Launch of the Platform of analysis and measurement of population resilience in Sahel, West Africa

By Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

The Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS), with the technical and financial support of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has launched a technical Platform for the analysis and measurement of resilience of populations in the Sahel and West Africa (PTMR-SAO). The two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which marks the beginning of joint activities in March 2016.

This platform represents a unique opportunity for producing harmonized and consensual information and analysis at national and regional levels. Those analyses will contribute to better guide investments oriented to reinforce populations' resilience, and to assess the impact of ongoing policies as well.

Furthermore, this platform represents the basis of a more global and inclusive process for the construction of a harmonized and consensual tool to measure resilience in the Sahel and West Africa in the framework of the Global Alliance for Resilience Initiative (AGIR), as it was recommended by the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA), after its meeting of December 2013 held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

According to the Executive Secretary of CILSS, Dr Djimé Adoum, the launching of the platform gives a new impulse to the efforts driven by the governments in the region: “To develop a methodology and tools, both consensual and adapted to the regional context, is crucial for decision makers. Our objective is to provide the necessary information to adequately guide the policies aiming to reinforce population's resilience in the Sahel and West Africa.”

Both organizations would like through this platform, to promote the synergies among regional and international partners active in the field of resilience.

Mr. Vincent Martin, FAO Representative in Senegal and Head of the sub-regional resilience Team for West Africa/Sahel (REOWA), adds: “In the context of repeated shocks faced by the most vulnerable populations, this multi-sectoral and inclusive approach will allow to better orientate the interventions aiming to guarantee food security and nutrition in a sustainable manner.”

A series of consultations will soon be organized at national and regional levels to identify the necessary data to undertake analysis and measurement of resilience at all levels, as well as, to define the analytic framework for measuring resilience in the region.

To ensure a genuine ownership of the new tools and methods, this initiative will focus on reinforcing the skills of the countries' institutes of statistics, the national units in charge of food security analysis, the ministries of agriculture, the universities, research centers and inter-governmental and international organizations. These different actors will play a key role in conducting the national exercises of resilience measurement and analysis in Burkina Faso, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Chad in an initial phase, as all countries from the CILSS-WAEMU-ECOWAS region should be covered. Nigeria has already shown interest in being part of the group of the six (6) countries, and beyond the Sahel and West Africa region, Cameroon has also shown interest in the topic of measuring resilience taking into account the importance of the crisis which currently affects the Lake Chad basin.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between CILSS and FAO, marking the launch of the platform, follows a regional workshop organized in Dakar which brought together delegations from the six countries mentioned above directly targeted by the platform, as well as Cameroon and Nigeria which have increased their awareness on the methodology used to analyze resilience. The workshop has enabled to finalize the programming of resilience measurement and analysis exercises at country level.

The launching of the platform marks another step forward in the longstanding collaboration between FAO and CILSS, centered on the analysis, prevention and mitigation measures for food insecurity in West Africa and the Sahel. In this respect, the development of the Cadre Harmonisé for the analysis and identification of zones and populations facing food and nutrition insecurity in West Africa and the Sahel represents an example of joint success.

Developed progressively in the region since 2004, it allows a regular follow-up of food and nutrition security in seventeen countries of the CILSS, WAEMU and ECOWAS. The FAO-CILSS collaboration falls under the European Union — FAO partnership programme: Information for Nutrition Food Security and Resilience for Decision Making (INFORMED).

Useful link: CILSS; FAO Africa; FAO/Resilience