New FAO Gender and Rural Advisory Services Assessment Tool
The GRAST is designed to support providers of rural advisory services in their efforts to develop gender-sensitive programmes. By supporting the gender assessment of rural advisory services at policy, organizational and individual levels, the GRAST promotes a transformative approach to improve the gender responsiveness of the design and delivery of advisory services. Its ultimate objective is to ensure that rural advisory services respond to the needs and priorities of both rural women and men and that, as a consequence, they can equitably access and benefit from these services. The tool has been validated in four countries, in Bangladesh Ethiopia, India and Peru.
The document can be accessed here.
What Works in Rural Advisory Services?
There is plenty of information available in the public domain that covers various aspects of rural advisory services (RAS; in many countries also referred to as ‘extension’). However, this information is often scattered, presented in complex academic language, and not readily accessible. RAS managers and practitioners, who often have very limited time and may have only basic formal education, find it difficult to make use of this information. Another weakness of the available literature is that much of it is written up as success stories, lacking balanced information about an extension method’s weaknesses and under what circumstances it may or may not be effective.
The Global Good Practices (GGP) Initiative of the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) aims to bridge the existing knowledge gap regarding what works in RAS by looking at experiences of existing good practices and evidence at a global level to create a set of concise briefs – Global Good Practice Notes. These provide guidance to extension managers and practitioners on how to select and apply approaches in their specific situation.
GFRAS Nutrition-Sensitive Extension Library
The GFRAS Nutrition Working Group (NWG) collected and organized the materials in this library so that extensionists, program developers, researchers, and decision makers would be able to access existing resources related to agricultural extension and advisory services (AEAS), and nutrition. Growing attention to the need to make food systems more responsive to human nutrition has motivated related AEAS activities, yet NWG members identified that project-level materials were often hard to find. It is our hope that by making resources available in a searchable platform, individuals working in this area can build off of the experience of previous activities and effectively meet the needs and opportunities that they encounter.
GFRAS Issues Papers
This new GFRAS publication series highlights rural advisory services in important contemporary international development topics.
The first issue examines how Rural Advisory Services (RAS) will need to be suitably adapted to the needs, challenges, and opportunities facing young rural women and men in today’s rapidly changing economic, social, and environmental contexts.
The second issuelooks at the role of RAS with regards to the mobility of rural population. Aspects of climate change, demographic developments, rural-urban connectivity and the spread of conflict affect and mobilise rural people and need to be taken into account by RAS
New NELK Plus Module on Nutrition-Sensitive Extension
Every country on the earth is affected by poor nutrition and the results of poor nutrition affect most families. What can agricultural extension professionals do to support better nutrition? And what might be unrealistic to expect of extension? By completing this training, you will have the opportunity to consider these questions and others and to find the right answers for the situations in which you work.
The newest addition to the New Extensionist Learning Kit NELK covers the basics of a nutritious diet and the results of poor nutrition, ways that agriculture and nutrition impact each other, things that extensionists can change in order to improve nutrition and how to effectively partner with others working on improving the nutrition of different communities.