An integrated information programme for agricultural and rural development in Eastern Africa
Between 1992 and 1994, CTA sponsored a study to assess the agricultural information needs in Eastern Africa. A regional workshop held in Mauritius in 1994 to review the results of this study recommended that a programme of agricultural information delivery covering a five-year period should be developed. It should be based on identified priority areas and the need to coordinate activities within the region. The following priorities were identified: the need for human resources development; enhancement of library and information services; information management and technology; support to publication and extension information and repackaging.
CTA contracted two consultants from the region to define a regional integrated agricultural information programme. The draft programme was submitted to the Committee for Regional Agricultural Information Programmes and Strategies (CRAIPS) meeting held in Nairobi from 31 November to 1 December 1995. The meeting reviewed the proposal and recommended modalities for implementation of the programme especially the coordination at regional level and funding. It reiterated the need to establish a regional agricultural information network and for all activities to have a regional focus.
The proposed programme aims to reinforce, in a sustainable manner, the activities of individual country units and through networking to serve as a conduit for collecting, processing, sharing, disseminating and using information in support of agricultural development in the region.
The regional approach should facilitate mobilization of information with a view to support capacity building at national level. It was also recommended that the CRAIPS be reconstituted to take into account national representation and expertise and to include universities and other partners in a broader definition of NARS. Two regional organizations, ASARECA and OIC will preside over CRAIPS and provide guidance in the implementation of the activities. It was also proposed to appoint a full-time network coordinator in order to guarantee accountability.
The programme is being finalized using the EU logical framework and will be validated through national and regional consultations. The Management Development Foundation (MDF), based in Ede, the Netherlands is assisting in this reformulation.
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