June 27, 2018: A High-Level Panel of Experts (HLPE) for Food Security and Nutrition, the science-policy interface of the United Nations’ Committee on World Food Security, released a report today exploring the pathways through which multi-stakeholder partnerships can contribute to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 – Zero Hunger (SDG2). Madhura Swaminathan, Chairperson of M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, co-authored the HLPE report titled, ‘Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships to Finance and Improve Food Security and Nutrition in the Framework of the 2030 Agenda’. The report was released today at the headquarters of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, in Rome.
Multi-stakeholder partnerships (MSPs) are a relatively new approach intended to complement efforts of governments and international organisations, particularly in developing countries, in the field of food security and nutrition (FSN), which would help achieve not only SDG2 but also the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The HLPE sifted through information collected from various knowledge holders globally, across scientific disciplines and professional experiences and arrived at the findings and recommendations of the report after inclusive and continuous dialogue between the HLPE experts, including its steering committee, project team and external peer reviewers.
Considering several aspects, including the definition of MSPs, their relevance, potential benefits and limitations and the conditions in which they can contribute effectively to achieving food security and nutrition, the HLPE report says MSPs should be seen as a means and not a goal in itself.
Besides the recommendations made by the HLPE, the report also provides “useful tools for governments and non-state actors to collect and share information on MSPs following a common methodology”.
Here are the key recommendations of the HLPE:
As MSPs provide additional financial support apart from public investment, they should be a part of strategies, plans and programmes across sectors to achieve FSN. To thus enhance the MSPs’ contribution to financing and improving FSN, here’s what can be done.
Establish a policy framework to ensure that MSPs effectively contribute to the progressive realisation of the right to adequate food.
Improve mobilisation, coordination and targeting of financing for FSNs through MSPs
Strengthen transparency and accountability in MSPs through effective governance and management principles
Increase the impact of MSPs through effective monitoring, evaluation and experience sharing
Integrate different forms of knowledge and explore further areas of research on MSPs to finance and improve FSN
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation, whose chairperson Madhura Swaminathan is one of the authors of the HLPE, has had a food security programme since 2004-2005. The programme studies macro issues based largely on secondary sources of data, identifies areas needing policy interventions while conducting participatory research in the community to develop new approaches, methodologies or techniques and taking into consideration the ground level reality in locations where MSSRF’s community-based interventions are being implemented.
MSSRF is also the lead partner in LANSA (Leveraging Agriculture for Nutrition in South Asia), a consortium of six organisations researching how agriculture and agri-food systems can be better designed to advance nutrition; and working through policy advocacy interventions and strategies to improve the nutritional status of children in South Asia.
M S Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) established in 1988 is a not-for-profit trust. MSSRF was envisioned and founded by Professor M S Swaminathan, agriculture scientist with proceeds from the First World Food Prize that he received in 1987.