Newsletter A+FS and e+i|EPS / December 2020

​​The A+FS Network publishes its Newsletter together with the Employment and Income Network and the Competence Center for the Engagement with the Private Sector (EPS). Please select your area of interest: Agriculture and Food Security | Vocational Skills Development / Private Sector Development / Financial Sector Development / EPS

Feature | Your comments join the network!

The results of the 2020 Annual Network Survey are in!

[ version en Français | versión en Español ]

A significant part of you has recently taken part in the annual survey (see links below), conducted by our colleague Lou Curchod – after analyzing its results, we are quite happy with the performance of our network. The overall satisfaction with the network is quite high with an average of 3.7 (1 is very dissatisfied and 5 is very satisfied), while the median is 4. We can even observe a general improvement over the years, as not only general satisfaction has gone up but also participation, knowledge application through reading, interacting online and in webinars and, especially, the use of the A+FS Shareweb. In our view as the Focal Point Team, these turnouts from the annual monitoring survey are quite pleasant: the network helps members to gain new knowledge, stay up to date and broaden perspectives.

On the other hand, the results also showed several areas, where we still need to improve. Even though active participation slightly increased over the years it keeps being rather low (2.7). Similarly, the benefits from participation do not seem to be outstanding: Members report that application of knowledge resulting from network participation is limited and they don’t see improvements of their work yet as a direct result of network participation. This may also be partly due to the fact, that only very few learning events were organized by the network this year.

Webinars, e-discussions and other events - especially regional ones - would offer the opportunity not only to discuss specific topics, but also for network members to get to know topical and regional colleagues and interact virtually with them.

These findings help us a great deal to improve the practical use of our network.

For the coming months we plan to create smaller groups of peers around focus topics and regions, in which regional webinars and informal, spontaneous dialogues may take place on a needs base (accessible for other members at any time if they wish to join). This allows to take regional issues more into account, while creating opportunities for better peer-to-peer learning, and even overcome language issues, as some members stated, they had.

Nevertheless, investing resources to maintain the Shareweb and keep it up to date will still be key in the future of the network: Online reading remains to be the most common way, in which the network is used.

You, the members, can even help us in this regard: By using the news, events and CUG contribution functions more to share new information or events that are relevant for all, you can directly contribute to keeping the Shareweb up to date, without going via the focal point team! This way the network responds best to the needs of its members: By growing into a more and more active, engaged and vibrant community!

If you are interested in the detailed results of the annual monitoring survey, look at the key findings, the dashboard of the survey 2018-2020 and the comparison of main results 2018-2020.

Ueli Mauderli, Lou Curchod and Luc R​uffieux of the A&FS Focal Point Team​

Members' Articles | Your comments join the network!

UNDROP – key implications for development cooperation​ 

[by Una Hombrecher and Luc Ruffieux

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and Other People Working in Rural Areas has been adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2018. But what are its key implications on practicing development cooperation? … [read more]

And watch an interview conducted with Benny Müller, the Deputy Head of Human Rights Policy, Swiss Department of Foreign Affairs who took part in UNDROP adoption  [watch the video]

Laos Capitalizing on 10 Years of Systemic Appoaches in Nutrition​

[by Raphael Dischl

How to address nutrition in a systemic and integrated way? How does multi-sector collaboration on nutrition work in practice? What are effective approaches to foster nutrition comprehensively? – These questions were addressed in a recent study that analyzed ten years of experience of the Upland Integrated Development Project (UDIN) in Laos. This article presents key insights from project implementation and lessons for ongoing work on sustainable food systems worldwide ...  [read more]

ICIPE turns 50 and celebrates its achievements

[by Daniel Valenghi
In 2020, ICIPE, the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology celebrates its 50 years anniversary. ICIPE stood out in a number of ways – as an idea conceived by an individual scientist, and by envisioning itself, not as a national institution, but as an international organisation with a mandate for Africa and the tropical regions. The Centre commemorates its achievements and developments, and shares its success stories in a report that marks the anniversary ...  [read more]

Cambodia launches a Consortium for Conservation Agriculture

[by Swisscontact
Cambodia recently launched the Cambodia Conservation Agriculture Sustainable Intensification Consortium (CASIC). The Consortium brings together different stakeholders to promote sustainable intensification (SI) and Conservation Agriculture (CA) as measures to adapt to climate change and increase food security in Cambodia ... [read more]

News | Your comments join the network!

