Lasting solutions to hunger come from effective strategies that fit the community.
We build capacity from the inside out, helping community-based organizations develop the right tools and expertise to achieve long-term success for food security programs.
This approach empowers community-based partners to actively build and sustain long-term, effective solutions to food insecurity.
Our Program Components
- Assessing the capacity of our community partners: What can they manage?
- Community diagnosis: Identifying the root causes of food insecurity
- Plugging in the right partners to implement food security strategies
- Monitoring & evaluation: Keeping the work on track, measuring success
- Building on progress over time: Working toward thriving communities
We begin by facilitating an assessment of organizational capacity with our community partners, usually coffee cooperatives or local community organizations working to improve the conditions of coffee-growing families, and deeply rooted in the communities they represent.
We work with our partners to identify strengths, challenges and opportunities. This creates a concrete understanding of organizational assets and weakness, and provides information necessary to determine strategies most likely to succeed in achieving food security.
We conduct a community diagnostic with farmers, their families and organization representatives to identify strategies, goals and best practices to achieve lasting food security. This process is a participatory one, including many members of the community, to ensure that all voices are heard.
This community diagnosis provides crucial information about the level of food insecurity, available resources, regional, social, geographical and economical characteristics – and, most important, the main challenges the community confronts in attempting to achieve healthy and sustainable livelihoods.
The diagnostic serves as the project’s roadmap. Working from a baseline, together we identify a timeline, benchmarks and outcomes that will keep the work on track.
Plugging in Partners to Implement Food Security Strategies
Once strategies have been identified, we help the community connect with regional and local organizations that have reliable track records implementing successful food security or agricultural diversification programs.
To be successful, their mission and approach must be aligned with our own, as well as the community’s goals.
Monitoring & Evaluation – Keeping the work on track
We work closely with our community partners to design and implement a monitoring & evaluation (M&E) system that fits the way they work, reflecting their organizational capacity and culture.
A community-appropriate M&E system is essential to the success of food security projects. First, it keeps coffee-growing organizations accountable to stakeholders, like families in the community who benefit from the project, as well as donors. Second, a strong M&E system helps projects stay on course by providing valuable information that allows our partners to identify what’s working, with the ability to make adjustments to projects to improve results.
Building on Progress Over Time
As coffee-growing communities develop the capacity to implement and manage projects successfully, they can then build on these successes by exploring additional ways to strengthen food security and livelihoods.
Once the project is complete, we continue to work with our community partners in an advisory capacity, as they build on the foundation of success they have established.