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Secretariat HLPE, c/o FAO

Viale delle Terme di Caracalla

00153 Rome, Italy

Tel: 0039 06 5705 2762

Website :

E-mail :

HLPE report #13 on

Multi-stakeholder Partnerships to Finance and Improve

Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) in the Framework of the 2030 Agenda”

Existing MSPs: Case studies

The following questionnaire aims at collecting detailed inputs on existing MSPs. This material is to be used where appropriate by the HLPE to illustrate its abovementioned report #13 with concrete examples.

1. Name of MSP: Balochistan Agriculture Project (FAO of the UN)

# (for HLPE use only):

2. Brief description of mandate / activities / objectives:
Balochistan Agriculture Project was implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations through a cooperative agreement signed between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and FAO.
The project aimed to make a significant contribution to poverty alleviation and the reduction of economic inequalities in Balochistan Province of Pakistan through sustainable agriculture development. In particular it emphasized on:

  • Improved enabling environment for the development of provincial agricultural policies and legal and regulatory frameworks, market-led and community-driven investments, strategies and processes, and women's empowerment in agricultural development – including the “community organisation” sub-component of the original USABBA Project.

  • Increased crop and livestock productivity and value of agricultural products produced, through improved technological innovation and management practices and improved community-based irrigation development and water management practices in project-assisted villages and their value chains - “crop and livestock production”

Following components were added to the project sphere of operations during course of its implementation (extension):

  • Establish Small local agri-business enterprises and market linkages strengthened for target poor communities to increase sales of their surplus produce and improve competitiveness and sustainability of their value chains – including the “marketing capacity building”.

The Project contributed to the Government of “Pakistan’s: New Framework for Economic Growth” and “National Zero Hunger Action Plan” by, amongst others, increasing agricultural productivity and reforming agriculture and rural markets.

3. Website (official website of the MSP and, or, relevant web sources):

4. Year of Origin / Creation: The project start date was January 2005

5. Scale/Level of operation (choose one option):

( ) Global (Specify major areas/regions of presence:………………..…………….……………………)

( ) Regional (Specify region1:…………………………………………….….……………………………..)

(…) Sub-regional (Specify sub-region2: …………………………………………………………………….)

( ) National (Specify country……………………………………………………….………………………)

() Local (specify country: ……Pakistan, Balochistan (8 Districts)


6. Number of main partners: 9

7. Composition of the MSP: list of main partners: names and/or categories (i.e.: public sector, private sector, civil society, others3)

GOB - Government of Balochistan (Agriculture and livestock department)

GOP – Federal Ministry of Food Security & Research

USAID – United States Agency for International Development

MSI – Management System International

ICARDA - International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas

MEDA - Mennonite Economic Development Associates

WESS - Water Environment and Sanitation Society

BRSP – Balochistan Rural Support Program

NRSP – National Rural Support Program

8. Which partner(s) initiated the MSP? How the MSP may have evolved?

FAO took the lead role in organizing the MSP, USAID contributed USD 25 million, in total, for carrying out the initiative over the period of 12 years (2005 to 2016) in three phases.

At the early stage of the project (2005 to 2007 – pilot phase in 3 districts) ICARDA served as the sub-contractor for running the Applied Research component of the project.

MEDA and WESS worked together on the value chain development on Embellished Garments (Women Specific activity)

Project hired BRSP as a sub-contractor to hire local staff on mobilizing the communities through the participatory development approach.

NRSP trained field staff in community mobilization skills

MSI carried out the evaluation of project (twice) under the direct supervision of USAID

9. Governance structure: does the MSP result of an informal agreement, or is there a formal structure of decision-making? Describe the decision-making process (including frequency of meetings of the governing bodies…)

Under an agreement with USAID, the Project has a Federal Steering Committee, which was tasked to meet twice a year. The Steering Committee had representation from the provincial line departments e.g. Planning & Development Department Agriculture & Cooperatives Department, Forest & Wildlife Department and Livestock & Diary Development Department. A Representative from MEDA (sub-contractor), USAID and Government of Pakistan (Ministry of Food Security & Research), PARC/NARC were on the decision-making forum. The workplan, budget and progress of the project were reviewed each year on this high level decision-making forum. So, the MSP was built into the formal project governance structure.

