How to choose a solution to be submitted?

Focus on a specific problem and a specific solution, i.e. not on an organization-wide program or a project or even a subproject, etc., each of which can have myriads of problems and multiple solutions.

There should be a logical flow from each as follows,

Problem > Solution > Results > Lessons Learned

If there is no obvious logical flow, then your problem/solution is probably too broad. Consider breaking it down into several more specific solutions and submitting them as separate entries.

How to write a solution?

Be succinct and factual, do not allow emotion or opinion to dominate your inputs.

Present hard statistics wherever possible, rather than relying on anecdotes.

Balance general overview and details but tell us what is happening.

Be consistent in the use of the third-person narrative (i.e., "XYZ supported," not "we supported").

Include links to more detailed project reports, activity videos, etc., as relevant.

How to fill section 1 (Problem Description)?

  • What problem were (are) you trying to solve?

  • How does the problem impact communities, frontline workers, local government, organization?

  • How does the problem contribute to the risk of zoonotic disease spillovers? Explain briefly how a solution of this problem can help prevent (reduce the risk of) future zoonotic outbreaks and how it can be linked to (integrated into) broader post-pandemic recovery programs such as ‘Build Back Better,’ ‘Green Resilient Inclusive Development,’ etc.

How to fill section 2 (Solution Implemented)?

  • Is this a completed, on-going, or proposed activity?

  • What is/was the timeline of the solution (start date, end date, total duration)?

  • What were (are, will be) the elements of the solution?

  • What type of activities were (are, will be) implemented (policy development, capacity development and training, equipment, incentives)?

  • Where was (is, will be) the solution implemented (geographic location/jurisdiction)? Include lat/long coordinates if possible.

  • Who was (is, will be) involved in the activities?

  • What was (is, will be) the budget for implementing this solution and from what sources?

Use the SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound) for describing your targets.

How to fill section 3 (Results)?

  • What were (are, will be) the results (outputs) achieved in the short term (number of people trained, number of individuals reached in a campaign, new policies enacted, etc.)?

  • What was (is, will be) the proof as shown by quantifiable changes, surveys?

  • What were (are, will be) the indicators of intermediate outcomes and longer-term impacts (reduction in trafficking, improved livelihoods, species recovered, reduction in human-wildlife conflicts, etc.)?

  • How can these results specifically and measurably contribute to: (a) reducing the risks of future outbreaks; and (b) supporting post-pandemic recovery towards the Green, Resilient and Inclusive Development (e.g., contributing to poverty alleviation, employment generation, infrastructure development, commercial opportunities, tourism development, etc.)?

How to fill section 4 (Lessons Learned)? (for completed and on-going activities only)

  • What did you learn from the implementation in terms of enablers and obstacles?

  • If you had to plan this intervention again, what would you pay attention to?

  • What advice would you provide to another organization trying to implement/replicate this solution?

EndPandemics Solution SAMPLE

Below are the headings you will see when submitting your own solutions, with some sample text to guide your submission.

Your Organization

Inga Foundation

Your Organization’s Mission statement

Working with farmers and communities to halt the devastating practice of slash and burn agriculture by providing a sustainable, organic and low-cost alternatives: Inga alley cropping.

How might your organization’s mission strengthen the EndPandemics campaign?

The Inga Foundation can provide expertise in terms of in-person training and shareable manuals for how to implement Inga Alley Cropping in areas where slash and burn agriculture is prevalent. We can share our experience of how to get conservative farming communities to adopt a radical new technique. We can also share our experience of working in a challenging Latin American country, where environmental crime is rife.

How might the campaign support & strengthen your organization and in what way?

The Inga Foundation is very small with limited geographical reach and minimal capacity. We would be very grateful for assistance from EndPandemics in fundraising and grant writing, digital communications and outreach, and in translating our reports into multiple languages. We would also appreciate support in promoting our solution to a wide international audience through the EndPandemics alliance and the vast networks of the alliance members. We believe that Inga Alley Cropping can have a transformative effect on communities and on deforestation, but we are unable to reach enough influential people in politics and the NGO sector for it to be adopted more widely.

