Its been a while since I posted and its all because I was cycling through the research project.
A little update. I have started working on producing results for my research project, where I was reviewing IFAD project documents and identifying areas of success in engaging rural youth and areas that can be further strengthened. From what I have reviewed thus far, IFAD has made significant efforts in engaging youth through its investments. There is more that can still be done.
If you have been following the development agenda, you will have noticed that mentions of youth have been sparking everywhere. This is because young people are still facing interlocked forms of discrimination, limited political inclusion, high levels of poverty, limited access to health systems, educational opportunities and decent jobs IFAD (2007). As we know young people are the ‘now’ and the ‘future’. It is essential that organisations such as IFAD align their investments to ensure that the livelihoods of young people are sustained.
The Annual General Assembly of the Global Donor Platform for rural development was held in Berlin on the 13 – 14 June 2018 . The event was titled “Young and ready to move- empowering the new generation in the rural space“. The video below provides some of the key messages that came from the meeting.
The exciting thing about working at IFAD – there is always something happening. Which means you’re always learning something new.
Last week our division- Environment, Climate, Gender and Social Inclusion (ECG) hosted a change lecture titled: Solid research for solid programming. The lecture was co-organized with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), the guests were:
Peter Läderach holds an Msc in Geography and a PhD in Tropical Agriculture. Peter is currently the theme leader for Climate Change at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT). Peter’s passion is conducting research that leads to visible impacts on the ground, that is why his research supports private sector, NGO’s, governments and multinational agencies to take evidence-based decisions and deliver impact on the ground.
Le Nghiem is a research associate in the field of ecosystem services and climate information services Asia office in Hanoi, Vietnam. Le holds an MSc from the National University of Singapore and has broad research experience in the fields of climate risk vulnerability assessment in rural landscape, ecosystem services modelling, and sustainable consumption. She has authored 10 research papers in peer reviewed journals.
The lecture was on determining how Agriculture Research for Development (AR4D) efforts effectively support IFAD’s programming needs.
What stood out for me in the lecture were the strategies used to engage with the private sector, these were related to:
Development of new Enterprises/support to start-up businesses to be run by capable individuals or farmer groups in the community
The enhancement of exsting micro, small, medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs)
Leverage investment of non-MSMEs
Leverage resources from microfinance institutions (MFIs) and Commercial banks
It interesting how IFAD investments plays a role in helping large private corporations direct their investments in a way that enhances inclusive development of rural communities. These engagement strategies are also helpful in defining strategies to engage rural communities. A paper was published: The Business Advantage that provides findings on these studies.
There is growing need to engage youth across sectors. Ensuring that their voices are heard, skills and expertise valued. But who exactly is targeted when you refer to youth?
Literature highlights that, youth are a diverse group of individuals, with different experiences, drivers, aspirations, challenges which essentially leads to their varied ideas . While there is this difference, there is also a class difference among youth – the rural and urban youth.
The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), characterizes the rural youth as those that tend to be poorly educated and underemployed, in relation to urban youth; are threatened by conflict in their countries; and are faced with major health-related issues including malnutrition, malaria and HIV/AID. The disadvantage among rural youth is exacerbated by less opportunities, limited access to facilities and are more vulnerable to disasters and effects of climate change.
Urban youth on the other hand, are those faced with the issue unemployment, are better educated and can access the labour market. Drawing on these two groups of youth, how do programming ensure that the needs of both groups are met? That the idealized “youth are the future” cuts across all youth?
On that note, I shall share soon some of the innovative approaches that can address these pivotal questions.
“Adaptation done well, cuts across all sectors” – Benjamin Sovacool
I attended a change lecture last week titled: When Climate Change Adaptation goes wrong: A case study for Bangladesh. The Lecture was presented by Prof Benjamin Sovacool from the University of Sussex. The lecture presented best options to adapt to climate change, taking into account the current options in Bangladesh.
Benjamin presented the four E’s approach from a study that they conducted – Bamboo Beating Bandit . The four E’s are: Enclosure, Exclusion, Encroachment, and Entrenchment, these are the processes that hinder adaptation efforts in Bangladesh. Enclosure is the process in which public assets are privatized; exclusion refers to limitations in access resources and participating in decision-making processes; encroachment refers to the damaging of natural resources such as biodiversity rich areas; and entrenchment is based on inequalities or efforts that lead to dis-empowerment of women or minorities.
The main insights from the lecture, were:
That Adaptation is inter twinned with global pressures
Often the villain is the local actor and that there is need to shift from the idea that the local actors are always in need
The four E’s are interconnected
That adaptation interventions can require their own future adaptation in a perpetual cycle- which suggests that often doing nothing could be the better solution
This lecture feeds into my research which looks at how aspects of climate adaptation are achieved and how best they should be achieved. It was interesting to hear that often doing nothing could have been the better option, atleast in the case of Bangladesh
After all the hassle trying to get a visa for Italy, I have finally arrived in Rome. I started my research internship at IFAD and I am still finding my feet. The organisation has a huge network of interns whom have been very supportive in helping me settle in.
I met my supervisor yesterday – Ilaria Firmian and we tried to determine the objectives of my research. It’s still not clear yet what my research will entail but Rome was not built in a day, so the research will be thrashed out with due time.
The main objective is to develop a transformation framework that will help in mainstreaming gender, youth, nutrition and climate change outcomes. I am conducting a literature review that focuses on transformation for the rural sector, the different mainstreaming approaches, and the effectiveness of these approaches. I am also trying to see how value chain approaches can be integrated in the development of the framework.
I will share my findings of this literature in the coming week.