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Year in review: Take a look at your favourite social media posts in 2016

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Tuesday, January 17, 2017 0 comments

By Michele Pentorieri

Another year has passed, and we had a look at what engaged our followers the most on IFAD's social media last year. Here's what we discovered.

Climate change: Recipes for change and COP22

One of the most engaging themes in 2016 was climate change and ways to tackle it. To celebrate World Environment Day on 5 June, IFAD partnered with Italy's famous chef Carlo Cracco in order to show the impact that climate change is having on rice production in Cambodia. This was part of our Recipes for Change series, focusing on the impact climate change has on traditional dishes and giving you the tools to cook recipes from all over the world.

A year after the COP21 Climate Summit in Paris, Governments met in Marrakesh, Morocco, for the UN climate change conference (COP22). To mark the event, IFAD launched a campaign called #AdaptNow, where we invited the international community to recognize smallholder farmers’ positive impact on food security, and to help farmers on the front line of climate change to adapt.

Rural Development Report 2016: fostering inclusive rural transformation

On 14 September IFAD launched itsflagship publication analysing global, regional and national pathways of rural transformation. The report draws upon both analysis and IFAD's direct experiences and presents policy and programme implications in various regions and thematic areas of intervention, based on both rigorous analysis and IFAD’s 40 years of experience investing in rural people and enabling inclusive and sustainable transformation of rural areas.

International Days

In 2016 we also highlighted some important days celebrated around the world. Some of the most popular ones were Valentine's Day, International Day for Biological Diversity and International Youth Day.

Africa Food Prize

Finally, many of you joined us in congratulating IFAD's President Kanayo F. Nwanze for the Africa Food Prize. He dedicated it to "the African women who silently toil to feed their families." The reasons the prize committee gave for the choice were Nwanze's leadership and his results and successful efforts at IFAD.

Keep following us

Don't miss out on our daily posts in the year to come. You'll have the opportunity to learn more about rural development, agriculture, climate issues and research findings. We are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google Plus, LinkedIn and Blogspot. IFAD's President Kanayo F. Nwanze is on Twitter too.

by Christa Ketting 
Stanley uses his mobile phone to communicate current market prices from a variety of traders and markets to producers in his group. The First Mile Project in Tanzania began in 2005 concentrating on developing the connection between suppliers in rural areas and markets. ©IFAD/Mwanzo Millinga

The Public-Private-Producer Partnership (4P) approach, is one of IFAD’s strategies to connect smallholders to the private sector as a way to secure access to inputs and outputs markets. But how do we broker the 4P model? An IFAD grant-funded initiative implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation looks into this question. Through the grant, SNV brokered twenty three 4P cases in Senegal, El Salvador, Mozambique Uganda and Vietnam. With the grant hitting midterm, some initial lessons from the grant were presented at IFAD headquarters in Rome on 7 December 2016.

Conventional Public-Private-Partnerships often assume that farmers are common private sector operators. However, it is obvious that smallholders have specific needs and face different constraints than well-established agribusinesses. Many agribusinesses, and especially international companies are therefore still hesitant to source directly from smallholders. A 4P therefore explicitly includes smallholders as equal partners in a business relationship and blends public and private resources in order to make the 4P mutually beneficial (win-win) for both producers and agribusinesses.

In Vietnam for example, a 4P is brokered between Betrimix, a private company active in the processing of coconuts, and local producers. Betrimix used to process traditional products like desiccated coconut with little value added. Ms. Chau Kim Yen, general director of Betrimix explained now as part of a 4P, it provides smallholders with inputs, training services and quality verification enabling them to significantly improve quality and practices. The IFAD-funded Project for Adaptation to Climate Change in the Mekong Delta in Ben Tre and Tra Vinh Provinces, representing the P that stands for public in the acronym, provides training to these groups on business plan development and farming techniques.

