Meridian Institute was retained by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to design and manage a process aimed at identifying improvements that can be made to the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program (GAFSP). GAFSP was created in 2009 by the G8 and the G20 in direct response to the global food price crisis of 2008. GAFSP is a multilateral financing mechanism that enables the immediate targeting and delivery of additional funding to public and private entities to support national and regional strategic plans for agriculture and food security in poor countries.
The Meridian project team is in the process of identifying and prioritizing issues concerning the implementation of both the Public and Private Sector “Windows” (i.e., funds) of GAFSP. The team is gathering, analyzing, and synthesizing publicly available written information about GAFSP’s decisions and operations as well as collecting perspectives—through in-person and telephone interviews—from members of the Steering Committee (the governing body of the Public and Private Sector Windows) as well as other interested stakeholders. Meridian plans to facilitate informal working sessions of the Steering Committee, with the objective of defining and refining options for consensus solutions to high-priority issues that could improve GAFSP’s operations and outcomes.
Meridian’s efforts focus on clarifying and improving the governance structure of the Public and Private Sector Windows, including the roles of the Coordination Unit within the World Bank with regard to the Public Sector Window, and the International Finance Corporation with regard to the Private Sector Window. In addition, the Meridian project team is exploring issues and options regarding the structure, role, function, and operating procedures of the Steering Committee, the Technical Advisory Committee of the Public Sector Window, and the Donor Committee of the Private Sector Window. The project will likely conclude in mid-2013.