The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently released a report assessing progress made in the whole of government Feed the Future (FTF) food security initiative since 2010. The report, GAO-13-809, follows previous reports on the subject published in 2008 and 2010, which found that food security efforts were fragmented and uncoordinated.
Between 2010 and 2013, $7 billion was allocated by the U.S. government to support FTF global food security programs that were initiated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and their partners. GAO-13-809 examines the extent to which the USAID has implemented a whole of government approach to the food security issue, and also examines how USAID has led a country-led approach. In order to examine these issues, GAO analyzed FTF-related agency documents, conducted a survey of all USAID and U.S. FTF partner agency representatives, and interviewed FTF agency officials in Washington, D.C.
GAO concluded that the U.S. government has made good progress in applying a whole of government and country-led approach to global food security issues since President Obama’s 2010 call for greater interagency cooperation in responding to such issues. Such coordinated efforts with U.S. government agencies and country stakeholders enhance U.S. efforts in FTF countries and ensure a more effective contribution toward the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.
However, GAO found that USAID has not systematically assessed risks to aligning U.S. investments to country priorities and engaging multiple stakeholders. Although USAID guidance documents indicate that country teams must assess risks associated with USAID’s development objectives, the agency does not require FTF country teams to systematically assess and mitigate risks to the FTF’s country-led approach. GAO suggests that the USAID Administrator should require FTF country staff to conduct periodic risk assessments.
For more information about GAO-13-809, please follow the links below.
GAO-13-809, Global Food Security: USAID Is Improving Coordination but Needs to Require Systematic Assessments of Country-Level Risks
GAO-13-815SP, an E-supplement to GAO-13-809