Prolinnova was represented by Ann Waters-Bayer of the International Support Team (IST) at the “Showcasing Event” of the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) on 12 November 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya, and at the Second Annual Meeting of the Global Forum on Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) on 13–14 November, also in Nairobi. At the AFAAS meeting, Salim Nahdy was appointed the Executive Director; he was previously with the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in Uganda, one of the partners in the Prolinnova–Uganda platform. For own work with multi-stakeholder platform for agricultural research and development, Prolinnova partners worldwide may find particularly useful the AFAAS guidelines for “Establishing and Strengthening AFAAS Country Forums”.
The GFRAS annual meeting, which was co-hosted by AFAAS, was attended by about 130 stakeholders from around the world. GFRAS seeks to provide a voice for advisory services in global policy dialogue, to support evidence-based approaches and policies to improve rural advisory services, to facilitate networking and institutional capacity strengthening in rural advisory services, and to help create an enabling environment for investing in them. The annual meeting focused on how this still quite new network is functioning, looking at issues such as regional networking, evaluation, advocacy and capacity strengthening. Several participants were interested in the guide that was developed for evaluating agricultural advisory services. The meeting also marked the launch of a new publication on “Rural Advisory Services Worldwide”, in which the Prolinnova network is mentioned several times. More information about the GFRAS meeting in Nairobi, including the presentations, can be found here.
The Third Annual Meeting of GFRAS will be held in the Philippines on 27–28 Sept 2012, organised by Asia Pacific Island Network for Rural Advisory Services (APIRAS). This meeting can hopefully be attended by the Philippines-based member of the Prolinnova IST: International Institute of Rural Reconstruction (IIRR).