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Integrating the Right to Food in National Policies – The Zanzibar Experience 2006–2012


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The presentation illustrates the FAO right to food work in Zanzibar from 2006 to 2012. After a short overview of the nutrition and food insecurity situation in the country, it explains the process of policy assistance in Zanzibar and the most salient right to food elements of the Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Policy and Programme of 2008 and of the Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Act of 2011, which states what the right to food means in the national context, and explicitly recognises the obligations of the State to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food. Finally, it presents the main challenges specific to the right to food and the lessons for providing policy assistance in the country.

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Integrating the Right to Food in National Policies – The Zanzibar Experience 2006–2012

  1. 1. Integrating the Right to Food in National Policies The Zanzibar Experience 2006 - 2012
  2. 2. • Zanzibar: Facts and figures • Main FSN problems • Process of policy assistance in Zanzibar • Right to food in FSN policy and action plan • Right to food in FSN legislative act • Lessons for providing policy assistance • Challenges for policy assistance • Final considerations Outline
  3. 3. • Total population (2010): 1.2 million • Two main islands: Unguja: 63% population, Pemba: 37% population • Percent below poverty line: 49 % • Percent below food poverty line: 13% • Main economic activities: – tourism (low income multiplier) – agriculture (main export crop: cloves; main food crops: cassava, maize, paddy, banana, sweet potato, yams) – artisanal fishing – commerce – small-scale trading • Percent of national food supply imported: 41 % ZANZIBAR: Facts and Figures
  4. 4. UNGUJA ISLAND, ZANZIBAR Livelihood Zones
  5. 5. PEMBA ISLAND, ZANZIBAR Livelihood Zones
  6. 6. Nutritional Status (2010): • Under-five children: – stunted: 30% – underweight: 20% – iron-deficient: 75%; Vit A deficient: 40% • Adult women: – underweight: 14% – overweight: 19% – obese (>30kg/m²): 12% – iron-deficiency anaemia: 63 %
  7. 7. Challenges to National Food Security Food Availability •High dependence on imported foods (paddy and maize: +/- 80%) •Low productivity in domestic food crop production (rainfed) •Low productivity in domestic fish production (artisanal fishing) •Significant post-harvest food losses (fish:25%; maize:22%; cassava:26%; paddy:13%; tomatoes:42%) •Decreasing availability of agricultural lands •Environmental degradation Food Access •High poverty incidence •Price volatility of food imports •Unreliable household food production
  8. 8. Policy Assistance Process in Zanzibar Entry Point: Formulating the PRSP Integrating FSN as a Cross-Cutting Issue Chronology: 2006 Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Situational Analysis 2007 FSN in the PRSP as a Cross-Cutting Issue  Mandate to formulate a national FSN policy 2007- 8 Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Policy and Programme  Mandate to draft a food security and nutrition legislative bill 2009 – 2012 Capacity Strengthening at Local Level 2011 Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Act (with Right to Food Provisions) 2012 Launching of the FSN Institutional Framework
  9. 9. What does it mean: integrating the right to food and good governance in national policies? At what point do we know that the right to food and good governance are integrated in national policies?   Check lists that cover the policy design and implementation process [Paper]
  10. 10. Right to Food in the 2008 Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Polic • Includes political endorsement of the right to food in the Preamble signed by HE The President of Zanzibar • Describes food insecure and vulnerable groups based on FSN situation analysis • Identifies main causes of vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition for specific livelihood groups • Includes the realisation of the right to food in the vision statement. The general policy objective refers to equitable food access at all times and to special protection of vulnerable population groups. Policy Goals 2 and 4 place emphasis on resource-poor and vulnerable households • Mentions targeted social protection and safety net programmes for food insecure and vulnerable population groups
  11. 11. • Policy implementation: Right to food linked to international agreements (e.g. UDHR, International Covenant on ESCR) • Policy implementation: Places priority on addressing food insecurity and malnutrition problems affecting resource-poor households • Policy implementation principles: (i) full respect for human dignity and the rule of law (ii) accountability of public institutions for performance and use of public resources (iii) non discrimination (iv) transparency in decision making and public resource allocation (v) due concern for equitable outcomes of policy measures, and (vi) effective and equal participation and empowerment of all Zanzibari Right to Food in the 2008 Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Polic
  12. 12. • Prioritises districts based on a relative vulnerability ranking • Specifies time-bound targets • Includes specific actions for the implementation of good governance at local level: (i) capacity building at grass roots levels, (ii) mobilisation of vulnerable communities, and (iii) mass media campaigns aimed at general public • Provides budget estimates. Half of the budget for Phase I (2008-2012) is for community-based interventions • Annual work plans that may serve as instruments of social control (accountability) • Monitoring: Subsequently developed monitoring framework includes some governance indicators (accountability) Right to Food in the 2008 Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Polic
  13. 13. Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Act of 2011 (with Right to Food Provisions) •Defines what the right to food means •Re-affirms Government obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to food •Mandates equity in assigning resources, prioritising vulnerable people •Prohibits discrimination or exclusion on any ground •Establishes National Food Security and Nutrition Council: monitor realisation of the right to food •Mandates the institutional arrangements of the Zanzibar Food Security and Nutrition Policy and Programme (including responsibilities of DMTs and establishment of sub-district FSN committees) •Instructs sector ministries to prepare and implement FSN work plans, and include adequate resources in their budgets ( policy coherence)
  14. 14. nges Linked to Food Security and Nutrition Issues • Poor understanding of the multiple dimensions of food security and nutrition: – food security equated with food availability or food self-sufficiency – food security as an agricultural sector issue; good nutrition as a health policy concern • Vulnerability to food insecurity and malnutrition: – equated with acute emergencies or transitory factors – structural factors not considered – usual policy response: temporary food distribution • Lack of clear institutional mandates: – poor coordination of FNS policy and programmes among government institutions – little involvement of relevant stakeholders (civil society, commercial sector)
  15. 15. Challenges specific to the Right to Food • Misconceptions of the right to adequate food concept and principles: – what does it mean in practice? – seen as a legal issue only – equated with provision of free food • No institutional mandate for the right to food: – fragmented institutional FNS mandates – lack of a human rights institution – focus on political and civil rights, not ESCR • Limited institutional capacity: – FNS complex issues – right to food: additional capacity covering legal, legislative and institutional areas
  16. 16. Lessons for providing policy assistance • Relevance and technical quality of the policy assistance – Policy assistance team well informed, right composition – No recipes • Continuity, intensity and flexibility in providing policy assistance – Adapted to local processes and conditions – May imply a long-term commitment – Should not be on-off mode – Not limited to formulation, also cover implementation • Contribute to strengthening national capacity – Policy assistance team has clear national counterparts whose roles and responsibilities are recognised and understood – Process should include capacity • Build national ownership of the process and policy outcomes – Consultative process involving stakeholders at all levels – Solid and continuous communication with decision makers about process and its outcomes – Awareness raising and creating understanding of key concepts and principles (food
  17. 17. Final Considerations • Policy formulation is not only a technical process, but also a political one: – lengthy political approval process – need for upfront policy intelligence (political economy, power structures, political windows of opportunity) – constant advocacy with political decision makers and other stakeholders • Need to link solid information and policy formulation: – upfront FSN + RtF situation analysis: (i) identify targeted policy options, (ii) identify policy implementation constraints – constraint: capacity for data analysis – limited data availability and quality: adopt pragmatic approach • Challenge: How to get beyond the policy statements? – resource mobilisation during policy formulation – link policy goals to international commitments (MDGs, CESCR) – involve early on local governments and other local actors