9. Governance structure: describe the roles, responsibilities and level of involvement of the different partners in the partnership. Describe, the case being, power asymmetries between partners. Which partner(s) lead the MSP?

The GoB/GoP played the lead role, however, USAID as donor and FAO as implementing partner had equal stake in the decision-making process. Whereas some of the other partners were either sub-contractors to the project or USAID hence were guided through the decisions made by the main stakeholders (GoP/GoB, USAID and FAO).

10. Representation and legitimacy: How and by whom are the members chosen? Do they speak only for themselves or represent a broader category of stakeholders? How long is their mandate? How does the MSP ensure inclusiveness and “fair” representation of the most affected, including?

The membership to the Steering Committee were decided through a consensus by the three major stakeholders in the project. The stakeholders were not only representatives of their own organizations, but they represented the people of Balochistan (farmers), academia, public and private sector. The Steering Committee was for the total lifespan of the project. Depending upon the scope of work, new members were added to the committee.

11. Representation and legitimacy: What are the channels of communication between the MSP and the government(s)? Are the decisions/recommendations of the MSP to the government(s) are prescriptive or consultative? What public strategies/priorities this partnership supported at different scales?

As indicated, the sole decision-making body was the Steering Committee and that worked as a sole communication mechanism between all parties engaged in the process. However, the stakeholders received quarterly updates on the progress through reports, de-briefings etc. The decisions which fall under the project operations were prescriptive, but others were that of a consultative nature e.g. development of Provincial Agriculture Policy & Strategy.

12. How and by whom the MSP is funded? Who underwrites the partnership? Add relevant data about the budget, and budget share of each category of partners (public, private, civil society). Is the budget sufficient for work plan implementation?
FAO was the lead partner in assessing the needs of the project in terms of yearly activity planning and budget requirement for all such initiatives. There were no specific budget share allocated for each category (public, private, civil society) , in fact, it was mandated through the yearly workplans which was approved each year in consultation with all partners in the process.


13. What are the main areas of contribution of the MSP? Please tick in the table below the main, secondary and tertiary areas of contribution of the MSP.

Outcome Area




  1. Policy design, policy implementation, laws, advocacy and awareness

  1. Increased participation/inclusiveness: priority given to women as well as to marginalized and vulnerable groups.

  1. Capacity building, among the MSP partners, and beyond

  1. Resource mobilisation and fund raising

  1. Activities related to facilitating improved FSN outcomes (e.g. environmental stewardship towards biodiversity/ water conservation…)

  1. Outcomes that directly contribute to FSN (e.g. increased production, economic growth, income and employment generation, improved diets, better nutrition education and information…)

  1. Monitoring and evaluation

  1. Other (Specify: ________________)

For each of the areas of contribution mentioned above, please give examples of the MSP outcomes and impacts:

Improved economic status of focused populations

Improved economic performance of focus enterprises

Improved skill development and job placement

Increased use of modern technology and management


Strengthened private sector and civil society engagement in policy-making

14. What are the main organizational and collective benefits gained from setting-up this MSP?
This initiative helped the Government of Balochistan in developing a community driven, market led system which resulted in formation of more than 70 “Farmer Marketing Collectives” and 8 “Mutual Marketing Organizations” (cooperatives), which are self-propelling and carrying out business independent of outside support. The initiative was successful in mobilizing millions of US dollars from the local communities as a cost-contribution through the project interventions.


15. Please rank your overall assessment of the MSP, ranking from 1 to 5 (with 1 being lowest to 5 highest)


16. Explain your above ranking

Development projects cannot operate in isolation of national or local government institutions. However difficult the challenges might be, projects must engage with government agencies, engage private sector and build the capacity of the local farmers enabling them to utilize modern technology in their daily farm operations.

