The Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA) leads several of its partners in a two day meeting to discuss how best to engage with policy making in its member countries.
The two day consultative meeting which starts in Entebbe today brings together people of varying backgrounds ranging from policy makers to researchers and communicators who interface with policy makers and recipients of policy.
“As part of our continuous growth, ASARECA is considering how to be more effective at influencing policy implementation at the national and regional levels…. This is based on the track record to date and projected increase in number of technologies and innovations that are already available and also under development, which will only be useful to end users if they adopt them”, said Michael Waithaka, ASARECA’S Manager, Policy Analysis and Advocacy Programme (PAAP).
He said recent reviews of ASARECA’s work had recommended more policy engagement and that the present effort was aimed at delivering a strategic note on how ASARECA will operationalize its advocacy strategy to get more engaged with implementation of policy agreements by member countries.
The PAAP project is expected to deliver policy options and advocacy strategies for enhancing the performance of the agricultural sector, strengthen capacity for carrying out policy research and enhance the availability of policy information on agricultural sector performance.
These results require the programme to work towards ensuring such outputs actually result in policy reform. To this end, PAAP has several projects organised around its four thematic areas which are: Rationalisation and harmonisation of policies, laws and regulations in key agricultural commodity and input sectors in the Eastern and Central Africa region; Trends analysis; Policy issues for natural resource management and Options and opportunities for small-scale agricultural growth.
Some of the questions that participants will discuss include how can ASARECA communicate to high level policy makers to ensure the message is understood and implemented? what can be done differently in order to get that level of attention so that the policy options can be adopted and implemented by countries?