Africa Lead Learning Series and the New LINK Award
During October 29-30, 2019, Africa Lead held three Learning Series events reflecting on over six years of programming to share lessons learned and new opportunities and challenges for African-led agricultural transformation. The Learning Series brought together speakers representing Africa Lead, USAID, the African Union Commission, research institutes, the private sector, and a number of African partner organizations. The events kicked off with a session on Supporting Country-Led Agricultural Transformation, which highlighted Africa Lead’s highly successful efforts to strengthen policy systems through facilitative leadership and capacity building programs, institutional architecture assessment and planning tools, and supportive joint sector review processes. For example, by 2019, Africa Lead’s leadership training reached 26,000 emerging African agriculture leaders and supported 6,000 institutions from 42 countries. For proceedings, videos, and other resources from the event, visit the Africa Leading on Agriculture event page.
The second event compared resilience approaches and interventions in stable versus fragile states, using Kenya and South Sudan as case studies. Success in both cases often resulted from bringing multiple sectors and stakeholders together to develop joint planning and mutual accountability commitments. The final session featured learning experiences from Kenya, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda where Africa Lead’s Institutional Architecture Assessment, Prioritization, and Planning (IA-APP) toolkit was piloted to promote a participatory, multi-stakeholder self-assessment process. Common threads that were key to the success of the IA-APP process were including a diversity of stakeholders from design to planning and from implementation to post-workshop activities.
The work of Africa Lead provides the soft infrastructure that is too often overlooked or underappreciated in bolstering country capacity and commitments to deliver on food security outcomes. While Africa Lead will close out this year, BFS recently awarded a new five-year activity - Feed the Future Policy Leadership, Interactions, Networks, and Knowledge (Policy LINK) - to continue and build upon efforts to strengthen the leadership capacity of public, private, and civil society actors and foster collective action among them to transform local policy systems. LINK is a $38.5 million cooperative agreement, global in scope, has core funding from BFS to implement core services, and is a five-year, buy-in mechanism available to USAID Missions, Bureaus and Operating Units for expanded activities. LINK will run through October 2024. For more information about how LINK can support your Mission programs and strategic objectives, please contact either the AOR at [email protected] or the COP at [email protected].