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Community / Land projects / OSF - Small-holder Voices in Policy Dialogue

OSF - Small-holder Voices in Policy Dialogue


03/19 - 03/19


This project is part of


In March 2019, ACET initiated work on a global scan for successful and innovative efforts to foster market development and strengthen linkages between policy design and small-holder interests in areas such as employment, skills development and youth leadership, land tenure and agro-processing. The study will culminate in a virtual “smallholder policy marketplace” where high impact policies and approaches are highlighted and captured in an on-line event and shared with national policy dialogue platforms and the PACT agriculture chapter. The project is being executed by three internal staff and a senior consultant engaged to provide technical guidance and advice. Outlines for the framing paper and the case studies have been developed. Decision on the appropriate methodology to address the different schools of thought – or clusters has also been finalized. Initial desk study analysis is now underway and will continue through 2019. The OSF project seeks to promote ‘Smallholder Voices in Policy Dialogue’ and has four components – a) a global scan, b) a market linkages study in Ghana and Kenya, followed by c) convening national platforms in these countries, and d) setting up the PACT platform for Agriculture. The OSF project seeks to promote ‘Smallholder Voices in Policy Dialogue’ and has four components – a) a global scan, b) a market linkages study in Ghana and Kenya c) convening national platforms in Ghana and Kenya , and d) setting up the regional PACT platform for Agriculture. During the reporting period-Q2, Programme Management Plans (PMP) were developed for the both work stream. We also initiated work on a PMP covering the project at large. The Global Scan team identified close to 40 case studies as part of the preliminary literature review and begun the process of classifying these for future publication. The Market Linkage team developed a set of background papers guiding the research and initiated the planning for the forthcoming field research. To this effect, consultants/partners have been identified and contracted in both countries. In q3, the background and scoping study for Ghana and Kenya was completed this period. The team developed the data collection instruments and prepared a list of stakeholders to be interviewed. The data gathered from field studies and interview of small-holder farmers and traders in both Ghana and Kenya is currently being analysed. Next steps include exploring interesting insights that can benefit from further interrogation with key informant and undertaking key informant interviews within November-December 2019. Global Scan: The Global Scan workstream within the larger Open Society Foundation (OSF) grant was focused on the following outputs in 2019: 1. Draft one-page case summaries on successful/unsuccessful efforts globally that aimed to include small-holder interests in policy discussions and decision 2. Develop an online portal/marketplace (hosted as a website) as a repository for these case summaries and a forum to spark further dialogue with viewers of the portal. The target audience for this portal includes policy makers, think tanks, academics and associations representing small-holder farmers. Towards achieving these outputs, the project team engaged in the following activities: • Developed a long-list of relevant programs globally where attempts were made successfully/unsuccessfully to include small-holder farmers in the policy-making process. • Developed a case summary template that will be followed by all summaries to ensure structural consistency. Each summary will answer five key questions i.e. what the issue is, what process was used to include small-holder voices, what was the outcome of this process, what lessons were learnt, and is this process sustainable. • Following this, the ACET team has developed 10 case summaries on diverse issues/geographies • Simultaneously, the ACET Communications team and design team developed a mock-up for the planned portal after extensive research on similar engagement portals. • A demo version has been developed that will incorporate the 10 case summaries developed by the research team. The ACET management team will review this demo and give feedback that will be used to activate the online marketplace/portal by spring 2020. • Along with the development of case summaries and the online portal, the ACET team is also ramping up its engagement with other institutions in this space with the aim to create a network of partners that could engage on the portal and develop case-summaries that will feature on it. • Throughout this process, the ACET Global Scan team worked closely with the team engaged on the market linkages study to leverage synergies where possible. Post completion of the Ghana and Kenya study in early-2020, the Global Scan team will engage with stakeholders in these countries and nudge them to use the portal to exchange ideas/views. Market Linkages: The Market linkages studies undertook two key activities: (i) A scoping study and (ii) A field data collection and analysis exercise. Following the finalization of the Project Management Plan (PMP), writing of the background papers, and completion of the scoping study for Ghana and Kenya in the previous quarters, the team finalized the analysis of the results from the field studies and interview of small-holder farmers and traders in both Ghana and Kenya. A report each for Ghana and Kenya was produced which identified key knowledge gaps that informed the design of data collection instruments to bridge these gaps Highlighted below are some activities undertaken during the field work: -The questionnaires were administered to farmers and traders. -In Ghana 99 farmers and 33 traders were interviewed across 8 districts representing a balance of agro-ecological and geographies of Ghana -In Kenya 111 farmers and 54 traders were interviewed across 9 counties representing agro-ecological zones and geographies of Kenya Global Scan: The technical specifications for the OSF Global Scan portal have been finalized with feedback from ACET staff incorporated. Adequate content has been developed in preparation for the launch of the portal. The team engaged with 7-9 stakeholders within our network via email or Skype to share details on the portal and its objectives and to also obtain their views on the portal. Further engagement is planned for following the launch of the portal to offer these stakeholders a concrete digital property for engagements. Going forward, the team will focus on preparing for a physical launch of the portal i.e. potential locations, stakeholder list, budget. Following the launch, our prime focus will be on active management of the portal and engagement with stakeholders to develop more content and drive discussions. Market Linkages: In this quarter, the zero-draft report of the market linkages study was completed and internally reviewed. The report is