The Local Food System

The development of a Local Food System is the process through which better nutritional health is achieved at the local level. It is a process used by the F4F program and supported by the planned participative interventions involving the multiple stakeholders. These intervention are subject to recurrent basic stages (Evaluation, planning, funding, implementation and monitoring). They are adapted to provide support and strategic assistance to the implementation of projects.

Evaluation

The purpose of the evaluation is to map the situation and the local food system as well as determining required investments and the existing or necessary funding mechanisms needed to strengthen the local or regional food system. This evaluation requires to get a snapshot of the stakeholders based on opportunities, challenges, constraints and the capacities of the public and the private sector and also of the local farmers and civil society to support the proposed investments. The missing links and the necessary investments to strengthen the four pillars of food and nutritional security will be identified. A set of catalytic investments is identified and the stakeholders are held accountable.

Planification

The general overview of the planning process of the F4F program, independently from the institutional context, includes the following steps:
Evaluation of the local Food System, with its strengths and weaknesses;
Defining the potential scope of intervention of the local administration;
Additional evaluation of the scope of the proposed interventions (ex: specific areas and household profiles, etc.);
Definition and planning of specific interventions;
The programming of resources and public-private or public-public partnerships.

Funding

The UNCDF investment mandate offers an important flexibility and provides with a wide variety of Financial instruments as well as proven arrangements in matters of the management of public finance. See the Financial Tools section for more informations.

Implementation

The implementation of the F4F program requires a combination of public interventions and/or private of different nature. The interventions highlight the need to support the role of local governments through a multi-stakeholder approach. Addressing food and nutritional security more efficiently requires a sustainable inter-sectoral action, strong leadership, coalitions and strong institutional and operative capacities. Local alliances between farmers and their organizations, non-state actors, local governments and the private sector are designed to then be supported by high level partners. These alliances require a capacity building process which builds on mutual trust. The role of each stakeholder is clearly identified as well as the options to strengthen each one. This stage stems directly from the preliminary evaluation of the local food system, which allows the project team to transform the needs into practical interventions.

Monitoring/Evaluation

Strengthening the efficiency of monitoring and evaluation requires the designing of systems and tools adapted to the needs and long-term capacities of the local stake-holders. The tools developed by the program are integrated in the practices put in place by the local stake-holders and depart from the approaches of certain donators.

Stories from the Field