Solution Title

Community Inga Alley Cropping Initiative

Problem Description

Slash and burn farming is rapidly destroying the world’s remaining rainforests, trapping rural farming communities in a cycle of poverty and environmental destruction, and increasing their exposure to novel infectious diseases driven by deforestation.

The Inga Alley Cropping technique enables farmers to increase their crop yield and reduce their dependence on herbicide and fertiliser. Most importantly, this technique removes the need for deforestation, by enabling arable land to remain viable in perpetuity.

By reducing deforestation and increasing land productivity, Inga Alley Cropping reduces the risk of future pandemics by minimising exposure to new infectious diseases, and helps rural farmers escape the cycle of land degradation and poverty.

Solution Implemented

By training farmers to use the Inga Alley Cropping technique, the Inga Foundation attempts to reduce deforestation and improve community livelihoods.

Across a five-year project from January 2012 to January 2017, farmers were trained in Inga Alley Cropping at a field site near La Ceiba, Northern Honduras (N 15.6932231 E -86.9020506). Training courses were paid for and provided by the Inga Foundation, with funds from international development grants and private donations.

Farmers who attended the training course were provided with Inga seeds and ongoing support for planting and cultivation, at a discounted cost to the farmer, for the duration of the five year project.

Results Achieved

Across the five-year project, 239 farming families from 24 communities were trained in Inga Alley Cropping. These families saw an average increase in their annual income of 17%, which coincided with a 70% reduction in deforestation in those communities that attended the training course.

In addition to these primary outputs, 84% of families involved in the project also reported a decrease in their reliance on hunting for bushmeat, as their increased income enabled them to purchase food from the local market.

Deforestation and the consumption of wildlife are the most important drivers of new infectious diseases. Reducing deforestation by 70% significantly reduces the risk of future outbreaks of disease at the project site. The secondary impact of improved livelihoods reducing people’s reliance on bushmeat also mitigates the threat of zoonotic disease through exposure to hunted wildlife, and reduces the disruptive impact that hunting has on natural ecosystems.

The project was also successful at alleviating local poverty levels, building local capacity and providing new commercial opportunities to farmers through selling produce and offering homestay tourism experiences.

Lessons Learned

The project initially intended to charge farmers attending for the training courses, purchasing Inga seeds, and for follow-up support with planting and cultivation. Farmers were unwilling to pay training fees upfront, which led to zero farmers being trained in the first six months of the project. The project model was changed so that the courses were offered for free, and farmers were only charged for the Inga seeds and for help with planting and cultivating the seeds after training, which resulted in nine farmers being trained in the second six months of the project.

Farming communities are often conservative and unwilling to try new techniques. Identifying a small number of influential local farmers who were willing to be pioneers was a crucial step in the success of the project, as was reducing the ‘barriers to entry’, by minimising their costs for trialling the new technique. Once neighbouring farmers could see the impact that the Inga Alley Cropping technique was having on the productivity and income of farmers that had adopted the technique, many more became interested in being trained and the project really took off.

Due to personnel limitations and time constraints, the project failed to record enough fundamental data for the first two years, which hampered marketing and fundraising efforts. Only after implementing a thorough reporting process to monitor farm productivity, herbicide and fertiliser use, farm income and deforestation levels, was the project able to demonstrate its impact, which greatly boosted the local recruitment of farmers and the financial support of international donors.

Any organisations aiming to replicate this solution should focus on supporting a small number of influential local farmers to adopt the new techniques, before attempting to expand the project to the wider community; and on minimising the initial costs to farmers enrolling in the project by subsidising training and the supply of Inga seeds.

Geographic Scope

Northern Honduras, between La Ceiba and Pico Bonito National Park (N 15.6932231 E -86.9020506)

Primary Action Pillar

4. Make Our Farms and Food Systems Safer and Healthier

Related Action Pillar(s)

3. Protect and Restore Natural Habitats

Impact Track(s)

A. Support Frontline and Community Actions

C. Change Business Practices

Supporting Material

Inga Foundation annual reports

Vimeo link to film giving a short description of the project

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