SINGAPORE – SEARCA led the Regional Workshops on Knowledge Management (KM) and Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Systems (MEALS) on 12-13 March 2019 at Hotel Chancellor in Singapore. The regional workshops were conducted under the project supported by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) titled Supporting Smallholder Farmers in Asia and Pacific Islands Region through Strengthened Agricultural Advisory Services (SAAS).
The back-to-back workshops had 18 participants from Agricultural Extension in South Asia (AESA), Asia-Pacific Islands Rural Advisory Services Network (APIRAS), Bangladesh Agricultural Extension Network (BAEN), Philippine Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Training Institute (DA-ATI), Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Central Asia and the Caucasus Forum for Rural Advisory Services (CAC-FRAS), Lao Upland Rural Advisory Service (LURAS), Rural Advisory Services for Southeast Asia (RASSEA), and Rural Development Authority (RDA).
The Knowledge Management Workshop was facilitated by Dr. Alexander Flor, KM Specialist for SAAS. The workshop was designed to support the KM initiatives of the project's regional and sub-regional networks with sessions specifically focused on deepening understanding of the KM Framework for SAAS and exploring options to operationalize them at the network or program levels. Dr. Flor walked the participants through the KM process, starting with the challenges they encountered and building solutions to issues like system boundaries, legacies, standards, ownership, and other technical issues.
At the end of the workshop, Dr. Flor guided the participants on the next steps that will continue to strengthen the SAAS KM System. These steps include building capacity on KM, building and refining the ontology for the AAS/Extension Knowledge Domain with the end view of certification towards regional professionalization, preparing best practice notes, and populating the system with SAAS-focused contents.
Day 2 of the workshop focused on Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning Systems (MEALS), which was presented and facilitated by Dr. Patrice Djamen Nana, MEALS Consultant for SAAS. Dr. Patrice Djamen Nana is an agronomist, socio-economist, and expert in facilitating innovation processes. On 22 October 2018, he presented to the partners the guidelines in developing the MEALS in South Korea. The MEALS workshop provided SAAS actors and stakeholders with an overarching plan that will ensure coherence and minimize inconsistences in monitoring, reporting and evaluation processes across SAAS intervention sites projects. Dr. Djamen Nana also introduced possible indicators that SAAS can adopt to measure its progress and accomplishments.
Towards the end of the workshop, he emphasized that sources of monitoring data for ground-level activities will come from country fora. He reminded the participants that the MEALS can do more than just provide metrics for the SAAS project. It can also be used for any other future projects by the SAAS stakeholders.
The activity was organized and led by SAAS Project Management Office (PMO) composed of Mr. Glen de Castro, Project Coordinator; Ms. Sarah Grace L. Quinones, Project Associate; and Ms. Ana Kristina M. Aquino, Project Assistant.
SEARCA was represented by Ms. Adoracion T. Robles, Officer-in-Charge, Office of the Deputy Director for Administration and Unit Head, Management Services; and Ms. Imelda L. Batangantang, Program Specialist, Project Development and Technical Services. (Sarah Grace L. Quiñones)