Tunisia and Brazil exchange experience in school feeding

Tunisia delegation visits pre-school to see the school feeding programme

Photo: WFP/Isadora Ferreira

After a seven-day trip to Brazil, delegation of Tunisia prepares an action plan to improve the country’s school feeding programme, with support from WFP, the Centre of Excellence against Hunger and the government of Brazil

A Tunisian delegation of representatives from the ministries of Education, Agriculture, Social Affairs, Health, and International Affairs, and members of the WFP Tunisia Country Office as well was in Brazil from 23 to 30 April for a study visit, organized by the Centre of Excellence against Hunger. The visit was focused mainly on the Brazilian experience in school feeding, since Tunisia is interested in reviewing its national school feeding programme, in order to develop and adopt a more sustainable model.

Prior to sending a delegation to Brazil, the Tunisian government did an evaluation of its current school feeding programme using the Systematic Approach for the Enhancement of the Education Results (SABER). This methodology analyses five aspects of the school feeding programme: political and legal frameworks; financial capacity; institutional and coordination capacity; design and implementation; and community participation. With the results of this evaluation in hand, the delegation was able to identify the specific aspects of the Brazilian National School Feeding Programme that could help them improve their own programme.

The nine members of the delegation held meetings with representatives of the main institutions involved in the Brazilian School Feeding Programme and other social protection initiatives. Representatives of the National Fund for the Development of Education (FNDE), the National Supply Company (CONAB), the National Council for Food and Nutritional Security (Consea) and the Technical Assistance and Rural Extension Company of the Federal District (Emater-DF) shared their experiences and best practices.

 

To see more pictures of the Tunisia study visit, go to our Facebook photo album!

Field visits
The Tunisian delegation visited the Food Bank of the Federal District, responsible for projects to reduce food waist and to distribute food for social protection institutions. They also visited schools, popular restaurants, agricultural cooperatives, and a smallholder farm. With these meetings and visits, they could have a broader understanding on how Brazil has structured its social protection programmes, linking smallholder farmers, local production of food and the universal right to food, to achieve zero hunger.

The integration among the different institutions and government levels involved in the implementation of such programmes and the link between the programmes and the smallholder farmers were highlighted by the delegation as key to the success of the Brazilian initiatives. This resonates with the Tunisian intention of partnering the ministries of Education and Agriculture to promote home-grown school feeding linking smallholder farmers in Tunisia with schools.

Another aspect of the Brazilian experience that drew the delegation’s attention was the participation of the community in the implementation of the programmes. Kamel Hajjem, general director of Education in the Ministry of Education, who was leading the delegation, said that “every level involved in the programmes knows how the programmes work and is committed to one political will: hunger can’t wait”.

Results
Tunisia already has a well-structured, decentralized school feeding programme, and the government is committed to improving it. The delegation arrived in Brazil with an assessment of their programme, which facilitated true exchange of knowledge and experience with the Brazilian government, in a very productive south-south cooperation exercise. The delegation prepared an action plan establishing what they want to achieve and what are the necessary steps to move forward, and defined what kind of support and information they need from the Centre of Excellence and from the Brazilian government.

The trip to Brazil was part of a Memorandum of Understanding signed by WFP with the Ministry of Education for the provision of technical assistance to its national school feeding programme.  WFP Tunisia is implementing this technical assistance through the “Capacity Development in the Framework of the School Feeding Programme” project financed by the Government of the Russian Federation, and implemented in partnership with the Social and Industrial Foodservice Institute (SIFI).