Institutional Capacity Development: FAO Contributions to the Capacity Strengthening of the Guatemalan Government for Food Security, Nutrition and Rural Development
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De La Rosa Albritton, Victoria
Guatemala has one of the highest levels of chronic malnutrition in Latin America, since 15.6% (2,554,121 individuals) of the population are undernourished1, as opposed to the 5.5%2 in the region. For improvement in food security, nutrition (FSN) and rural development (RD) to occur, an enabling environment must be developed and preserved. This includes the institutional set-up of a country, its implicit and explicit rules, its power structures and the policy and legal environment in which individuals and organizations function, and the context in which individuals and organizations put their capabilities into action. Therefore, individual and organizational capabilities must be developed first for the FSN and RD enabling environment to be established. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has been present in Guatemala since 1962, and has supported the Government in the areas of agriculture, FSN and RD, in conjunction with the development of its capacity to deliver results. As a base framework for cooperation, the Guatemalan Government and the FAO established a Country Programming Framework (CPF) for the period of 2013 to 2016. The framework has four priority areas of intervention. As part of the efforts to improve the FSN and RD of the Country, significant work was towards the institutional capacities development. As an intern at the FAO Office of Evaluation, I provided work support in the preparation of the Guatemala CPF Evaluation. I also contributed to the Institutional Capacity Development Study by gathering relevant information on results and impacts from the projects by the FAO in the Guatemala. This paper aims to assess the achievements of the government of Guatemala with support from FAO in the work towards strengthening the institutional capacities in the nation through the analysis of eight projects that were developed during the CPF period of work. Relevant progress has occurred in this context, as the Ministry of Agriculture has initiated several programs to improve management capacities and rural extension services. Furthermore, policies that aim to promote FSN and RD have been enacted, displaying progress in the institutional capacity of Guatemala.
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