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Regional Agricultural information and Learning System (RAILS)
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Regional Agricultural information and Learning System (RAILS)


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FARA-RAILS PowerPoint presentation made at the Joint Conference of IAALD, AFITA and WCCA, 24 - 27 August 2008, Atsugi, Japan

FARA-RAILS PowerPoint presentation made at the Joint Conference of IAALD, AFITA and WCCA, 24 - 27 August 2008, Atsugi, Japan

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  • 1. Regional agricultural information and learning systems (RAILS) of the Forum for agricultural research in Africa (FARA) Myra Wopereis Director: Access to Knowledge and Technologies On behalf of RAILS taskforce: Krishan Bheenick/Bentry Chaudra, Dady Demby, Jacqueline Nyagahima, (Dorothy Mukhebi), Francois Stepman
  • 2. The forum for agricultural research in Africa (FARA)
    • Mandated;
    • To facilitate & coordinate ARD in Africa
    • As technical adviser on ARD by the African Union/NEPAD
    • As Lead Institution of the African framework on agriculture (CAADP) Pillar 4 (Research and Technology Dissemination)
    • Expected results
    • Appropriate institutional and organisational arrangements for regional agricultural research and development established
    • Broad-based stakeholders have access to the knowledge and technology necessary for innovation
    • Strategic decision making options for policy, institutions and markets developed
    • Human and institutional capacity for innovation developed
    • Platforms for agricultural innovation supported
  • 3. Knowing the gaps in African agricultural information systems …
    • We build on the strengths of SROs
    • Institutional and organizational support
    • Infrastructure
    • Information processing
    • Leadership / political support
    • Challenges to “information” flows in agricultural research in Africa
    • information overload, hoarding
    • lack of culture on information use and sharing
      • lack of easily available thematic information and /or its sources
      • lack of diverse perspectives/dominance of particular voices
    • barriers to access due to
      • Time
      • Skills – technical
      • Resources ( financial , human , infrastructural)
    ASARECA - RAIN Established network of AICM specialists Initiated capacity bldg activities CORAF/WECARD Dynamic national partners Experience in use of information systems at subregional level SADC-FANR – AIMS/ICART Resources available to coordinate and build info system Rich database on thematic topics NASRO IT application in agriculture Strong ARD institutions
  • 4. How will RAILS contribute?
    • 1. Advocacy for increased investments in agricultural information and learning systems by African governments and institutions
    • 2. Improve the access and contribution by African ARD Stakeholders in the global knowledge exchange
    • 3 . Facilitate agricultural information systems synergies and learning among international and national organizations
    • 4. Build an African platform for agriculture information and learning systems
    National focal point National focal point National focal point National focal point FARA RAILS ASARECA: RAIN CORAF Northern Africa SADC-FANR SROs’ Agricultural Information System Regional and global knowledge through information exchange and learning
  • 5. Building the African platform for ARD Farmers Scientists Policy makers Extensionists Private sector cross-border knowledge sharing Interventions at various levels
  • 6. RAILS lessons learnt development and implementation of institutional ICM strategies and policies
    • Understanding the partners
    • Identify the range of target partners
    • Variety in their needs and interventions in rural development through innovation
    • Various pathways of information flow
    • Part of identification is through consultation/participation, which may be a lengthy process
    • Define strategies and policies that all users can relate to - ownership
    • Ensure institutional support especially by decision makers and ministries
    • Work together with information user and suppliers, and communicate through media familiar to all
    • Focus on priorities of partners identified instead of a particular tool
    • Multi-perspective approach , (geographically, commodity based or thematically focussed)
    • Have a broad framework applicable to the context, culture & political environment
    • Added value and contribution of each partner
    • Coherence and sustainability at all levels
  • 7. Thank you