Lasting solutions to hunger come from effective strategies that fit the community.
Food 4 Farmers’ approach is driven by the families and communities we serve. Our programs create long-term, effective solutions to food insecurity that provide for income diversification, support adaptation to climate change, build gender equity, and improve livelihoods.
How our approach works
- We build capacity from the inside out by cultivating leadership and expertise locally that leads to lasting solutions.
- We collaborate with partners, cooperatives, and organizations deeply rooted in the communities they represent so strategies fit each community’s culture, needs and priorities.
- We are data-driven, beginning with a participatory diagnostic that is inclusive and localized, to create a roadmap for communities to achieve and measure results.
- We are nimble. We provide an adaptable framework that supports a variety of community-led solutions.
- We take a long-term approach developing solutions based on trust and respect, because we understand that real and lasting change takes time and commitment.
Our program components
In any program, we begin by assessing the organizational capacity of our community partners, working with them to identify strengths, challenges and opportunities. This creates a concrete understanding of organizational assets and weakness, and provides the information needed to develop strategies with a strong likelihood of success. We primarily work with coffee cooperatives or community organizations that are deeply rooted in among the families they represent.
The second step in our partnership is to conduct a community diagnostic to develop appropriate strategies and a baseline analysis that will guide our work together. This is a participatory process including farmers, their families, and organization representatives, to ensure that all voices are heard.
The community diagnostic provides crucial information about the level of food insecurity, available resources, regional, social, geographical and economical characteristics – and, most importantly, the main challenges achieving healthy and sustainable livelihoods. This diagnostic is the project roadmap allowing us and our partners to develop a timeline, benchmarks and outcomes that will keep the work on track.
Plugging in Partners to Implement Food Security Strategies
Once the key strategies have been identified, we help the community connect with local and regional organizations that have reliable track records implementing 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
Our focus on the community diagnostic lays the groundwork for a robust monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system. As the project kicks off, we work closely with our community partners to design and implement an 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 a 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.