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Asia Regional Knowledge Sharing Meeting Presentations: Thursday, March 5

The Knowledge Sharing Meeting brought together over 150 implementers, donors, and researchers for peer learning, knowledge sharing, and networking around food security and nutrition program implementation in Asia. The meeting strengthened collaboration between food security and nutrition implementing partners across sectors, organizations, and funding sources, while providing a platform for discussion of new evidence and recommendations relevant to food security and nutrition programming and opportunities for exchange of ideas and problem solving around issues of common concern.

Click the links below for more information on Thursday's sessions. You can also view sessions from Tuesday or Wednesday, or return to the main meeting page.



Food for Peace Strategy Update: A Consultation Session

9:00 - 10:30AM

Moderator: Valerie Stetson, Independent Consultant | Presenter: Kathryn Tanner Stahlberg, Program and Policy Coordination Officer, USAID

The USAID Food for Peace Program envisions a world free of hunger and poverty, where all people live in dignity, peace and security. Seeking to fulfill this vision, Food for Peace has embarked on a long-term consultative process to develop a new Strategic Plan for 2016-2021. Input from FFP partners, along with broad consultation within USAID, and with academic partners, and other donors, has helped FFP shape a draft results framework for the new strategy. In this interactive plenary, participants learned more about FFP's work on the strategy to-date and, gave input to help shape a shared vision of food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable.


Concurrent Sessions

Nutrition Sensitive Aquaculture & Livestock Production

10:45AM - 12:15PM

MODERATOR: Joan Jennings, Nutrition & Food Technology Senior Specialist, The TOPS Program | PRESENTERS: Rumana Akter, Nutrition Coordinator, World Fish Bangladesh; Tania Sharmin, Senior Manager, SHOUHARDO II, CARE Bangladesh; Saiqa Siraj, Advisor, Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition, Save the Children Bangladesh

Tania Sharmin, CARE, presented on the process of developing nutrition sensitive aquaculture and livestock production through the SHOUHARDO-II Project. The importance of including a gender lens when designing interventions was emphasized.  Rumana Akter, Nutrition Coordinator for World Fish, gave a presentation on the pond polyculture technology in which at least two fish species are cultured – a small fish that can be harvested frequently by women for household consumption and a larger fish that is harvested occasionally when achieving optimal growth for sale. The presentation also included information on cultivating micronutrient-rich vegetables that women have control over – especially orange flesh sweet potato – around the pond dike.  Saiqa Siraj, Save the Children, shared the results from the NOBO JIBON Project in which dietary diversity among children age 6-23 months was greatest in project areas where maternal-child health and nutrition interventions were integrated with livelihood interventions. It was noted that the results for dietary diversity for women showed a need for increased effort to improve this indicator. Participants were asked to discuss the presentations in small groups and, due to time limitations, decide upon only two questions for the panelists.  Key questions for the presenters were focused on the sustainability of activities, more information on social and behavioral change strategies used to promote consumption of fish, and a question as to why the dietary diversity of pregnant and lactating women (PLW) had not increased. Response was that more involvement of men in understanding the nutrition needs of PLW was necessary. A highlight of all of the presentations was seeing the positive effects of close collaboration and coordinated activities between those staff responsible for nutrition activities and those responsible for agriculture activities.


Gender and Market Governance: Sustaining Gains for the Most Vulnerable

10:45AM - 12:15PM

MODERATOR: Ramona Ridolfi, Gender Manager, HKI | PRESENTERS: Tui Swinnen, Monitoring and Evaluation Advisor, HKI; Marie Cadrin, Chief of Party, PROSHAR, ACDI/VOCA Bangladesh; Richard Rose, Technical Director of Programs, International Development Enterprises Bangladesh (iDE-B); Zahra Khan, Technical Specialist, Gender and Market Development, International Development Enterprises Bangladesh (iDE-B)
Representatives from ACDI/VOCA, iDE, and Hellen Keller International presented on market development strategies to involve women in ACDI/VOCA’s PROSHAR program. Presenters discussed the importance of addressing gender specific constraints to equal market participation and explained key market governance concepts. Participants were then grouped together and given a market chain participants map to discuss key issues in accelerating women’s participation in markets. 

Creating a Knowledge Sharing Plan for Better Programming

10:45AM - 12:15PM

MODERATOR: Shelia Jackson, Knowledge Management Senior Specialist, The TOPS Program | PRESENTERS: Monjur Rashid, Knowledge Management Coordinator, SHOUHARDO II, CARE Bangladesh; Saifuddin Ahmed, Advocacy Manager, SHOUHARDO II, CARE Bangladesh
Knowledge sharing, capture, generation and application are the four tenets of knowledge management. The balance of these tenets is essential for an effective knowledge management program. A knowledge management strategy that provides guidance and pathways to support the four tenets is the best tool to establish a knowledge management culture in your program. In this session, discussion leaders shared techniques to develop the knowledge sharing portion of a knowledge management strategy. The sessions gave participants the basic tools for designing a knowledge management strategy by exploring how to develop one part of the overall strategy: knowledge sharing.

Lunchtime Session

Using Mobile Technology for Resiliency and Sustainability Monitoring of a USAID-Food for Peace-funded Project


Admire Nyereyemhuka, Monitoring, Evaluation, Accountability & Learning Manger, Catholic Relief Services Zimbabwe

This session looked at some of the preliminary outcomes of a resiliency and sustainability monitoring study of USAID/Food for Peace-funded food security project conducted by Catholic Relief Services in Zimbabwe in 2014. The study utilized short message service (SMS) technology to conduct monitoring for a FFP-funded food security project that had ended in the previous year. The resiliency and sustainability monitoring was conducted for Rushinga and Mangwe districts in Zimbabwe to draw lessons on food security programming. In conducting the resiliency and sustainability monitoring, the project worked with cluster facilitators, lead farmers and extension staff who collected and collated monthly utilization data of livestock sales pens, dip tanks, irrigation schemes and Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC) groups. The data was collated and sent to a central server through the SMS technology where it was received in real-time. This approach facilitated for a fast, efficient and cost effective method of collection monitoring.


