YWG launchDuring the 8th GFRAS Annual Meeting in Australia in 2017, the theme revolved around youth and how they engage in or are engaged by rural advisory services. A number of the young participants came together during the conference and discussed the idea of strengthening the way forward after the Annual Meeting by creating a Youth Working Group (YWG). The group has recently held a webinar, the first of a series to showcase innovation RAS approaches and acitivies  by young people for young people. 

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CGIAR Climate Change

Regional and sub-regional networks and country fora play a crucial role in the operationalisation and implementation of GFRAS work and in strengthening and advocating for RAS within their regions. They also help make sure that GFRAS puts forward the right activities and priorities on a global level, providing sort of a reality check for GFRAS’ work from the ground. Hence, the GFRAS Strategic Framework 2016-2025 and corresponding five-year operational plan place a strong focus on strengthening the capacities of the regional and sub-regional networks and country fora. Along these lines, GFRAS has been undertaking comprehensive capacity needs assessments with many of its regional networks in 2016. The assessments covered the general functioning and institutional set-up of the networks, their capacities to advocate for RAS, their knowledge management and ICT capacities, as well as their capacities to support the professionalisation of RAS within their regions and countries. These assessments have then be summarised and visualised in a synthesis report, which is available below and as a basis for the continuing efforts to strengthen the regional networks. Each year at the GFRAS Annual Meeting a section of the programme is allocated to discuss the results and latest progress based on these assessments.



MELA17 Blog

The third annual meeting of the Mekong Extension Learning Alliance in Cambodia discussed the role of RAS in nutrition-sensitive agriculture and food security with some very concrete aspects like the impact of misusing pesticides.



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