 4,000 households contributed data that the Nakuru government has used to prioritize budget allocations for agricultural projects. Africa Lead also facilitated a two-day learning event in Nairobi, where grantees shared lessons learned, and developed a comprehensive learning brief and a video to highlight tools developed through NSA engagement with CAADP processes at the sub-national level.

WEST AFRICA

West African Regional Mango Alliance (WARMA)

In 2016, the Senegalese Ministry of Trade, USAID Senegal, and Africa Lead co-organized West Africa Regional Mango Week, the first-ever platform for stakeholders involved in the regional mango value chain. This platform allowed for a dialogue on critical issues such as access to markets, competitiveness, regulation, and capacity building needs. Following an Africa Lead study on developing a representative body, in September 2017 the WARMA was established. At the first Constituent General Assembly of the WARMA in September 2018, the eight member countries (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, the Republic of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Senegal) validated WARMA’s constitutional rules and procedures, elected the permanent executive board, and developed a roadmap of priority actions.

TANZANIA, EAST AFRICA

Kumekucha (“It’s a new day” in Kiswahili) and Don’t Lose the Plot, Tanzania, East Africa

In partnership with USAID Tanzania and USAID East Africa separately, Africa Lead developed two innovative media campaigns to engage youth and women in agriculture advocacy and agribusiness. In Tanzania, Africa Lead supported an educational media campaign that entailed a 52-week radio show and a feature length film series, “Kumekucha,” which showed inspiring stories of youth and women smallholder farmers. Africa Lead also supported Africa’s first agriculture reality TV show, “Don’t Lose the Plot,” with youth competing to build the most effective agribusiness. The program was shown across East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda). Together, the programming reached nine-plus million women and youth listeners and viewers in Kenya and Tanzania. Kumekucha films and actors have been nominated for and won multiple African film awards, including prizes at the Zanzibar Film Festival.

Policy Reform for Investment Mobilization (PR4I)

Africa Lead established PR4I to support value chain-related policy improvements through small grants to private organizations in Kenya, Senegal, and Tanzania. Multi-stakeholder advisory committees were established in each country to review grant applications and recommend finalist grantees. Among the selected grantees was the Agricultural Council of Tanzania (ACT), which used its grant to identify policy constraints across three value chains. ACT’s analysis showed lack of land registration and the resulting inability to meet collateral requirements for financing to be a constraint across all value chains. It is now equipped with the information it needs to better advocate policy reforms on behalf of value chain participants.

Members of the Moruese community in Turkana County, Northern Kenya that fared better in the 2017 drought in comparison to the 2011 drought due to improved resilience.

Resilience

Much of the Horn of Africa is vulnerable to food security crises, threatening smallholder farmers and, to a greater extent, the livelihoods of traditional pastoralists. In 2011, the Horn of Africa faced its worst drought in 60 years, leading to famine in Somalia and emergency food insecurity levels in Ethiopia and Kenya. At the peak of the drought, more than 700,000 refugees fled Somalia, and 13 million people across the region required humanitarian assistance. To address these crises, and reduce the humanitarian caseload in the Horn of Africa by one million people, USAID is moving beyond traditional food aid. The agency now focuses on strengthening the resilience of communities to shocks and stresses. Enhanced resilience—whether evidenced by a herder sustaining income during downtimes or a community collaborating to improve conditions during a drought—enables individuals and communities to sustain the progress they have made in rising out of poverty and decreasing food insecurity. To assist USAID in increasing resilience in the region, Africa Lead provided capacity building support across numerous activities. In partnership with USAID missions in Kenya, South Sudan, and Somalia, as well as the East Africa regional mission, Africa Lead piloted frameworks and tools to measure improved resilience and supported partnerships and organizations in improving the coordination of resilience activities regionally, nationally, and locally.
Kenya National Drought Management Authority
To improve local capacity to respond to drought emergencies, Africa Lead supported Kenya’s NDMA in developing its Strategic Plan (2018–2022). The Plan serves as a guide for NDMA’s capacity strengthening efforts, which are designed to ensure it can successfully fulfill its mandate to mitigate drought in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands.
Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth (Kenya)
PREG brings together humanitarian and development partners working with Kenya’s NDMA and county governments in arid and semi-arid lands to coordinate resilience and economic growth activities. In addition to developing and implementing a learning agenda and building NDMA capacity, Africa Lead supported PREG by facilitating joint work planning that helped improve collaboration, communication, and mutual accountability among 26 USAID implementing partners. As a result of joint planning and team-building workshops facilitated by Africa Lead, partners identified 49 sites to layer activities, resulting in improved joint planning and coordination for resilience priorities at the national and county levels.
Partnership for Resilience and Recovery in South Sudan (PfRR)
Africa Lead worked closely with PfRR, a coalition of donors, UN entities, and NGOs, to apply a unified and collaborative approach to reducing vulnerability and building resilience in communities throughout South Sudan. Africa Lead adapted its Institutional Architecture Assessment, Prioritization, and Planning (IA-APP) toolkit to emphasize a bottom-up approach to resilience and recovery planning. In addition, working with the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), Africa Lead pioneered an approach to measure social capital and analyze this data against IFPRI’s econometric modeling of the Resilience Index Measurement and Analysis II in select partnership areas.
Partnership for Resilience in Somalia
Africa Lead supported USAID in combining humanitarian and development efforts to enhance community resilience for more than 145,000 Somalis. The project also helped develop and implement the resilience pillar of the Federal Government of Somalia’s National Development Plan and USAID’s Somalia Resilience Framework.
Market Systems Resilience
Africa Lead developed a conceptual framework linking various dimensions of market systems resilience to support the Global Food Security Strategy’s objective of strengthened resilience among people and systems. Africa Lead piloted a conceptual framework—which includes aspects of structure (connectivity, diversity, power, the rule of law) and behavior (competition, cooperation, decision making, and business strategy)—as a tool to measure the resilience of market systems.
Partnership for Resilience and Growth (PREG) bi-annual learning event in March 2018 in the Kenyan counties of Isiolo and Marsabit.

Network map of institutions supported by Africa Lead through food security events 2014 to 2019

This network map provides a sense of the scale and distribution of institutions supported by Africa Lead through food security events over the entire life of the project, from 2014 to 2019. Each of the small circular elements represents a single institution supported by Africa Lead. These are connected to square elements representing a food security event hosted by Africa Lead. The larger circular elements represent Africa Lead’s buy-ins, these are connected to the food security events they supported and sized by the number of institutions they supported through these events. At the bottom of the map you’ll find a timeline from 2014 to 2019. Selecting and deselecting each year will add or remove the related data points so you can explore the progression of institutions supported by Africa Lead over the life of the project.

Esther Omosa, a Nutrition Specialist at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), takes PREG partners through AVCD’s activities in the Agri-Nutrition Tupendane Community Unit in Isiolo County.

Collective Impact for Resilience: Improving Collaboration and Learning in Northern Kenya

SELINA AKIRU

Selina Akiru is the definition of resilience. A mother of eight and a member of the Moruese community in Kenya’s arid Turkana County, she often struggled to feed and send her children to school. Increasingly intense and frequent droughts in recent years throughout the region had a negative impact on her family’s food security, and they had become reliant on relief food.

Selina’s community was hit hard by a particularly severe drought in 2011, which resulted in a humanitarian crisis across the Horn of Africa. Millions of people were displaced from their homes, food insecurity reached emergency levels, and human and animal lives were lost.

“The drought made life very difficult for us. Many of our livestock died, and the only way to generate income was to cut trees for charcoal which we sold for Ksh. 100 (approximately $0.98). Things got so bad that my family was forced to leave our home and move to Kitale in hopes of making a living,” says Selina.

In 2015, things turned around for Selina. Upon returning to Moruese, she found the community’s irrigation scheme had been revived. Initially dependent on rainfall for irrigation, farmers in the community now benefit from the Moruese irrigation scheme, whose 1.5 km concrete-lined water canal channels water from the Turkwel River to irrigate 275 acres of land.

Once ravaged by hunger, Selina and other community members are now able to produce food and cope well even in drought conditions thanks to support from USAID Kenya’s Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth (PREG). PREG links both humanitarian and development partners working in communities like Moruese in Kenya’s northern arid and semi-arid lands to increase community resilience for withstanding shocks such as drought.

PREG, a collaboration and coordination platform working in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands since 2013, coordinates efforts among 26 USAID implementing partners, NDMA, and nine county governments. The platform aims to amplify and streamline USAID’s investments in making communities more resilient and food secure.

PREG’s standard operating principles form a collaborative framework for collective action. This framework entails five workstreams: 1) a common agenda, 2) shared measurement for alignment and accountability, 3) mutually reinforcing activities, 4) strategic communication with relevant stakeholders, and 5) backbone organization support. The workstreams are drawn from the collective impact model, an innovative and structured approach to making collaboration work that is premised on the belief that no single policy, organization, or program can solve the increasingly complex problems faced by society.

As such, PREG activity in Kenya’s arid and semi-arid lands is anchored in monthly partner meetings, which strengthen collaboration and foster continuous communication; the use of joint work plans as tools for coordination of approaches; and flexible and adaptive programming.

