News & Updates

News and Updates from The TOPS Program

Registration opens June 27 for the TOPS/FSN Network East & Southern Africa Regional Knowledge Sharing Meeting 2016

posted Jun 17, 2016, 8:17 AM by The TOPS Program   [ updated Jun 17, 2016, 8:18 AM ]

At our Knowledge Sharing Meetings, the connections you make are as substantial as the knowledge you gain. Every session you attend, from energizing plenaries to intimate lunch tables, encourages active participation and engagement with your peers. Take advantage of frequent exchanges with colleagues from around the world and across the food security and nutrition spectrum as you learn firsthand what works and what doesn’t, and share your own experiences and challenges. With each conversation, both in and out of sessions, you are building momentum toward our common goal of ending hunger and malnutrition for all. 

When: Tuesday, September 20, 2016 - 9:00am to Thursday, September 22, 2016 - 5:00pm EAT 

Where: Speke Resort Munyonyo, 94 Wavamunno Road, Kampala, Uganda 

Register and more information: Registration begins on June 27. Please visit the FSN Network for more information.

TOPS Releases "Small Grants, Big Impact"

posted Nov 24, 2015, 12:41 PM by Rachel Elrom

The Small Grants Program provided an opportunity for TOPS to facilitate the work of food security program implementing partners in developing creative and innovative tools, materials, and promising practices. After more than four years implementing the program, TOPS wanted to showcase the impact the program has had in the development community and document our experiences and lessons learned in running the program.

The descriptions of the small grants contained in this booklet are based on text collected from grantee-submitted reports, small grant outputs, and TOPS technical staff. TOPS is grateful for the input of so many into these descriptions and, though we are unable to cite every source, we acknowledge the hard work that went into carrying out these small grants projects.

Download the booklet via the FSN Network.
Learn more about the Small Grants Program on the TOPS website

New RFA for the TOPS Program Improvement Awards

posted Nov 3, 2015, 2:13 PM by Rachel Elrom

TOPS is pleased to announce the release of a new Request for Applications (RFA) for Program Improvement Awards (PIA) through the TOPS Small Grant Program. As in past years, the TOPS PIA small grants program prioritizes collaboration, promising practices, capacity building, enhanced quality, continuous improvement, and practical innovation for new or existing programs. Any proposed activity submitted for a PIA grant must fill a gap or a recognized need in effective food security and nutrition programming, and the results must be shared to benefit the entire implementing community. Applications that substantively involve more than one participating organization in the proposed actions will broaden the learning experience.

TOPS anticipates funding up to a total of eight (8) Program Improvement Awards in two rounds (four per round) with a ceiling of $100,000 per award. Concept papers will be accepted any time during each of two rounds and will be reviewed at the end of each round:
  • Round 1: January 31, 2016
  • Round 2: March 31, 2016
Please click here for the new RFA and related documents.

Save the Date! TOPS/FSN Network Knowledge Sharing Meeting 2016

posted Oct 21, 2015, 8:06 AM by Rachel Elrom

Theme: Strengthening Connections: Inquiry, Innovation, & Implementation
Date: January 27-28, 2016
Location: Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel

Join together with practitioners, donors, and experts to build momentum and address gaps to reach lasting successes in food security.

This 2-day meeting will foster a collaborative exchange of ideas on the latest in food security and nutrition responses and processes.

Mark your calendar - Registration will open on Monday, November 2!

Learn more on the FSN Network

Reopening of the TOPS Small Grants Program

posted Oct 1, 2015, 3:46 PM by Rachel Elrom   [ updated Oct 1, 2015, 3:48 PM ]

The TOPS Program is excited to announce the reopening of its Small Grants Program!

This next phase of the program continues TOPS’s aim of supporting the food security and nutrition community to design, test, and share promising practices, tools, guidance, and skills through Micro Grant Awards funded up to $50,000.

TOPS intends to reopen the Program Improvement Awards with higher funding ceilings soon.

Please visit the TOPS website for the program overview, RFAs, pertinent documents, and descriptions of previous awards, as well as the resources generated through them.

Take a Survey: Shape the Knowledge Sharing Meeting Content

posted Sep 30, 2015, 8:48 AM by Rachel Elrom

The next TOPS/FSN Network Knowledge Sharing Meeting will take place in Washington, DC in January 2016. 

This meeting will be an opportunity for practitioners and donors to explore activities and approaches that lead to lasting successes in food security. 

Please let us know your thoughts about what should be addressed in the meeting by Monday, October 5 so that we can plan a meeting that best meets the needs of you and your programs. 

Look out for more information about the meeting soon. If you have any questions, please email

Provide Feedback on TOPS Priorities

posted Aug 7, 2015, 9:44 AM by Rachel Elrom

The TOPS Program has recently been extended for two years, until August 2017. As the TOPS team prepares for a planning meeting from August 18-21, we would welcome your input to help us prioritize our work so we target programmatic areas of greatest need.

Please send your input on the two questions below to or contribute anonymously via Survey Monkey by Friday, August 14, 2015.

As you answer the questions, also consider the following:

TOPS’ technical areas of focus are in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management, Commodity Management, Nutrition, Gender, Monitoring & Evaluation, Social & Behavioral Change, and Knowledge Management; are there other technical areas that TOPS should focus on?

TOPS has hosted or convened a variety of events over the past five years, including FFP consultations around their strategy revision and RFA development; large Knowledge Sharing Meetings; training and capacity strengthening programs in Theory of Change development, etc. How useful has it been for TOPS to convene these meetings?

How can the FSN Network website better serve your needs ( How could the Small Grant Program better serve your needs?

The questions we’d like you to answer are:
  1. What has TOPS done that you particularly value?
  2. What would you like to see TOPS do more of?

USAID Office of Food for Peace Extends TOPS 2 More Years

posted Jul 9, 2015, 12:58 PM by Rachel Elrom

The Technical and Operational Performance Support (TOPS) Program announces that the USAID Office of Food for Peace has granted TOPS a 2-year extension until August 2017.

Further information about TOPS activities going forward, including on reopening the Small Grants Program, will be shared with the community shortly.

Since 2010, TOPS, the USAID/Food for Peace-funded learning initiative, has:

·       Organized capacity-strengthening workshops for implementing staff in Food for Peace countries and at the headquarters level

·       Supported implementers in acquiring, testing, and carrying out improved development food security practices through knowledge-sharing initiatives and direct consultation

·       Facilitated technical task forces, resource sharing, and learning opportunities through the Food Security and Nutrition (FSN) Network

·       Implemented a small grants program that has provided nearly US$2.5 million to 42 grantees

The TOPS Program is a Leader with Associates Cooperative Agreement, comprising a consortium led by Save the Children and drawing on the expertise of its partners: CORE Group (knowledge management), Food for the Hungry (social and behavioral change), Mercy Corps (agriculture and natural resource management), and TANGO International (monitoring and evaluation). Save the Children manages the award and provides experience and expertise in commodity management, gender, and nutrition and food technology.

TOPS staff, led by Project Director Mark Fritzler, wish to thank the USAID Office of Food for Peace for its continued confidence and support and look forward to providing the entire development and food security community with 2 more years of quality information, interactive learning, knowledge sharing, and capacity strengthening for development food assistance programming.

For more information on The TOPS Program, please visit For specific questions about the information contained in this announcement, please contact Rachel Elrom, TOPS Communications and Documentation Specialist, at

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