Browse by Theme: Food Security

Having finished up a week of intense discussions on cash programming in Geneva earlier this month, I have to say that even I, a cash advisor who is avidly passionate about cash-based programming, am all “cashed out!” However, there is one major takeaway from the Global Cash Forum that I can’t help thinking about. I was struck by how much the discussion about how best to deliver cash at scale efficiently and effectively dominated the whole day – and for good reason.

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CARE International provides humanitarian and development assistance in 79 countries around the world. We are committed to evidence-based delivery, continuous improvement, value for money, and providing appropriate, flexible aid to communities. So cash was always going to be on the agenda for us.

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A baseline study is more than an assessment of reference values against future progress and an expected impact. It represents the narrative about the context of the project, the stakeholders and the key challenges in delivery. It should be seen as the starting point – the first milestone – in a journey of learning, adapting, improving, and delivering impact. It outlines the starting point of the project and it sets the foundation for the whole M&E framework and its tools, methodologies and sources of information for both tracking inputs delivery and large-scale changes. Given the complexity of such endeavour, this blog presents some key observations that apply to most development projects dealing with heightened variability and uncontrollable external forces.

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How can we make sure that in a developing country that is economically and socially dependent on a single commodity, this becomes a development driver rather than a curse?

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The global food system has failed. Almost two billion people are malnourished. In 2014, 161 million children were stunted because they did not get proper nutrition. At the same time, enormous amounts of food are lost post-harvest, or go to waste in the richer world.

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Information about past, present and future climate conditions can be a key tool for communities to plan for and adapt to climate change. But critics question the value of climate science, claiming it is too complex, overly technical and not practical enough to be useful. Why does climate science provoke such strong reactions? And how can we unlock the potential value of accessible and usable climate information?

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In 2011, it took 16 official warnings of a food security crisis before famine was finally declared in Somalia. The human cost of this was at least 260,000 lives, half of which belonged to young children. The financial cost of this was at least three times more than it would have been had early preventive action been taken. The Guardian dubbed it ‘the avoidable disaster’ and NGOs, donors and the international community at large swore it would never happen again. Yet three years later, we find ourselves in uncomfortably familiar territory.

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