Synergy and Alignment tool shows how the Pacific agricultural sector can achieve greater impact through effective collaboration

Synergy & Alignment Principle: Impact as a function of the ability to align and create synergy and use each other’s work to take it a step further.

A baseline study initiated within the “Promoting Nutritious Food Systems in Pacific Islands” project, also referred to as the Innov4AgPacific project, together with Trimpact* used the cloud based Development Synergy and Alignment (S&A) Tool (DevSAT®), to map the data collected from the Fiji Agriculture-Nutrition Rapid Scan. The scan had identified 34 agriculture and nutrition programmes and projects operating within Fiji. Based on available information, a selection of 16 projects for this pilot was made. The S&A principle is best explained by comparing the existing situation (baseline) with the preferred, that is the expected impact at the end of a project or intervention.

The challenge for policy makers and the public and private stakeholders in the Pacific Islands agricultural sector is to work closer together to increase impact.

In the ideal situation, stakeholders working in a given territory, should have an overview of all ongoing projects and initiatives as related to the actual needs and goals of that territory to contribute to value chain development. This could help to increase efficiencies and avoid duplication of efforts.

In reality, a number of projects/ initiatives exist (at different levels of scale), with their own specific Logical Frameworks and Theories of Changes, but the interaction and opportunities for synergy and alignment between them are not clear. Moreover, in most cases, the results and lessons learned obtained in the field, become available at least half a year after the project has ended.

Mapping collaboration and complementarity

The goal of the Innov4AgPacific project is to develop and implement strategies and programmes and mobilise financing and support services that enable small-scale farmers to upgrade local food production and fisheries, engage in profitable agricultural and fisheries value chains and sustain access to competitive markets.

The maps and information generated through this pilot, provide a valuable baseline, which can be used for strengthening collaboration and tracking the progress in improving S&A between projects and partners. The Innov4AgPacific project, for example aligns most with the ongoing initiativesof the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Health, National Food and Nutrition Centre (NFNC), Fiji Crop and Livestock Council (FCLC), the Pacific Community (SPC (POETCom)) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) (among others, see for details in the report).

Overview of the locations of the mapped projects.

The pilot shows that opportunities exist to strengthen partnerships at national and regional level to develop and implement strategies to expand domestic markets (home consumption, school, tourism/hospitality); increase productivity; improve product and process efficiency; enhance earnings; address the food and nutrition challenges confronting the region; and build on lessons from successful projects including other IFAD projects to achieve the desired impact.

Capturing lessons learned from projects

During the pilot, the possibility to capture lessons learned has been added as a new feature in DevSAT®. This could be used to capture good practices during the implementation, build the project documentation and provide further insights on the policy, regulatory and institutional constraints and changes.

Potential for regional collaboration

Although the DevSAT® pilot mapping of baseline data is focusing on Fiji, it shows the opportunities that the Innov4AgPacific project working in collaboration with other projects and key stakeholders could offer for upscaling and increasing impact of value chain development in the region.

Next steps

For the Innov4AgPacific project to capture the complex world of all the programmes and projects involving multiple stakeholders and deliver on an interactive theory of change, a step-by-step approach is needed for improving transparency and making project details more open to other partners and vice-versa. This is critical for strengthening collaboration to achieve the desired outcomes.

Download the full report here.

* Trimpact is a social enterprise aiming to increase synergy and alignment of the various actors in the realization of development plans in developing countries.

 

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