Ms. Chau Kim Yen stressed the importance of a broker when it comes to enforcement and arbitration of the 4P. For Betrimix’s business model to succeed it is key that smallholders uphold organic standards as indicated in contractual agreements. In a 4P, this is where the broker steps in. In the case of Betrimix for example, the independent broker hired by SNV through the grant stepped in to resolve conflicts when necessary.

Mr. Abbey Anyanzo is hired by SNV to assume the role as an independent broker in Uganda. He explained that a key feature of his role is to balance the interests of different participants and take a neutral stand in potential discussions between the partners. In order to do so it is important to understand what the main motivations and interest of the different partners are by talking to them separately. Afterwards a broker should bring different partners together and slowly start with the development of the partnership. Unfortunately it is often the producer who is the most vulnerable partner in the partnerships. Producers could for example be illiterate and have urgent financial needs luring them to side-selling which jeopardizes the entire 4P. In some cases Mr. Abbey Anyanzo encountered that producers are not accustomed with working for an agribusiness and, therefore, require more attention.

4P brokers hired by SNV through the IFAD-grant, are independent brokers and not connected to governments. Independency is a key requirement for the success of the 4P model. But how to roll out the 4P strategy in IFAD projects? The grant aims at showcasing different models through which a 4P brokerage can be developed in order to replicate it in IFAD projects globally.

Brokerage services are not limited to partnership brokering. Financial brokerage is another key-enabler for a 4P. For example, 4P cases established through IFAD’s Agricultural Value Chains Support Project in Senegal are constrained by limited access to finance. In order to resolve this problem, a financial brokerage model is developed by the IFAD grant with the assistance of a specialized partner, i.e. The Rock Group. Mr. Ruud Nijs, a partner at the Rock Group, just returned from Senegal where he mapped the financial situation and needs of the Alif Group in order to attract potential investors. By developing individual financial models for cases, they can liaise with both local financial institutions as well as international investment funds.

It often occurs that producer organizations and private companies are active in a certain area, but not able to form a synergetic partnership. 4P brokerage can overcome this problem, but it is key that learning on brokerage skills are disseminated more widely in order to do so. This is exactly what the IFAD-grant will focus on during the final year of implementation. In order to support IFAD projects with value chain development, 4P brokerage guidelines and knowledge products will be produced building on the experience of grant-supported cases in the five pilot countries.

By Christopher Neglia

The IFAD-sponsored tve biomovies competition finished at the end of 2016 and the winners have been announced. In the Family Farming category, the winning entry is 28 year old Hongwei from China.

Hongwei’s short documentary profiles the vulnerabilities and difficulties of female farmers coping with natural disasters brought on by climate change. The film was shot in Luoci County, Yunnan Province. This village in the Southwest of China is heavily dependent on agriculture, where small family-owned farms make up the mainstay of the rural economy.

Through field trips and interviews with local farmers, Hongwei shed light on the physical, and mental fights women go through to provide for their families. She also notes that mining and upstream industrial activities are impacting the community’s drinking water, and decreasing crop yields.

After releasing  a short-list, the tve biomovies jurors invited finalists to submit a one-minute film based on their proposals. Hongwei came out on top with more than 5,000 views on Youtube. IFAD partnered with the 2016 tve biomovies competition, which encourages young people from the developing world to produce short films that show their perspectives on issues such as international development and climate change. You can watch Hongwei’s winning documentary below. 

Back to the roots: Latin America and Africa share cooking experiences

Posted by Steven Jonckheere Thursday, January 5, 2017 0 comments

Many people of African origin arrived in the Americas with the Spanish and Portuguese in the 15th and 16th centuries. Those who were directly from West Africa mostly arrived in Latin America as part of the Atlantic slave trade, as agricultural, domestic, and menial labourers and as mineworkers. The connection between Africans in the Americas and the Africans that were scattered abroad during the slave trade is ever evident in the underlying cultures and traditions that were passed down from generation to generation in the form of music, dance and fashion, but most noticeably in cuisine. Derivatives of African cuisine have been preserved, yet modified due to the conditions of slavery. Often the leftover/waste foods from the plantation were forced upon slaves, causing them to make do with the ingredients at hand. However, during this Diaspora, what remained whole were the techniques, methods and many of the spices and ingredients used in African cooking.

