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Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

Regional Conference on Enhancing Civil Society Participation in SADC Food Security Processes

Johannesburg, 14, 15 November 2005

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Since May 2005 the Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), and the Overseas Development Institute ODI have been implementing the Look, Listen and Learn pilot project to promote the use of evidence from Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the formation and implementation of regional food security policies.

We are inviting around 30 representatives of CSOs in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Angola to a meeting, in Johannesburg, between 14 - 16 November 2005. This letter is to ascertain your availability and willingness to attend on those dates.

The pilot project is designed to assist SADC and the governments of the region to develop more effective policies and approaches to the problems of food insecurity, vulnerability and poverty. in particular, it seeks t0 identify areas of policy where tile evidence and experience of CSOs can assist policy formation and implementation and to identify the most effective approaches to making such evidence available in a form that can assist the overall objectives of food security.

During a consultative meeting with some CSOs in May 2005 one of the outcomes was the need to increase awareness on the SADC structures and policy processes. On the basis of this earlier work, the planned regional meeting is designed to:

  • Examine, with the assistance of SADC officials and the commissioned paper on policy processes, the range of policies and institutions that impact upon regional food security, including regional policies themselves as well as national policies that have a region wide impact.

  • Share how CSOs can more effectively contribute to advancing or adjusting these policies, particularly through the use of policy useful evidence drawn from their own activities

  • consider how CSOs currently make their voices heard on regional and national food security policies and how their communication strategies can be improved

  • develop a short term action plan for CSOs to work together on a small number of specific policy areas of current interest within SADC
  • Consider the longer term networking and communication strategy to promote CSO engagement in regional food security policies.
We are currently engaged with SADC and others in finalizing the exact dates and venue for the meeting and, once this is done, we will send confirmation together with a detailed programme

For the present, therefore, we simply ask for your interest and confirmation of availability. Please note places are limited and attendance will be on a first come first serve basis. We therefore kindly request your response to this letter at your earliest convenience.

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

+27 (0)12 342 9499

+27 (0)12 342 5636


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