Stepping forward when so much went backwards

Recent News

Our international* review of highlights and performance in 2020 is now available. This is the second such report using our Performance Measurement system. Moving on from the first edition*, it takes a big step forward both in the breadth and depth of reporting. You’ll find the review here.

For almost the whole of 2020, the Syngenta Foundation (SFSA), like everyone else in the development sector, faced one major question: How best can we support our beneficiaries despite COVID-19?  Huge efforts by our local teams enabled us to maintain essentially all SFSA activities. In fact, we moved ahead! The adaptability and enormous personal commitment of our staff and partners enabled many more smallholders and rural entrepreneurs to benefit from our activities than before the pandemic. The number of farmers involved rose by two-thirds, that of businesses by almost half.

“However,” comments SFSA Director Simon Winter, “we can’t pretend that SFSA just shrugged COVID off. We lost present and former colleagues to the virus, and we have recently done so again. We all know people taken ill. Priorities often have to change. Some work takes longer than intended. Some planned initiatives get delayed.” Although this may not be apparent from the review, COVID also made it harder to gather field data. These and other local challenges continue in 2021. 

Looking beyond COVID, however: What’s different about this review?

“It covers several topics in more depth than its predecessor”, says Project Lead Andrea Balmer. “That particularly applies to Seeds and R&D. This new report also examines additional indicators. We’re now tracking the number and reach of capacity-building events. We’ve also started systematically recording how many women benefit from our activities. In parallel, we’ve improved the quality of data and the tools to collect them.”

Andrea has recently co-authored a paper describing what we’ve learned about Performance Management so far. You’ll find it at the top of our Papers page.

“We intend our next report to be even better”, Simon Winter continues. “This process mirrors, charts, and supports the introduction of our new strategy in 2021, and the progress that it maps out between now and 2025.”

For a range of 2020 local performance reports and the overall 2019 review visit here.

Read the review