Working with government institutions that operate with limited budgets or limited qualified personnel presents particular challenges but provides legitimacy and a framework for anchoring the changes that are needed for sustainability. Ensuring that government agencies become good partners facilitates implementation and permits transitional change to continue. Mechanisms to help achieve this include joint exercises, capacity building, and collaboration.

Balochistan, a province with fragile security environment was less attractive to the private sector and the project had to create demand for the private sector by encouraging and investing in the input supplies. This opened a window of opportunity for the producer to have access to the high-quality inputs supplies but on the other end it generated a lot of interest from the private companies to invest in the province (North Balochistan). This resulted in a stabilized economy (in the selected areas) and provide business-cum-job opportunities to all engaged in the process.

17. How do you assess the MSP according to the following criteria (high, medium, low)? Why?

Criteria / Assessment





(the intention to include everyone affected by decisions, especially those who are routinely ignored)


(assigned responsibility that a representative or a group acquires with the action of speaking or deciding on behalf of someone else)

Transparency/Access to Information

(openness to public scrutiny, availability of information)


(capacity of a MSP to learn from mistakes, to assess long-term trends, and to react accordingly


(assessment of the achievement of MSP’s objectives)


(comparison between the use of resources with the potential benefits the MSP can generate, including intangible benefits)

Resource mobilisation

(raising of financial resources, and other enabling resources to improve FSN)


(impact on FSN in its four dimensions at different scales)

18. Any comments on the above ratings:

19. How do you rate the power relations between participants? (choose one option)

( ) More Equal

( ) Equal

( ) Less Equal

( ) Un-equal

20. Explain your above rating


21. Could you identify current strengths supporting and/or weakness challenging the MSP?
Strengths: substantial own contribution (cost sharing) of beneficiaries; contributing to sustainability of project;

Weaknesses: market distortion by donors and government; input subsidies and grants (non level playing field)

22. Could you identify projected threats and/or opportunities that the MSP would cause/offer, (included for those stakeholders that are not included in the MSP)?
Opportunities: further market and agri business development and quality controlled production for modern markets

23. Which conditions could enable the MSP to better function?
More secure working environment (law and order); better infra structure, enabling-environment (laws and legal frameworks), public private partnerships etc.

24. What is the potential of this MSP to influence public priorities across sectors and allocation of budget for improved FSN? What is its potential to mobilise further funds for improving food security and nutrition?
Substantial; as partners have proven by mobilizing Australian funds for similar programmes in 6 more Districts in Balochistan and new partnerships have emerged out of this intervention. The Balochistan Nutrition Project for Mother & Children, FAO & UNHCR & Islamic Relief have shown keen interest in investing on the “Homestead Gardening” as a conduit to deal with the nutritional related issues, provide economic opportunities for the mother eliminating child labor in the farms.

25. What is the potential of this MSP to address the specific needs of marginalized and vulnerable groups most affected by food insecurity and malnutrition?

26. How can other regions/countries use this experience to organize similar spaces? what are the necessary conditions to extrapolate/adapt/scale-up this MSP experience?
Lessons learned are extensively documented, analysed and disseminated through the partners as well as USAID.

Project experiences are used in other programmes in Pakistan and in Balochistan


27. The HLPE is interested by any article, mainly scientific references but also practical experiences on MSPs you would like to share (scholarly articles, reports, reviews, analysis, etc):
List of publications (mostly non scientific) available on request

28. Any other observation.

1 For the answer to this question, please use the 7 “FAO regions”: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Carribean, Near East, North America, Southwest Pacific, as described online:

2 In some cases it might be relevant to specify a sub-region or a regional intergovernmental organization such as African Union, European Union, MERCOSUR, ASEAN…

3 See V0 draft for a more detailed description of the three first broad category. For “others”, please specify.

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