|Overview : |
Karamoja region suffers from chronic food insecurity challenges which are a result of combined pressures, including environmental degradation and climate change. The vast majority of people in Karamoja are facing food shortages, either year-long or seasonal, and the region has been exposed to increasing droughts. With this background the MAAIF/FAO/GEF/UNDP-funded 5-year project “Fostering sustainability and resilience for food security in Karamoja sub region” was designed with the objective to contribute to enhancing long term environmental sustainability and resilience of food production systems in the Karamoja sub region.
One of the outcomes that this project intends to deliver on is supporting policies and putting in place incentives to support improved crop and livestock production, food value-chains and Integrated Natural Resource Management (INRM). The actions are intended to overcome the shortcomings present in the institutional and legal framework governing natural resource use, land tenure, and planning. Among the approaches identified to be used to achieve this objective, is strengthening or creating multi-stakeholder platforms at the district level, which will be linked to a sub-regional level platforms coordinated by the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, to support integrated natural resources management (INRM) in the entire region. It is hoped that these will be forums where all stakeholders can participate in policy decision-making, agenda setting, the development of multi-stakeholder INRM plans and knowledge sharing around food security and INRM priorities.
In addition, engaging the private sector shall be key in driving developing and sustaining development in Karamoja, let alone increase investments in addressing drivers of land degradation and food insecurity. Therefore, actions need to be taken to encourage the emergence of private sector enterprises in the agricultural sector through creating an enabling environment that supports SLM practices, create improved market opportunities and all-season income.
Similarly, the priorities and capacities of local communities need to be taken into consideration when making development and land use planning decisions, including their role as key players in local territorial planning and management and the application of community rights of ownership, thus leading to food security and climate resilience.
At present, there are very few if any multi-stakeholder platforms or coordination mechanism at the district level that can bring all relevant actors together around issues related to INRM and sustainable development strategies. There are however a few regional stakeholder platforms, such as the Karamoja Development Partner Group, a donor coordination group spearheaded by the Ministry of Karamoja Affairs, a few ad hoc local NGO coordinating groups, and some private sector associations, but none of these provide the integrated multi-sectoral approaches needed to transform the rural sector in Karamoja.
To kick start development of the platform, the project wishes to conduct an assessment of existing platforms and coordination mechanisms involving governments, private sector, local communities and traditional leaders. Based on this assessment and on existing platforms, the project will provide support to districts in their efforts to convene inclusive multi-stakeholder platforms focusing on issues related to INRM, food security and resilience building. Efforts will start at the district level, and gradually establish appropriate agro-ecosystem or landscape-based platforms (e.g. catchment/watershed) or wider sub-regional platforms according to the needs. The purpose of these platforms will be to create a space where all stakeholders can be involved in dialogue and decision making regarding land and water governance, land use planning, legal frameworks, access to information (SLM and INRM options, value chains, food security and nutrition), and develop planning priorities from a sustainability and resilience view. While each platform can have its own characteristics, participants will include representatives of local government, local communities, women’s groups, youth groups, NGOs, CBOs, private sector enterprises, and other development partners.
Objectives of the assignment:
The general objective of the consultancy is to identify and document the nature /characteristics of multi-stakeholder platforms that are necessary to support Integrated Natural Resource Management at district and regional levels in Karamoja.