Achievements

Since its launch in 2005, the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Programme (NFPCSP) has been instrumental in building Bangladesh’s institutional and human capacities to design and implement food security policies. Major achievements of the NFPCSP include:

As a result, today, the FPMU is recognized as the central Government agency for multi-sectoral food and nutrition security policy co-ordination, monitoring and policy advice. It supports policy formulation (e.g. food safety and quality policy, food safety emergency plan, nutrition policy) and the activities of various governance mechanisms, such as the cabinet level Food Planning and Monitoring Committee and the multi-sector National Steering Committee for Nutrition Implementation.


Improved policy and programming frameworks for a comprehensive and cross-sectoral approach to food security and nutrition
In the past, Bangladesh’s approach to improving food security was largely focused on food availability. As a consequence, food security was primarily seen as a responsibility of the agriculture sector and of the Public Food Distribution System; important aspects related to improving the economic and physical access to food and the nutritional dimension of food security, on the other hand, were largely marginalised.

By providing technical assistance, the NFPCSP has played a major role in enhancing capacities to formulate, implement and monitor comprehensive food security and nutrition frameworks, namely:

  • The Bangladesh National Food Policy (NFP) and the Plan of Action (PoA) of the NFP;
  • Country Investment Plan (CIP) for Agriculture, food security and nutrition (funding mobilized for USD 3.3 billion in 2 years);
  • NFP PoA and CIP Monitoring Reports 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014;
  • Supported the creation of an inter-ministerial coordination mechanism on food security and nutrition.

These documents provide the Government and Development Partners with a consistent and comprehensive framework for addressing the availability, access and utilisation dimensions of food security across different sectors. The framework has also proved to be a very important instrument for aligning Development Partners’ interventions with national priorities. 


Increased human and institutional capacities of the Government of Bangladesh
At the start of the project, the FPMU had very limited office facilities and only 4 permanent staff with expertise focused on food availability and exposure in working with a comprehensive approach to food security. Today, thanks to the support provided by this programme, the agency has fully functional offices, counts 13 staff all of whom received post-graduate education abroad in subjects closely relevant to the mandate of the FPMU. The NFPCSP has also enhanced the analytical skills of staff of the FPMU and other relevant agencies through study tours and relevant courses in food security analysis, both in the country and abroad.


Research and dialogue in support of policy decision making
Information plays an important role in improving food security decision making. However, successful policy making and implementation also requires achieving consensus among the different stakeholders. This implies that information-based decision making should not be separated from dialogue among stakeholders.

With support from NFPCSP, the Government of Bangladesh has established policy processes that are based on both information and dialogue. This includes conducting scientific research on food security and organising regular seminars and workshops in which the Government, civil society representatives, development partners and researchers discuss findings and their implications on policy reform. 60 research grants for research projects have been awarded to 135 national institutions and 44 research reports and about 90 research papers have been completed. In addition to this, 11 PhD Theses and 42 MS dissertations have been published. Preliminary and final findings from the research projects have been discussed in 14 large national consultative workshops and over 250 technical seminars and smaller workshops, including representatives from civil society, government, development partners, universities and research institutes. This research and dialogue has contributed to putting food security high on the national agenda, to increasing the understanding of food security among civil society, in improving dialogue between stakeholders and inform policy making.


Greater access to information on food security
To further facilitate and encourage the use of information in decision making, fortnightly and quarterly food security monitoring reports are now regularly issued and a web-based Food Security and Nutrition Information System (FSNIS) was developed comprising of:

  • Bangladesh’s largest online repository on food security with over 2000 references (click here);
  • A physical documentation center with around 900 books and documents for consultation;
  • A Data Management System (DMS) with a publicly accessible portal providing food security and information data (click here);
  • A web site with daily updated information on rice and wheat prices (www.fpmu.gov.bd).

This contrasts with the situation at the start of the project start, when only a very rudimentary food security data collection system was in place. Access to key food security documents was either difficult or impossible since these resources were either not available or scattered in different places.


Direct support to decision making
In addition to building national capacities to inform decision making, when needed, the NFPCSP also provided direct policy advice to Government and Development Partners. For example, in the context of the 2007 floods and cyclone and the 2008 food price crisis, the programme provided information and advice to Government and Development Partners on crucial issues such as the National Food Budget, procurement price fixation, and management of public stocks and safety nets.  

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