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Global Alliance for Resilience (AGIR)

Launched in Ouagadougou in December 2012, the Global Alliance for Resilience – Sahel and West Africa (AGIR) is a framework that helps to foster improved synergy, coherence and effectiveness in support of resilience initiatives in the 17 West African and Sahelian countries. The Alliance is placed under the political and technical leadership of ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS and it is based on existing platforms and networks, in particular the RPCA. Building on the “Zero Hunger” target within the next 20 years, the Alliance is neither an initiative nor a policy. It is a policy tool aimed at channeling efforts of regional and international stakeholders towards a common results framework. A regional roadmap adopted in April 2013 specifies the objectives and main orientations of AGIR.

About AGIR

Background

The recurrent food and nutrition crises that chronically affect millions of vulnerable people led Sahelian and West African stakeholders and their international partners to form a global alliance. Launched within the RPCA in 2012, AGIR focuses on the most vulnerable populations with the goal of eradicating hunger and malnutrition by building resilience to withstand crises and shocks. The added value of AGIR is that it offers a common definition of resilience recognised by all stakeholders (countries, regional organisations, technical and financial partners, and civil society organisations). Through its regional roadmap, AGIR channels individual resilience efforts towards a common results framework. Each country conducts an inclusive dialogue process to formulate its own National Resilience Priorities (NRPs). So far, ten out of 17 countries have adopted their priorities. They also work together on identifying best practices.

What's resilience?

AGIR is based on a shared definition of the term “resilience” as being:

“The capacity of vulnerable households, families, communities and systems to face uncertainty and the risk of shocks, to withstand and respond effectively to shocks, as well as to recover and adapt in a sustainable manner”.

This definition calls for concerted humanitarian and development efforts in order to increase the resilience of vulnerable households, families and communities and to break the cycle of recurrent food and nutritional crises. It addresses, by means of a unified approach, the causes of acute and chronic food and nutritional crises, while helping vulnerable households to increase their incomes, gain access to basic infrastructures and social services, and create wealth by sustainably strengthening their livelihoods.

This approach requires the concurrent implementation of long-term, structural programmes and short-term actions aimed at addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable populations. Long-term programmes include human capacity building at all levels, and support for communities in their efforts to build resilience through building/strengthening community governance, social service systems (water, education, health, etc.), community food storage systems and other infrastructures, community early warning and prevention mechanisms, etc.

Objectives

The overall objective of the Alliance is to “Structurally reduce, in a sustainable manner, food and nutritional vulnerability by supporting the implementation of Sahelian and West African policies”. In the next 20 years, the Alliance aims to completely eradicate hunger and malnutrition (Objective “Zero Hunger”). In the shorter term, the Alliance aims to build resilience among the vulnerable communities and households in the Sahel and West Africa so that they are better able to resist shocks.

Strategic objectives

  • Improve social protection for the most vulnerable households and communities in order to secure their livelihoods;
  • Strengthen the nutrition of vulnerable households;
  • Sustainably improve agricultural and food production, the incomes of vulnerable households and their access to food;
  • Strengthen governance in food and nutritional security.

Strategic pillars

The Alliance is based on a common reference framework building on the following four strategic pillars:

  • Pillar 1: Restoring and strengthening livelihoods and social protection for the most vulnerable populations
  • Pillar 2: Strengthening health and nutrition
  • Pillar 3: Sustainably strengthening food production, incomes of vulnerable households and their access to food
  • Pillar 4: Strengthening governance in food and nutritional security

Target populations

  • Small-scale vulnerable agricultural households most often physically distant from or poorly connected to markets;
  • Agro-pastoralist and pastoralist households (including artisan fishermen) whose livestock and fisheries resources are continually threatened by recurring weather hazards;
  • Poor workers in the informal sector, both in rural and urban areas. This group is in large part composed of younger generations, facing unemployment or a precarious employment situation and, as a consequence, the risk of being targeted by criminal and terrorist group activities.