From May 2016, Africa Lead facilitated a focused learning process to strengthen and improve collaboration and learning efforts among PREG’s partners. Africa Lead also supported the secretariat/backbone function for the partnership;  supported continuous, strategic communication; and facilitated institutional capacity strengthening for Kenya’s NDMA.

In 2017 and 2018, Africa Lead facilitated joint work planning by PREG partners in Turkana, Isiolo, Garissa, Wajir, Marsabit, Baringo, and Samburu Counties. With joint work plans in place, partners identify sites where they can layer their activities. In Marsabit County, for example, a nutrition program, Nutrition and Health Program Plus (NHP+), and a livestock program, Accelerated Value Chain Development (AVCD), jointly implemented a training of trainers activity for community health and nutrition workers. Joint implementation of the activity increased the number of trained health workers from an initial target of 280 to 600, meaning all Marsabit County health and nutrition workers were trained.

To support the progress of the partnership at county level, Africa Lead also organized follow-up and support visits to each county. During these visits, Africa Lead observed the progress of activities listed in the work plans and identified good practices, innovations in collaboration and partnership, and challenges.

To further the adoption of collective learning by PREG partners, USAID and Africa Lead co-facilitated annual field-based learning events from 2017 to 2019. The learning events were a platform for partners, county governments, and USAID to engage in a participatory process of critical reflection and analysis aimed at improving resilience programming, increasing its impact in the arid and semi-arid lands, and fostering collaboration within PREG.

According to partners, PREG is a practical example of collaboration, learning, and adapting and a model to learn from within USAID, the Government of Kenya, and other development partners.

PREG, through a focus on collective impact, learning, and collaboration, is improving resilience programming in food-insecure communities, while drawing strength from community members in northern Kenya like Selina who exemplify resilience.

Kumekucha was nominated for and won various film festival awards, including awards for Best Picture in the Swahili Movie category at the 2018 Zanzibar Film Festival.

Balancing Africa’s food security scales with women-led agriculture through media

Beatrice Taisamo at the premier of Kumekucha: Fatuma

While women contribute a significant portion of the labor in Africa’s agricultural sector, they are often left out of farm-level decision making and underrepresented in policy discussions. On average, only 15% of African women are landholders. When they do hold land, their plots are generally smaller, of an inferior quality, and with less secure rights than those held by men. Meanwhile, for African youth, lack of access to credit, improved technologies, practical skills, and secure jobs are just a few of the barriers to entering the agricultural sector. For this reason, the fourth commitment under the Malabo Declaration focuses on increasing the participation of women and youth in the agricultural sector and in agribusinesses.

To increase the representation of women and youth in agriculture, Africa Lead set out in 2016 to use mass media to catalyze change at a larger scale.

In Tanzania, with the support of USAID Tanzania and Media for Development International (MFDI), Africa Lead launched Kumekucha (“new day” in Swahili). The fictional dramas focused on farming and agribusiness in a rural Tanzanian community and included a 52-week radio program and two feature length films, Kumekucha: Tunu and Kumekucha: Fatuma, as well as an accompanying educational toolkit for communities. Kumekucha follows the fictional story of Fatuma, a farmer, and her daughter Neema as they struggle to overcome the typical challenges faced by small-scale farmers in Africa, including unfavorable weather and pests, and, in Fatuma’s case, a scheming husband.

With the support of USAID East Africa, Africa Lead supported  The Mediae Company to launch Africa’s first agriculture reality television show Don’t Lose the Plot with an accompanying mobile phone app to help farmers build a personalized farming budget. A contest between four youth from Kenya and Tanzania to see who could apply their “farm-u-cation” the best, the show set out to improve perceptions of farming among Kenyan and Tanzanian youth by showing farming as a viable career venture—and making it look cool. Winrose, a 24-year old woman from Meru, Tanzania, was crowned the top farmer, proving that women, and young people in general, should not be overlooked when considering the future success of African agriculture.

Impact Evaluations

According to impact evaluations for Kumekucha and Don’t Lose the Plot, the combined reach of both media activities was more than nine million listeners and viewers. In total, the Kumekucha campaign (radio, television, and film) was listened to and viewed by an estimated 4.6 million youth and 686,000 women in Tanzania, of which 3.4 million and 522,000, respectively, were high-intensity viewers. In addition, the two films have more than 200,000 views on YouTube. The pilot television season of Don’t Lose the Plot broadcast in Kenya and Tanzania was estimated to have been seen by 4.1 million youth in Kenya and Tanzania, of which 1.4 million were high-intensity viewers.

In addition to revealing lessons about incorporating communications as development programming, the evaluation showed how much this programming changed women’s perceptions of themselves and how it improved knowledge and changed attitudes or perceptions on the roles of women and youth in agriculture.

For example, while Don’t Lose the Plot’s viewership was equally young women and men, it appears to have had a greater impact on young women in Tanzania than men with respect to whether farming is “cool.” High-intensity viewers, i.e. those who watched six or more episodes of the show, had more positive attitudes toward farming; this finding was especially pronounced among young women in Tanzania.

Kumekucha’s radio shows and films had a positive impact on youth knowledge in Tanzania related to the benefits, both farming and financial, of involving women in decision-making. According to respondents in Tanzania, Kumekucha’s most resounding messages with audiences were focused on the empowerment of women and their involvement in decision making, and promoting agriculture as a business. The female performances were so moving that Catherine Credo, who played the role of Neema in Kumekucha: Fatuma, won the Best Actress prize in the Swahili category at the 2018 Zanzibar Film Festival.

While reflecting on her role, Beatrice Taisamo—who played Fatuma—said, “The woman’s role in the family is huge. Even as she battles with issues of land ownership, she understands her role in being able to ensure her family is fed. I speak as a mother and someone who understands what it means to be the head of the family and still lack rights to own land. It limits how much we can contribute when it comes to the development of agriculture.”

Any transformation in Africa’s agriculture will depend on the inclusion of women and youth in the sector. Evidence from Africa Lead’s media programming shows the importance of changing people’s perceptions of the role African women and youth play in sparking that transformation. More importantly, evidence from these programs indicates that people are open and ready for such a change.

Maguette Ndiaye stops to talk with Babacar Diop (far right), who farms a nearby field. Mr. Diop is a member of the Niayes Mango Producers Cooperative (COPROMAN).

Planting the seeds of hope in Senegal’s mango sector

MAGUETTE NDIAYE

These are the last weeks of the year’s mango season and Maguette Ndiaye, a mango farmer from the commune of Taiba Ndiaye, is checking out her family’s fields. While some of the lush, green mango trees are still bearing ripe fruit, today’s harvest, which has just been packaged, is the season’s last big haul.

Mangoes are a major horticultural crop in Senegal and hold a prominent place in the country’s agricultural sector owing to widespread production, the number of people employed, and their contribution to the country’s exports. Senegal is currently the third largest mango exporter in West Africa, after Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso. With African mangoes touted as the next “super food,” Maguette and other Senegalese mango farmers are keen to carve out a share in the global mango export market.

Mango production, however, has dropped this year due to late and insufficient rains, concerning Senegalese mango farmers like Maguette, who is also president of COPROMAN (Coopérative des Producteurs de Mangues des Niayes), a farmers’ cooperative with more than 1,000 members in 27 communes within the Niayes Zone. 

The lack of sufficient water for irrigation is a challenge that COPROMAN’s members would like the Senegalese Mango Value Chain Inter-Professional Organization (Interprofession des Acteurs de la Mangue au Senegal or “IAMS”) to address.

COPROMAN is a member of IAMS, an organization established with the support of the Feed the Future Program for Increasing Investment in Agriculture in Senegal, implemented by Africa Lead. IAMS, a nationally recognized association, was established in the wake of the first-ever West Africa Mango Week Symposium held from May 31 to June 3, 2016. The event was organized by the Senegalese Ministry of Commerce and the USAID Coordinator of Feed the Future activities, and facilitated by Africa Lead.

“I think IAMS can be a voice for the producers,” says Maguette. “As an individual association, we can’t do [much], but given that IAMS is made up of different groups it has the force to address a lot of our problems, the lack of adequate water being just one, to speak on our behalf to various partners, especially to the government, and help us access export markets for our produce.” 

One outcome of the discussions and exchanges held during Mango Week was the development of the West African Regional Mango Association (WARMA/ARMAO) by founding member countries Senegal, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, The Gambia, Ghana, Republic of Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Mali. WARMA is made up of local organizations that represent a cross-section of the mango sector value chain, and it has changed the siloed way in which stakeholders were used to doing business. As a follow up to Mango Week, Africa Lead provided assistance, including organizing meetings and training workshops, that led to the establishment of IAMS and supported the organization of WARMA’s first Constituent General Assembly in September 2018. The General Assembly provided an opportunity for the membership to adopt formal WARMA rules, elect new officers, and develop a roadmap for the coming years.

For Maguette, the creation of WARMA and IAMS is a positive development that should help actors in the mango sector. She also hopes that IAMS can help COPROMAN find funding to purchase a new, larger mango-processing machine or even build a processing plant.

These aren’t the only hopes Maguette has for IAMS. Widowed in 2007, Maguette has three children, now young adults. Even though she’s the one in charge of the family’s two hectares of land, the land she diligently maintains does not belong to her.

