ReSAKSS-SA continues to facilitate and coordinate Joint Sector Reviews and New Alliance progress tracking in Southern Africa

To facilitate the mutual accountability process, the CAADP Mutual Accountability Framework (MAF) was developed (AUC-NPCA 2011). A key instrument for operationalizing the mutual accountability  framework is the Joint Sector Review (JSR), which is a set of guidelines developed to assist country stakeholders to jointly track progress in the agricultural sector against agreed commitments by the stakeholders. At the ReSAKSS Annual Conference Ethiopia- Addis Ababa in 2015, it was reported that JSRs were conducted in 11 member state countries and had been successful in advancing mutual accountability in agriculture. With the emergence of the Malabo declaration in 2014, JSRs are changing to accommodate the Malabo commitments.

For the 2016 period, the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System for Southern Africa, as part of its efforts towards tracking agricultural performance and mutual accountability, has been tasked with facilitating and coordinating Joint Sector Reviews in several countries in Southern Africa (Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, Madagascar Mauritius and Zimbabwe). The primary objective of this exercise is to provide analytical and technical support to countries to strengthen their national agriculture review processes and also improve evidence-based policies, planning, budgeting, and program implementation, based on a reliable assessment and reporting of performance in the sector against mutually-agreed targets.

In Southern Africa Joint Sector Reviews are led by the ReSAKSS-SA, which is facilitated by the International Water Management Institute and the process is supported by the African Union Commission, International Food Policy Research Institute, and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency. The Comprehensive Joint Sector Reviews which ReSAKSS-SA is coordinating in Southern African countries will serve as a management and policy support tool for inclusive stakeholder planning, programming, budget preparation and execution, monitoring and evaluation, and overall development of the sector.  To accomplish comprehensive Joint Sector Reviews in five Southern African countries, in 2016, the ReSAKSS-SA team has the following activities planned:

  1. ReSAKSS-SA will meet with the Ministry of Agriculture officials to create awareness for the processes and also help drum of diverse stakeholder involvement in the review processes.
  2. ReSAKSS-SA will aid the Agriculture Sector in the five respective JSR countries to set up/strengthen their JSR or JSR-like steering committees which are normally chaired by Ministries of Agriculture.

ReSAKSS-SA will also, among other things aim to assist the countries understand the need

  1. To establish JSR secretariat to bolster the culture of JSR planning and conduct
  2. To develop terms of reference for the JSR in the five countries to ensure that JSRs are done for a purpose agreed by the relevant sectors rather than performing the activities in an ad hoc manner
  3. To mobilize resources for the JSR including having a budget line for the activity every year
  4. To draw implementation and follow-up plan for the recommendations from the JSR to ensure that JSRs contribute to change.

The Regional Strategic Analysis Knowledge Support System will also continue to provide the relevant technical support and backstopping in the implementation of the New Alliance reporting in countries where New Alliance for Food Security Country Cooperative Agreements have been developed and launched. ReSAKSS-SA’s role in the process will be to help governments track the implementation of New Alliance Frameworks focusing on government commitments by monitoring government commitments, facilitating reports write-up, and helping in the mobilization of stakeholders for report dissemination meetings at country level, working hand in hand with IFPRI, Africa Lead and respective governments.

To accomplish the New Alliance exercise, ReSAKSS-SA have the following actions planned in the focused countries:

  1. ReSAKSS-SA will continue meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture officials in Malawi and Mozambique to have the work done
  2. Work with the NA Secretariat to collect the data from the government and private sector.
  3. ReSAKSS-SA will play a role in the validation process,
  4. ReSAKSS will also Review the draft New Alliance (NA) reports
  5. Organise the validation workshop with the Africa Lead, the Ministries of Agriculture and the NA secretariat at country levels.

The core ReSAKSS-SA team which will be working on these activities include:

From L: Mr Sibusiso Nhlengethwa (Research Officer-Statistics), Dr Greenwell Matchaya (Researcher-Economics and ReSAKSS-SA Coordinator) and Dr Charles Nhemachena (Regional Researcher-Agricultural Economics)

This article is written by Thokozani Dlamini, Communication Officer at IWMI/ReSAKSS-SA.