currently being revised following loopholes identified by the reviewers. The team is likely to undertake a follow-up stakeholder consultation to bridge gaps in the report that require engagement with stakeholders. Global Scan: The team in Q2 2020 focused on preparing for a physical launch of the portal. There was however a change in strategy to undertake a virtual launch considering the advent of covid 19. Market Linkages: Based on the field report, the researchers produced two draft country reports, which have gone through two internal reviews and one external review. A final review meeting will be held in October to finalize the reports. Q3 2020 Global Scan: The Global Scan portal was launched virtually on July 15, 2020. Work is ongoing for additional content curation for the portal while scouting for means to drive intellectual discourses on the portal. The Market linkages study: A final online review meeting has been planned for October before the reports are finalized. The team focused on logistical preparation and content development for the webinar this quarter. Q4 2020 Global Scan. The last quarter of the year focused on internal discussions with management on how to assimilate the portal into PACT and our advocacy programs in general. As part of the broader ACET Strategy, it was agreed that recruitment would commence for a Knowledge Manager to oversee the portal and engagement with policy makers around the outputs of this and other projects. The Market linkages study: In Q4, the Market linkages team completed draft country reports for Ghana and Kenya. This was followed with virtual country validation workshops on October 13th and 27th for Ghana and Kenya respectively. The report was reviewed internally and finalized after feedback from the workshop had been incorporated by the country researchers. By close of the year, the team had designed an outline of the synthesis report and production of the draft synthesis report was ongoing. Q1 2021 Market linkages The market linkages country reports (Ghana and Kenya) have been finalized and a draft synthesis report produced. The synthesis report, which is undergoing internal reviews highlights lessons learned and policy directions from the market studies in the two countries. Planning for a two-day, two-hour, policy learning event in May or June is also underway. Global Scan With the portal live, the objective is to continue to update content and increase audience engagement. We are working to get more contributions from the private sector/development partners as content pieces for the portal. One such potential partner, Agromovil, is a mobile supply chain platform that helps farmers connect with buyers to see new opportunities, sell direct, and find optimized transport to get products to customers around the world. The team discussed the development of 3 case studies in Agromovil’s work in Honduras, Tanzania and Columbia. Q2 2021 Market linkages: The second draft of the synthesis report was finalized in Q2. The report highlights lessons learned and policy directions from the market studies in the two countries. The 2nd draft has further been reviewed and finalized after feedback from a policy learning event convened in June 2021 was integrated. All reports are undergoing editorials and will be published before close of the year. Policy Learning Event: Upon finalizing the 2nd draft of the synthesis report, ACET during the month of June 2021 held a virtual policy learning event that brought together experts and senior officials from key government ministries, department and agencies (both study countries - Ghana and Kenya and non-study countries -Tanzania, Uganda, Burkina Faso), broad range of smallholder farmers and their representatives on the continents, cooperatives, financial institutions, civil society organizations, academia, industry players, innovators in agriculture, and the media to share and learn. A key outcome from the policy learning event was the need for a strong platform for advocacy as smallholders are often deserted in discourses on the future of agriculture and policymaking at numerous levels. It also emerged that political economy posed more challenges to smallholders. More specifically, it was revealed that: • The politics of agriculture to a significant extent trumped policy. • Policy inconsistencies represent a major challenge in Kenya’s agricultural sector • The emergence of monopolies, despite the presence of an anti-competition regulator, has been attributed to policy capture by business interests. • Agricultural challenges did not emanate from a lack of policy and legislation but the lack of will power and capacity to implement existing policies • Devolution is creating new challenges as county policies may not align with national policies GLOBAL SCAN In Q2, we secured a case study of Tanzania agricultural market from Agromovil, which is undergoing reviews and will be published on the platform for continuous engagement. Q4 2021 Setting up the Pan-African Coalition for Transformation (PACT) platform for agriculture The PACT is an institutional approach adopted by ACET to present experiences and knowledge garnered from our research, promote knowledge sharing among policy makers and to improve evidence-based policy initiatives for Africa’s economic transformation. The PACT Agriculture platform will be an online platform for engaging stakeholders. Policy learning events also remain one of the approaches that the ACET- PACT has used over the years. In 2021, ACET undertook a revision of our institutional strategy which affected the implementation of the platform. The new strategy called for the need to revamp our institutional website to encompass the PACT platform as a common repository for engaging stakeholders on the outcome of the study and for accessing other institutional data and information. The main objective of this exercise was for ACET to remain agile and digitally resilient amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the launch of the platform which was planned for autumn last year has been postponed to the end of the first quarter 2022. Below are some activities undertaken so far: • The PACT agriculture platform has been incorporated as a project component under the Agriculture Portfolio 2022-25 which has been approved by ACET’s senior management. The Smallholder Voices in Policy Dialogue project is a key part of the activities in this component. • A policy learning event was held in June 2021 as a precursor to the actual launch of the platform. • Engaged a knowledge manager to coordinate the PACT Agriculture activities. • Established a cross center PACT team that will support the design, inception, launch, and implementation phases of the agricultural PACT. The PACT team will also support ACET’s knowledge manager in monitoring and evaluating progress of the individual PACT chapters. • Initiated the drafting of an updated institutional PACT strategy and implementation plan


The objective of the study is to undertake a Global Scan and a Market Linkages Analysis

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