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GAFSP.  That’s Global Agriculture and Food Security Program, the fund at the World Bank to which several countries and the Gates Foundation have pledged contributions.

G-A-F-S-P…..sounds like Gaspy.

As most of my colleagues know, I’m not very good with acronyms.  I can’t remember them, nor often decipher them, even though I have sometimes engaged in creating them.  Some are great; they convey in shortened form exactly the right message.  I happen to think that my moniker for the whole-of-government approach – WoG – does just that. (You will notice that WoG advocates refrain from using it while detractors are delighted with it.)

Other acronyms are just awkward.  GAFSP is one of those unfortunate ones that refuses to roll off the tongue properly, and makes the speaker sound…well, less than erudite.  Sort of like using the word “ask” as a noun, which means that talking about the ask for GAFSP sounds doubly WoG.

My point is that we need to rename GAFSP.  I’m not suggesting that the name officially be changed; that may be too difficult a feat.  What I am suggesting is that we agree on a name, and then call it nothing but that.  It has been done before.  How many people do you hear using the term “OGAC” except to describe something to do with a cat and a hairball?

Here is our challenge then.  How would you rename GAFSP?  Let’s stick to some well-established principles of the acronym genre – it should pull from the initials of the program’s name (yes, you can rename the entire program); it should form its own word; it should be easy to say; and it should sound good.

Make your suggestions in the comments below.  If you’re associated with GAFSP and want to give me your thoughts privately, please write or call me directly.  We’ll put the ones that we think are best up for a vote.  And voila, that will be the name.  If we all stick to it and only use the new acronym, it will catch on.  More importantly, we will no longer have to accept “gesundheit” every time we GAFSP.

What do you get out of this besides the pride in knowing that you were of service to your nation?  I’ll throw in a coveted CGD coffee mug and a reserved front row seat at an upcoming CGD event for the person who suggests the winning acronym.