The Colombian Ministry of Culture acknowledges the cultural, social, economic and environmental importance of traditional cuisine in its Traditional Cuisines Public Policy. With support from IFAD and the ACUA Foundation, the Ministry therefore organised a learning event to exchange knowledge and experiences related to traditional cuisine between Colombia and West and Central Africa in Buenaventura, Colombia, from 26 to 30 October 2016. The aim of the event was to promote identity-based  territorial development. The event brought together a number of diverse participants:

  • Representatives from Colombian and international institutions (Ministry of Culture, ACUA Foundation, local government and IFAD)
  • Representatives from Colombian community-based organisations
  • Beneficiaries from IFAD-supported projects in West Africa and the representative of Self Help Africa, an African NGO

In the two years running up to the event, research was carried out on local ancestral know-how and traditions from various communities in the regions of Quibdó, Guapi, Buenaventura and Tumaco, in Southern Colombia. This resulted in the publication of two books and a documentary, which were presented at the annual book fair of Bogotá and the during meetings on local food and cooking practices in Quibdó, Guapi, Buenaventura and Tumaco.

The event offered numerous opportunities for the participants to share knowledge and experiences: presentations, live cooking performances, a cocktail workshop with local drinks from the pacific region,  cooking experience with the women working at the Buenaventura market place, a visit to the village “La Gloria” where women are running a collective farm, an exhibition of traditional cooking utensils and tools and cultural and musical nights.

The three beneficiaries from IFAD-supported projects in West Africa were Ms Aissatou Cissé and Ms Ndeye Marie Seydi from Senegal and Ms Blandine Montcho from Benin. Ms Aissatou Cissé is a beneficiary of the Agricultural Value Chains Support Project in Senegal. Local ingredients are the secret to success in her restaurant business. She received training and support in restaurant management and food processing through the Project. Today, in her restaurant, she offer Senegalese and European dishes made of locally-grown products and earns a good living.

Ms Ndeye Marie Seydi is a beneficiary of the Support to Agricultural Development and Rural Entrepreneurship Programme in Senegal. She is a young entrepreneur and runs an agricultural and processing company in the Kolda region and has been focusing, although not exclusively, on fonio, the oldest cereal in West Africa. It is a kind of millet that has a nutty flavor – a cross between couscous and quinoa in both appearance and texture. Fonio has been cultivated in West Africa for thousands of years, and is a favorite in salads, stews, porridges and even ground into flour. It’s gluten-free and nutritious because of two amino acids, cystine and methionine, which make it a favorite to be baked into bread for diabetics, those who are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease. Until recently, the fact that processing operations were small- scale, time-consuming and difficult meant that there was no future for the crop. However, with support from the Project, Ms Ndeye Marie Seydi is now applying new producing and processing technologies  operations and modernizing drying, which has sparked s renewed interest in fonio and new export chains are developing around innovative products. She is currently leading a network of 150 women that are producing and processing fonio.

Ms Blandine Montcho is a beneficiary of the Rural Economic Growth Support Project in Benin. She is the owner of small processing enterprise that turns tropical fruit into organic juices. Although she focuses mainly on pineapple, her company also makes organic tamarind, baobab fruit and ginger juices.

