14 July 2009

The value of everything and the price of nothing

The World Food Programme runs a school-feeding programme in Southern Sudan.

In a country where primary enrolment is well below 50% this is clearly a fantastic initiative. However for government to effectively plan for its own activities it needs to know what its partners are doing.

WFP has not reported this programme during the government's planning process, because it DOESN'T KNOW HOW MUCH THE FOOD IS WORTH. And this despite being actively involved and attending meetings for the planning process. Presumably the food is donated in-kind - but seriously the WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME can't put a best guess on the cost of a quantity of FOOD?!!!

FAO are not much better. They have designed a survey on farming and fisheries, which includes a question on the respondent's preferences for types of fish. They questionnaire then lists 35 species of fish, along with their scientific names. The sampling strategy is also terrible. Their plan to sample more areas than exist in some counties is apparently due to the Census being incorrect, not their strategy.

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