In West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali) and Indonesia, the Anton Jurgens Fonds (AJF) focuses on the creation of income for families in rural areas, within the context of Food Security. Applications for foreign initiatives must be in keeping with one or more of the three pillars of Food Security as formulated by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (Availability of Food, Access to Food, Utilization of Food).
Communbity Building and Value Increase
AJF believes in the value of community building (women’s groups, associations, cooperatives, unions) and in chain integration, in which the farmer participates as much as possible in the creation of value, accrued in all stages of the agricultural chain, from production to consumption.
AJF wants to cooperate with organisations in Europe, which have a partner organisation in the country where the initiative takes place (focus country). Communication between both organisations must be optimal, they must both add value to the project to be supported and they must be willing to discuss their approach with AJF and – if required – implement adjustments. In the assessment of applications, a great deal of attention is devoted to governance, skills, experience, knowledge of the work area, ethnic embedding, relations with administrative and traditional authorities, capacities for narrative and numerical reporting, safeguarding of continuity, etc.
Entrepreneurship and Bottom-up Approach
AJF greatly values the presence of a healthy dose of entrepreneurship and care for self-reliance and sustainability with its partners. AJF is also convinced of the urgency of a bottom-up approach: applications must be supported by the beneficiaries and must be feasible in a sustainable manner.
Every area has its own specific issues (climate, cultural, economic). In order to achieve synergy and sustainability, an in-depth understanding of the work field is vital. It takes time and energy to build up know-how and cooperative relationships. But once you really know the context, you can achieve better results by strengthening what is already there. Within the work field of Food Security, AJF has made a choice to confine its efforts to initiatives in Burkina Faso, Benin, Mali and Indonesia. In these countries, AJF works in regions where know-how can be shared between several partners.
The Anton Jurgens Fonds defines ‘social impact’ as follows:
Sustainable, positive social development that in the (semi-)long term contributes measurably to capacity, food security, personal development and autonomy.
Together with its partners, AJF is continually seeking to strike a healthy balance between (impact) objectives, output and reality. We view the business of monitoring results, achieving impact and making clear reports on these endeavours as a shared challenge and responsibility.
Many social challenges require a holistic, multi-stakeholder approach and commitment for the (medium) long term. In order to make the road to sustainable impact clear and apparent in the meantime, AJF uses predefined output and outcome indicators. They are identified for all portfolio-initiatives and form the ‘milestones’, as it were, of long-term impact: