What happens once a policy outcome is adopted by the UN Committee on World Food Security (CFS)? How does it find its way back from Rome – where it is elaborated – to the national and regional context – where it has to be implemented? How does it become an effective tool for real transformation on the ground? How do we overcome the challenges of implementing a non-binding set of policy recommendations or voluntary guidelines?
Monitoring is key to avoid that CFS policy outcomes end up gathering dust on the shelf. CFS underwent a radical reform in 2009. In that process, monitoring became one of the CFS’s key functions. Since CFS is not an implementing body, political will, resources and engagement by member states and UN agencies is crucial to allow policy outcomes to become alive on the ground. The engagement and role of CSM participating organizations’ at national and regional level is crucial to ensure the use, application and monitoring of the CFS policy tools.
The CSM Monitoring Working Group is tasked to build the path “from Rome to home” at the global level in articulation and synergy with the national and regional dimensions. The Working Group has come a long way in the past years in pushing for the development of an innovative monitoring mechanism for the CFS and to ensure the CFS complies with its mandate and accountability function as set out in the 2009 reform document. Together, we are still learning how to improve and continue monitoring work, create stronger mechanisms for accountability, and support the use and application of CFS policy outcomes. At the same time, it is a guarantee for the states, that the decisions and work done in the Committee, is deeply validated in reality.
The Working Group leads CSM’s engagement and articulates CSM’s experiences into CFS Monitoring processes. These include the Global Thematic Events held biannually with the aim of monitoring CFS comprehensive policy outcomes, and the CFS Plenary activities to monitor specific CFS Policy Recommendations. Through these exercises, it is possible to better understand the successes and challenges in implementing CFS outcomes and reaffirm the importance of ensuring human rights-based, participatory and community-led spaces of policy dialogues for monitoring and accountability at the CFS.