Now is the right time to improve – and implement – sector-based approaches to agricultural development, Lidia Cabral argues in a recent Overseas Development Institute briefing paper. Such approaches may not have been universally successful, but they can have a lasting impact if implemented well.
Sector-based approaches have helped to improve donor coordination and promote country ownership. But they have also resulted in poor sector policies and slow decision-making processes. All of this may increase aid effectiveness, says Cabral.
To be sure, the success of sector-based programs isn’t universal. They often do not bring together all sources of agricultural aid, the ODI research fellow notes. They often tend to overemphasize systems, leading to a initiatives that are somewhat removed from the realities on the ground.
Now is a great time to address these issues, according to Cabral: The international aid architecture is changing fast and there are new sources of funding in emerging economies, foundations and philanthropists.
Cabral also suggests the following cornerstones of a sector-based approach to agricultural development:
- Support locally-owned frameworks.
- Prioritize results over systems.
- Find a suitable institution to implement and manage sector-based approaches.
- Provide a variety of aid modalities drawn from best practices in the field.
- Bridge gaps in agricultural performance and assessment.