Ten-Year Testimonials: Billy Hall
As part of the Agrilinks 10-year anniversary, we are celebrating with testimonials from some of our top users. Read on to hear from Billy Hall, an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) science and technology policy fellow working in the USAID Bureau for Resilience and Food Security as a policy and communications advisor. The following is a transcript of a 10-year anniversary video series. The full video can be played at the bottom of the page.
Agrilinks is a USAID-supported online platform that brings together a global community of development practitioners to share knowledge and learning about how we can better tackle today’s major challenges in agriculture, food and water security, nutrition and resilience. Agrilinks features news blogs just about every day, an ongoing series of webinars, as well as tools and other resources to support food systems learning and programming. And there seems to be no sign of slowing down as Agrilinks continues to grow in size and reach around the world.
I think some of the most exciting developments over the last decade have happened in the African policy sphere. Building off the Maputo Declaration in 2003, the past decade has seen the 2014 Malabo Declaration, Agenda 2063, the implementation of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Program (or CAADP) and the Biennial Review. These innovations have laid out a clear policy vision and framework for achieving sustainable agricultural transformation and have enabled countries to track their progress and use high-quality data and evidence to inform public investment and decision-making
I think we need to further embrace models of transformation that focus on supporting and building the capacity of poor people, women, youth, minority communities, smallholder farmers and civil society organizations — the grassroots — to lead the vision for tomorrow. These groups are experiencing firsthand the very conditions development is trying to improve, and so it makes sense that they would be on the frontlines driving the solutions. To make this happen requires some rebalancing of resources and power. We need to promote local ownership over development processes. We need to incorporate diversity, equity and inclusion throughout the entirety of the food system. We need to level the playing field, so that all stakeholders have a meaningful voice in policy and decision-making and in determining how today’s investments are building a future where everyone thrives, where everyone has access to safe, affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food. I think Agrilinks can help by highlighting stories of locally-led and equitable development that can inspire USAID Missions and development partners to help build local capacity in the countries where they work.