GFRAS working groups are composed of a group of GFRAS affiliates or members actively working around a thematic topic, usually across regions and organisations. They are formed on a demand-driven basis and with the direction of the GFRAS steering committee. Working group members show a keen interest to regularly participate in the implementation and development of the GFRAS strategy and organisational development around their topic

How do GFRAS Working Groups Operate? What are Key Elements?

GFRAS working groups have a small core of people (5-10) who exchange over email and face-to-face on a topic to gain a common understanding, develop a concept note, prioritise an issue, engage with regions on that topic, and/or develop a product. Working groups often function as an advisory group to a consultant who is paid by GFRAS or a collaborating organisation to develop a product. Results of the working groups are often shared at the GFRAS Annual Meeting and other relevant events in order to validate and promote the results. Working group members/institutions will be recognised in the product.

Duties of the working groups include

  • Making time available to respond to requests and provide inputs on specific content issues from the secretariat, consultants, or regional networks;
  • Developing strategies, outreach, and deliverables on thematic issues;
  • Providing inputs into discussions and strategy development at global, regional and national level;
  • Making links to the regions or to specific interest groups and working closely with regional affiliates and members; and
  • Implementing time-bound activities.

For more information, see the GFRAS Charter.

How to become part of a GFRAS working group?

To become part of a GFRAS working group, please contact the lead persons listed below with information about why you want to join and what you and your organisation will contribute to the group.


Working group Capacity Strengthening

Lead: Francisco Aguirre, RELASER, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Members: Francisco Aguirre (RELASER), Virginia Cardenas (APIRAS), Ian Christoplos (Glemminge Development Research), Magdalena Blum (FAO)


Capacity strengthening is a major issue in all regions of the world for rural advisory services. Capacity strengthening was started as a working group led by the Latin American regional network for rural extension (RELASER), with support from the Asia-Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network (APIRAS).

Activities and outputs

  • Background paper: framework for capacity strengthening in extension
  • Position paper for the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) 2012 event entitled “The New Extensionist.” The document will explain why foresight in agricultural and rural development must recognize the changing role of extension and rural advisory services and the new capacities needed: Capabilities needed at individual level; how the new extensionist functions within changing organisations and institutional structures; what partnerships does the new extensionist need to function effectively in the agricultural innovation system; and recommendations.

Working Group Gender Equality in Rural Advisory Services

Lead: Sanne Chipeta, Danish Knowledge Centre for AgricultureThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The purpose of the working group is to support the GFRAS mission and functions with regard to gender equality in RAS. The working group aims to create an effective global voice for commitment to increased gender equality and women's empowerment through increased access to and participation in Rural Advisory Services. This will be pursued by supporting the GFRAS mission and functions of advocacy with regard to gender equality in rural advisory services.

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Working Group Policy for Extension and Advisory Services

Lead: Silim M. Nahdy, Executive Director, African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS), This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Members: Tunji Arokoyo (AFAAS country forum: Nigeria), Mary Kamau (AFAAS country forum: Kenya), Andrea Bohn (MEAS)

Partners: Modernizing Extension and Advisory Services (MEAS); Natural Resources Institute (NRI)

The GFRAS policy group was formed at the request of the GFRAS steering committee due to the high level of interest in this topic, especially in Africa. The working group will:

  • Harmonise activities within policy making for extension and advisory services
  • Link demands to resources within policy activities
  • Make information and resources publicly available on the relevant web sites

Activities and outputs:
To be decided

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