Initiative Result:

Demand-driven partnership between CGIAR and the World Food Programme (WFP) informs the design and delivery of WFP programing in several African countries

In 2023, the CGIAR Research Initiative on Fragility, Conflict, and Migration (FCM) embarked on an important partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP) supported by the Government of Norway. FCM research is generating evidence to inform WFP programming on: (i) scaling up disaster risk financing; (ii) transforming food systems through sustainable school meals and clean cooking; and (iii) supporting smallholder farmers to build production and livelihood resilience. Through the partnership, FCM is positioning CGIAR as a key knowledge partner for effective crisis response.

To inform WFP’s response to crises of different nature, FCM and WFP co-created an action plan by identifying a list of priority areas through continuous consultations and deliberations, which continue to guide its implementation. Following this jointly created action plan, FCM is providing: (i) strategic support to WFP program design and implementation; (ii) complementary analysis and development of knowledge products; (iii) evidence on the impact of WFP programs through impact evaluation; and (iv) technical and scientific capacity sharing and knowledge exchanges. These activities are supporting WFP in responding to crises more effectively while also enabling integrating climate lenses and conflict-sensitive interventions in WFP’s climate and resilience programming.

To support scale up disaster risk financing, FCM and WFP are conducting strategic evidence reviews on the potential of social protection and resilience programs; climate and conflict risk analysis; review and analysis of anticipatory action initiatives; evaluation of alternative targeting of social assistance in fragile settings; and assessments of the potential of social protection programs. They are assessing vulnerabilities and resilience-building strategies in Ethiopia’s Somali region to guide the enhancement of humanitarian actions. This effort aims to provide policy advice for humanitarian agencies and governments on integrating proactive measures into their community programs. Similarly, FCM is evaluating the performance of alternative targeting of social assistance in conflict-affected parts of Ethiopia to generate evidence to improve targeting and delivery of social assistance (a major challenge that has plagued humanitarian actions and responses in Ethiopia). In Somalia, FCM and WFP are partnering with government to assess the national safety program, Baxnaano, by focusing on its implementation, challenges, benefits, and potential for future adaptation. Collectively, these activities are already informing WFP operational programming and are being carried out in partnership with WFP country offices.

We hope that our support will cultivate an enduring partnership to promote food security and resilience in some of the most fragile and conflict-affected settings in the world today. Combining rigorous science with humanitarian assistance and on-the-ground knowledge will hopefully improve the lives of the rural poor. – Daniel Frans van Gilst, Senior Advisor, Department for Climate and Environment, Norad and Norway’s Alternate on the CGIAR Systems Council

To strengthen the sustainability of school feeding programs in Africa, FCM researchers are working with WFP country offices to enhance Home-Grown School Meal Programs (HGSMP) in Malawi and Nigeria by introducing nutritious, locally available, climate-smart foods. These studies are identifying potential avenues and opportunities for planet-friendly and sustainable school meals in Africa which can serve school children while also contributing to value chain development within communities. This work is contributing to promoting sustainable school meals and school feeding programming in other low- and middle-income countries. Given the growing importance of these school feeding programs in Africa and WFP’s investments in these programs, enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of these school meals in Africa remains critical, and FCM is generating evidence that serves this objective.

FCM and WFP also launched a series of activities and studies to support and build production and livelihood resilience of smallholder farmers in selected African countries. These activities include country-specific resilience and climate analyses for food security interventions to inform country strategic planning and program design. For example, in the Sahel, FCM research shows that WFP’s resilience program contributes to social cohesion and peace while ongoing studies use WFP’s monitoring and evaluation data to examine households’ coping strategies to multiple shocks. In Kenya and Mali, FCM produced comprehensive factsheets mapping climate security and vulnerability to inform WFP’s resilience and humanitarian programing.

FCM and WFP are also engaging in technical capacity building and knowledge exchange activities. CGIAR experts are providing specialized support to WFP offices, with successful secondments in Dakar and Nairobi, and plans to extend this to additional countries. FCM’s collaboration is facilitating the integration of climate considerations into WFP’s initiatives, showcasing CGIAR’s commitment to effective collaboration and knowledge dissemination, and significantly enhancing the impact of WFP Country Offices’ impacts on the ground.  Through these activities and engagements with WFP, FCM has laid the foundations for even more output and impact in 2024.

  1. Abay, Kibrom; Kosec, Katrina; and Anisimova, Evgeniya. 2023. CGIAR joins forces with WFP and Norad to enhance climate resilience and food security in Sub-Saharan Africa. CGIAR Blog.
  2. Sarzana, C.; Doehnert, F.; Kenduiywo, B.; Ndiaye, A.; Sib, O.; Pacillo, G.; Läderach, P. 2023. Climate security mapping for targeted humanitarian and resilience WFP interventions in Mali: Climate security hotspots and food security insights. Dakar (Senegal): Bioversity International and International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) / CGIAR FOCUS Climate Security.
  3. Abay, Kibrom A.; Tafere, Kibrom; Berhane, Guush; Chamberlin, Jordan; and Abay, Mehari H. 2023. Near-real-time welfare and livelihood impacts of an active war: Evidence from Ethiopia. Food Policy 119(August 2023): 102526. 
  4. Bleck, Jamie; Gottlieb, Jessica; Kosec, Katrina; Kyle, Jordan; and Soumano, Moumouni. 2023. Local governance in anticipatory action and crisis response: A new study in Mali. Fragility, Conflict, and Migration Project Note December 2023. Washington, DC: International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Abay, Kibrom; Berhane, Guush; Gilligan, Daniel; Tafere, Kibrom; and Taffesse, Alemayehu. 2023. Evaluating alternative targeting of social assistance in fragile settings. AEA RCT Registry.
  6. Desai, B.; Meddings, G.; Campbell, R.; Laderach, P. 2023. Adaptive social protection: a persistent illusion or the way forward for climate adaptation and social inclusion?
  7. Perera, Tania. 2023. We’re taking the path less traveled: Addressing fragility, conflict and migration in Ethiopia’s Somali region. IWMI Blog. 
  8. Gelli, Aulo; and Ruel, Marie. 2023. Unlocking opportunities for planet-friendly school meals. IFPRI Blog. 
  9. Pul, Hippolyt; Meinzen-Dick, Ruth Suseela; Konde. Bernard B.; Zogho, Donatus; Kuuchile, Emmanuel V.; McCarthy, Nancy; and Marivoet, Wim. 2023. Sahel social cohesion research in Burkina Faso and Niger: Working Paper. WFP Working Paper. 
  10. Anisimova, Evgeniya. 2024. CGIAR, WFP, and Norway’s collaboration for climate-resilient food security in sub-Saharan Africa. CGIAR Blog.


Header image: Unloading food aid from a WFP helicopter in Barada, Mozambique. Photo by Rein Skullerud/WFP.

CGIAR Centers

IFPRI; Alliance of Bioversity and CIAT; IWMI


This result was made possible by our valued partner: World Food Programme (WFP).