“Women don’t inherit land,” she explains. “The land I inherited from my late husband was for my children.”  She is aware that Senegal’s laws assure gender equity in land access. “They only talk about it, but in reality they don’t do it. In the rural areas, women don’t inherit land,” she adds.

According to Maguette, gender equity in land access is an issue that IAMS and WARMA could take up. “They can help raise awareness and support enforcement of the existing laws,” she says.

Seeing the fledgling associations through a farmer lens, Maguette considers them seeds planted in good soil that, with attention and support, will in due time bear fruit and help maximize the potential for Senegal’s mango sector.

MICHAEL SIDIGU

Kenya’s small-scale sugar farmers reach into the policy BAG

Michael Sidigu is a sugarcane farmer from Muhoroni in Kisumu County. Once home to a thriving sugar industry, Muhoroni, which lies along the Nyanza sugar belt, is grappling with slowing economy due to the closure of three  state-owned sugar millers that were the main drivers of the town’s economy.

Sugarcane farming in Kenya supports more than 200,000 small-scale farmers; an additional six million Kenyans derive their livelihoods directly or indirectly from the sugar industry. However, Michael, like many other cane farmers who depended on the crop for their livelihoods, has been forced to diversify and farm other crops besides cane.

“We had always depended on sugarcane farming and it was once profitable. But these days we are struggling to make a living from the same crop we’ve grown here for the past 50 years,” he says. “The challenges within the sugar industry in Kenya are numerous and have the biggest impact on the farmers themselves,” he adds.

Delayed payments by millers, high production costs, and cheap sugar imports are some of the challenges faced by the farmers. According to Michael, the biggest hindrance to the revival of Kenya’s ailing sugar industry is the lack of political goodwill and support from the county and national governments.

“Because agriculture is a devolved function of government, the county government is responsible for budget allocations to agriculture, and supporting farmers in the sugar belt. A lot of attention, however, has been given to plans to privatize sugar millers, but not enough has been given to supporting the farmers through the development of friendly policies and legislation, or the provision of extension services and farm inputs,” he laments.

As the Chair of the Muhoroni branch of the Kenya National Federation of Sugarcane Farmers, Michael oversees about 6,000 farmers, representing and advocating their interests, including timely payments by sugar millers and the development of farmer-friendly sugar policies and regulations.

In representing sugarcane farmers’ interests, the Federation has worked closely with Sugar Campaign for Change (SUCAM), an independent lobby group that advocates policy, legislative, and institutional reforms in the sugar industry. In April 2018, SUCAM was awarded a grant under the Africa Lead/CAADP CNC Small Grants Program, which was created to strengthen NSA engagement in agricultural policy dialogue and in CAADP-related activities.

Under the Kenyan Constitution, the public, communities, and organizations affected by any policy decision must be involved in the decision-making process. SUCAM’s activities, therefore, aim to bolster public participation in national and county-level planning and budgeting for food security in Kisumu, Homa Bay, and Kakamega Counties. To do this, SUCAM equips farmers with knowledge and skills to lobby their local governments to make smarter investments in agriculture.

With support from the Small Grants Program, SUCAM profiled food and nutrition projects, with a focus on the state of financing, management, and marketing of agricultural activities, and identified and trained smallholder farmers on the official budget-making process. SUCAM also formed 45 farmer Budget Action Groups (BAGs) across three counties at the sub-county level. Through the BAGs, local farmers and citizens develop budget prioritization proposals and advocate for increased allocations for agriculture. The proposals are presented to local governments for engagement at all stages of budget formation at county level.

“We saw that there was a gap when it comes to public participation in the agricultural sector, and we assisted farmers to develop proposals and engage [government] stakeholders on how they can be implemented,” says William Adoyo, SUCAM’s Project Officer.

The BAG approach presents an innovative system for budget monitoring and ensuring government accountability by farmers. Its success led the Department of Agriculture to approach SUCAM to learn more about how the system could be replicated in other counties.

SUCAM also lobbies the government to change policies that have negatively impacted the sugar industry. It recently championed the campaign for the enactment of the national Sugar Bill.

“Public policy has the power to be transformative. What we do not want are new sugar regulations that deepen the decline of our sugar industry, increasing imports, driving away farmers, and felling sugar companies,” says Michael Arum, SUCAM’s Campaign Coordinator.

Because of SUCAM’s lobbying, sugarcane farmers like Michael are hopeful that they will one day see the revival of the once-prosperous sugar industry that fed hundreds of families across the Nyanza sugar belt.

“SUCAM has been at the forefront of campaigning to make our lives better. Sugarcane farming still has the potential to be a lucrative business,” affirms Michael. “I believe that with the right policies and regulations, the sugar industry will once again be a major player in Kenya’s economy.”

Erik Ogacho, representative for the Chief Officer of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Development for Kisumu County Government makes a presentation at SUCAM’s Validation Workshop.

PILLAR 2: LESSONS LEARNED & RECOMMENDATIONS

Learning from Activating Networks & Collaborative Action

Multi-stakeholder networks and collaborative partnerships drive transformative change. To activate networks and encourage collaborative action, Africa Lead established and supported transformative partnerships and networks and mobilized policy actors, participants, and advocates. Africa Lead’s experiences have resulted in a number of lessons learned and recommendations for donors and development partners working with local organizations and institutions to influence and drive multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral change.

Lessons

  • Networks of champions can have the most impact. Individual committed champions are critical for change. However, formal or informal networks of committed champions, working together, will be more effective for building the critical mass for agricultural transformation at scale.
  • Leaders that are facilitative can more effectively drive inclusive change. Comprehensive and informed action comes from multi-stakeholder collaboration and transformative partnerships and networks. A specific type of leader—a facilitative leader who gives everyone a voice and maximizes their contributions—is required to cultivate strong relationships and help move these groups forward.
  • Transformative partnerships involve transformed interdependent partners. In order for an organization to lead collaborative change, it must go through its own organizational maturity process first. Readiness for this process requires moving across the dependent-independent-interdependent continuum. This is based on the principle that an organization cannot effectively work with other organizations until it has developed its own organizational identity and capacity.
  • Mobilizing groups for “coordination for coordination sake” (from the top down) is not effective. Coordination requires there be a group-determined identification of a shared challenge or problem. Collaboration will not occur if it is abstract and if it originates from an authoritative mandate.
  • A network whose learning or work is not equal to or more valuable/important than competing demands will fail. In supporting the development of new networks, we must be mindful of the demands on people’s and organizations’ time and maintain a strategic focus on key issues.
  • Effective partnerships and networks—built on trust, complementarity and shared understanding—can help to transform institutions and address power and resource imbalances. If some stakeholders do not have the capacity, organization, status, or resources to participate in dialogue—or to participate on equal footing with other stakeholders—then policy processes will be prone to manipulation by stronger actors. Effective partnerships and networks between and among NSAs are an important way to shore up capacity and provide a foundation for NSAs to engage with government actors.
  • Learning can help drive collaboration. Learning (such as shared metrics, evidence and data, and experiential learning) is not a prerequisite to collaboration, but when learning approaches are combined with other elements of collective action, it can lead to highly effective interventions and can drive spontaneous collaboration.
  • Adaptive frameworks and tools enhance multi-stakeholder efforts. Structured, adaptive frameworks and tools to drive collaboration (i.e. the Collective Impact Framework, CLA) enhance the quality, results, and sustainability of multi-stakeholder efforts.
  • It is possible and beneficial to mobilize citizens from the community and village level to contribute to the prioritization, design, and monitoring of agricultural investments at subnational levels. Citizen engagement in budget planning and decision making is not a one-time activity. When project development is seen as a cycle and stakeholders are organized to engage during all stages of that cycle, there is greater follow-up, budget efficiency, and return on investment.
  • The capacity of citizens to contribute to a data-driven approach to prioritization, monitoring, and planning agricultural activities at the subnational level should not be underestimated. This approach requires relatively little investment, but adds significant value to the quality of decision making. Citizens, civil society groups, and the private sector can appreciate and use data for decision making. Citizens can also play an important role in validating and ensuring the accuracy of data on key agricultural issues.
  • Network development should be driven by the desire and commitment of the network members themselves. While the CAADP Non-State Actors Coalition (CNC) started off with what seemed like a clear mandate and sense of purpose, it veered off-course, and became less effective. While there were many factors that in combination led to a challenging experience for the CNC, one of the major factors was the organization’s lack of clear purpose. This occurred in part because the CNC was largely created and financed by a donor rather than by its own interest groups or members.

Recommendations

  • Donors should include collaborative processes in their program strategies and projects. These must be fully coherent and avoid internal contradictions and conflicting incentives, including in the design of implementing mechanisms.
  • Organizations should practice internally, what they are supporting others to do. Organizations that want to collaborate effectively with other organizations (externally) should first develop an organizational culture and systems that allow them to practice and model collaborative behavior (internally).
  • Good collaboration should be planned and intentional. Organizations that want to collaborate should also be deliberate and strategic, take time to understand the context, recognize that it takes time to build trust and networks, and allocate adequate resources for this purpose.
  • Donors should support, not lead. In supporting partnerships and networks, always maximize the contribution and leadership of local partners and minimize that of donors and implementing partners.
  • Donor-supported network development should be demand-driven. Donors and development partners should design programs that allow local actors to self-select. They should not pick winners. They should then provide support to those organizations with the commitment to lead change.
  • Co-creative design of interventions with local actors is better and more sustainable. Following on the previous recommendation, donors and development partners should avoid the temptation to pre-design interventions. They should instead design activities based on local consultation and participation in the design process. This fully empowers local actors and enables support institutions to support rather than lead.
  • Donors should avoid creating dependency by not providing unnecessary resources. Finally, development partners should provide only up to the level of assistance that local counterparts cannot provide. Providing more than this encourages dependence, thwarts sustainability, and wastes donor resources.

