The EBA is a project of the World Bank supported by a number of donors, including the UK Department for International Development, USAID, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Danish Government. The purpose of the EBA is to “identify and monitor policies and regulations that impact how markets function in the agricultural sector” by looking at what policies and regulations are in place in countries across the world. The project, which began in 2012, has the potential to have a real impact on countries’ agricultural policies, which, in turn, affect the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, so SHA and others on the African Smallholder Farmers Group (ASFG) decided to try to influence it to maximise the positive impact on those farmers.
On SHA’s behalf, Trio engaged in the EBA process at the earliest stages of its development, securing a place for SHA as one of the few non-governmental organisations on the EBA advisory council. Working with SHA’s colleagues on the ASFG, we continued to follow the process and developed relationships with the EBA team in the World Bank and the donors supporting the project. We submitted and promoted ideas on how the EBA could better reflect the needs and perspectives of smallholder farmers – using a framework of policies important to smallholders developed by the ASFG itself. We succeeded in influencing the EBA to give greater attention to key issues, such as gender, cooperatives and sustainability, and to take a more inclusive approach to consultation and data collection.
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Save the Children UK