The context: In 2008, farmers in Helmand province of Afghanistan cultivated over 60% of the world’s total opium crop, undermining security, governance, and licit economic growth. Developing sustainable, alternative livelihoods presents a vast challenge amidst one of the world’s most complex and insecure of environments.

Wasafiri’s role: Wasafiri consultant Hamish Wilson was engaged by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) to manage the US15million 2009-10 Helmand Alternative Livelihoods Programme – arguably one of the largest and most visible stabilisation projects of 2009.

Generating action: Initial indications suggest the programme has strengthened local governance and the legitimacy of the provincial government, while stimulating economic growth and further rural development.

The context: One in five adults in Zambia is HIV+. The scale of the problem facing the country is vast and shows no signs of declining. Leadership is required in new and urgent ways if the pandemic is to be overcome.

Wasafiri’s role: Wasafiri consultant, Martin Kalungu-Banda, led a journey of innovation for a cross-sectoral gathering of Zambian leaders in order to discover new ways to tackle the crisis. The ambition was to achieve a breakthrough in thinking and action by through a unique change process. This implied:

  • Facilitating innovative cross-institutional, cross-sectoral collaboration and innovation
  • Techniques to overcome barriers and blockages to breakthrough action
  • Prototyping solutions across individual, community, national and possibly global levels.

Generating action: New ways have been found to grow the uptake of testing and treatment services, and a public consensus has been reached between bishops and Former African Heads of State. Overall, a methodology has been found through which business, government and civil society sector could meaningfully collaborate, identify systemic forces and develop innovative solutions.

The context: With three-quarters of Africa’s poor living in rural areas and depending on agriculture for their livelihoods, governments recognise that boosting agricultural productivity offers a key strategy for alleviating poverty and hunger. In 2009, the African Union’s plan for agriculture (CAADP) reached critical momentum with 20 countries working on new robust plans for agriculture. At the same time, the international community sought avenues through which to invest in tackling the food crisis, which now means 1 billion people, are hungry. CAADP provided a great opportunity, but only if African governments and Development Partners could establish ways of working together.

Wasafiri’s role: Wasafiri consultant Ian Randall, pulled together a team including Liberal Seburikoko, to facilitate a meeting at the UN in Addis Ababa, through which 18 African and 15 donor governments came to a common agreement on how to work together on CAADP. The resulting guidelines can be downloaded here. Since then Ian has worked for DFID, GIZ and USAID to support co-ordination between Development Partners as they align behind CAADP.

Generating action: The meeting was dubbed “The Addis Consensus” and heralded as a watershed moment in effective partnership by the international community to tackle the food crisis. Many African governments are developing strong agricultural plans that look set to receive additional donor finance. In Rwanda, the CAADP plan has seen agricultural growth leap from .7% to 15% and donors recently pledged a further $83 million.

Ian Randall facilitating a session

Ian Randall facilitating a session