Tools and Resources

Small Grants Learning Brief

This learning brief summarizes the key lessons learned generated collectively with Africa Lead’s partners under the Non-State Actor Small Grants Program. The approaches and lessons relate 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. https://www.africaleadftf.org/2019/12/18/local-data-and-inclusive-dialogue-for-food-security-engaging-non-state-actors-in-caadp-implementation/.

 

Kumekucha Evaluation

Africa Lead engaged Media for Development International (MFDI) to design and implement Kumekucha, a multi-media campaign broadcasting educational content on agriculture. The goal of Kumekucha was to improve Tanzanian women and youth’s knowledge, perception, and practices in modern farming, agricultural leadership, and agribusiness along the agricultural value chain. Africa Lead commissioned this evaluation to measure Kumekucha’s impact on women and youth’s knowledge, perception, and practices in modern farming, agricultural leadership, and agribusiness along the agricultural value chain. https://www.africaleadftf.org/knowledge-base/kumekucha-evaluation-report-21-dec-2018/.

 

“Don’t Lose the Plot” Evaluation

Africa Lead collaborated with a Kenya-based media education company, to create, broadcast, and launch the pilot season of Africa’s first agriculture-focused reality TV program: Don’t Lose the Plot (DLTP). As part of the activity, Africa Lead commissioned Kantar Public East Africa to evaluate the impact of DLTP on knowledge, attitudes, and behavior, or intention to change behavior, related to farming and agribusiness practices. https://dec.usaid.gov/dec/content/Detail_Presto.aspx?vID=47&ctID=ODVhZjk4NWQtM2YyMi00YjRmLTkxNjktZTcxMjM2NDBmY2Uy&rID=NTIwNjY4.

USAID Kenya and East Africa Office of Economic Growth and Integration, Value Chain and Policy Mapping

Africa Lead undertook a rapid activity assessment on USAID regional and bilateral missions’ specific value chains and policy priorities in East Africa. The purpose was to help representatives from eight bilateral and regional missions, development partners, RIGOs, national governments and private sector representatives to discuss how to improve communication, collaboration, and learning among regional and bilateral stakeholders. https://dec.usaid.gov/dec/content/Detail_Presto.aspx?vID=47&ctID=ODVhZjk4NWQtM2YyMi00YjRmLTkxNjktZTcxMjM2NDBmY2Uy&rID=NTIwOTc2.

 

Video: Kenya’s Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth

This learning product describes USAID Kenya’s Partnership for Resilience and Economic Growth (PREG), which has been working in the ASALs since 2013 and coordinates efforts among 26 USAID implementing partners in the region, including Kenya’s National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) and county governments. https://www.africaleadftf.org/2018/07/31/strengthening-learning-and-collaboration-for-increased-resilience-in-northern-kenya/.

PILLAR 3: EMPOWER AFRICAN-LED POLICY SOLUTIONS

Collaborative Governance

Collaborative governance involves the government, community, and private sectors working together to achieve more than a single sector could achieve on its own. Africa Lead fostered collaborative governance by supporting inclusive public-private dialogues and planning processes, while also building on its approaches to leadership strengthening, collaboration, coordination, and facilitative leadership.

Africa Lead employed a variety of tools and programmatic efforts to drive collaborative governance efforts to address food security challenges and achieve CAADP goals, including:

  • Institutional Architecture (IA) – A country needs the right IA—i.e. institutions, systems, and processes—to undertake transparent, inclusive, and evidence-based policy-making processes. As such, Africa Lead developed and supported numerous countries to use the IA-APP toolkit, which promotes a participatory, multi-stakeholder self-assessment process to understand capacity gaps, design corresponding action plans, and monitor progress toward capacity objectives.
  • Public Sector-Private Sector Dialogue Platforms – Africa Lead supported inclusive public sector-private sector dialogues such as the Public-Private Dialogue Framework developed with APIX in Senegal. Inclusive and constructive dialogue between the public sector and private sector supports two-way information flow and increases transparency, accountability, and trust, which can help improve regulations and strengthen the business-enabling environment.
  • NAIP Development – NAIPs require the input and commitment of numerous agricultural stakeholders. To guide countries in developing NAIPs in alignment with the Malabo Declaration commitments and with broad stakeholder buy-in, Africa Lead helped develop tools for NAIP development as well as supported countries establishing multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoral collaborative governance mechanisms to develop and oversee implementation of the plans.
  • Donor Working Group Support – Donor working groups are a powerful means of both increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of program activities and modeling for country counterparts the collaborative planning, analysis, and implementation needed for sound policymaking. As such, Africa Lead served as an active participant in numerous donor working groups, including the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Donor Working Group, the Technical Policy Working, and the Kenya Donor Working Group in Kenya, among others.
HIGHLIGHTS

SENEGAL

Agency for Investment Promotion and Major Projects / Agence pour la promotion des investissements et des grands travaux (APIX)

In Senegal, Africa Lead provided technical assistance to build the capacity of APIX to facilitate increased investment in agriculture. Support focused on APIX’s efforts to establish a regional investment platform—the North Zone Territorial Investment Platform (PTI)—to attract businesses in the predominantly agricultural northern region of Senegal. Africa Lead also worked to build APIX’s capacity to increase public-private dialogue in northern Senegal, including by improving feedback loops between the public and private sector and developing a Public-Private Dialogue Framework to meet regularly to review and solve problems faced by local businesses. In addition, Africa Lead also provided strategic visioning and team-building facilitation to APIX and its partners involved in the implementation of the North Zone PTI activities, including national agencies, directorates, financial institutions, and private sector institutions.

KENYA

Arid and Semi-Arid Lands Donor Working Group (ASALDG) and the Agriculture Rural Development Donor Group (ARDDG)

Africa Lead led the mapping of donor investments for ARDDG and ASALDG against various Government of Kenya agricultural priorities and by thematic area and geographic coverage. The successful process—which achieved a 100 percent participation rate—resulted in the ARD Donor Mapping Tool, which has been lauded by donors as timely and user-friendly. In fact, the success of the mapping exercise has led to the ASALDG’s decision to develop a similar mapping tool next year.

CONTINENTAL

National Agriculture Investment Plans

To guide countries through the NAIP development process, Africa Lead supported IFPRI/ReSAKSS to develop the African Union NAIP Toolkit for Malabo Domestication. The toolkit included tools and approaches to strengthen the local systems to update NAIPs, make them central to the budgeting process, and implement, monitor, and review the plans. The project subsequently worked with the African Union Commission to facilitate NAIP Malabo Domestication Workshops in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda. Lessons learned and recommendations for improving the NAIP process were then presented at the Malabo Policy Learning Event on the Biennial Review Report and Process in 2018. In addition, Africa Lead supported numerous countries in putting in place collaborative mechanisms to develop NAIPs. In Senegal, for example, Africa Lead supported the Political and Social Dialogue Group (GDSP) in publishing its contribution to Senegal’s NAIP 2.0. In Kenya, Africa Lead supported the AgCK in ensuring the private sector, as well as youth and farmers’ groups, participated in the development of the country’s NAIP.

PILLAR 3: EMPOWER AFRICAN-LED POLICY SOLUTIONS

Adaptive Management Systems

Africa Lead recognizes that improved evidenced-based policy learning and adaptive management can contribute to transformative changes in Africa’s agriculture. Africa Lead promoted learning and adaptation by building capacity for M&E in government organizations, supporting NSAs to participate and bring evidence to dialogue and policy-making processes, organizing and facilitating learning events and networking activities, and creating and disseminating tools to raise awareness of CAADP.

