introduction wtThis section will provide you with the very basics you need to know about RAS policy. It contains general definitions and approaches to policy, as well as general and overarching background knowledge you need to be familiar with in order to get engaged in policy processes.

Approaching Policy (12)

You can find introductions to different policy approaches to RAS that have varying purposes and objectives depending on the context.

Mueller, Benjamin C. , 2016
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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Rural advisory services/extension and advisory services (RAS/EAS) models are influenced by a number of factors and emerging issues that can determine best practices in the development of extension policy. These emerging issues are extremely valuable in creating RAS/EAS policy and must be considered in the development of innovative extension models. They include: participatory, farmer-led decision-making; privately-led extension and public–private partnerships; gender equality; ICT and mass extension; value chain marketing; and building partnerships. 

Four policy cornerstones should also be addressed in efforts to build an effective RAS/ EAS model for sustainable development. These cornerstones include capacity building and technical assistance to support the following extension policy areas: land tenure and information reform; access to credit for smallholders; innovative technical subject matter training, demonstration plots and farmer to farmer extension. 

Ariztia, Maria Trinidad, Jacobs, Krista and Manfre, Cristina , 2016
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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Approaches to gender-responsive policy design and implementation processes have largely focused on increasing women’s participation in governance structures and building their political leadership capacity in parliamentary procedure, negotiation, networking and public speaking. Using the Women in Development (WID) approach, gender policy advocates have historically sought to position women as active contributors to development and to draw attention to key issues in policy environments that do not fully embrace gender equality (Razavi & Miller 1995; Baden & Goetz 1998). While these efforts have increased the number of women in governance, it is difficult to discern whether they have resulted in laws and policies that are more responsive to women’s priorities (World Bank 2011; Domingo et al. 2015; Evans & Nambiar 2013). By contrast, more recent approaches to policy design and implementation, illustrated by the examples in this note, emphasise the co-creation of equitable policy environments by engaging both men and women.

Jona Cecilie Ndeshipanda , 2016
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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This paper describes a framework for improving the coordination of agricultural support services. The paper is based on a PhD study: Developing a framework for improving coordination in the provision of agricultural support services in the Oshikoto region of Namibia. Most of the information in the paper is drawn from the Namibian governance system, which was established through the Decentralisation Policy of 1997. It also makes use of data collected from 200 farmers and 11 agricultural support service providers from the Oshikoto region, who were interviewed during the PhD research. The paper includes an overview of the challenges and opportunities involved in operationalising an agricultural support service framework.

Mwamakamba, Sithembile, Ngwenya,Hlamalami and Ernst, Natalie , 2016
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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This article explores possibilities for strengthening the capacity of rural advisory services (RAS) actors to become involved in advocacy and dialogue on policy reform and action. RAS actors include individuals and organisations in the agricultural innovation system that play a role in RAS and/or need to be included in RAS policy dialogue processes. These include governments, research/education institutions, farmers’ organisations, civil society organisations, the private sector, donors, input suppliers and agro-dealers. The article is based on practical experiences from the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) and the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS). 

SPC , 2010
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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Define priorities clearly is essential for structuring, resourcing and training the extension service and for monitoring and evaluating its performance.  The focus may change over time depending on circumstances, e.g., natural disasters, new industry, service development by NGOs and private sector. Farmers must have an effective voice in determining national research and extension priorities—through regular meetings, workshops or farmer advisory groups, or a centrally managed survey. Below is an example of a priority setting tool that can be used with stakeholders to determine priorities for the extension service.

From: Developing a Policy Framework for Extension Systems. Secretariat of the Pacific Communities. Policy Brief 12/2010

IFPRI , 2013
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) are required to show how their work contributes to development outcomes such as changes in policies.  While better evidence has the potential to improve decision-making, it is insufficient for achieving policy impacts. That evidence needs to be communicated effectively so that it is useful to targeted decision-makers, and decision-makers need to have the incentives and the capacity to use it.  This requires that researchers and their partners understand how policy processes work and how they can be influenced. Deliberate strategies to influence policy can also be the basis for assessing the extent to which research has contributed to a change in a policy or in the policy process—for example by influencing the discourse, attitudes, behaviors or actions of decision-makers.

Department of Agriculture, Directorate for Scientific Research Developmen , n.a.
Type: Case study, experience, example

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This document is divided into two main sections. Section one gives a brief background of the political, administrative changes in the democratic dispensation and recommendations for the delivery mechanism in the South African agricultural sector. This sets the basis for articulating appropriate norms and standards. Section two focuses on the norms and standards to guide the provision of extension and advisory services to all spectra of clients. These norms and standards form the guidelines for the implementation of Agricultural Advisory Service Programme across all provinces.

Oladimeji Idowu Oladele , 2011
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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This paper analyzes the features of agricultural extension models and policy in 27 sub- Saharan Africa (SSA) countries. This is based on the premise that the discussion of extension policy in SSA countries cannot be isolated from the extension models that are applied in these countries. While the models are direct products of the type of policy that has been adopted, the policy dictates the models to be used in each country. 

Oladimeji Idowu Oladele , 2010
Type: Case study, experience, example

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This paper reviews the features of agricultural extension models and policy in selected sub- Saharan Africa countries. This is based on the premise that the discussion of extension policy in SSA countries can not be isolated from the extension models that are applied in these countries. While the models are direct products of the type of policy that has been adopted, the policy dictates the models to be used in each country.

Charlie Pye-Smith, , 2012
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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Linking knowledge to policy and action for food and livelihoods

Rasheed Sulaiman V. and Andy Hall , 2005
Type: Case study, experience, example

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This paper draws together experiences from across Asia to explore extension policy and the extension policy process. The paper argues that extension policy needs to tackle two major sets of issues. The first concerns the content in view of the broader role extension need to play in the present context of agriculture systems. The second issue concerns the nature of the policy process itself. Instead of prescribing reforms, the policy process should ideally facilitate continuous incremental change through experimentation, reflection and learning. Four cases are presented to illustrate the challenges involved in developing and implementing extension policy. The experiences indicate that reform processes only informed by prescriptions generated centrally or from outside are bound to fail. The message for extension policy in Asia is that the process of reform must be lead from within.

Fernando Landini , 2014
Type: Conceptual (definitions and frameworks)

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