The WFP Centre of Excellence against Hunger and the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) of Columbia University are working together to assess South-South initiatives to eliminate hunger in West Africa. More specifically, a SIPA workshop team is analysing the WFP Centre’s South-South cooperation methodology in advancing national public policies on food and nutrition security in three countries: Benin, Togo, and Senegal.
As part of this assessment, a group of students participated in a study visit to Brazil on 12-15 March, and another one went to Benin and Togo on 11-16 March. The group visiting Brazil had meetings with representatives of the WFP Centre of Excellence and the Brazilian government, to get familiar with the Centre’s approach and tools and with the Brazilian policies that inspire South-South cooperation efforts.
The group visiting Benin and Togo investigated domestic contextual elements related to the design and implementation of food and nutrition security policies, including legislation, programme design, and financial resources. The research team had meetings with the WFP country offices and representatives of the governments of both countries.
In Benin, the team went to different towns to see first-hand the school feeding programme, visit schools and hold meetings with school staff and representatives of the Department of Primary Education and the Direction of School Feeding. In Togo, they also visited schools and met with representatives of the government, including the Ministry of Development and school feeding focal points. They had the chance to exchange information with the school management committee, the parents’ association, and a group of female school cooks.
In Brazil, researchers had meetings with governmental institutions responsible for the school feeding programme, technical assistance to smallholder farmers, and social development, as well as the Brazilian Cooperation Agency. They also participated in the International Seminar: Sustainability of School Feeding Programmes in CPLP Countries. The event took place in Salvador, Bahia state, and gathered representatives of ministries of education from the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
As a result of the partnership between the WFP Centre of Excellence and Columbia University, the SIPA team will prepare a report with key findings regarding the Centre’s methodology and its impacts in Benin, Togo, and Senegal. The report will also include a set of recommendations to improve the Centre’s approach to South-South cooperation for Zero Hunger.