50x2030 on track to meet country engagement target for 2020 as Georgia begins planning

Georgia became the 4th country this year to enter the Planning Phase of the 50x2030 Initiative during a virtual meeting on 27 October. Georgia will now define how it plans to align with the Initiative’s objectives and implement data production, methodological applications and data use activities in the country. 50x2030 has committed to moving six countries into the Planning Phase in 2020; the final two, Senegal and Nigeria, will begin discussions in November and December, respectively.

Representatives from Geostat, Georgia’s National Statistics Office, and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA) met to exchange with the 50x2030 Program Management Team and the three implementing partner agencies, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the World Bank. Discussions touched on the next steps for Georgia in implementing the Initiative, specifically, generating additional statistics from the surveys, developing and producing 2.4.1 indicators and updating the agricultural census methodology in 2023.

During the meeting, Georgia shared its very interesting experience conducting phone surveys as an alternative mode of data collection in response to challenges posed by COVID-19. MEPA also expressed its interest in generating municipal-level agricultural data as well as in accessing microdata sets for modeling and forecasting.

50x2030 Program Manager El Iza Mohamedou chaired the meeting while Georgia was represented by Lia Dzebisauri, Deputy Director, and Giorgi Sanadze, Head of the Agriculture and Environment Statistics Department, at Geostat; and Aleksandre Arabuli from the Analytics and Policy Department at MEPA. Also in attendance were the managers of the Initiative’s three technical components from FAO, World Bank and IFAD as well as colleagues from their country offices.

Georgia will now work with the 50x2030 program management team and implementing partners to prepare the program implementation plan, which will contain the survey program it will adopt, the data use and research activities to implement, the target outputs and results, and the estimated funding needed (and for how long) from government and development partners. The country will also agree on the timeline for the eventual financial and technical takeover of the 50x2030 survey program. These details will be included in the country commitment/agreement document to be completed and endorsed by February 2021.