InterAction has announced its award winners for the third round of the Best Practices and Innovations (BPI) Initiative. This initiative is designed to boost the efficiency and impacts of field programs in the rural livelihoods and food security, promote information sharing of effective program approaches, and improve practice standards. The winning projects exemplify the NGO community’s commitment to these standards while building the economic viability of rural communities. All will be highlighted on InterAction’s recently launched Food Security Aid Map.
Submissions were reviewed by a selection committee of technical experts and evaluated according to five criteria: evidence of effectiveness/success, efficiency/cost-effectiveness, equitable outcomes for women and men, sustainability and replicability/adaptability.
Best Practice Award for Extension services/Farmer training and Gender Integration/Women’s Empowerment
“Improving Livelihoods through Women Empowerment” introduced social and economic changes in the lives of thousands of women in Mymensingh district, Bangladesh. This program has given voice to illiterate women whose status is among the lowest in the world. ADRA’s empowerment model provided an opportunity for 5,400 women to become influential members of civil society. Eighty percent of participating women have achieved the ability to read, write, participate in shared decision-making and manage healthy homes. Seventy percent of participants have increased income by 19% and new agriculture technologies have been adopted to make this empowerment model a success.
Best Practice Award for Natural Resources Management and Adaptation to Climate Change
Africare’s “System of Rice Intensification (SRI)” project aims to alleviate poverty through strengthening the social and economic status of women and their families, so that they can become active members of civil society in Mali. Working in the Timbuktu Region, the project achieves food and livelihood security by increasing food production, boosting rural incomes, improving health and nutrition, increasing gender equity, and strategically managing natural resources. In addition, women are becoming more active participants in rice production and are now able to contribute to the overall household income and are now seen as active contributors to the well-being of the family.
Save the Children
Innovation Award for Gender Integration/Women’s Participation and Nutrition
The “Working Collectively Mitigates Hunger and Malnutrition in the Philippines” project addresses hunger and malnutrition by building the capacity of beneficiaries through two key activities: organic food production in schools, homes and communities; and the implementation of an integrated community approach to addressing malnourished children. Parents, students, teachers, community leaders, and government officials were trained on how to produce organic crops, fish, and vegetables using hands-on activities. Produce from the food gardens are then pooled together by involved parents to feed their malnourish children and experience the progress in their children’s health and nutrition.
Best Practice Award for Access to Markets and Entrepreneurial Literacy
The USAID-funded “Education for Income Generation (EIG) Program” in Nepal is facilitating social change within households by combining income generation with entrepreneurial literacy. EIG provides training in market-linked agriculture production, home-based enterprises and vocational training along with an integrated entrepreneurial literacy class that teaches numeracy, business planning, credit, life skills, governance, nutrition and basic health care. Young women, often marginalized in their husband’s homes, are gaining confidence that comes from knowledge and respect from their husbands and mothers-in-law by earning income. Consequently, these empowered women play a greater role in decisions – changing customs revolving around nutrition, health and children’s education.
Best Practice Award for Post Harvest Storage and Value Chain Development
More than 3 million farm families live in the major cowpea producing regions of West and Central Africa. These farmers need a safe, simple, and effective cowpea storage technology. Hermetic, triple-layer bag storage for cowpea has been recognized as an effective technique for nearly twenty years. Triple-layer bag storage is a flexible technique that adapts to any scale from women who grow a few kilograms for home use to farmers who may have a large quantity to sell when they have an exceptionally good crop year. It is a locally produced technology that is low-cost, easy to use, and effective.
InterAction launched the BPI initiative in 2009 with support from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) with the goals of boosting practice standards for field programs by sharing exemplary program models that have improved the efficiency of service delivery and facilitating the development of networks and partnerships for increased program impact.
For more information on the awardees and BPI, including a list of previous winners, please visit our Best Practices and Innovations Initiative page.