As the curtains fell for a high level workshop on Humanitarian Development Peace (HDP) coherence in food crisis contexts, participants called for localised approach towards finding holistic and sustainable solutions.
The inter-relation between humanitarian, development and peace while dealing with shocks and disasters that affect the Horn of Africa featured prominently throughout discussions during the four-day event.
The event, dubbed Greater Horn of Africa Regional Knowledge Sharing Meeting (RKSM) was organized by United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and brought together delegates from Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Uganda, Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan.
“We must make sure that we engage all the stakeholders in ensuring that whether it is government representatives, the local communities, implementing partners or stakeholders who exist in that context, are involved in joint work planning,” said Pita Florence, the USAID Resilience Coordinator, Southern Sudan.
She called for complementarity and leveraging each other's comparative advantage for stakeholders in HDC sectors in a bid to ensure that they successfully work together.
While working in unity, she noted, the sectors would explore what each is best at, in order to be able to wholly contribute or jointly work towards achieving coherence.
Resilience Adviser, USAID Ethiopia, Dubale Admasu called for operationalisation of co-design, co-implementation, co- financing and co-monitoring. Champions who attended the workshop, he said will become agents of revolution towards achieving a harnessed HDP coherence.
“We will identify the problems and seek to understand them better collectively, by involving stakeholders at different levels be it local, national and regional,” said Admasu, adding, “We will be seeking to ensure that our humanitarian activities are not going to affect the private sector such that they (private sector) still remain in business,”.
Often, countries within the Horn of Africa face the same challenges such as drought, diseases, conflicts, pest invasion among others. This calls for exploration of opportunities to not only build resilience, but also create conditions for proper utilization of natural resources and enhance cross-boarder trade, and conflict management.
Of importance too is involvement of local institutions and organisations as they play key roles such as contribution towards innovations and representation of local voices.
National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) CEO Lt Col (RTD) Hared Hassan who officially closed the workshop called for community engagement in design of programs.
“Let us shift power back to communities. Let us harness and use local knowledge in our program design to bring communities back to the table,” he said.
It is evident that community-led approaches, he noted are fundamental for sustainable solutions in the HDP nexus, adding that there was need for amplification of local voices, who have for long been left behind.
He called for development efforts to be adaptable and flexible enough to respond quickly to changing circumstances and emerging needs. This, he noted, is even more urgent in the face of increasing climate variability.
Lt Col (RTD) Hassan recommended that such forums as the RKSM would be held annually in a bid to allow for continuous knowledge sharing and learning that will enable stakeholders from the Horn of Africa to adjust our approaches where necessary.
Senior Climate Specialist, USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance, Shawnee Hoover recommended a holistic approach towards addressing and finding solutions to the needs of communities in crisis. This way, she noted, the actors involved would ensure there is no duplication and enhance efficiency.
Crisis such as climate change, displacements, malnutrition, diseases outbreaks, food insecurity, she added, are becoming the ‘norm’ thus the need for cohesion and innovation towards addressing them and building resilience.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Senior Programme Coordinator Dr Ayan Mahamoud called on stakeholders to remain committed to poverty reduction at all levels.