Overall, the event showed that when products are used that have been grown organically and/or responsibly, traditional cuisine allows local communities to have access to the required nutrients for a healthy life. Traditional cuisine can also contribute to preserving biodiversity and the environment.  for environmental and biodiversity protection projects. Furthermore, it can be used for nutrition education to facilitate voluntary adoption of food choices and other food- and nutrition-related behaviours conducive to health and well-being. Finally, traditional cuisine is of great economic and social value as it can help to create employment in rural communities and help to build networks, especially between women.

by Ricci Symons

At the high-level ministerial roundtables and plenaries in the weekend preceding the official start of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), ministers of tourism, forestry, fishery and agriculture, all met to discuss the key questions; how to mainstream biodiversity protection and how to reach the Aichi targets.

At the offset, with only 4 years remaining to still achieve 70% of the Aichi targets before 2020, it seemed to be a bleak outlook. All parties were vocal about the shortcomings that have led us to this point, and whilst there was also excitement and innovation around new practices, technologies and policies, meeting the Aichi targets seemed like a pipe dream.

The above-mentioned ministers have never been involved in the biodiversity exchanges before. This signals a change in thinking, where the general consensus is that biodiversity is something all sectors of government should strive to protect. It also highlights that we are aware of the negative impacts these sectors, mainly agriculture and tourism, are having on biodiversity loss.

Biodiversity is about more than plants, animals, and micro-organisms and their ecosystems – the conference recognises that it is also very much about people and their need for food security, medicines, fresh air, shelter, and a clean and healthy environment.

Biodiversity conservation is central to achieving global commitments for sustainable development under “Agenda 2030”, adopted by the United Nations in 2015. IFAD recognizes that losing biodiversity means losing opportunities for coping with future challenges, such as those posed by climate change and food insecurity.

Many smallholders with whom IFAD works are already reporting climate change impacts on their ecosystems and biodiversity that sustain agricultural production and rural livelihoods.

Biodiversity and food security is at the heart of what IFAD does. As IFAD's Director of Environment and Climate, Margarita Astralaga explained in Cancun, smallholders’ assets are part of their ecosystems. They depend on biodiversity to provide plants for medicine, seeds and hunting.

What helps them and us is to see the full potential of these ecosystems,” said Astralaga, “Different crops and indigenous crops are important - we have lost nearly all genetic variations of corn and wheat, 50 per cent of the world is eating the same species."

"We must diversify - when small farmers do that, they can protect themselves against climate shocks. When farmers grow nuts, cocoa, coffee, cassava as well as corn, when a drought strikes and the corn yield is low or non-existent they have other crops to fall back on."

As the COP draws to an end, with the Cancun Declaration ratified and published, people are taking stock of what has been achieved in the last two weeks, and what the next steps are. The CBD convention adopted 37 decisions, whilst the Cartagena Protocol adopted 19, and the Nagoya Protocol adopted 14 decisions. A full break down of the decisions and discussion topics can be found here.

COP13 marked an international move towards the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and implementation of the Strategic Plan. This will happen through the mainstreaming of biodiversity into many of the productive sectors: tourism, fisheries, forests and agriculture. The COP13 also highlighted that moving forward will mean to take into consideration emerging technologies, such as gene drives, synthetic biology and other genetic resources, to provide functioning ecosystem and the provision of ecosystem services essential for human well-being.

Por Annibale Ferrini

Los sistemas de Seguimiento y Evaluación (S&E) siguen representando uno de los problemas que más afectan los proyectos de desarrollo rural apoyados por el FIDA en América Latina, en términos de dificultades para registrar, medir y comunicar los resultados e impactos de sus intervenciones. Por otra parte, el nuevo énfasis del FIDA en la medición de resultados, pone en el centro la necesidad de mejorar estos sistemas, las herramientas y capacidades de los equipos para gestionarlos.

A partir de esta toma de consciencia la coordinación FIDA de la Subregión Andina en colaboración con PROCASUR y AGRORURAL, institución del Ministerio de Agricultura y Riego del Perú, han organizado a principio de Diciembre en Lima el taller “Fortalecimiento de los Sistemas de Seguimiento y Evaluación y de Gestión de Conocimiento en programas de inversión pública rural”.

