Regional and sub-regional networks and country fora are the main partners of GFRAS in the operationalisation and the implementation of its work and in strengthening and advocating for RAS within their regions. They also ensure that the work and focus of GFRAS remains grounded, relevant and demand-driven. The GFRAS 2016-2025 Strategic Framework and corresponding five-year operational plan place a strong emphasis on strengthening the capacities of the regional and sub-regional networks and country fora to fulfil these roles. Capacity assessments undertaken in 2016 show that, while the different networks have specific needs and demands depending on their context, they face some common challenges. These include, for example, mobilising sufficient funding and human resources, but also building capacities to effectively advocate for policies and investments that strengthen RAS.
Evaluations of past meetings have shown that the peer exchanges between networks are perceived as critical for networks to strengthen their own capacities. The 2017 Annual Meeting will thus anew provide space for thorough peer exchanges and learning between the networks. This will be guided by experts on networks and network functioning, and lead to the development by the networks of realistic road maps for action toward the 2018 Annual Meeting.
A synthesis of the results of the network capacity assessments undertaken by GFRAS will be presented in the plenary session and a keynote speaker will be invited to present experience on healthy network functioning and tools that networks can use to strengthen their functioning. Networks will then have the chance to share experiences in a peer-to-peer learning session, in which they will coach each other based on the needs identified in the assessments. After that, the networks will have the time to convene within their network to discuss how they can meet some of the identified capacity needs and develop a realistic roadmap to the 2018 Annual Meeting.
- 2016 Capacity Assessment Summary (pdf 1.2MB), Kevan W. Lamm, USA
- Strengthening Advocacy Capacities of Regional Networks (pdf 1.2MB), Jeanette Long, Australia
- Country Fora Advocacy: Experience from AFAAS (pdf 1.8MB), Max Olupot, Uganda
- Policy Advocacy for Rural Advisory Services 101 (pdf 753KB), Hlamalani Ngwenya, South Africa