Changes in Stakeholder Perceptions of the Quality of Institutional Architecture and Quality of Agriculture and Food Security Policy Processes in ZambiaDOWNLOAD FILE
Hambulo Ngoma, Mywish Maredia, Nicole M. Mason, Milu Muyanga, and Antony Chapoto, 2020. Changes in Stakeholder Perceptions of the Quality of Institutional Architecture and Quality of Agriculture and Food Security Policy Processes in Zambia, Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research Paper 168.
Zambia, through her long-term development objective (the Vision 2030), aspires to become a prosperous middle-income country that assures food and nutrition security and reduced poverty. Despite sustained efforts by successive governments, questions remain around policy coherence and consistency in the agricultural sector. This paper reports on the perceived changes in the quality and design of agriculture and food security policy processes, and on the quality of the institutional architecture supporting these processes in Zambia. This report compares 2017 baseline and 2019 endline results and tracks whether, and in which direction, stakeholder perceptions of the quality of agricultural and food security policy processes and institutional architecture in Zambia have changed over time.
On the positive side, stakeholder perceptions on some elements of the policy process have improved over the two years from 2017 to 2019. For example, stakeholders now seem to perceive that policy analyses from research institutes are objective. This is important for evidence-based policymaking. Stakeholders are also more satisfied than at baseline with the quality and content of and participation in policy design and implementation in policy processes and the level of dialogue between government and other stakeholders.
However, stakeholder perceptions of the overall quality of agricultural and food security policies marginally declined by 0.27 points (on a scale of 0 to 3 points) between 2017 and 2019. Although this difference is statistically significant at 95% confidence level, this test is unreliable given the small sample (n=23) at baseline. The change seems to suggest that stakeholders somewhat perceive a less satisfactory quality of dialogue, coordination, cooperation, and partnership between stakeholders in the agricultural sector and government for advancing policy reforms on agriculture and food security issues in Zambia. Stakeholder perceptions of the quality of the institutional architecture of agriculture and food policy processes in Zambia barely changed—declining just by 0.05 points on a scale of 0 to 3 points) between 2017 and 2019.
Although tests for significant changes in perceptions between baseline and endline are unreliable, the downward trend in the overall perceptions of the quality of policy processes and institutional architecture indicate that, among other things, there is room for the agricultural and food security policy processes in Zambia to be more inclusive, engage more with stakeholders, and more effectively utilize the available empirical evidence to inform policy design. The perceived objectivity of current policy analyses in Zambia should strengthen the use of evidence to inform policy processes in the country. In addition, there is need to strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems of progress towards achieving agricultural development goals and to make resources available to support policy implementation.