Operational partnerships: A catalyst for transformational change

Zimbabwe has some of the highest levels of food insecurity in Sub-Saharan Africa, regardless of the outcome of its agricultural seasons. In this context, the engagement with operational partners in the context of Zimbabwe Livelihoods and Food Security Programme (LFSP) has had a profound impact on FAO’s ability to achieve results on the ground. Through OPIM (Operational Partners Implementation Modality), FAO could capitalize on the comparative advantage of its partners, drawing on invaluable local knowledge and resources to broaden the scope and reach of its interventions. LFSP’s engagement of a variety of partners with diverse experiences has, for instance, opened up multiple avenues to reach beneficiaries with new knowledge, skills and technologies. Similarly, LFSP’s operational partners have benefited from FAO’s own expertise. The existence of governance structures has ensured compliance with contractual obligations in terms of programme delivery, tracking results, risk management and achieving value for money through a structured monitoring and accountability process. Continuous communication and close coordination with operational partners was also a key feature for the project success and has translated into a strong culture of feedback between FAO and its operational partners, having a profound impact on the programme adaptability.

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