GFRAS has a ten-year strategic framework (2016-2025) with three ‘strategic fields’ covering advocacy, professionalisation of rural advisory services and knowledge exchange among members and the wider community of actors in rural advisory services. The implementation of activities is framed by a five-year operational plan covering the period 2016-2020.
As the first period of the operational plan for the existing framework is nearing completion, GFRAS commissioned an external assessment of progress towards achieving its objectives. The assessment is also expected to identify lessons that can inform the preparation of the next five-year operational plan (2021-2025). The report of this assessment, as well as the recommendations it proposes, can be found here:


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                                                                                                                                        Alongside FAO’s Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia, GFRAS organized a blended learning programme on experience capitalization for continuous learning.

Already tested and validated, this blended learning programme consists of six modules and is offered through an interactive online course, lasting from February 7th to April 5th 2020. Each module has a workload of 2-3 hours.

Registered participants should have received a login information from FAO, and are kindly encouraged to start their modules and activities. Any registered participant who did not receive an e-mail is encouraged to check their Spam folders.

Several thematic areas will be discussed in the course, such as rural advisory services and extension, climate change, and digitalisation. The course languages are English and Russian.

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After a successful 10th edition in Jamaica, the 11th GFRAS Annual Meeting will take place from 4-7 October 2020 at the Baltic Beach Hotel in Jūrmala, Latvia. The meeting will discuss digitalisation trends in Rural Advisory Services and the role of digitalization in aiding information exchange and accessibility, as well as how digital service provision transforms  how RAS is thought of today. Registration will open in Spring 2020.

A call for hosts for the 2021 and 2022 Annual Meeting editions is available here. Interested organisations and networks are encouraged to submit their proposals until 29 February 2020. In line with its new operational plan, the discussions held in Jamaica, as well as in future Annual Meetings, will lead to the publication of Issue Papers, a publication series highlighting rural advisory services in important contemporary international development topics.



aesa bookDuring the last six years (2013-2019), the Agricultural Extension in South Asia (AESA) Network has served as a platform for collating the voices, insights, concerns, and experiences of people in the extension sphere of South Asia. Diverse professionals shared their concerns on the present and future of Extension and Advisory Services (EAS) in the form of blog conversations for AESA. Together, all of these individuals who are involved, interested and passionate about EAS, discussed ways to move beyond some of the seemingly intransigent problems that are hindering the professionalization of EAS. Nevertheless, these blogs also take the time to celebrate and salute the signs of promising new beginnings.

This publication is AESA's effort to compile 100 such conversations on EAS, which were originally published as blogs, starting in February 2013. The goal is to create a reference document for a wide spectrum of actors involved in EAS – scholars, practitioners, trainers, faculty, innovation intermediaries, mentors, leaders, and managers – all of whom are involved in driving agricultural and rural transformation.

To download, click here.


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Carl Erik Schou Larsen is the new Executive Secretary of the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services. Dr. Larsen holds a Ph.D. and Master Degree in Tropical Animal Husbandry from the University of Copenhagen and a Master of Public Administration from Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. He worked in Ethiopia and Kenya with the International Livestock Research Institute and has experience with both the private sector and NGOs in the agricultural field.

Larsen previously worked as a Senior Agriculture Education consultant for the World Bank’s Global Practice for Education and Global Practice for Agriculture as well as FAO’s Investment Centre. He specializes in institutional and human performance enhancement within agriculture research and extension as well as within higher education and has extensive experience in design, supervision, and evaluation of agriculture projects.

His broad international experience makes him able to quickly understand local contexts and needs in new settings and situations. Coupled with his ability to give constructive advice based on updated academic knowledge/information, this makes him a valuable external evaluator and resource person.

Click here to read a brief interview with him: