A regional workshop titled "Towards a Methodological Framework for a Rapid Assessment of Policies for SARD in Mountain Regions" was held in Managua, Nicaragua on 16-17 November 2005. The workshop was attended by 29 people from governments and civil society organizations involved in the formulation and implementation of policies for SARD in five Central American countries (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua) and from other regional or national institutions with experience in the design or implementation of SARD-related policies.
Based on the findings of the assessments carried out in Costa Rica and Nicaragua in the framework of the SARD-M Project, the workshop provided interesting discussions and outputs concerning methodological issues related to the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies for SARD in the hillsides of Central America. It was found that there was a general lack of knowledge concerning existing policies for SARD among those living in the hillsides and a strong demand existed for guidance on how to formulate, implement and evaluate integrated policies for SARD. Thus a CD containing an anthology of policies for SARD in Costa Rica and Nicaragua as well as documents pertaining to methodological issues of policy cycle management was created and distributed to workshop participants. During the workshop, some initial work was also conducted for the development of a practical guide for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies for SARD.
In terms of recommendations, the participants felt that:
• the needs of “hillside” should be incorporated into major national policies rather than formulating a specific policy for mountainous areas;
• awareness by hillside populations of existing SARD-related policies needs to be enhanced;
• data regarding the socio-economic condition of hillside areas needs to be improved by making it more visible in the national-level data compiled by governments.
Various proposals for follow-up activities were also made, including:
• completion of a practical guide for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of policies for SARD;
• analysis and ranking of policies that affect hillsides in Honduras.
A more detailed list of recommendations and proposals for follow-up activities will be compiled and included in the final report of the workshop proceedings.