Integrated Approach Pilot (IAP) programs were conceived as part of the Global Environment Facility 2020 Strategy to test the delivery of integrated approaches that address discrete, timebound, complex, global environmental challenges. In its sixth replenishment cycle (GEF-6), three IAPs were funded: Sustainable Cities, Taking Deforestation out of Commodity Supply Chains, and Fostering Sustainability and Resilience for Food Security in Sub-Saharan Africa, also known as the Resilient Food Systems (RFS) program.
The Resilient Food Systems program serves as an outstanding example of different partners and countries with distinct mandates joining forces to pursue a shared objective, leveraging their respective strengths to transform food systems in Africa. It highlights the significance of clearly articulating the program’s vision, establishing a well-defined division of labor, and delineating roles and responsibilities from the outset, forming the foundation for an accountability framework. Moreover, the RFS underscores the importance of adopting a nexus approach that integrates food security, agriculture, environment, socio-economic, and climate considerations.
This holistic approach recognizes the interconnectedness of these sectors and the need for holistic solutions. The RFS’s systems-based approach brings together multiple partners at different levels and fosters information flows in both directions, supporting collaboration and knowledge sharing.
This publication presents some of the main lessons learned from the Resilient Food Systems program, which lasted for six years between 2017 and 2023. It provides a reflection on the implementation, lessons learned, and observations around the key components of the RFS. The programmatic value-add of the RFS and the manner with which it was harnessed during implementation is conveyed through case studies drawn from the experience of the country projects across these components.