national policies wtEvery country has developed, formulated, and decreed national policies related to rural advisory services. Find some examples here. If you are looking for a national policy from a specific country, please use the search function, selecting the category “National policies” and the tag for the country.

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The National Agricultural Extension Strategy (NAES) is derived from the National Agricultural Extension Policy 2016 and was developed through a wide consultative process. The NAES is also aligned with the Five- Year National Development Plan (NDP II) 2015-2020. 

The Directorate of Extension Services (DAES) is mandated by the policy to work closely with existing MAAIF Departments and Agencies; other sector Ministries and Non- State Actors on the provision of agricultural extension services. The new strategic direction articulated in this strategy, is to transform extension from a system of parallel institutionally fragmented public and non-state actors to a well-coordinated, harmonized, regulated pluralistic service with multiple providers addressing diverse needs. The second dimension of the new direction is to address the extension needs along the entire value chain (as opposed to the previous focus on mainly primary production) and synergistic integration with other agricultural support services for optimum return on investment. 

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The Government of Uganda has in the past developed and invested in various agricultural extension approaches and systems with varying demand for human, capital and financial resources. The success has been mixed and sometimes unsatisfactory. In June 2014, Government took a decision to re-structure the entire national agricultural extension system in order to address past weaknesses in extension services. This decision was based on the recommendations of the Cabinet Sub Committee Report (2014). The reforms dubbed as “Single Spine Extension System” included transfer of the extension function from the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) to the mainstream Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and the creation of a Directorate of Agricultural Extension Services (DAES); integration of the NAADS program into the local government production departments and eliminating the parallel institutional arrangements as well as separation of agricultural input supply from the extension service delivery system. In a bid to effectively implement the reforms, MAAIF has prioritized the formulation of an agricultural extension policy and strategy to guide implementation.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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). 

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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

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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.

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We should view extension policy as something beyond a statement of intent. It must be a means to develop strategies, procedures, and working relationships among a large number of other actors in the wider system where extension is situated. This note reviews the extension policy development process in four countries and examines some of the implementation challenges. It also highlights the need for more clarity on the purpose of policy, the importance of policy learning, and why efforts to achieve policy coherence are important for extension.

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In the face of declining resources, national extension services need to review their priorities and modes of delivery. A policy framework that provides the national extension service and other actors with strategic direction can help to ensure that resources are targeted to where they are needed most in line with client needs and national priorities; that extension staff receive the appropriate training to carry out their duties; and that scarce resources are used more effectively through partnerships with NGOs and the private sector and use of information and communication technologies where appropriate. Monitoring and evaluating performance based on stakeholder feedback is also crucial to ensuring that extension staff skills remain up to date and relevant to client needs.

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