The Hunger Project's Executive VP, John Coonrod, is in Washington, DC to strengthen THP's seat at the table of international development. Each week, John sends us insight into issues of health, policy, human rights and more by way of the Washington Weekly.
Both Jouwert and I are back from Rome, not only home to the UN hunger agencies (FAO, IFAD, WFP) but also a real hotbed of participatory local democracy activism. We reached Rome just after Ban Ki-moon had visited with the Pope on the MDGs, and we met with Caritas International on their upcoming campaign on hunger and poverty.
Rome Participatory Local Democracy Consultation
Our friends at IFAD introduced us to the “George Mathew” of Rome – Luciano Carrino – whose organization, the KIP International School (Knowledge, Innovations, Policies and Territorial Practices) carries out a range of initiatives to strengthen local governance, including several knowledge sharing initiatives that can be directly useful to us. It has also inspired numerous other networks and organizations that were present the meeting.
The Rome meeting introduced two themes that had not previously emerged: Local Economic Development Agencies (LEDAs) and decentralized cooperation. LEDAs are official, multi-stakeholder bodies that address long-term economic development. Decentralized cooperation is overseas development assistance by localities rather than countries, and Italy’s 20 regions do a lot of this. They even have a national organization to coordinate and empower the regional programs.
Unicef issues new nutrition report
New Hunger and Nutrition Commitment Index (HANCI)
The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) in the UK has produced a new index to measure the political commitment of countries to reducing hunger and improving nutrition. The rankings are made on 45 high-burden countries, including 11 THP program countries. The Indicators include both polices and programs including access to agricultural extension, water, sanitation and prenatal care, investments in health and agriculture and safety net programs.
Hunger and nutrition are clearly distinct, and the political commitment to the two is often quite different – Mozambique rates high on nutrition and low on hunger, while Ethiopia is the opposite. The political commitment does not correlate with either income or the severity of hunger in the country, but does correlate with other indicators of government effectiveness.
April 23/24 – THP/UNDEF Participatory Local Democracy Consultation in Cape Town
April 29-May 1 – InterAction Forum, Arlington, Virginia
May 12-14 – Food Security and Nutrition Knowledge Sharing, Dhaka
May 20-28 – World Health Assembly, Geneva
May 28 – World Hunger Day, London
May 28-30 – Women Deliver Conference, Kuala Lumpur – Joly to attend
June 8 – London Hunger Summit before the G8.
June 10-11 – Scaling-up Nutrition/1000 Day Summit in Washington
June 27-28 – International Conference on Population and Development, Paris
September 5-6 – Leaders G20 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia
September 24-29 – Opening of the UN General Assembly
October 2 – Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday and the awarding of the Sarojini Naidu Prize.
October 5 – The Hunger Project Fall Event
October 11 – International Girl Child Day (which will subsume our National Girl Child Day.)
October 16 – World Food Day