Leading up to the General Assembly of the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) this week on Friday, 6 September 2019, a two-day Knowledge Share Fair is being held in Nairobi.
The event is a precursor to the 10th IDDRSI Platform Steering Committee (PSC) meeting during which the second phase of the Initiative will be launched. Revised Platform documents that include Country Programming Papers, Regional Programming Paper and the IDDRSI Strategy will also be disseminated for the first time.
Specific objectives of the Resilience Knowledge Share Fair include disseminating resilience good practices and lessons learnt from the IGAD region to increase knowledge on better preparedness and response to drought and other shocks affecting communities, as well as increase the evidence base about different thematic areas to influence the development of policies, scaling of good practices and design of future resilience interventions.
The Fair will also be used to strengthen linkages between resilience actors in the IGAD region to promote a culture of learning and knowledge exchange. It responds to recommendations made by the last meeting of the PSC held in May 2018, on the need to conduct regional learning events on best practices for effective coordination of IDDRSI.
The PSC also called for promotion of knowledge management for informed decision making and investment; and the need to liaise with other partners to organize drought resilience learning events to review and share knowledge on lessons learnt and good practices in resilience programming.
Within the framework of the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), IGAD is intensively promoting inter-state cooperation to facilitate cross-border development, which is also consistent with the objectives of the African Union Convention on Cross-border Cooperation (The Niamey Convention). Consequently, a number of projects have been initiated in various cross-border areas of the region. In order to systematically manage the cross-border projects, IGAD has mainstreamed a cluster approach that was initiated by one of its Specialized Institutions, CEWARN. Currently, there are eight clusters where different levels IGAD-led interventions are under-way.
With support from Development Partners, there has been a significant improvement in the coordination of the resilience building initiatives by stakeholders in the region. Some examples include:
The establishment of technical working groups: IGAD established the Cross-Border Cooperation Working Group (CBCWG) that brings together all IGAD Divisions and Specialized Institutions that have active projects and programme in cross-border areas of the IGAD region. The over-arching objective of the CBCWG is to support IGAD’s cross-border resilience-enhancing initiatives among the communities that inhabit the borderlands. As a technical advisory group, the CBCWG plays supportive role in the design and implementation of IGAD cross-border interventions. A Knowledge Management Working Group (KMWG) has also been established, to strengthen the creative use of knowledge management to enhance business processes and contribute to the achievement of IGAD’s goals. The KMWG is helping to transform the IGAD Secretariat into a learning organization that promotes innovation, research and evidence-based decision making processes.
The Migration Technical Working Group (MTWG) was set up in 2016. The major achievements include: launch of crosscutting studies coordinated within the forum e.g. climate change and human mobility, land governance resilience nexus etc. The MTWG also participated in the IDDRSI knowledge share fair, which improved the understanding of perceptions on migration. Programming will soon be going into cross-border areas through support of the German Government.
Cross-border dialogues and consultative meetings have been held in IGAD clusters. These forums have created a common platform to discuss development issues in the clusters; and create joint understanding of contexts. These cross-border actions adhere to the principles of multi-stakeholder platforms that promote participatory approaches and accommodate diversity. Consequently, the voice of grassroots communities is heard and harmonized with the views and opinions of actors in the formal systems.
Bringing all pillars of resilience together through an annual resilience share fair: In 2018, IGAD launched an annual resilience share fair. Around sixty participants from the IGAD Secretariat and Member States attended the fair, whose theme was “Strengthening Cross-border Cooperation in the IGAD Clusters.” The main projects that supported this fair were the World Bank funded Regional Pastoralists Livelihood Resilience Project (RPLRP) and the SDC funded IGAD-FAO Partnerships Programme, as well as GIZ.
RPLRP aims to enhance livelihood resilience of pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in cross-border drought prone areas of Selected Countries in the IGAD region improve the capacity of the Countries’ governments to respond promptly and effectively to an Eligible Crisis or Emergency. The project is multidisciplinary and tried to address four components: (1) Natural resources management; (2) market access and trade; (3) livelihood support, pastoral risk management, and (4) project management and institutional support. It has been implemented in the three project countries (Kenya, Ethiopia & Uganda) since 2015 and already achieved some outcomes with scalable good practices.
The Fair is divided into four segments, namely:
Keynote and panel discussions: will be held, featuring major resilience good practices, the nexus between resilience and migration, lessons from implementing the cross-border approach in the IGAD region, and introduction to IDDRSI’s priority intervention area on Human Capital, Gender and Social Development (Access to health and nutrition, Access to education and training, Promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, Social safety nets, and Migration and displacement).
Poster session: A poster session is a presentation in poster format, usually combining text and graphics. It engages presenters and participants in a conversation around the content of the poster. Posters will be drawn from the main intervention components of RPLRP in the three countries: (1) Natural resources management; (2) market access and trade; (3) livelihood support, pastoral risk management, and (4) project management and institutional support.
Knowledge café: This is an open, creative, facilitator-led conversation to share ideas through collaborative dialogue in a relaxed café-like environment. The value of the café is in the conversation itself and the learning that each individual takes away. During the knowledge café, participants, select a number of cafes to visit based on their interest. The ‘Host’ spends time explaining / demonstrating the technique, tool or practice, after which everyone participates in a conversation to ask questions, share their thoughts and suggestions. A note-taker, appointed in advance by the organizing committee, will help to capture the learning.
Exhibition: An exhibition will be held to showcase the outputs of different regional projects, with the spotlight on RPLRP, which will use this as an opportunity to disseminate the knowledge products produced over the life of the project. An estimated 12 regional projects that are implemented with direct involvement of IGAD will be showcased at the exhibition, which will take place throughout the PSC and GA meetings 4-6 September 2019.
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