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ODI/SARPN/FANRPAN Inaugural Meeting

Look, Listen and Learn: Promoting the use of CSOs’ evidence in policies for food security
A proposed action research project in Southern Africa

Wednesday 25 May 2005, 8:30 - 18:00

Birchwood Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa

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SARPN, ODI and FANRPAN hosted an inaugural meeting to discuss the objectives, activities and outputs of the regional project which aims to promote the use of Civil Society evidence in policy development for food security in Southern Africa.

Civil society organisations (CSOs) have a vital role to play in the process of designing and implementing public policies. Particularly so for policies concerning food security, where CSOs often have unique access to on-the-ground information and experience.

In recent years a lot has been learnt about how to make sure the best evidence reaches the right decision-makers at the right time. But there is still more that could be done in southern Africa, particularly in relation to policies concerning food security.

This proposed 18-month project, originating with SARPN1, ODI2 and FANRPAN3, seeks to use action research to understand better how CSOs can use evidence to influence food security policies at regional level (NEPAD, SADC, AU) and international (UN system, Millenium Project). The suggested focus is on better understanding of the context, evidence and links in policy processes concerning food security in southern Africa, and testing of different CSO approaches to influencing policy. The suggested outputs include a series of publications that can be used by CSOs in their food security policy influencing regionally and internationally.

The inaugural meeting discussed the context, evidence and links for food security policy influencing work by CSOs in southern Africa, culminating in an agreed focus and work plan for the project.

Contact details - SARPN/ODI/FANRPAN

Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN)

Physical address:
1250 Pretorius Street, Office W2
ProEquity Court, Hatfield 0083

Postal address:
PO Box 11615,
Hatfield 0028,
South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)12 342 9499
Fax: +27 (0)12 342 5636


  1. Southern Africa Poverty Network ( Contact Sue Mbaya (
  2. Overseas Development Institute ( Contact Elizabeth Cromwell (
  3. Food and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network ( Contact Lindiwe Sibanda (

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