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Local and Regional Procurement Learning & Knowledge Sharing Workshop

November 14, 2011

Arlington, Virginia

The TOPS micro-grant program funded a day-long workshop by the Local and Regional Procurement Learning Alliance in November 2011. During the workshop the Alliance members, Catholic Relief Services, Mercy Corps, World Vision, Land O'Lakes, and Cornell University, shared their experiences with LRP programs, as well as research and findings as to the effectiveness and challenges of such programs in addressing food insecurity.

The workshop included an overview of recent USAID and USDA funded LRP projects and a presentation of findings from Cornell University's analysis of Learning Alliance LRP activities.

The program also included breakout sessions to discuss food quality concerns, how LRP can enhance emergency response, links with Title II programs, and the importance of improved collection and distribution mechanisms for market data in food insecure environments.

Donors and implementing partners agreed that LRP can be an extremely flexible tool moving forward. It does not necessarily replace any of the traditional tools in the food assistance toolbox. Rather, in an ideal funding environment, LRP is just one methodology that should be considered—in addition to transoceanic food aid and cash transfers—when designing food security programs for relief or development.

With more robust data and a focused portfolio of success studies and lessons learned, the Learning Alliance will turn their attention to advocacy efforts and opportunities for continued LRP programs in the field.

For more information on the TOPS micro-grants and how to apply, click here.