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Strategic Planning Meeting for the establishment of a Regional Field School Support Hub Entebbe, Uganda 18-19th January 2017

18/01/2017 19/01/2017

The Field school Hub at its start-up phase is hosted in the FAO Sub regional Resilience Team of Eastern Africa in Nairobi (2016-2017) within the context of the Institutionalization of Field Schools in Eastern Africa (GCP/SFE/002/SWI) project. It is envisaged that the hub will evolve into an independent structure in the future. Various options are under discussion in terms of future potential Hub management options, i.e. hosted project structure, registration as NGO, association, private company or possibly operated as an affiliation of another recognized regional body. The long-term sustainability is of primary concern for the decision of how to structure the unit in future. 

A Regional Strategic Meeting for the establishment of a Field School hub commenced in Entebbe Uganda today. Eighteen participants drawn from the Eastern African region. The participants were appraised of the proposed mission and vision statements, scope of work and the hub thematic areas. Representatives from similar networking and support platforms (AFAAS, UFAAS, KEFAAS, AFECONET, FFSnet) shared their experiences and lessons learned.

The discussions today focused on refining the mission and vision statements, objectives, enriching the Hub scope work and various institutional set up scenarios for the hub. Information on the existing knowledge hubs such as a) The pastoralist knowledge hub b) Regional Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support System (ReSAKSS) c) Knowledge Hubs for Agriculture - Pacific Risk Resilience Programme (PRRP) d) The IGAD Livestock policy hub guided the discussion.

The meeting proposed several possible options of institutional set up with the view of delivering an operational hub by the end of the year. Tomorrow the discussions will be around the fund raising strategies and the hub action planning.

Background
Several thousands of Field Schools (FS) have been implemented throughout Eastern Africa since the introduction of the approach in Africa the 90s. As the FS approach becomes increasingly popular new issues and challenges emerge, such as how to maintain the quality of FS implementation while scaling up, ensure networking and learning among actors, and ensure links between field level practice and policy and strategic development.

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), is supporting the institutionalization of Field schools in Eastern Africa through a two year project (GCP/SFE/002/SWI) that directly build on a past FS interventions and lessons learned in the region. The programme consists of two major components; 1) Knowledge sharing, peer networking and support for quality implementation of FS in the region; 2) Support for uptake, integration and institutionalization of FS in national government extension policies and frameworks with a particular focus on Kenya and Ethiopia.

One key output of this project is the establishment of a Regional Field School Support Hub, composed of Field School experts that on part time basis provide key technical support and expertise for quality Field School implementation in the region. An initial Hub team of six members was put in place in 2016 and the drafting of a Hub strategic plan initiated. However, in order to ensure the longer-term sustainability as well as ensure broader buy in and ownership of the Hub, a broader consultation with key Field School stakeholders in sub-region has been proposed to define the future of the proposed Hub in a consultative and participatory manner.

Contact: Edwin Aldrin Adenya
Regional Field Schools Knowledge Hub Support Officer,

Sub Regional Resilience Team for Eastern Africa,
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations,
United Nations Complex in Nairobi, UN Avenue, Gigiri, Block P, Level 2
Tel: : +254 20 76 25915
P.O. Box 30470- 00100 Nairobi, Kenya.
Cell phone: +254 733 960 678
Whatsapp:  +254 721 440 323
Skype: adenya.edwin    I    Twitter : @aldadenya
Website: http://www.fao.org/farmer-field-schools/en/