IFRC-WFP-National Society Capacity Strengthening Initiative: Summary Report Global Learning Workshop, 10-11 April 2018, WFP HQ, Rome, Italy

1. Introduction

The IFRC-WFP-National Society capacity strengthening initiative was launched in 2017 and is being piloted in Burundi, Dominican Republic, Pakistan and Sudan. Additional pilots are under preparation in the Pacific and Zimbabwe. The objective of the initiative is to demonstrate how WFP and IFRC can work together to strengthen National Societies as robust and sustainable institutions, capable of delivering on their mandate and contributing to enhanced, local food security capacity.

A high-level launch meeting of the initiative took place during the WFP Annual Partnership Consultation in October 2017. Six months later, the Global Learning Workshop was convened to 1) take stock of progress so far; 2) exchange experience across the pilots; 3) surface and address challenges; and 4) build a sense of community and a coherent approach across the pilots. More than 50 participants from the National Societies, IFRC and WFP country offices, regional bureaus and HQs attended the workshop.

Elisabeth Rasmusson, WFP Assistant Executive Director for Partnerships and Governance, opened the meeting by highlighting the distinctive role National Societies often occupy between government and civil society, and their unique reach, presence, community trust and volunteer base. Elisabeth also noted that many WFP Country Offices are in the process of preparing five-year Country Strategic Plans so this an opportune moment for them to explore new capacity strengthening partnerships with the Red Cross Movement, government and civil society. Finally, she encouraged the attendees to be patient and to participate with an open mind and a humble approach ready to learn from each other. ‘’I believe WFP can learn a lot from IFRC and the National Societies and I believe that you can also learn from us in WFP. This really is a pilot initiative. You are the pilots of the pilot and I encourage you all to embrace this,’’ said Elisabeth.