Africa Lead’s work in this program area focused on the following:

  • M&E Capacity Building – With the knowledge that improvements in M&E can contribute to agricultural transformation, Africa Lead focused on developing the M&E capacity of government organizations and NSA networks. Africa Lead provided M&E specific training to 62 organizations and 401 individuals across all countries and regions where the project worked. The training exposed participants to the critical role of M&E in policy making and demonstrated how accurate data and analysis could lead to better designed, delivered, and measured agriculture programs.
  • Policy Data and Dashboard Systems – The critical element in evidence-based analysis is that data collected is used to inform decision making, programmatic management, policy formulation, and advocacy. When decision makers have access to real-time information, the government has the opportunity to intervene and manage for results. To support the use of data and improve decision making, Africa Lead worked to develop dashboard systems, such as the food security dashboard monitoring system developed for Bureau Operationnel de Suivi (BOS) in Senegal.
  • Agriculture Policy Learning Events (APLEs) – Africa Lead organized and facilitated three APLEs, which provided an opportunity for participants to reflect, share, and learn about the progress achieved and steps taken in the development of national agricultural policy priorities for agricultural growth and food security. The learning shared at these APLEs helped build a common understanding of country experiences and policy challenges that may be blocking the achievement or effective implementation of NAIPs and ways to overcome those challenges.
  • Cross-Border Policy and Trade Learning Events – Africa Lead facilitated networking activities in the seed sector that led to improved platforms for learning, dialogue, and consultation between government, the private sector, and trade associations related to the seed sector in East Africa. Africa Lead’s support and facilitation enabled the establishment of an effective platform for seed sector actors from countries in the COMESA region to dialogue, coordinate, and harmonize policy through evidence-based recommendations and learning.
  • Joint Sector Reviews – JSRs provide a critical feedback mechanism for stakeholders to review agricultural sector plans, including NAIPs, and performance. Africa Lead supported 14 JSRs, including in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal, by facilitating JSR meetings; analyzing, disseminating, and using JSR recommendations to inform NAIPs; advising on making the review process more inclusive; and working with NSAs and the private sector to prepare them to participate in JSRs. Thanks to Africa Lead’s support, more countries are performing JSRs that are inclusive, open, and contribute to the achievement of CAADP objectives.
HIGHLIGHTS

NIGERIA

Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD)

In Nigeria, Africa Lead supported FMARD to operationalize a results-oriented M&E approach. Africa Lead conducted a M&E and Results-based Management (RBM) training course that allowed participants to develop a road map for an evidence-based M&E operationalization/RBM system that would feed into the ministry’s knowledge management system and result in better planning. Participants also developed action plans to streamline their M&E systems by clearly articulating steps to hold themselves and each other accountable.

SENEGAL

Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE) and the Bureau Operationnel de Suivi Dashboard

In Senegal, the reform-minded President pushed to implement and monitor the PSE, which will benefit rural populations. In 2015, the BOS was established by presidential decree with a mandate to monitor the government’s implementation of the PSE. Africa Lead worked with BOS to improve its M&E capacity, including methodology, planning, tools, and reporting, allowing for more effective real-time monitoring of the PSE, including through the implementation and use of a food security dashboard monitoring system.

SENEGAL

Senegal Joint Sector Reviews

Africa Lead played a key role in supporting the JSR process in Senegal by preparing stakeholders, including NSAs and the private sector, for four consecutive JSRs. The JSR process provides dynamic feedback loops to the government and has contributed to improvements in evidence-based analysis and learning. The JSRs have established a critical feedback mechanism for Senegal’s NAIP by generating learning to inform adaptive management and improvements in the implementation of the NAIP.

CONTINENTAL

Uganda and Kenya Agriculture Policy Learning Events

In May 2017, Africa Lead held an APLE in Kampala, Uganda, alongside the 13th CAADP Partnership Platform Meeting. The most recent APLE was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in June 2019, alongside the 15th CAADP Partnership Platform Meeting. These learning events helped to build awareness of the available expertise and best practices in agriculture and food security policy. By sharing existing models and proven solutions across countries, stakeholders gained the appropriate tools and expertise to deliver successful future policy and advocacy interventions in their countries and regions.

EAST AFRICA

East Africa Seed Trade Policy Learning Exchanges

Africa Lead partnered with USAID Kenya and East Africa to pilot a regional seed activity to enhance learning and coordination, operationalize regional policies, and unlock specific barriers to regional seed trade. After holding national leadership dialogues with 49 national leaders from across East Africa, Africa Lead facilitated two learning visits in Uganda and Kenya. These visits included seed sector leaders from Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Zambia. Through cross-country engagement, these leaders reviewed seed certification processes and border operations to identify specific actions to take, including conducting bi-annual audits of country seed certification processes and establishing a regional system to determine demand and surplus in different countries.

PILLAR 3: EMPOWER AFRICAN-LED POLICY SOLUTIONS

CAADP Backbone

In 2003 in Maputo, Mozambique, African heads of state, through the African Union, launched CAADP, a continental policy framework for agriculture and agriculture-led development aimed at reducing poverty and increasing food security on the continent. In 2014, with CAADP having faced various challenges, including difficulties measuring progress against the goals, African heads of state recommitted and re-established the goals of CAADP through the Malabo Declaration.

In September 2015, Africa Lead and AUC DREA signed a letter of agreement in which the project committed to support the secondment of professional staff to AUC DREA for up to three years to facilitate the continental commitment to transform agriculture.

Since then, Africa Lead has supported AUC DREA and countries across the continent in meeting the Malabo Declaration commitments and CAADP goals. Areas of Africa Lead support include:

  • AU Advisory, Facilitation, and Strategy Support – AUC DREA leads efforts to support the implementation of CAADP, including assisting compact signatories in developing NAIPs and meeting other milestones. To ensure AUC DREA could fulfill this role, Africa Lead provided organizational development assistance, including through the secondment of professional staff and the development of a rollout plan for the Malabo Implementation Strategy and Roadmap as well as a five-year business plan to improve coordination and facilitation around CAADP implementation and monitoring.
  • CAADP Accountability Processes (JSRs, NAIPs) – Mutual accountability is a guiding principle of CAADP, and country-level JSRs are important instruments for ensuring that accountability. JSRs bring together diverse stakeholders to review agricultural sector plans and performance, including progress toward commitments made in CAADP compacts and NAIPs. Africa Lead supported countries in developing NAIPs that aligned to their CAADP compacts and undertaking effective, inclusive, and transparent JSRs.
  • CAADP Biennial Review facilitation, learning, and training support – The CAADP Biennial Review assesses country progress against a common set of indicators and thematic areas of the Malabo Declaration, triggering policy change and guiding adjustments to NAIPs. The first such review was held in January 2018, with Africa Lead providing planning, capacity building, communication, and logistical support to ensure it was a success.
  • CAADP Development Partners Coordination Group (DPCG) – The CAADP DPCG is a forum of more than 20 international agencies, through which members align and coordinate their support for the CAADP agenda. Africa Lead built the capacity of the DPCG to serve as an effective platform among development partners, international financial institutions, UN technical agencies, and research and technical partners.
  • CAADP Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network – One of the major recommendations from the first Biennial Review report was to establish a country-to-country, peer-to-peer learning and collaboration platform for the exchange of best practices. In late 2018, the AU and Africa Lead launched the CAADP P2P Network to facilitate increased learning and sharing among practitioners and technicians working on CAADP at the country level.
HIGHLIGHTS

CONTINENTAL

Early technical consultations for the 2014 Malabo Declaration

The 2014 Malabo Declaration includes food security goals to be attained by 2025. Africa Lead supported AUC DREA in developing these commitments, helping plan, design, and facilitate a leadership retreat for permanent secretaries and heads of ministries of agriculture to discuss how best to operationalize the 2014 Declaration. Africa Lead also facilitated the development of the Malabo Implementation Strategy and Roadmap, a 24-month rollout plan and budget.

CONTINENTAL

CAADP Accountability Processes (NAIPs, JSRs)

To ensure JSRs function as effective accountability measures, Africa Lead helped cultivate in stakeholders across the continent a common understanding of the principles of a strong JSR. The project then helped stakeholders put these principles into practice, supporting 14 JSRs, including in Ghana, Nigeria, and Senegal. This support included facilitating JSR meetings, analyzing and disseminating JSR recommendations and ensuring they informed NAIPs, and advising on making the review process more inclusive. With Africa Lead support, more countries are performing JSRs that are inclusive and open and that contribute to the achievement of CAADP objectives.

CONTINENTAL

Facilitation training and validation for the first and second Biennial Review

Africa Lead provided extensive capacity-building assistance in the runup to the January 2018 Biennial Review, training Biennial Review trainers and country technical staff, including 156 data experts from 51 African Union countries. Africa Lead was also involved in continental and country-based post-review dissemination and learning events and helped develop plans for using the 2018 Biennial Review report. More recently, in preparation for the 2020 Biennial Review process and report, Africa Lead conducted a training of trainers on the Biennial Review Technical Guidelines and Process.

CONTINENTAL

CAADP Biennial Review Communications and Advocacy Toolkit

To educate stakeholders on CAADP and the Biennial Review process, Africa Lead worked with the African Union to develop a CAADP Biennial Review communications and advocacy toolkit that advocates at any level can use to inform the public and decision makers about the importance of CAADP. It provides presentation materials, advocacy tools and guidelines, and an interactive online application to navigate the results of the 2018 Biennial Review. In June 2019, during the 15th CAADP Partnership Platform (PP) meeting the African Union officially launched the toolkit. The toolkit—”Catalyzing Action and Agricultural Transformation in Africa: Understanding CAADP and the Biennial Review”—is available for download on the AUC DREA website at https://www.au.int/caadp/tool. Recently, in response to requests from the African Union and other partners, Africa Lead developed a second version of the toolkit, which includes new capabilities like cross-year comparisons, visualizations, and links to other tools and resources.

CONTINENTAL

CAADP Development Partners Coordination Group

Africa Lead built the capacity of the DPCG—a forum of more than 20 international agencies, including development partners, international financial institutions, and research partners—to better align and coordinate its support for the CAADP agenda. Through a contract with Wasafiri Consulting, Africa Lead supported the DPCG Secretariat, helping it develop the DPCG Action Plan, convene monthly coordination meetings, develop an Organizational Development Assessment indicator as part of donor accountability within the CAADP Biennial Review framework, and push for closer collaboration with the African Union. As a result of Africa Lead’s support, DPCG is better functioning as a donor coordination platform that enhances a shared vision, promotes accountability, and facilitates open communication between government and donors to advance the CAADP agenda.

