Addressing development challenges
The Investment Centre continues to adapt its services to changing development needs and priorities. Special emphasis is placed in project preparation on building local commitment and ownership, preparing national institutions for their role in project implementation, assessing environmental impact, and addressing poverty. Sharing information on the Centre's experience with new approaches and technical advances is a continuing priority.
The Centre, in cooperation with
partner financing agencies
,emphasizes beneficiary participation in project design and implementation.
The aim is to strengthen local commitment and ownership. Increasingly,
reports are prepared in the field rather than at Headquarters.
There is extensive consultation with the ultimate beneficiaries.
National and local governments and institutions which will be
responsible for project implementation are fully involved in the
project preparation process.
Building up the capacities of national institutions and staff
in the techniques of investment project formulation is a major
by-product of the Centre's work. This is sometimes accomplished
through formal training on the design of agricultural development
projects, but more often through on-the-job practical training
in project preparation.
Protecting the environment
With growing concern for the environment and the rapid expansion
in environmental financing by multilateral financing institutions
and the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Investment Centre
is increasingly helping governments with the environmental aspects
of their investment programmes. The Centre is able to draw on
its considerable experience with natural resources management
projects. It has expertise in areas such as preparation of National
Environmental Action Plans, formulation of water quality monitoring
programmes, protection of biodiversity, and strengthening of national
Poverty alleviation has become a high priority in agricultural
and rural development. A major reason for the persistence of
hunger and malnutrition, despite the substantial successes in
agricultural development efforts in recent decades, is that lack
of purchasing power prevents the poor from obtaining the food
they need. The Investment Centre, together with cooperating financing
institutions and governments, is developing approaches for reaching
the poorest inhabitants in rural areas more effectively. These
approaches engage the rural poor themselves in identifying the
constraints an challenges which they face.
The Investment Centre continues to share information with development practitioners. The Centre's UPDATE (Current Issue / Back Issues) newsletter is published three times a year and widely distributed - to cooperating financing institutions, member countries, and individual subscribers. The Centre issues Technical Papers on key aspects of agricultural investment. In 1995, a new series of Occasional Papers was launched as a means of giving broader circulation to examples of innovative work and interesting results achieved by the Centre's staff.