The Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS, www.g-fras.org) with its with its regional networks in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, Pacific Islands, and Europe, is engaged in the global discourse on the changing role of agricultural extension and rural advisory services within the context of the agricultural innovation systems framework. GFRAS have produced a position paper on the “New Extensionist: Roles, Strategies, and Capacities to Strengthen Extension and Advisory Services” as one-way to advocate for the transformation of rural advisory services in response to the multifaceted challenges in the current dispensation.
GFRAS established a Consortium on Extension Education and Training to lead the effort to develop learning materials and/or reform curricula towards the new extensionist concept (seehttp://www.g-fras.org/en/activities/consortium-on-education-and-training.html). Using the position paper and through a consultative process with a wide range of stakeholders, the Consortium has come up with a set of core competencies that are required to fulfil the role of the new extensionist. These were developed into the New Extensionist Learning Kit (NELK), to allow self-directed learners, teachers, and other stakeholders to gain a better understanding of the concept. The NELK is suitable for either face to face, a blended approach, of self-directed learning. There is a need to practically test the modules to solicit feedback in terms of content and process.
GFRAS, in partnership with the African Forum for Agricultural and Advisory Service (AFAAS, www.afaas-africa.org) and the Forum du Conseil Agricole à Madagascar (FCA, www.fca-madagascar.org) are planning for a 3-day training on the New Extensionist. The primary purpose of the first two and half days of the training is to test some modules as selected by FCA and to expose the learners to the on-going global debate on the changing role of agricultural extension and advisory services, and how individuals, organisations, and systems can be better equipped to deal with the change. The last session of day 3 will be dedicated for the discussion of Country Forum organisational and strategic issues.
This testing is meant for professionals directly involved in agricultural extension. These include professionals from national and international audience. The main categories include:
- Extension managers and team leaders
- Extension officers and/ or technical advisors
- Extension lecturers and researchers
Trainees should have a minimum of a diploma plus five years of experience in extension and rural advisory services and a good understanding of English.
Mode of Learning
The course will employ an interactive learning approach that combines case-based scenarios, real life examples, and individual and group exercises in order to reinforce learning and increase active participation of the learners.
The programme will cover the following topics
- Introduction to the New Extensionist
- Adult Learning for Behavioural Change
- Introduction to facilitation for Development
- Farmer Organisational Development
- Community Mobilisation
A detailed program will be shared in due course to interested participants.
Online registration is open until 19th of April here: http://bit.ly/newextensionist
International participants must be self sponsored and can contact the organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org before the 17th of April for details and logistical information.