Championing Evidence-Based Agricultural Policy: Committing to agriculture investments through CAADP

In 2003, DFID and other funders requested IFPRI’s involvement in supporting the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) agenda of scaling up agriculture investments. The 2014 Malabo Declaration outlines seven commitments for advancing CAADP and transforming Africa’s agricultural growth and development. In the declaration, African leaders recommitted to the principles and values of CAADP, including commitments to allocate 10 percent of national budgets to agricultural investment in order to help achieve a 6 percent annual agricultural growth rate.

Early on, following the ratification of CAADP in 2003, there was an urgent need for knowledge and tools to guide the planning and implementation of the program. IFPRI’s technical assistance to the Secretariat (the New Partnership for Africa's Development [NEPAD] Planning and Coordinating Agency), capacity building of regional economic communities, and establishment of the Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) have proved to be invaluable in this arena.

The IFPRI-facilitated ReSAKSS, established in 2006 with funding from DFID, gives countries and regions access to high-quality data, knowledge, and tools that are crucial to guiding strategic policy and investment decisions. It has also helped reshape the CAADP framework in response to the new targets and goals of the 2014 Malabo Declaration. ReSAKSS assisted the African Union Commission and the NEPAD Agency in developing the revised Strategy and Results Framework 2015–2025 to provide parameters for benchmarking progress. As of early 2017, 42 countries and four regional economic communities have signed CAADP compact agreements containing specific commitments to agricultural investment. Thirty of these countries successfully underwent rigorous technical reviews of their national agriculture and food security investment plans (NAIPs), with analyses and support from ReSAKSS, allowing 17 countries to eventually secure a total of US$612 million from the multidonor Global Agriculture and Food Security Program.

CAADP has helped to raise the profile of agriculture, leading several countries to meet the 10 percent investment target, and encouraging others to move in that direction. CAADP has been embraced as a framework for development assistance by multilateral and bilateral development agencies, and has been adopted as a model of strategy development and implementation outside of Africa. For example, non-African countries must follow a CAADP-like process to be eligible for the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program – a multinational mechanism designed to improve food and nutrition security. Based on the Africa experience, ReSAKSS has now been expanded to Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean.