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Supporting gender sensitive service provision: FAO’s Gender and Rural Advisory Services Assessment Tool

FAO/INGENAES

Rural advisory services (RAS) can help women and men farmers increase their productivity and embrace agripreneurship opportunities. Globally, however, women have less access to RAS than men, and the information provided is often less relevant to the needs of women farmers. To help organizations improve their service provision for women, FAO created the Gender & Rural Advisory Services Assessment Tool (GRAST), which evaluates the gender-sensitivity of RAS programs.

The side event will present the tool and share results from validation case studies in Ethiopia, India, Peru & Bangladesh. The innovations and good practices in gender-sensitive RAS and agripreneurship promotion found in the case studies will be highlighted. 

Participants can then share experiences and provide feedback on the GRAST.  They will be asked to discuss what they have done to increase the gender-sensitivity of service provision, what interesting challenges they have faced, and how they think we can collectively foster greater gender-sensitivity in RAS and promote women agripreneurs

Promoting Inclusive Pluralistic Service Systems: what are the priorities for action?

 
FAO

A growing variety of public and private rural advisory services are available today, leading to increasingly ‘pluralistic service systems’ (PSS) in which advisory services are provided by different actors and funded from different sources. PSS have emerged in many countries as a response to the decline in public sector extension, and the increasing demand for tailored, diverse and market-oriented services. The promise of PSS lies in their potential to overcome constraints related to funding, staffing and expertise, while providing flexibility to make advisory services more inclusive, demand-driven and market-oriented. 

However, these PSS and the way they operate are still poorly understood. In particular, how PSS can effectively respond to demands of heterogeneous farmers, especially the most vulnerable, men and women agripreneurs and other value chain actors, in contexts where small-scale agriculture increasingly need to exploit value addition and adapt to market requirements; What actors, policies and mechanisms are needed to make PSS work in practice? How aspects of governance, accountability and coordination are dealt with in PSS; How policies and transformative investments can make PSS more inclusive and demand-driven; How can public and private actors support service providers in improving the quality, relevance and reach of their services? What is the role of farmers and their organizations in inclusive PSS?

These were some of the questions posed at FAO Expert Consultation on Inclusive Pluralistic Service Systems, held in Rome from 11 to 13 May 2016. The side event will present the outcome of the Expert Consultation and facilitate a debate around main themes of inclusiveness, coordination, accountability and scaling up of PSS. 

Mainstreaming of the New Extensionist Learning Kit and Professionalism in Rural Advisory Services

GFRAS Consortium on Extension Education and Training

GFRAS established a Consortium on Extension Education and Training to lead the effort to develop learning materials and/or reform curricula towards the new extensionist concept  Using the position paper and through a consultative process with a wide range of stakeholders, the Consortium has come up with a set of core competencies that are required to fulfil the role of the new extensionist. These are being developed into as New Extensionist Learning Kit with 13 modules, that are suitable for either face-to-face, a blended approach, or self-directed learning. The learning kit can be used by a wide range of stakeholder including frontline extension officers, extension managers, NGOs, lecturers, students and other actors that have in interest in extension and Rural Advisory Services.

In addition to the development of the new extension learning kit, GFRAS has commissioned a scoping study professionalism in Rural Advisory Services.

Innovative approaches for disseminating post-harvest management technologies and practices for achieving agripreneurship among smallholder farmers

AFAAS 

One third of crops harvested globally, are lost due to poor post-harvest handling and storage. Many actors are implementing isolated interventions to reduce post-harvest losses at farm level, for food and income security in diverse areas in Africa. Among other outcomes, they have developed innovative RAS approaches, tools and dissemination materials for promoting good technologies and practices for better post-harvest management (PHM) among smallholder farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa. These resources have not been documented, compiled and shared in the Communities of Practice on RAS for post-harvest losses reduction

The African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) plans to hold a side event during the 7th GFRAS annual meeting. The key objectives are to bring together different stakeholders to; share visual and audio RAS approaches, tools and materials being used to disseminate good practices in PHM by the  stakeholders, learn about business models that they  use and that can be implemented to promote PHM technologies/innovations, create a regional PHM-RAS network and advocate for post-harvest management. The side event will contribute to the sub-theme Rural Advisory Services for inclusive Agripreneurship. The expected outcomes of the side event include; information about approaches / business models, tools and materials shared with other stakeholders, synergies with other PHM projects created, and a network of regional PHM-RAS stakeholders established.