CONTINENTAL

CAADP Peer-to-Peer Network

The African Union and Africa Lead launched the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Network to facilitate increased learning and sharing among practitioners and technicians working on CAADP at the country level. Central to the network is an online platform that features discussion rooms, newsfeeds, videos, a library, and webinars. Africa Lead designed and produced three P2P webinars for the network’s more than 100 members. The first webinar focused on the Africa Food Safety Index and featured input from AUC DREA, AUDA-NEPAD, the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa, and independent food safety experts. The second engaged experts from AUC DREA and the FAO to discuss how the Malabo Declaration addresses resilience. A third webinar focused on youth and CAADP, and specifically how to encourage greater involvement and participation of youth in agriculture.

Dr. Washington O. Ochola, Africa Lead’s former Policy & Capacity Building Specialist, facilitates Kenya’s IA meeting in 2018.

Institutional Architecture Assessment, Prioritization, and Planning Toolkit

“Agriculture is everyone’s business,” said Dorcas Makoi, former Kenya program lead for Africa Lead, during the opening of Kenya’s Institutional Architecture workshop held in 2018.

In Kenya, for example, agriculture contributes to nearly half of the country’s GDP and employs more than 40 percent of the country’s 48 million people. At the same time, nearly 40 percent of Kenyans are food insecure. In Senegal, agriculture makes up approximately 15 percent of GDP and is a key source of foreign exchange. Agriculture also accounts for nearly two-thirds of the country’s export revenues.

It comes as no surprise that investing in strengthening a country’s IA—its capacity to undertake transparent, inclusive, and evidence-based policy making—is a USAID Global Food Security Strategy priority. This capacity is fundamental to improving food security, reducing hunger and malnutrition, and strengthening resilience among individuals and communities.

Since 2013, the USAID Bureau for Food Security, USAID missions, local policymakers, and other key stakeholders have used the IA framework and a complementary in-depth IA assessment methodology to better understand the constraints to effective policy change. Based on this experience, Africa Lead developed a suite of customizable tools, known as the IA-APP toolkit, to facilitate a participatory, multi-stakeholder self-assessment and collaborative decision-making process to design a plan to strengthen IA. The process empowers stakeholders to collectively identify priority issues and co-develop solutions for strengthening inclusive, evidence-based policy change.

Countries interested in carrying out an IA-APP workshop convene a steering committee with representatives of key stakeholders, such as the government agencies responsible for agriculture and nutrition, civil society, and the private sector. The Ministry of Agriculture, Prime Minister’s Office, and/or a donor-funded project might facilitate the steering committee. The country’s CAADP focal point may chair the committee.

Before the workshop, the steering committee frames the IA-APP process within the context of ongoing national policy, planning, or coordination processes. The steering committee ensures each sector and stakeholder is adequately represented, that the agenda is relevant, and that key background information and evidence is collected to inform decision making.

During the workshop, participants self-assess the capacity of their institutional architecture, prioritize focus areas, and agree on a plan of action.

After the workshop, the steering committee presents the IA-APP results to high-level stakeholders and advocates for the adoption of the action plan. The steering committee may also stay engaged to ensure the action plan is executed and monitored on an ongoing basis and evaluated annually.

“The workshop has demonstrated that the achievement of the [National Food Security and Nutrition Plans] is not just the responsibility of a small group—it is multidimensional and it has to include the participation of the stakeholders at the grassroots level at every level of the process,” said Seynabou Diouf Mboup, the Focal Point for Food Security at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Equipment (MAER) in Senegal. “I think that from today there will be more ownership from everyone who was here and that this is just the beginning. We need to do follow up and develop the recommendations proposed,” she added.

The use of the IA-APP toolkit was piloted in four countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, and Uganda. Africa Lead has also trained its facilitator and trainer network on how to deliver the toolkit and approach at the country level.

Group photo of participants from the APIX Public-Private Dialogue Framework Meeting held in Saint Louis, Senegal in Dec. 2018.

The word is out: Senegal is “Open for Agri-Business”

U.S. Ambassador (left) visits APIX Saint Louis Senegal in April 2019

Over the past decade Senegal’s government has initiated a number of new tax incentives and business policy regulations to create a more friendly business environment for private investment, specifically in agriculture. The efforts are starting to pay off.

Senegal has been steadily moving up on the global “Doing Business” list. In the latest report, published in October 2019, Senegal ranked #123, up from #141 in 2018 and a vast improvement from earlier years on the list when it hovered around the 150-160 range.

It’s easier than ever to get a business set up in Senegal, said Mamadou Lamine Ba, Director of Business Environment at the Agence pour la Promotion des Invetissements et des grands travaux (Agency for Investment Promotion and Major Projects)—“APIX.”  “Today you can register a business in 24 hours. It used to take 58 days,” he said.

APIX is a national agency created in 2000 to promote Senegal as a destination for business investment and to oversee major public-private projects. The agency serves as the main link for anyone wanting to do business in the country, including those interested in public-private ventures. APIX’s partnership with the Feed the Future Senegal Program for Increasing Investment in Agriculture, implemented by Africa Lead, began in 2015 and came along at just the right time, Mr. Ba said. “Africa Lead has been a critical partner for us,” he said.

After nearly a decade of efforts to make setting up a business in Senegal easier, in 2014 the government of Senegal launched the Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE). As the country’s blueprint for transforming economic and social development, attracting job-creating private investment is a core part of the plan. Since the launch of the PSE, the government introduced a number of new business regulations as part of the Business Environment and Competitiveness Reform Program. With agriculture as one of the priority sectors identified in the PSE, APIX was required to increase services and improve delivery across the country. To help APIX ramp up to meet this requirement, Africa Lead provided capacity strengthening and assistance based on insight from a gap assessment. 

In 2015, the APIX office in the northern region of Saint Louis, responsible for an estimated 30 percent of the country’s cereal production and 60% of its rice production, was designated as a pilot for regional-based investment assistance offices. The offices would focus on attracting, spurring, and supporting private investment in priority business sectors such as fishing, tourism, and agriculture.

Africa Lead collaborated with APIX’s Business Environment Directorate to help establish the North Zone Investment Platform office and to make the platform operational, including human and technical resources, as well as conducting workshops with the stakeholders. Africa Lead also helped APIX define the details for the investment platform’s public-private dialogue group and facilitated workshops with the different stakeholders that led to the creation of the North Zone Investment Platform Public-Private Dialogue Group, and provided a leadership training workshop for the platform members.

The dialogue group was designed to provide an inclusive space for exchange by all stakeholders intervening and interested in the agriculture sector. Interest in investing in agriculture in the northern region is high, however small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region are facing constraints that are hindering their ability to invest in the agricultural sector and fully participate and benefit from this burgeoning business environment.

Simplifying procedures for paying taxes and introducing financial incentives for reducing the cost of importing some farm machinery were priorities that came out of private sector discussions with the government about barriers to investment in agriculture. As a result, the government reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT), before finally offering exemptions on certain types of equipment. This has led to an increase in farm equipment purchases needed for modernizing farming methods. As a result of these initiatives, investment in the agriculture sector has been growing. It’s nearly doubled to around 80 billion FCFA in the period of 2016-2018, up from some 40 billion FCFA from 2014-2015.

The Africa Lead partnership has helped APIX to improve the quality of the services it provides and, as a result, there has been increased awareness about what it does, said Mr. Ba. The North Zone Investment Platform has rapidly grown from being “just a pilot” to being considered a model business “one stop shop”.  The model has been replicated in three other regions in Senegal.

According to Mr. Ba, the achievements of APIX so many of which are directly linked to the collaboration and support of the Africa Lead program, have attracted the attention of other donors who are interested in replicating the platform in different regions to bring investment facilitation services closer to rural populations, and to help drive the economy in agriculture. More so now than ever, Senegal is open for business, and more specifically, agri-business.

A stakeholder studies a sample species of the Fall Armyworm to strengthen identification skills.

Fall Armyworm

Africa Lead and Learning and Collaboration Support to USAID’s Fall Armyworm Response

First surfacing in Nigeria in January 2016, the devastating invasive pest Spodoptera frugiperda or Fall Armyworm (FAW) could be found in 29 countries across the continent by 2018. In six countries alone—Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Zambia, and Zimbabwe—the pest infested 1.5 million hectares of maize. According to 2018 estimates by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center’s (CIMMYT) Global Maize Program, FAW had the potential to destroy between 8.4 and 20.6 million tons of maize valued at $2.5 and $6.1 billion per year across Africa. As such, FAW not only affects production of a staple food crop, it also undermines the economic viability of Africa’s emerging private seed sector and threatens to roll back gains in regional food security and trade.

In response, Africa Lead supported USAID’s Fall Armyworm Task Force (the Task Force) through a series of regional and continental learning events from late 2017 through 2019. The project also worked with the Task Force to support EAC efforts to advance private sector solutions for safe biological controls in the region.

