For communities to lift themselves out of poverty in the long term, global standards are needed. But how can these be implemented without triggering unintended and negative side effects? This is where Helvetas brings its expertise to bear.
Project Phase2022 to 2024
FundingIFAD - International Fund for Agricultural Development
Thematic focusLearning & Innovation
Skills, Jobs and Income services
Focus on social, climatic and environmental aspects
Rural development initiatives are central to improving the living conditions of people in remote areas and promoting agricultural production. Economic changes, social dynamics, and climate change affect landscapes and ecosystems – and therefore people who depend on it. In order to protect the environment and the well-being of these people, Social, Environmental, and Climate Assessment Procedures (SECAP) are needed. Through the IFAD-funded SUSTAIN Initiative, Helvetas supports various governments and local actors in 59 low and lower middle-income countries across Africa and the Asia-Pacific Region in adopting these procedures in their projects.
This comes with its challenges: the diligence sought often requires complex and challenging processes, such as reviewing a project for potential risks of an environmental, social and climatic nature. It also requires clear procedures to include environmental and nutritional considerations and marginalized people and all genders in a project - and to do so in a timely manner.
Empowering government staff through training and knowledge exchange
To empower and support government ministries responsible for rural development to comply with SECAP, the initiative takes a participatory approach and provides training and coaching to government staff, consultants and partners. Through the SUSTAIN Community of Practice (CoP), participants and other ESC interested stakeholders can share knowledge, seek guidance, and continuously learn from each other and experts even after the training.
The SUSTAIN project is an initiative of IFAD and is implemented by Helvetas, with support from CLEAR Centres and the Value chain Capacity Building Network.