El taller fue precedido por una visita de campo al Proyecto Sierra y Selva Alta el día 30 de noviembre que sirvió para conocer de cerca el enfoque, logros y retos del proyecto y visualizar la problemática de la medición y comunicación de resultados.

Un momento de la visita al Proyecto Sierra y Selva Alta. Foto: FIDA

Los dos días de actividades del taller, realizado en el marco del Programa Interregional “Fortaleciendo capacidades y herramientas para el escalamiento y la diseminación de innovaciones”, apoyado por el FIDA e implementado por PROCASUR entre América Latina y África, han visto la participación de más de 46 personas entre miembros de los equipos técnicos, directores y encargados de S&E de los proyectos de la cartera FIDA en Bolivia (Proyectos Plan Vida, ACCESOS, Pro-camélidos, y el Programa Fortalecimiento de Complejos Productivos de Granos Andinos y Frutos Amazónicos en Comercialización y Transformación, que no es parte de la cartera FIDA); en Colombia (Proyecto de Construcción de Capacidades Empresariales Rurales: Confianza y Oportunidad -TOP); en Ecuador (Programa Buen Vivir Rural e Ibarra - San Lorenzo); Perú (Proyecto Sierra y Selva Alta) y Venezuela (PROSALAFA y PROSANESU) además del equipo FIDA LAC, miembros del equipo PROCASUR y expertos de la Subregión, para mejorar sistemas de S&E ineficientes o desvinculados de los objetivos de los proyectos.

Las intervenciones de Jesús Quintana, coordinador del FIDA para la Subregión Andina, Cecilia Leiva, presidenta de PROCASUR, y Margarita Mateu, directora de Desarrollo Agrícola de AGRORURAL, inauguraron el evento cuyos trabajos empezaron con la presentación de los resultados del diagnóstico realizado por PROCASUR.

Seis de los siete proyectos encuestados consideran que sus sistemas de S&E no son funcionales para las organizaciones involucradas. El primer obstáculo se encuentra en la recopilación de información: los recursos humanos son escasos, falta capacitación de los técnicos y los formatos son incompletos o excesivos. Respecto a la sistematización digital de la información, los sistemas son implementados a medio camino, no integran toda la historia de datos del proyecto, y no incorporan todas variables claves. Además, el diseño de proyectos con múltiples componentes, cada uno con su set de indicadores, suma complejidad e incomprensión, o no son coherentes con las capacidades de implementación de los equipos, o con las lógicas y los procedimientos institucionales de cada país.

Por otra parte, los sistemas de S&E de los proyectos no están interconectados con los sistemas de gestión de gobierno, hay formatos diferentes en cada institución. La comunicación hacia los usuarios es asimétrica, poco estructurada o ausente. En los estudios de base y evaluación de impacto, la ausencia de líneas de base que arrojen información de la situación de las comunidades antes del proyecto es la principal complicación de los estudios de evaluación (no se tiene base de comparación).

Grupos de trabajo integrados por los diversos equipos de proyectos FIDA de la subregión y expertos, para presentar propuestas de soluciones, en el intento de empezar a tomar nuevos caminos más prácticos y funcionales, trazando líneas bien marcadas entre una abundancia de herramientas y metodologías que en muchos casos no responden a las necesidades específicas de S&E de los proyectos de desarrollo rural, a la complejidad de sus territorios de operación, la diversidad de su población objetivo y las capacidades de sus equipos.