Concurrent Sessions

Mobile Technology

1:15 - 2:45PM

PRESENTERS: Md. Ariful Islam, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist, FHI 360; Mohammad Alamgir Hossan Patwary, Deputy Manager, MIS & Food Commodities, Nobo Jibon, Save the Children Bangladesh; Mridul Chowdhury, CEO and Founder, mPower Social Enterprises Ltd; Md. Shahid Uddin Akbar, Chief Executive Officer, Bangladesh Institute of ICT in Development (BIID)
Mobile technology has been used successfully in a variety of development programs. Looking at programs across USAID and in the private sector, this session went beyond the basics of mobile technology. The session focused on what components are needed to have a successful program using mobile technology and examples of mobile technology options used in food security programming. It also explored some of the impact of using mobile technology on participants’ behavior as well as on the overall program and included some discussion on the sustainability of mobile technology in programs.

Flood Early Warning: A Look at Two Systems

1:15 - 2:45PM

MODERATOR: Patrick Coonan, Knowledge Management Specialist, The TOPS Program | PRESENTERS: Shafiqur Rahman, HumanitarianAssistance Coordinator, SHOUHARDO II, CARE Bangladesh; Sagar Pokharel, Program Advisor, Disaster Risk Reduction/Senior Focal Point for Resilience and Climate Change Adaptation, Mercy Corps Nepal
This session took a comparative look at two flood early warning systems—one from Bangladesh and one from Nepal. CARE Bangladesh presented on the flood early warning efforts of the SHOUHARDO II program, which has been strengthened through partnerships with Regional Integrated Multi Hazard System (RIMES) and with the Flood Forecasting and Warning Center (FFWC) of the Government of Bangladesh. Mercy Corps in Nepal shared its work in activating community networks to support the establishment of early warning systems in rural areas of Nepal. These two approaches offered insight into how development organizations can work in partnership with government and communities to reduce the risk of natural disaster.

Challenges and Opportunities of Conducting a Barrier Analysis

1:15 - 2:45PM

MODERATOR: Mary DeCoster, Social & Behavioral Change Senior Specialist, The TOPS Program | PRESENTERS: Mizanur Rahman, Program Resources Director, Food for the Hungry Bangladesh; Dr. Ayan Shankar Seal, Team Leader, Health and Nutrition, PROSHAR, PCI Bangladesh
In this session participants got an overview of the Barrier Analysis approach to formative research. Mizan Rahman of FH Guatemala shared experiences and challenges of his team as they conducted their first Barrier Analysis (BA) and Dr. Ayan Shankar Seal presented PCI Bangladesh’s experience with BA.  Results of those BA studies were used to adapt the materials used with the Care Group Trios approach.

Measuring Resilience: From Results to Application

3:15 - 4:45PM

PRESENTERS: Bruce Ravesloot, Vice President and Principal Consultant, TANGO International; Eric Vaughan, Technical Advisor, Mercy Corps; Leah Shearman, Senior Business Development Officer, World Vision; Ninette Adhikari, Research and Evaluation Advisor, Mercy Corps Philippines
Is there evidence that resilience interventions are making an impact on food security programming? Can resilience be measured? What are the practical applications of resilience measurements? These are the questions many people have been asking as the call to implement resilience activities grows ever louder. Resilience measurement studies have been conducted for USAID’s PRIME Project in Ethiopia by TANGO International, for the STRESS Project in Myanmar by Mercy Corps and for work in the Philippines by both Mercy Corps and World Vision. This session focused on the process to measure, interpret and apply resilience results into programming for practical application.

Climate-Smart Agriculture

3:15 - 4:45PM

PRESENTERS: Jennifer Hoffman, Independent Consultant, Climate Change Adaptation; Tania Sharmin, Senior Manager, SHOUHARDO II,CARE Bangladesh
Rather than providing a set of technical interventions, the session focused on the process of identifying and incorporating climate-smart agriculture (CSA) into project activities. Participants discussed the process that SOUHARDO II used to integrate climate change into the project including the Climate Vulnerability and Capacity Analysis (CVCA) tool ( They also worked through a climate-smart worksheet – a practical tool that helps to identify ways to make a project more climate-smart. As a result of the session, participants understood that CSA is not necessarily a whole new set of activities, but that existing practices can be viewed with a new lens, and project activities adjusted to be more climate-sensitive.

Using Formative Research Results Effectively and Creatively

3:15 - 4:45PM

PRESENTERS: Mary DeCoster, Social & Behavioral Change Senior Specialist, The TOPS Program; Dr. Ayan Shankar Seal, Team Leader, Health and Nutrition, PROSHAR, PCI Bangladesh
Participants learned steps to link formative research results (such as Barrier Analysis) to program activities.  They then practiced the approach in their groups and came up with quite creative and innovative approaches.  Dr. Ayan presented from PCI’s experience, and shared a number of creative approaches used to create and adapt materials, including games (Snakes and Ladders) and puzzles, incorporating insights gained from their formative research. Some lesson modules addressed results from formative research,  in the form of pictures showing grandmothers and fathers assisting and approving of mothers practicing promoted behaviors.