Drafting a new public policy tends to be a lengthy and expensive process. From initial ideas to consultations with stakeholders and experts, to design and writing, to consultation and adoption by parliament, all the way to implementation.
At the same time, people are increasingly using digital tools to optimize processes and outcomes in all spheres of life. Therefore the question for the working groups was:
How can we use digital tools and innovative methodologies to facilitate participatory policy processes for better agricultural policies?
Seeking to share and discuss innovative approaches to agricultural policymaking, the global project Fund for Agricultural Policy Advice and Innovation (FABI) invited the Innovation for Policy Foundation (i4Policy) for an exchange with colleagues working on agricultural policy processes all over the world.
Eva Sow Ebion from i4Policy shared lessons learned from successfully piloting innovative, digital policy processes in several African countries including Kenya, Rwanda and Senegal.
In contrast to traditional public policymaking, which often took a government-centered approach, she emphasized the need for building alliances via innovative partnerships.
Limited knowledge of the sector-specific ecosystem by the state government and a lack of understanding of policy content and outcomes by the people often led to policy failure, said Ebion.
Co-creating policies through innovative platforms could make the policy process more inclusive, affordable, and effective, thereby closing the aforementioned gaps, and leading to better policy outcomes.
The session ended with encouraging words for international development cooperation and partner countries to continue to assess the potential for context-specific innovation in agricultural policymaking with the best use of digital transformation strategies.
In the future, GIZ’s Fund for the Promotion of Innovation in Agriculture (i4Ag) may support innovative ideas for agriculture policymaking and related policy advice. The fund is mandated to support innovative approaches to agriculture policymaking that will be implemented in at least two BMZ partner countries and aims at positive impact on food security, employment and income generation and climate resilience, and natural resource protection.
Interested colleagues or potential project partners may seek further information through i4Ag@giz.de.
About the session
The session was organized as part of a hybrid meeting of SNRD’s working group on Policy Processes in Agriculture and Rural Development (PPARD), hosted in the context of the 2021 SNRD Africa conference on 22 November 2021.
The documentation of this session and other PPARD working group sessions is available here (GIZ internal only).