Caroline Bidault, gerente de los programas del FIDA para Venezuela y Ecuador, durante un momento del taller.
Foto: FIDA

Entre las soluciones propuestas destacan:
  • mejorar el diseño del sistema de S&E desde el principio , vinculándolo al marco lógico del proyecto y adaptándolo al contexto específico de la región y de las poblaciones involucradas, seleccionando los indicadores más relevantes; 
  • crear sinergias con los sistemas existentes a nivel nacional y entre los entes ejecutores; 
  • capacitar a todos los actores involucrados, desde la unidad de gestión del proyecto hasta los técnicos de campo y las organizaciones de base, incluyendo metodologías participativas; 
  • asegurar que las tareas relacionadas con S&E (que incluyen recolección de datos, análisis, generación de aprendizajes y relativa toma de decisiones) sean, formalmente, una función transversal de todos quienes trabajan y participan en el proyecto, con tiempos y recursos asignados; 
  • diseñar e implementar estrategias de comunicación y campañas dedicadas a la difusión de los aprendizajes más relevantes, de los logros del proyecto y de los elementos que contribuyen al diálogo político sobre desarrollo rural.

Todas las propuestas indicadas han sido sistematizadas en el informe final según los temas de los grupos de trabajo.

Particular atención ha sido dedicada a la importancia de la Gestión del Conocimiento en su estrecha relación con el S&E:

  • en el diseño del proyecto, en que se identifican los portadores de interés involucrados, sus intereses en el proyecto y las soluciones ya desarrolladas en base a conocimientos locales; 
  • en la puesta en valor de las experiencias vinculadas a los saberes locales, y su integración en procesos de aprendizaje e intercambio para su replicación; 
  • tras la finalización del proyecto, se hace seguimiento a los resultados del aprendizaje y su adaptación para el escalamiento, en la perspectiva de un impacto del proyecto mayor y de mejor calidad.
Tres fases en las que la Gestión del Conocimiento tiene que acompañar constantemente el proceso de S&E para garantizar su coherencia con el contexto cultural, socio-económico y de gobernanza de los territorios de intervención, y de capacidad de actuar de los protagonistas de los proyectos.

Generar sistemas de S&E que permitan pasar de la información al “aprendizaje” y a la “mejora continua” es un imperativo para fortalecer la Gestión de Conocimiento al interior de los proyectos, incluyendo la capitalización de experiencias y la difusión de innovaciones a nivel de proyecto, país y subregión.

“La Gestión del Conocimiento es algo intrínseco al sistema de S&E – dijo Cecilia Leiva en la inauguración de los trabajos –, no los podemos hacer de forma separada. Tienes que caminar juntos desde el diseño de proyectos hasta la difusión de los resultados y del conocimiento generado, en términos de éxitos y de fracasos, para el escalamiento de las buenas prácticas. Ésta es la visión del FIDA a nivel de Subregión Andina, que nosotros compartimos, y este encuentro representa el primer paso hacia el nuevo camino”.

El taller fue seguido con sumo interés por los participantes. Foto: FIDA

El evento ha representado también una oportunidad única para tener todos los jefes de proyectos y parte de sus equipos de la Subregión Andina reunidos compartiendo experiencias, perspectivas y propuestas a futuro.

“En el nuevo marco del FIDA para la eficacia del desarrollo –
señaló Jesús Quintana – es fundamental el proceso de fortalecimiento de la descentralización así como el trabajo en estrecha coordinación con los socios y en dialogo con las políticas de inversión pública. Este primer encuentro a nivel de sub-región nos permite abrir un espacio de interacción permanente enfocado hacia los resultados, hacia su medición y visibilización, hacia una siempre mayor eficacia y mejor impacto de los proyectos”.
  1. Como resultados del taller cada proyecto se ha comprometido en llevar adelante algunas primeras acciones y participar en una plataforma de colaboración e intercambio presentada por el equipo FIDA de la subregión Andina como parte de los siguientes compromisos:
  2. Crear una plataforma accesible a todos los proyectos para compartir y promover guías, metodologías, herramientas y experiencias sobre S&E+ (seguimiento y evaluación, gestión del conocimiento y comunicación); incluyendo guías actualizadas sobre Sistema de Gestión de Resultados e Impacto (RIMS, por sus siglas en inglés), aplicación del marco lógico, elaboración del plan de trabajo anual, metodología de cierre, implementación de los proyectos; 
  3. Crear una plataforma de gestión del conocimiento sobre desarrollo rural para compartir aprendizajes e información sobre innovaciones; 
  4. Realizar un ejercicio de sistematización de herramientas y buenas prácticas en la sub-región Andina; 
  5. Planificar e implementar un programa de capacitación de los proyectos en S&E+ (a través de la iniciativa CLEAR – Centros Regionales para el Aprendizaje sobre la Evaluación y los Resultados); 
  6. Establecer lineamientos mínimos comunes de FIDA en S&E+ (con flexibilidad para su adecuación en los países). 
  7. Facilitar la coordinación entre los consultores del FIDA en S&E para armonizar los enfoques y el conocimiento de las herramientas actualizadas; 
  8. Proveer asistencia técnica.
Los participantes en el taller de Lima. Foto: FIDA