In these three categories of households, the most vulnerable are children under the age of five, and particularly those under the age of two, pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers, as well as women-headed-households (WHH) and the elderly.

National Resilience Priorities

Since the adoption of the regional roadmap in 2013, all 17 Sahelian and West African countries have engaged in the implementation of national inclusive dialogues to define their National Resilience Priorities (NRPs). To date, ten countries (Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) have validated national resilience priorities (NRP-AGIR). The resilience dimension has also been taken into account in the second generation of national and regional agricultural investment plans (RAIP and NAIPs), in line with the African Union Malabo Declaration of 2014. This is just the first step of a dialogue process that must be pursued in the long-term in order to consolidate a multi-sector approach within AGIR.

NRP Documents

  • Burkina Faso
  • Cabo Verde
  • Chad
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Gambia
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Senegal
  • Togo

Governance

Based on West African leadership, AGIR comes under the joint political leadership of ECOWAS and UEMOA, promoting subsidiarity in the interest of efficiency, with UEMOA ensuring that actions are co-ordinated at the level of its eight member states and ECOWAS overseeing overall co-ordination.

The ECOWAS Specialised Technical Ministerial Committee on Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources (CTS-AERE) and the UEMOA High-Level Committee on Food Security (CHN-SA) are the Alliance’s main regional decision-making bodies.

The Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC), via the RPCA, provides the common space for dialogue, debate, lobbying and advocacy for the Alliance on the international stage. Proposals and recommendations formulated by the RPCA are submitted to the decision-making bodies of ECOWAS and UEMOA.

Senior Experts Group (SEG/AGIR)

The Senior Experts’ Group (AGIR-SEG) meets twice per year within the RPCA restricted and annual meetings to take stock of progress made in the implementation of the Alliance. The meeting encourages peer-learning. Since 2018, a selected country presents best practices and lessons learned from its experience in resilience-building. The meeting also serves to discuss general guidelines and next steps.

  • 2019 SEG/AGIR, 4 December, Conakry, Guinea
  • 2019 SEG/AGIR, 5 April, Brussels, Belgium
  • 2018 SEG/AGIR, 4 December, Banjul, Gambia
  • 2018 SEG/AGIR, April, Paris, France
  • 2017 SEG/AGIR meeting, December, Cotonou, Benin
  • 2017 SEG/AGIR meeting, April, Paris, France
  • 2016 SEG/AGIR meeting, December, Abuja, Nigeria
  • 2016 SEG/AGIR meeting, April, Paris, France
  • 2015 SEG/AGIR meeting, 30 October, Expo Milano, Italy
  • 2015 SEG/AGIR meeting, April, Paris, France
  • 2014 SEG/AGIR meeting, 18 December 2014, Brussels, Belgium
  • 2014 SEG/AGIR meeting, 16 April 2014, Paris, France
  • 2013 SEG/AGIR meeting, 27 November 2013, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
  • 2013 SEG/AGIR meeting, 8 April 2013, Paris, France
  • 2012 SEG/AGIR meeting, 7-8 November 2012, Paris, France

Best practices on resilience

Recognising the need to promote the sharing of success stories and mutual learning around resilience, the stakeholders of the Alliance, through the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA), agreed to set up a platform for capitalising on and sharing best practices on resilience. This will allow lessons to be drawn from successful practices and will provide an understanding of how they can be reproduced or scaled up as well as the challenges overcome. This platform will be progressively set-up with the support of the ten countries that have validated their « national resilience priorities » (NRP-AGIR).

