Food Security Portal Event
Policy Dialogue

Regional Policy Dialogue on Early Warning Early Action Mechanisms for the Prevention of Food Crises

The Food Security Portal
Accra International Conference Centre, Accra, Ghana
The Food Security Portal

The FSP Regional Policy Dialogue brought together key stakeholders in the region to share challenges, lessons learned, and potential solutions for building resilience to shocks and addressing food crises through better Early Warning Systems (EWS). The event took place in conjunction with the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2019.

In addition to stimulating policy discussion on the subject of Early Warning Early Action, the event served as the launch of the Food Security Portal's Early Warning Systems Hub.

Link to the Report

Key Findings

  1. The technical challenge. Information has to be of high quality to foster informed decisions. There is need for granularity in the data beyond the national level to get a sense of the situation on the ground. Real-time, reliable weather data is important and is increasingly recognized by institutions in the region. The African Union has defined access to weather systems as being of strategic importance in Africa. This data must be communicated in a way that is relevant and understandable for decision-makers.
  2. The institutional challenge. A consolidated communication channel for Early Warning Early Action (EWEA) would be more effective than the current patchwork approach, which leads to confusion and slows down responses. The Food Security Portal (FSP) and Global Network Against Food Crises (GNAFC) play a role in this.
  3. Financing early warning early action. Constantly monitoring and preparing for the next crisis requires resources. These costs can be difficult to justify, so proper communication on the importance of funding is key. The concepts of no regrets investment and no regrets data were introduced during the dialogue.
  4. Accountability. When slow responses to crises bring no consequences for those in charge, people are likely to remain vulnerable. There is a role for engaging journalists and the media so that speed of response or action can be monitored.
  5. Consensus-based EWEA. Having a consensus-based approach to measuring and responding to the drivers of food crises across countries and contexts improves the ability of governments to respond to crises.
  6. In-country stakeholder involvement in EWEA. In-country stakeholders should be at the center of EWEA mechanisms to improve information flows, preparedness, and response times.
  7. The importance of human capital in EWEA. Advances in early warning technologies and data must be matched by developing capacity within institutions at the country and regional level to transform warnings into preventative actions.

 

Key Documents and Resources

  1. Regional Policy Dialogue Report
  2. Early Warning Systems Hub
  3. Concept Note for the Regional Policy Dialogue

 

Program

Opening Session

Moderator
David Nabarro, Strategic Director, Skills, Systems and Synergies for Sustainable Development

Setting the stage
Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General, IFPRI

Setting the stage Dr. Shenggen Fan, Director General, IFPRI

The Food Security Portal and early warning system hub for food crisis prevention
Dr. Rob Vos, Coordinator Food Security Portal and Director Markets, Trade and Institutions, IFPRI

Dr. Rob Vos, Coordinator Food Security Portal and Director Markets, Trade and Institutions, IFPRI

Global Network Against Food Crises and the need for improved early warning early action systems
Mr. Roberto Schiliro, Head of Section, on behalf of Amb. Diana Acconcia, of the European Union, Ghana

Mr. Roberto Schiliro, Head of Section, on behalf of Amb. Diana Acconcia, of the European Union, Ghana

Panel Discussion: Relevance of and ways to improve early warning systems?

Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda

Hon. Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana, Minister of Agriculture and Animal Resources of Rwanda

Dr. Mahalmoudou Hamadoun, Coordinator for the Regional Food Security and Nutrition’s of CILSS

Dr. Mahalmoudou Hamadoun, Coordinator for the Regional Food Security and Nutrition’s of CILSS

Prof. Sheryl Hendriks, Professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension, and Rural Development, University of Pretoria

Prof. Sheryl Hendriks, Professor at the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension, and Rural Development, University of Pretoria

Mr. Dominique Burgeon, Director of Emergencies and Rehabilitation and Strategic Programme Leader for Resilience at FAO

Mr. Dominique Burgeon, Director of Emergencies and Rehabilitation and Strategic Programme Leader for Resilience at FAO

Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development, Imperial College London

Sir Gordon Conway, Professor of International Development, Imperial College London

Roundtable Discussion including:
Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN
Ousmane Badiane , Director for Africa , IFPRI

Roundtable Discussion including:
Lawrence Haddad, Executive Director, GAIN
Ousmane Badiane , Director for Africa , IFPRI

Closing Remarks
David Nabarro, Strategic Director, Skills, Systems and Synergies for Sustainable Development

Closing Remarks
David Nabarro, Strategic Director, Skills, Systems and Synergies for Sustainable Development