MEAS Symposium 2013

The Role of Extension and Advisory Services (EAS)

in Improving Livelihoods and Food Security 

- Evidence from the Field -


June 5-7, 2013, at 20 F Street NW, www.20fstreetcc.com, Washington, D.C. 


The symposium will be a convening of experts to share evidence from the field on how to improve food security and rural livelihoods through strengthening extension and advisory services, EAS, in developing countries. The majority of presentations will be based on case studies and other type of research conducted  through the MEAS project in the past year. Overarching questions to be addressed include:


    What is the role of EAS in Food Security and Poverty Alleviation?


    What is the role of EAS in the adoption of technologies and  
    practices (in terms of agronomic/animal husbandry practices, 
    farm management, integration into value chains, social capital
    formation, etc.) 
that can improve rural livelihoods?



June 5, 2013 (full day)

8:30 am: Registration

9:00 am: Opening Session: Links between Extension and Food Security


Introductions, Program Objectives and Agenda:  Andrea Bohn, MEAS Project Manager  and  Gary Forbes, Facilitator

Welcome:  Paul McNamaraMEAS Director

Keynote Address: by Julie Howard, Chief Scientist USAID/BFS: 

"Strategies for Strengthening EAS within the New Alliance and Feed the Future initiatives" 


Response:     Paul McNamara (Extension and Food Security) and 

Brent Simpson (Opening Remarks), MEAS Deputy Director


9:45 am: Introductory Session: Evidence from Feed the Future Countries on how to strengthen EAS 

- Challenges, Successes, and Future Opportunities -

Experience and outlook from USAID country mission perspective

  • Ethiopia (Suzanne Poland, USAID/BFS)
  • Mozambique (Paula Pimentel, USAID/Mozambique)
  • Malawi - PANEL (Sarah Berry, USAID/BFS - presentation, Brent Simpson - presentation,
    Paul Fatch, Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Department of Agricultural Extension Services, Malawi)

10:35 am: Group Photo, then Coffee Break

11:00 am: Sessions resume

Common findings and general recommendations from MEAS country assessments 
Paul McNamara (focus on Rwanda, Nepal, Liberia) and Brent Simpson (focus on Mali, Malawi, India)

12:00 pm: Light Lunch provided at venue. 


Focus:  Alternative Models of Providing EAS 

12:45 pm:  Speed Dating session:  Participants stay in groups at their tables and the 10 presenters on alternative approaches         
                move from table to table (4 minutes for presentation, 4 minutes for discussion, then bell will ring). 

2:30 pm:  Panel discussion with rapporteurs from the speed dating session

2:45 pm:  Coffee Break 

3:00 pm:  Evidence from effective EAS models or approaches and discussion of their strengths and weaknesses as well as prospects for scaling up  Based on MEAS sponsored case studies, evaluations, and action research

4:30 pm: Plenary session and discussion on: 

          What are the take-home points?

What is the role of EAS in the adoption of technologies and practices (in terms of agronomic/animal husbandry practices, farm management, integration into value chains, social capital formation, etc.) that can improve rural livelihoods?



7:00 pm: Informal mixer with Latin American Network for Rural Extension Services at Café Soleil, www.cafesoleildc.com, at Farragut Square/Club Quarters hotel (839 17th Street, NW, which is at 17th & I Streets)*


June 6, 2013 (full day)

Evidence from effective EAS models or approaches and discussion of their strengths and weaknesses as well as prospects for scaling up  Based on MEAS sponsored case studies, evaluations, and action research


8:30 am: Registration


9:00 am: Morning Session - Focus on ICT for Extension

Zambia - Training extension agents on Farm Book (Joyous Tata, University of Illinois)

[See also: Interactive Radio Toolkit at http://www.ictforag.org/radio.
 A limited number of hard copies will be available for participants from overseas.]


10:45 am: Coffee Break

11:00 am: Sessions resume


11:40 pm: Discussion and Summary:

1. Best practices in using ICT in extension

2. Critical challenges in implementing such best practices

3. Suggestions for how to follow up and apply some of the ICT ideas


12:30 pm: Lunch

1:30 pm: Afternoon Sessions - Focus on Gender 

India - How to form and support women’s groups which are capable of disseminating knowledge about agriculture and enterprise effectively and inclusively: A case study of SEWA (Chris Gale, City & Guilds Centre for Skills Development)

Assessment of Extension/Advisory Methods to Reach Rural Women - Comparative analysis conducted in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, and Malawi. (Tahseen Jafry, Glasgow Caledonian University) 

Extension and advisory service delivery for women’s groups in Jordan: assessing competencies and building social capital (Kristen Augustine, University of Florida)


3:00 pm: 
 Coffee Break 

3:15 pm: Session continues

Working Groups to discuss:

1.  Identify best practices in mainstreaming gender in extension

2. List potential pitfalls and critical challenges in implementing such best practices. 

3. Develop a 4 point plan for scaling up promising approaches to mainstreaming gender. 


4:45 - 5:00 pm:  Summing up what we have learned so far




June 7, 2013 (half day) - Working Groups on Moving Forward in Next Two Years

8:30 am: Registration and Coffee, Tea

9:00 am: Morning Session - Group work with a joint participatory, consensus-building workshop

Today we will shift from presentations and break-out sessions to workshop style interaction to come up with very concrete responses to these questions:

1.       What are practical suggestions for improving extension and advisory services?  (Based on what we heard the past two days and also the experience and know how in the audience)

2.       What more needs to be done to achieve better coverage in the provision of extension services and have the greatest impact especially on small scale farmers?

3.       What more needs to be done to  speed up adoption rates of improved technologies or practices (in terms of the sophistication and risk of agronomic/animal husbandry practices, farm management options, integration into value chains, social capital formation, etc.) to have the greatest impact especially on small scale farmers?

10:45 am: Coffee Break

11:00 am: Sessions resume

4.       What are our recommendations to USAID (and other donors) to follow in the field to achieve better outcomes in terms of speeding up the adoption of technologies and use of advice?

The result will be a set of 5 - 8 "strategies" for moving forward. As time permits, we will get into smaller teams and develop a draft "action plan" for each of the strategies that would analyze how to successfully implement each of the strategies.

12:00 pm: Closing remarks by Suzanne Poland and Paul McNamara


Click on the speakers' names to read their brief bios.  


BY INVITATION ONLY:

12:00 pm to 2:00 pm: MEAS Project Advisory Committee meeting. Held at same venue. Scheduled to end by 4:30 pm. 


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 Approaches - from Speed Dating session
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 Presentations
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 Summary statements from group work
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