  • In 2017-18, preparatory groundwork was undertaken to facilitate the production of best practices sheets (strategy, standard template, writing guide, AGIR reference framework) and to build capacity and engagement among West African actors, notably among the AGIR focal points. Two training workshops were held in Ouagadougou and Dakar in October and November 2017 with a view to setting up national platforms for capitalising on and sharing best practices on resilience.
  • In 2019-20, this work is pursued in order to establish a sustainable platform in the ten countries concerned. Validated best practices are available online and geolocalised on the RPCA mapping tool. A compilation of best practices information sheets is under elaboration and will be presented at the next SEG/AGIR meeting on 4 December 2019 in Conakry, Guinea. Country-level experience is also shared during the SEG/AGIR meetings.

Sample information sheets from Senegal

Videos

Key documents

Strategic documents, guidelines and analyses

Brochure & Articles

Maps & Facts

Key dates

A large number of events and consultations helped to build the Alliance, a long-term political partnership supporting resilience initiatives in the Sahel and West Africa:

  • 18 June 2012, Brussels: high-level consultation upon the invitation of the European Union which led to the adoption of a joint declaration on resilience in the Sahel. H.E. Mr Cheikhe Hadjibou Soumaré, President of the UEMOA Commission attended.
  • 23 July 2012, Paris: The Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD) participated in a technical and financial partners’ senior experts meeting. An outline of the planning process for AGIR was formulated.
  • 10 September 2012, Abidjan: a consultation was held with the three West African regional organisations (ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS) and facilitated by the SWAC/OECD Secretariat. A joint position on AGIR with a focus on the regional political and technical leadership was validated.
  • 22 October 2012, Ouagadougou: A consultation was held with civil society and private sector organisations. A joint position was validated.
  • October – Nov. 2012: A meeting, facilitated by the SWAC/OECD Secretariat, reflected on the content of the AGIR Regional Roadmap.
  • 7-8 November 2012, Paris: The first Senior Experts Group (SEG/AGIR) validated initial guidelines of the AGIR Regional Roadmap.
  • 6 December 2012, Ouagadougou: AGIR was officially launched during the 28th RPCA annual meeting. All stakeholders adopted a Joint Declaration.
  • January – March 2013: A working group prepared the terms of the draft AGIR Regional Roadmap. A working session was held from 8-9 March 2013 in Lomé.
  • 9 April 2013, Paris: The AGIR Regional Roadmap was adopted at the 2nd SEG/AGIR meeting within the framework of the restricted RPCA meeting. The Technical and Financial Partners (TFPs) co-ordination platform was created.
  • May 2013, Abuja: A letter by the AEWR/ECOWAS Commissioner invited the 17 member countries of ECOWAS, UEMOA and CILSS to engage in national inclusive dialogues to define National Resilience Priorities (NRPs) as outlined in the AGIR Regional Roadmap.
  • May-July 2013: A draft of the methodological tools for conducting NID was prepared with the support of the SWAC/OECD Secretariat.
  • 28-30 August 2013, Cotonou: The set of methodological tools for conducting NID was validated for the formulation of NRPs during a regional workshop.
  • December 2013: ECOWAS Commission President, H.E. Mr Kadré Désiré Ouédraogo sent a correspondence regarding the implementation of AGIR to the 17 Heads of State and government.
  • January – February 2014: The AGIR Technical Unit was officially created; set-up by ECOWAS/UEMOA and hosted by CILSS.
  • 30 October 2015, Milan: A Declaration was adopted during the RPCA Special Session. It affirms stakeholder commitment to strengthen convergence, synergy and complementarities of resilience initiatives, building on AGIR as a unifying framework.
  • 2 December 2015, Paris: During the COP 21, there was a reading of the stakeholder’s Declaration on AGIR’s contribution to strengthening resilience capacity and climate change adaptation of the region’s most vulnerable populations.
  • June 2015, Brussels: Presentation of the Alliance at the European Development Days
  • October 2017, Ouagadougou: Workshop for AGIR focal points on best practices (Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Togo)
  • November 2017, Dakar: Workshop for AGIR focal points on best practices (Cabo Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau and Senegal)
  • 2-3 April 2019, Brussels: Participation of AGIR focal points in the EU High-level Conference on “Food and agriculture in times of crises