The Washington Weekly – December 7, 2012

December 7, 2012

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The Hunger Project’s Executive VP, John Coonrod, has moved from New York City to Washington, DC to strengthen THP’s seat at the table of international development. Each week, John sends us insight into issues of health, policy, human rights and more by way of the Washington Weekly.

Localistas Rally for Participatory Local Democracy

Greetings from Mexico City, where our team is completing an intensive week of strategy meetings for 2013-2016, while at the same time organizing two milestone meetings for our UN Democracy Fund (UNDEF) partnership to advance Participatory Local Democracy.

At our meetings were senior officials from government, UNDP, academia and civil society. Together we created the vision for the difference it can make to put capacity building for participatory local democracy higher on the political agenda. Most policy makers recognize at some level that it is important for achieving the MDGs, yet there is not yet a global campaign to address the challenge.

Mexico, like many countries, faces structural obstacles: local councils are elected for a three year term, and cannot be re-elected – making long-term planning for development virtually impossible. Our Tuesday meeting was devoted to a promising solution to this challenge.

We decided to call ourselves the Localistas. Once the proceedings written up, they will appear on our UNDEF Project website.

NGOs honored for Best Practices in Capacity Building

Last week I had the opportunity, as THP is a member of the jury, to attend the event to honor three NGOs for their outstanding work in capacity building for food security. Two of three winners had joined us on a panel at last year’s InterAction Forum.

The InterAction Best Practice Initiative is funded by IFAD.

One winner – the Alliance to End Hunger – has helped build NGO advocacy alliances on food security in Ghana and Uganda where we work. Participating in these platforms are key to our strategic intent of influencing country-led strategies.

FYI: USAID launches resilience strategy

In a world of climate change and political upheaval, empowering people to cope with shocks is integral to strategies to end hunger and poverty on a sustainable basis. This week, USAID launched a new strategy: http://usaid.gov/resilience.

Of particular interest to THP is the “Joint Planning Cell” established in Dakar, working in coordination with other actors to strengthen resilience throughout the Sahel. I have high hopes that we can have them discover and appreciate the huge advantages for resilience in the epicenter strategy?

Upcoming Events

December 10: 16 Days Against Gender Violence ends with celebration of Human Rights Day

December 10-12: G20 CSO Joint Strategy Meeting in Moscow

December 12-13: Tarcila speaks at UN on halting domestic violence

Week of January 7, 2013: THP consultation in New Delhi on Participatory Local Democracy.

February 6-15, 2013: UN Conference on Social Development

March 3-4, 2013 – AU Conference on Ending Hunger in Africa, Addis

March 4-15, 2013 – UN Commission on the Status of Women

April 19-21, 2013 – World Bank Spring Meetings in Washington

April 29-May 1, 2013 – InterAction Forum, Arlington, Virginia

May 28-30, 2013 – Women Deliver Conference, Kuala Lumpur

June 2013 – Civil20, Business20, Youth20 Summits in Saint Petersburg, Russia

June 27-28, 2013 – International Conference on Population and Development, Paris

September 2013 – Leaders G20 Summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia

October 5, 2013 – The Hunger Project Fall Event