The World Food Program (WFP), Government of Liberia (GoL) and partners recently conducted a two-day Integrated Context Analysis (ICA) technical and programmatic consultation seminar in Monrovia aimed at strengthening the design, planning and implementation of food security programs as well as disaster risk reduction and preparedness.
The ICA workshop was supported by WFP, led by the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA) and the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) in close partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) as well as WFP.
Nearly 100 participants from the GoL, United Nations, European Union, NGOs' representatives and other development partners attended the workshop.
The ICA provides for a framework to aggregate data from a wide range of sources, including Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), and Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNet) to inform vulnerability analyses on food security, nutrition and disaster risk reduction.
A WFP technician keenly observes the ecology of a farmland site to effectively advise smallholder farmers.
Emmanuel Anderson, WFP Liberia's Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping Associate, defined the importance of bringing together different parties to conduct such exercise: "The participation of stakeholders throughout this exercise is very crucial, because the results of the analysis will be essential in properly informing and guiding development plans and programs to address regular food insecurity and climate-related shocks and risks in the country."
WFP's National Program Policy Officer, Amos Ballayan, on behalf of WFP's Representative and Country Director, Karla Hershey, underscored the relevance of the ICA conference.
"This ICA exercise is essential in enabling Liberia to be on par with other countries in the sub-region in obtaining the quality data we need to inform our programming activities," said Mr. Ballayan.
"The ICA results are coming during a time when there is serious discussion over climate change and its effects on agriculture production, migration and urban planning being held around the globe," he said.
Acting director of Food Security and Nutrition at the Ministry of Agriculture Tarnue Koiwou recognized WFP's role as a reliable partner to the government in the area of integrated context analysis, food security, and capacity strengthening.
The next stage is to implement Seasonal Livelihood Programming (SLP) at the Sub-national level based on the ICA result to populate strategic program themes with activities.
ICA stakeholders will also endeavor to begin the practical implementation of the seminar's recommendations, including the utilization of data evidence to inform broad programmatic strategies, a basis for discussion with partners and a foundation on which to expand to inform future strategies to achieve lasting change in Liberia.