Improving the Effectiveness of Rural Development and Food Security Projects
Title: Sector Project Secretariat – Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Overall term: 2016 to 2019
Global food security is one of the greatest challenges that we face. Climate change, crises, conflicts and violence, as well as a slowdown in economic growth and other structural problems are considered to be the main contributors for the growing number of people suffering from hunger worldwide.
A possible approach to the problem is development-oriented structural change in rural areas. Rural development and a strong agricultural sector reduce poverty and provide the basis for sustainable, environmentally and socially compatible economic development. This poses challenges for international donors. Close coordination processes are necessary to increase the effectiveness of the development efforts. Donors need to cooperate more closely on programmes and priorities and coordinate their actions. This approach is based on the Paris Declaration on the basic principles of effective cooperation and its follow-up declarations of Accra, Ghana and Busan, South Korea.
The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development was established in 2003 with the goal of bringing together donors and other relevant organisations in the field of rural development and food security. The network is intended to establish a closer exchange and coordination of development policy programmes. The thematic priorities are based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The members determine the topics on which they want to cooperate. One of the goals is also to make donors recognise the importance of rural development in combating hunger and poverty and encourage them to act accordingly. This commitment of the global community of donors is a prerequisite for the tangible improvement of the quality of life and prospects of the rural population in developing countries.
The members of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development are actively involved in the international discussion on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other development policy processes. They coordinate with each other and thus contribute to increasing the effectiveness of the action against hunger in the world.
The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development currently consists of 40 international members from the field of international development cooperation. It provides them with a platform for informal discussions and enables them share knowledge and experiences. The substantive work takes place in working groups. Among the issues addressed are the topics of the 2030 Agenda, issues relating to agricultural development and trade of agricultural products, climate change challenges and the role of the youth in rural areas. The network primarily uses digital media to communicate with its members and provide information for the public. In addition, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development also organises its own events and hosts webinars. The working groups participate in international conferences or publish joint studies or position statements on important topics in the fields of rural development, agriculture and food security. The Secretariat coordinates and supports the organisational aspects of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development.
- The project has contributed to closer interaction between members and partners. This has led to the development of common positions and innovative, pioneering concepts.
- The project has successfully supported the platform members in highlighting the value of rural development and food security for the overall development of society in the partner countries.
- The members of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development are actively involved in the discussion on the 2030 Agenda and coordinate their efforts in this regard. Among other things, they are actively involved in designing the SDG2 roadmap initiative to eliminate hunger worldwide.
- The issue of land rights has in the meantime been included in the global sustainability agenda. The donor community has more flexibility to address new topics, for example the discussion on youth employment in rural areas initiated during Germany’s G20 Presidency in 2018.
- There is an increasing number of discussions about rural structural change, gender equality and new financing options for implementing sustainability goals.
- Several studies were designed, for example, on an inclusive agricultural economy that also involves minorities and socially disadvantaged groups. Other studies focus on empowering women in agriculture.
- By participating in the coordination group of the agricultural development programme of the African Union, the cooperation was able to demonstrably improve its effectiveness.
- According to the OECD (2018), the international donor community has recently significantly increased its investments in the agricultural sector.