Promoting collective action for rural transformation in Tonga

Posted by Francesca Aloisio Tuesday, December 20, 2016 0 comments

By Soane Patolo, Monica Romano and Sakiusa Tubuna


In October 2016, the Tongan Government officially launched the newly formulated Community Development Plans (CDPs) prepared by communities living in Niuas, Vava’u, Ha’apai, ‘Eua and Tongatapu islands. The CDPs are a simple but effective mechanism to mobilize communities not only to identify their own development priorities, but also to mobilize support and assistance to improve rural people’s livelihoods.

The community plans were formulated adopting the successful approach tested under the IFAD-funded regional grant for the Mainstreaming of Rural Development Innovations (MORDI) and scaled up under the ongoing Tonga Rural Innovation Project – TRIP and by the Tongan Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). The 136 CDPs were presented by the District Officers and Town Officers to the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga, Honourable Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, on 4 October 2016 in Nuku’alofa.

In his keynote speech, the Prime Minister emphasized the importance of establishing transparent and accountable governance mechanisms to keep people informed and to formulate appropriate policies.

The Prime Minister said that in order to be able to change we must begin by fixing our governance system to become more informed, more transparent and more accountable. To enlighten and to empower our people by obtaining the right information, giving people the opportunity to make an informed decision about their lives. But, most importantly in order to strengthen government to make the right policies, to set the right priorities, provide the right support, to be able to defend and protect the lives of our people, and ultimately to support the right development.

Among the communities involved in the CDP formulation, 60 communities are targeted under IFAD-supported TRIP, implemented by the Mordi Tonga Trust (MTT). 76 CDPs were formulated with financial assistance of the Government of Tonga through MIA, UN Women, and the Pacific Risk Resilience Programme (PRRP) supported by the Australian Government and implemented by UNDP and Live & Learn Environmental Education (LLEE), under the facilitation of TRIP project staff.

During the launch, IFAD stressed that MIA’s adoption of the community planning approach is a first example of scaling-up of an IFAD project by a Government in the Pacific. IFAD’s experience shows that community-driven development processes such as the formulation of CDPs are powerful mechanisms to promote collective action that results in empowering rural people and in making them lead and drive their own development pathway.

The community planning approach was first tested under the IFAD regional MORDI grant, which was implemented in Fiji, Kiribati, and Tonga in two phases from 2004 and 2012. It aimed to establish sustainable processes that enable remote rural communities to link with policy and planning processes. The CDPs have been effective in empowering very remote rural people to have a voice in decisions that affect their lives. This institutional model was successfully scaled up in selected communities in all regions of Tonga by TRIP, which is currently implemented in partnership with the Government of Tonga and MORDI Tonga Trust, with an IFAD financing of USD 3 million.

Target communities of TRIP include 53 communities located in the Outer Islands and 7 in the Tongatapu. TRIP promotes an integrated approach towards community development aiming to build the capacity of communities to identify their own development priorities, formulate their own CDPs, and optimize the allocation of financial resources from public and private sectors, development and donor agencies, and non- government organizations.