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Feed The Future Working Group Launched To Engage Civil Society

“Feed the Future — [USAID’s] global food security initiative — has formed a working group tasked with finding ways to engage more effectively with civil society both at home and abroad,” Devex reports. “While little is yet known about the specific goals, focal areas, or even how the panel is defining ‘civil society,’ working group members said they will produce an ‘action plan’ structured around ‘very specific action items’ for civil society engagement under Feed the Future by Sept. 18,” according to the news service. The working group was launched on Tuesday at the Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid’s quarterly public meeting, the news service notes, adding, “USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah admitted the agency has so far ‘underperformed’ its responsibility to clearly and transparently communicate programmatic priorities to the American public,” including building civil society support for ending hunger.

“Members of the panel suggested the action plan address chronic messaging problems by ultimately structuring its recommendations around one or two high-profile, cross-cutting issues,” Devex writes. “In his closing remarks at [the] meeting, Shah urged the working group to ‘tackle controversies’ and build shared understanding in order to fulfill his aspiration that Feed the Future become an ‘open platform’ that invites a wide range of participants to the cause of ending hunger,” the news service writes (Igoe, 6/13). IIP Digital reviews Shah’s participation in several recent meetings surrounding nutrition issues. At a June 10 Washington event co-hosted by Bread for the World Institute and Concern Worldwide, Shah “previewed Feed the Future’s second annual report, to be released later in June,” the news service writes, adding, “The report will highlight the program’s system for gathering and disseminating ‘timely, accurate data that measures everything from household income to the participation of women to the prevalence of stunting,’ he said” (McConnell, 6/11).