ILRIBusinesses and other institutions around the world are increasingly using the term ‘professionalism’ to describe their level of service provision. While some professions, for example medicine and engineering, have been well known and recognised through standard qualifications for many years, others – such as rural advisory services (RAS) – have only recently begun to aspire to a high level of professionalism.

In 2016, the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) commissioned a scoping study to examine the current levels of professionalism in its 11 regional networks. The aim was to provide evidence that would guide the activities and tools offered by GFRAS as well as to promote inter-regional learning and information exchange with a specific focus on training, talent and career development, performance incentives, certification and registration, mentoring and standards.

A summary of the study is available as brief:

 

GFRAS gender scoping study

Promising Experiences and the Role of Rural Advisory Services

While much has been written about the importance of mainstreaming gender in agricultural value chains (and the challenges inherent in doing so), relatively few studies have provided details on cases in which gender integration has been successful. This study, therefore, presents a collection of experiences in which rural advisory services (RAS) were able to successfully mainstream gender into agricultural value chains, categorised in terms of “best-fit practices”. While the examples presented here cannot be precisely replicated in other contexts, they provide general guidance for organisations that implement programming related to agricultural value chains.

A publication of GFRAS

aaesa manualThe Agricultural Extension in South Asia Network (AESA) a manual on Good Practices in Extension Research and Evaluation is developed as a hands on reference manual to help young researchers, research students, and field extension functionaries in choosing the right research methods for conducting quality research and evaluation in extension.

It has been compiled by the resource persons who participated in the Workshop on ‘Good Practices in Extension Research and Evaluation’ jointly organised by the ICAR-National Academy of Agricultural Research Management (NAARM), Centre for Research on Innovation and Science Policy (CRISP), Agricultural Extension in South Asia (AESA), ICAR-Central Tuber Crops Research Institute (ICAR-CTCRI), and the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE) at NAARM, Hyderabad (India).

Manual on Good Practices in Extension Research and Evaluation, Agricultural Extension in South Asia (AESA), 2017

8th GFRAS Annual Meeting, 10 - 13 September 2017, Ingham and Townsville, Australia

youthEnsuring effective linkages, synergies and complementarities between urban, peri-urban and rural areas to support balanced, sustainable and inclusive rural and urban transformation is critical to end hunger, eradicate poverty and to achieve the other Sustainable Development Goals. It is also vital for the sustainability of agricultural value chains and food systems, to increase incomes and to create opportunities for decent employment, particularly for young people.

Rural advisory services (RAS) can play important roles in these processes. The 8th GFRAS Annual Meeting provides a unique opportunity to exchange on and learn about the roles, relations, challenges and opportunities of youth and RAS in the context of rural and urban transformation. Participants will also examine the capacities needed by RAS to effectively support processes of inclusive transformation and discuss the adaptations to policies and investments required.

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