Continental and Regional Learning as Response

Africa Lead first supported the Task Force in increasing regional cooperation among governments and Feed the Future implementing programs in East Africa. Africa Lead provided logistics and communications support for the East Africa Regional Fall Armyworm Training and Awareness Generation Workshop held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in November 2017. This workshop, the second in a series of three regional training and awareness generation events organized by the Task Force and CIMMYT, helped USAID finalize inputs on USAID’s Fall armyworm in Africa: a guide for integrated pest management, released in early 2018. During the workshop, participants from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tanzania explored various integrated pest management (IPM) approaches to control the Fall Armyworm, such as scouting, monitoring and surveillance, pheromone traps, biological control and encouraging natural enemies of the pest, host plant resistance, cultural control and sustainable agro-ecological management, and pesticide use risk management.

Brazil Study Tour

In March 2018, Africa Lead supported USAID’s Fall Armyworm Task Force in undertaking a study tour to Brazil. The tour exposed African decision makers to proven and successful technology to combat the species in a country with a similar agro-ecological zone.

High-level delegates from 11 countries, as well as representatives of EAC, ECOWAS, AUC DREA, FAO, CIMMYT, and the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, visited Brasilia and Sete Lagoas, where they met with officials from the government of Brazil and EMBRAPA, the state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation affiliated with the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture. Over the course of the multi-day learning tour, they learned how to apply IPM principles as well as the pros, cons, and limitations of various technologies (biological control, bio pesticides, chemical pesticides, bio cultural, and biotechnology) and the enabling environment required to develop or apply these technologies in their own countries. The importance of private sector innovation and investment to facilitate technology transfer was also a focus of the tour, which included field visits as well as technology demonstrations.

At the conclusion of the tour the Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, H.E Mrs. Josefa Sacko, convened a meeting of the African government delegates to agree on the way forward for AU member states and develop a plan for action going forward.

Collective Action

As part of USAID’s contributions to the continent-wide response to Fall Armyworm, Africa Lead provided a team of facilitators and support staff to increase collective impact and collaboration among more than 200 participants in the Fall Armyworm Research for Development Consortium conference held in Addis Ababa at the African Union in late October 2018. In the run-up to the event, Africa Lead facilitated the first in-person meeting of the USAID Fall Armyworm Task Force’s implementing partners and consultants.

East African Community’s Public-Private Partnership for Improved Fall Armyworm Policy

In late 2018, Africa Lead supported the EAC Secretariat to design and organize a regional FAW workshop. The workshop brought together key institutions to take stock of FAW management efforts in the region, identify critical challenges and limitations in FAW action plans, and identify strategic actions to enhance FAW interventions. An action plan was developed by the participating members.

As a follow-up to the event and the action plan, in late 2018 through mid-2019, Africa Lead facilitated engagement between the Task Force and the EAC to develop a strategy for a public-private partnership for FAW response. The strategy supported EAC’s efforts to implement and domesticate harmonized pesticide guidelines by 2020. Africa Lead played a central role in facilitating the drafting of this strategy, as well as in supporting the EAC with planning and supporting the technical consultants for the Technical Working Group Meeting for Pilot Testing of Harmonized Pesticide Guidelines for Efficacy Trials, held in March 2019 in Arusha, Tanzania. Africa Lead delivered a final strategy document, supported finalization of efficacy technical documents and agreements developed during the EAC Technical Working Group meeting, and ensured handover of activity support to USAID’s Partnership for Inclusive Agricultural Transformation in Africa (PIATA).

BOS Managing Director speaks at BOS’ 2018 Annual Review and 2019 Planning Workshop.

Building Bridges to Economic and Food Security; linking Senegal’s top priorities to action

As one travels northeast from Senegal’s capital Dakar and inland away from the Atlantic Ocean, the semi-arid characteristics of the Sahel quickly begin to reveal themselves. Known as the Thies Region, the coastal to plateau rust colored landscape contrasts with much of Senegal’s southern tropical composition. Even with limited rainfall, this northern region’s agriculture is held together by farmers and the income they can fetch for rice, peanuts, cassava, millet, fruit and livestock they sell to larger markets.

Now the vulnerable region might be held together by something not usually thought of as the missing link for food security—bridges.

Taiba N’Diaye, a locality in the Thies Region, has recently been linked to Senegal’s only port in Dakar 70 kilometers away by nine new metal movable bridges built by the Senegalese government. Built to accommodate oversized trucks and heavy weight loads, these bridges open up new options for transporting goods and materials to the area, as well as moving goods to markets along the road to Dakar and beyond.

What is unique about this story is not that the bridges were built, but rather how the government came to the decision to build the bridges in the first place.

In 2015, a new government institution—the Bureau Opérationnel de Suivi du Plan Sénégal Emergent, known as BOS— was established to oversee the progress and execution of Senegal’s ambitious economic and social development plan—the Plan for an Emerging Senegal (PSE). The PSE aims to move the country from low-income to an emerging market with middle income status by 2035. The Feed the Future Senegal Program for Increasing Investment in Agriculture, implemented by Africa Lead, immediately began supporting BOS with capacity building and training for M&E. One critical area of support from Africa Lead was the development of an M&E Dashboard to help monitor the implementation of the PSE.

The Dashboard has since become a central tool used by BOS to identify problems and advance solutions to decision makers.

“The Dashboard is a tool and a strategy to help decision makers make decisions based on real-time information. They see it and can say, ‘OK, this is where I need to act and decide’,” explained Djiby Diagne, BOS Head of Projects Monitoring Department. The Dashboard consists of a list of the 27 Key Flagship Projects and 17 Reforms of the PSE. Next to each item is a flag in the color of green, orange, or red used to indicate progress.

The flag colors are tallied to give an overall indication of how the implementation of the various initiatives and the PSE overall are trending. This report contains a “Message of the Week,” which is a brief summary of time-sensitive or urgent matters related to project execution accompanied by a proposed solution from the BOS team.

“We know that the president pays attention to the dashboard report,” said Diagne. “You can read the Council of Ministers report and see where decisions have been taken or the president will talk about a topic and it’s one that we highlighted on the first page of the dashboard report, in our “Message of the Week,” he added.

It was a red flag on the dashboard and the set of recommendations that finally unlocked the construction of the nine bridges to the Thies Region, a long-standing PSE objective. Turbines for Senegal’s first utility-scale wind energy project in Taiba Ndiaye were being held at Dakar’s port because they could not pass over the old cement bridges on the route, nine of them in all. The proposed solution was to replace them with new movable metal bridges, only the cost was prohibitive.

“At first the president didn’t react,” said Diagne. “So two weeks later we presented the Dashboard message again stressing the urgency. This time he said yes,” said Diagne.  The president authorized freeing up the funds. The bridges were replaced and the 158 MW wind farm was completed on time and is now up and running. The PSE objective of increasing electricity supply to rural communities remained on track.

Transport challenges like this do not just impact hard infrastructure like energy projects. Poor transport infrastructure drives up the cost of Sub-Saharan Africa’s agricultural goods, making them unaffordable, increasing post-harvest food loss, and serving as a major limiting factor for farmer income. The knock-on effect of building the Thies Region’s overdue bridges should result in stronger food security infrastructure. And thanks to the BOS Dashboard, hopefully more links will be made between infrastructure and food security.

“Overall this has been a great partnership,” said Diagne. “The Dashboard and other M&E tools that were settled and defined in 2015 and 2016, we’re still using them and we’ll continue to do so,” he concluded.

“The dashboard is a collaborative platform that is presented to the president each week highlighting what’s working, what’s not working, what are the problems that warrant his intervention, and what are the proposals and solutions presented that require a decision…the dashboard allows project implementers to regularly update and diffuse information on their reform projects, and gives decision makers access to weekly-updated information, allowing them to effectively spur Senegal’s economic transformation”.

Mr. Babacar Gning, Deputy Director, BOS

PILLAR 3: LESSONS LEARNED & RECOMMENDATIONS

Learning from Empowering African-Led Policy Solutions

Africa Lead worked to facilitate African-led policy solutions and learning that would empower an inclusive set of stakeholders to facilitatively lead, adaptively manage, and hold themselves accountable for improved, broad-based food security and resilience policy outcomes. Through this work, Africa Lead learned many lessons on working with local institutions and leaders.