Testing of the New Extensionist Learning Kit: The Agripreneurship Module

GFRAS Consortium on Extension Education and Training

GFRAS established a Consortium on Extension Education and Training to lead the effort to develop learning materials and/or reform curricula towards the new extensionist concept  Using the position paper and through a consultative process with a wide range of stakeholders, the Consortium has come up with a set of core competencies that are required to fulfil the role of the new extensionist. These are being developed into as New Extensionist Learning Kit with 13 modules, that are suitable for either face-to-face, a blended approach, or self-directed learning. One of the learning kit modules on Agripreneurship is ready for testing. Testing is understood here as an intensive session where participants go through the entire module with a dual aim of soliciting feedback in terms of content and process, while equipping them with knowledge and skill on that particular module.

Scaling innovation in Africa by strengthening advisory services and policy dialogue

CIRAD & AFAAS

Design of a participatory action-research proposal for scaling innovation in Africa (SCALINNOVA) by strengthening advisory services and policy dialogue (CIRAD-AFAAS)

Innovation at scale is a key issue in Africa to address challenges such as Food and Nutrition Security and Sustainable Agriculture. Many experiences already exist to support system innovation with an innovation system perspective. However, there is a need to enhance the knowledge of research and development agents and to better support practices and policies to efficiently address scaling up and out innovations in Africa.

A first proposal has been elaborated with partners (research, private sector, NGO, FO) from a first group of African countries (Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Angola) and different international partners during two workshops held in November 2015 and January 2016. This first proposal we will be shared with the participants.  CIRAD, AFAAS and RESCAR-AOC are organizing a half day (7 October 2016, side-event during the GFRAS Annual Meeting in Cameroon) as one of the follow up steps in taking forward the SCALINNOVA proposal. The objective of the side-event jointly is to discuss our action–research proposal at continental level aiming at providing evidences and support to address innovation at scale. 

Developing a 'Last Mile' agenda for African Agriculture: Turning Knowledge into Farm-Level Impact through Innovation at Scale

TEAGASC and PIM

Much more work needs to be done in order to understand the institutional, economic and social conditions that affect innovation and adoption at scale in African agriculture. The objective of the side event is to share evidence-based knowledge and develop a research agenda to identify and address the critical constraints to achieving widespread farm-level impact in Africa and other poor agriculture-based economies through innovation at scale, within the context of the best-fit approach. The event will review the differential progress across developing countries in achieving adoption by smallholder farmers of technologies and production systems that lead to more productive and sustainable output and will include case studies of extension successes.  

RESCAR-AOC international workshop : Improving Responsiveness of Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services in the Context of Climate change and Agripreneurship in Western and Central Africa - Better engagement with women, youth and Farmer organizations through knowledge management.

RESCAR-AOC in partnership with GFRAS, GIZ, CTA, GWI, AFAAS, and MINADER/Programme ACEFA

The overall objective of the workshop is to discuss requirements necessary to ARAS to provide more effective support for an inclusive management of climate change and agripreneurship development hence contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in West and Central Africa.

The workshop will be organised into two main parts. The first part will run from September 30 to October 2 and will be devoted primarily to identifying and addressing implications of the integration of gender, climate change and agripreneurship in ARAS. The second part will include a half day on October 3 and a full day of October 7 focused on drafting and finalizing regional knowledge management plans and preparation of next steps including a call for proposal to support knowledge management activities and innovative approaches  in ARAS and a writeshop. While the first part of the meeting is opened to all participants, the second part will only involve representatives of Caribbean and Pacific Region, and RESCAR-AOC regional resource persons, country focal points