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Risk-based approaches to improving food safety and market access in smallholder meat, milk and fish value chains in four African countries (Safe Food, Fair Food project; SFFF Project)


Kenya, Middle East and North Africa  Show on interactive map

Active from:

Oct 2012 to Dec 2015

Implementing organisation(s):

International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI)


German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)/ German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)

Contact persons:

Julius Nyangaga


Safe Food Fair Food


The Safe Food, Fair Food project supported the intensification of livestock production by improving the quality management of livestock products. It responded to the concern that small-scale producers would be prevented from marketing their products as standards were skyrocketing. The strategy adopted was adapting risk-based approaches that w the gold standard for food safety management in developed countries. Conventional food safety approaches focus on banning any product with germs or other hazards in it, which is not good news for small-scale farmers. New risk-based approaches try and find out if there really is a danger to human health and if so how big is it and what can be done about it.

Objectives of the intervention:

The project aimed at improving the livelihoods of poor producers and consumers by reducing the health risks and increasing the benefits associated with meat, milk and fish value chains.

Why was OM chosen?

The SFFF project was largely a research-led initiative established to inform policy and institutional reviews and/or transformation used by poor producers and consumers. Outcome Mapping (OM) was used as a planning and monitoring framework in action-research to explore how the change would unfold. OM was to help specify the key change partners, the transformation expected and how the project teams would use research knowledge for these changes. OM was also expected to demonstrate any deviations and uncertainties that would have to be addressed in the change pathways, which were expected to be complex and organic.

How was OM used?

In developing the project’s methodology OM provided a strategic and operational approach for its dissemination objective. OM was used by various research teams to support changes in the behaviour, relationships, activities or actions of the people, groups and organizations (boundary partners) whose role is to improve food safety and safeguard market access. OM was particularly applied to underpin the operational engagement with policy-makers in the regional economic communities and create a more enabling environment for food safety, and with universities and training institutions for continued research, related curricula development and capacity building..

What was the experience of using OM?

In summary, all project teams indicated that they had understood most of the OM concepts and, in applying them, they had been able to appreciate how their research supported (or could have assisted) targeted and observed transformation. There were a few gaps that affected OM’s full comprehension and application. Most of them were related to a varied understanding of all the OM concepts, limited relationships with the key change (boundary) partners, the project lifespan, and resources to implement all envisioned strategies.

The team agreed on recommendations in OM application that include the development of realistic and achievable goals and expectations, an ‘appropriate’ selection of the boundary partners to support or work with, and a participatory system that enabled adequate capture of outcomes for lesson sharing and improvement.

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