Lessons

  • People and institutions resist change not because they are afraid of change, but rather because they are afraid of losing what they have. It is important to be mindful of this in designing adaptive management solutions. It is common knowledge that vested interests are one of the main obstacles to policy change. In some cases, this obstacle can be reduced by showing interested parties how they could benefit from change.
  • Adaptive management tools serve as an objective “facilitator” between groups to address failure, success, and opportunities. Most people see data as objective. These tools allow people to agree on facts, draw lessons, adjust and be catalysts for change.
  • Learning from a baseline allows for measurable adaptation. Learning experiences, data, and other adaptive management tools are most effective when they are part of comprehensive strategies informed by initial assessments and baselines to adapt from.
  • Building a collaborative governance platform and process is time consuming and requires commitment, drive, and resources. But these investments have long-term benefits beyond the immediate challenge that is being addressed. Good collaborative governance should lead to win-win outcomes for all stakeholders.
  • Mutual accountability and shared measures of performance are critical for driving collaborative governance processes. The organizations involved in the collaboration can then share credit for success and responsibility for failure.
  • Effective collaborative governance should start from the lower level, bottom-up, respecting the principle of subsidiarity. This means that critical decisions and engagements should begin at the lowest unit. These can then rise and escalate to global levels. This was increasingly clear with facilitation and mobilization of NSA cooperation.
  • Building trust as a neutral facilitator has helped Africa Lead to play a key role as a facilitative leader in agricultural policy processes. Across the program’s portfolio, Africa Lead developed trust with counterparts and partner beneficiaries as a neutral facilitator to empower participants to achieve self-defined goals and objectives. As a result, beneficiaries were more likely to ask for help from Africa Lead and view the project as a partner without a specific agenda to execute.
  • NSAs, and in particular civil society organizations, have a vital role to play as translators and intermediaries between local realities and national-level policy priorities. Understanding the actors and processes that bridge this gap, developing an evidence base, and helping to give local actors exposure and an opportunity to engage with national-level institutions, are key to developing policies that represent local needs.
  • Since most agricultural activities are implemented at the community level, developing partnerships between citizens and local government can be a great asset. When government leadership at the local level is open and receptive to collaboration with citizens groups, there is a unique window of opportunity to achieve effective local policy results through collaborative governance. Trust among organizations and stakeholders is paramount and is built through structure, clear processes, incentives, a shared agenda, and sustained coordination.
  • When donors and development partners address collaborative governance challenges with preconceived solutions or tools, they become the de facto drivers of change, which is ultimately inappropriate and unsustainable.
  • Institutional design, which can describe the basic protocols and ground rules for collaboration, is critical for the procedural legitimacy of the collaborative process. As a facilitator of collaborative governance processes and platforms, Africa Lead actively sought broad participation from a diverse set of stakeholders and ensured that all actors were oriented to the institutional design of the multi-stakeholder initiative.
  • Teaching CAADP is important for achieving it. CAADP by itself as a policy framework does not trigger action if not communicated correctly or used as a practical educational, organizing, planning, and accountability tool.
  • CAADP as an adaptive management tool works well when all levels are linked and coordinating constructively. CAADP as a monitoring framework is good as a set of shared goals, however there needs to be a connective tissue built on a common language and ongoing communication. Initially, there was resistance to CAADP partly because lower level institutions—mainly national—felt that the AU was imposing top-down, burdensome systems without an adequate understanding of existing national-level systems. CAADP implementation improved when there was partnership between the different levels, with lower-level governments and organizations providing feedback to help shape the continental strategy and systems.
  • Overall AU CAADP support should be strategic and structured engagement, collaboration, and partnership. This has greater impact than ad hoc responses to requests for support.
  • Policy processes matter just as much, and sometimes more, than the content of the policy itself. A well thought-out, intentional policy process will be more successful. The process should be adaptive, co-created with stakeholders, and should include a basket of tools and approaches to be utilized as needed.
  • Policy facilitation takes time and requires consistency. Policy making is a continuous, unending cycle where implementation yields new policy questions. Policy processes are not events. This is because they require building of trust and involve relationships and creating a connection between different activities or events. Policy process is therefore primarily about building relationships, continuous dialogue, and continuous planning.
  • The social, political, and cultural context in which a policy is made is important. Socio-cultural impulses and the political context influence what policy is made and how that policy is interpreted. This is especially so for African agriculture.
  • Neutral, inspired, and informed facilitation is critical for policy processes. This allows the players to trust the facilitator. Facilitative leadership is the best approach for leading policy development because emotional intelligence is required to manage policy processes.
  • In managing the policy change process, “What’s in it for me?” is a question that needs to be answered. Unless the benefits and costs of alternative policy options are clarified and understood by the different actors, then the policy process will be hobbled by uncertainty and disagreements (instead of trade-off and consensus). As facilitators, it is important to understand what the different stakeholders want and need and to account for that in the process. The dialogue process must clarify benefits and how the risks and challenges will be addressed.
  • An understanding of political economy issues is critical to sound programming. As development partners and actors we must understand power dynamics at all levels.
  • Have a broad concept of evidence in policy. Evidence is not just scientific facts and data. It also includes opinions, emotions, and aspirations, as well as how it is packaged and used by actors to influence decision making.
  • The CAADP process is complex and far removed from sub-national decision making. To be useful for bottom-up, locally-driven reform efforts that align with national priorities, certain actors need to serve as translators that contextualize the framework and interpret commitments for stakeholders at sub-national levels. Not all aspects of CAADP are useful or relevant for local actors.

Recommendations

  • Donors should be careful to follow a “do no harm” approach when supporting actors who are part of a collaboration platform. Development partners should avoid setting up mechanisms that create or perpetuate adversarial relationships between non-governmental and governmental institutions. They should instead foster collaboration.
  • Collaborative governance is crucial for the entire policy cycle, not just part of it. Development partners should seek collaborative governance that goes beyond NSAs contributing to policy design, and that results in sharing responsibilities for policy implementation. This will help break the tradition of government-led, government-dominated governance.
  • Support for collaborative governance ought to be a long-term approach. Donors should encourage a culture of collaboration by building it into successive and multiple projects over time.
  • Interpretation of data and evidence-based learning is more complete when all different viewpoints are included. Donors and implementing partners should encourage and facilitate learning and discussions around data that include multiple stakeholders with different perspectives and interests (as opposed to like-minded ones).
  • Efforts to reform or otherwise change policy should be accompanied by efforts to teach and promote the value of change. Leadership and organizational development are two important ways to do this.
  • Change processes should be carefully planned and well-paced. Effective change processes require deployment of well-designed adaptive tools, with clear episodes for learning that help actors to generate data, draw lessons, clarify processes, and manage uncertainty to make the change process less overwhelming.
  • Everyone can learn from data and evidence, not just elites. Recognize that even the actors at the sub-national level can understand, interpret, and learn from data and evidence when it is presented to them in formats and in forums that promote interaction and identification with the data.

Tools and Resources

IA-APP Toolkit

The IA-Assessment, Prioritization & Planning toolkit is a suite of customizable tools to facilitate a multi-stakeholder process and collaborative decision making to assess a country’s IA and design a plan to strengthen it. The process empowers stakeholders to collectively identify priority issues and co-develop solutions for strengthening inclusive, evidence-based policy change. https://bit.ly/2tnRZ0g.

 

CAADP Biennial Review Toolkit

In collaboration with the African Union Commission’s department for Rural Economy and Agriculture (AUC DREA) and the African Union Development Agency’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (AUDA-NEPAD), Africa Lead supported the development and launch of a new communications toolkit for CAADP advocates, leaders, and focal points entitled, “Catalyzing Action & Agricultural Transformation in Africa: Understanding CAADP & the Biennial Review.” Available in both English and French, the toolkit provides an online interactive application to navigate and explore the results of the 2018 Biennial Review and also provides a powerful interactive PowerPoint presentation slide deck. https://au.int/caadp/toolkit.

 

Early Generation Seed study – Nigeria

Africa Lead supported USAID’s Early Generation Seeds (EGS) program, which was a partnership among several donors to make significant seed system changes to break the bottlenecks on breeder and foundation seed, primarily in Africa. This study was commissioned in Nigeria to better understand farmer requirements (i.e., demand), independent of the policy and technical parameters affecting EGS supplies. https://dec.usaid.gov/dec/content/Detail_Presto.aspx?ctID=ODVhZjk4NWQtM2YyMi00YjRmLTkxNjktZTcxMjM2NDBmY2Uy&rID=MjI2MDM2.

 

Early Generation Seed study – Rwanda

Africa Lead supported USAID’s Early Generation Seeds (EGS) program, which was a partnership among several donors to make significant seed system changes to break the bottlenecks on breeder and foundation seed, primarily in Africa. This study was commissioned in Rwanda to better understand farmer requirements (i.e., demand), independent of the policy and technical parameters affecting EGS supplies. https://dec.usaid.gov/dec/content/Detail_Presto.aspx?ctID=ODVhZjk4NWQtM2YyMi00YjRmLTkxNjktZTcxMjM2NDBmY2Uy&rID=MjI2MDMx.

Early Generation Seed study – Zambia

Africa Lead supported USAID’s Early Generation Seeds (EGS) program, which was a partnership among several donors to make significant seed system changes to break the bottlenecks on breeder and foundation seed, primarily in Africa. This study was commissioned in Zambia to better understand farmer requirements (i.e., demand), independent of the policy and technical parameters affecting EGS supplies. https://dec.usaid.gov/dec/content/Detail_Presto.aspx?ctID=ODVhZjk4NWQtM2YyMi00YjRmLTkxNjktZTcxMjM2NDBmY2Uy&rID=MjI2MDMz.

 

CAADP 101 Video

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is the continental plan for agricultural transformation launched in 2003 by African countries to reduce poverty and increase food security on the continent. This video describes the CAADP framework and recent progress made in the implementation of the continental program. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHaG7HQvagU.

 

Early Generation Seed study – Kenya

Africa Lead supported USAID’s Early Generation Seeds (EGS) program, which was a partnership among several donors to make significant seed system changes to break the bottlenecks on breeder and foundation seed, primarily in Africa. This study was commissioned in Kenya to better understand farmer requirements (i.e., demand), independent of the policy and technical parameters affecting EGS supplies. https://dec.usaid.gov/dec/content/Detail_Presto.aspx?ctID=ODVhZjk4NWQtM2YyMi00YjRmLTkxNjktZTcxMjM2NDBmY2Uy&rID=MjI2MDM1.

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