SDC Food System Dialogues are taking on form​

The A&FS Network will organize three series of three events in three different languages. In the months of February, April and June Food Systems Dialogues will be taking place in English, French and Spanish. Participants from SDC, NGOs, research, international organisations and other donors as well as stakeholders in countries will be invited to bring in their perspectives and define action paths on a food systems transformation together. You, as network members are, of course, also invited to apply for participation. The number of participants from all stakeholder groups and countries will be balanced in respect of multi-stakeholder dialogue principles in order to bring in a broad spectrum of views on our food systems … [read more]

The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA) by FAO  

The report presents new estimates on the pervasiveness of water scarcity in irrigated agriculture and of water shortages in rainfed agriculture, as well as on the number of people affected. This evidence informs a discussion of how countries may determine appropriate policies and interventions, depending on the nature and magnitude of the problem, but also on other factors such as the type of agricultural production system and countries’ level of development and their political structure ... [read more​]

«Ne laisser personne de côté» (LNOB en anglais) est l'engagement central du Programme 2030, reconnaissant la nécessité de lutter contre la pauvreté et les inégalités. Les guides thématiques de la DDC pour vous aider à ne laisser personne de côté en pratique ont été traduits en français et sont maintenant tous disponible. Cela inclut le guide thématique agriculture et sécurité alimentaire ... [lire le guide agriculture | lire autres guides  thématiques]

During the first year of the project, community stakeholders, working with the support of RUNRES project coordinators and scientists, have produced creative, well-designed innovation plans capable of transforming the local food systems. With locally appropriate plans almost finalized, the RUNRES team will now proceed to realize and show the value of these plans over the next three years. RUNRES is a multi-year research for development project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation ... [read more]

La souveraineté alimentaire constitue un enjeu stratégique majeur pour atteindre les Objectifs de Développement Durable. Ce recueil de huit fiches proposé par la plateforme Souveraineté Alimentaire de la Fédération Genevoise de Coopération se veut un outil pour orienter les ONG à transformer les principes de la souveraineté alimentaire en actions concrètes lors de la conception, la mise en œu​vre et le suivi des projets ... [lire plus]

Events | Your comments join the network!

World Food System Center Research Symposium 2020

On December 10, from16:00 – 17:30 as part of the World Food Systems Center Research Symposium the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich is hosting a webinar, with presentations and panel discussion, focused on plant breeding and the implications for global food security. The panel discussion will further highlight how the research contributes to the future of plant breeding and its implications for global food security and a planetary health diet. [read more]​

Designing for Food Systems Resilience: A Circular Approach Course

February 10-12, the World Food System Center at ETH Zurich is hosting the professional development course for agricultur​e and food systems professionals. In this 3-day course, “Designing for Food Systems Resilience: A Circular Approach", participants will learn how to use systemic, transdisciplinary and design thinking approaches to create more resilient and circular food systems. First-hand experiences from the RUNRES project (see news item) funded by SDC will be shared. [read more]​ ​​

Who is who | Your comments join the network!

Daniel Valenghi

First Secretary, Program Manager, Global Programme Food Security, Embassy of Switzerland, Ethiopia, Djibouti, South Sudan, African Union

"What I like most is to discover new things with a potential for development."


watch the video to learn more

Daniel Valenghi holds an MSc in Agriculture from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich. He is currently in charge of a regional assignment and supports organisations such as the African Union, ​ECOWAS, IGAD, and others in the promotion of agro-ecology and improved land governance. Before joining the Global Program Food Security at the Embassy of Switzerland in Addis Abeba in 2020, he had assignments as Head of Cooperation in Pakistan and Program Manager in Mongolia. He has a broad geographical experience covering Africa (Benin, Togo, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Mali, and Chad), Asia (Vietnam, Mongolia, Pakistan, Nepal, Cambodia, and Myanmar), and Europe (Switzerland, Italy, France). He worked previously with the Swiss Ministry of Agriculture, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, and with Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation.​

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