CTA Working Groups - 1 Partnership practices
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CTA. 1996. CTA Working Groups - 1 Partnership practices. Spore 65. CTA, Wageningen, The Netherlands.
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CTA Working Groups - 1 Partnership practices As part of a review of the Centre's objectives and operations, Dr R D Cooke, the Director of CTA, set up six working groupsin September 1995. Their task is to make recommendations for inclusion in the...
CTA Working Groups - 1 Partnership practices As part of a review of the Centre's objectives and operations, Dr R D Cooke, the Director of CTA, set up six working groups in September 1995. Their task is to make recommendations for inclusion in the mid-term plan currently being developed. These groups have advanced in their work through a process of meetings, consultations and studies. One group is looking at the existing partnership practices of CTA, and at alternative modes of partnership, and will propose a Plan of Action for partnerships as a basis for cooperation between the Centre and the different players in rural development in ACP countries. In this exercise, five categories of partners have been listed: planners and decision-makers; research community; training and extension services; information managers; and private and nongovernmental sectors. The term 'partnership' is difficult to define adequately, but it is an important term which is widely used to describe the relationships between development players in the context of globalization and of the changing relations between governments and so-called 'independent sectors'. It would be wrong to regard all types of relationships as 'partnerships'; services based on 'clients' and 'target groups' are a different type of relationship. The best way to define partnership between organizations is to regard it as a voluntary marriage, as opposed to an arranged one. Far-reaching changes are taking place in the landscape of organizations involved in agricultural and rural development in ACP countries. Governments and long-established bodies are changing their working practices, in line with adjustments to the resources available to them. New organizations are emerging in the commercial and non-governmental sectors, the latter being increasingly referred to as 'the civil society'. As the value of cooperation and of sharing resources between sectors becomes clearer, there are growing calls for the establishment of partnerships. CTA is monitoring and following these changes, and is working to assist national agricultural systems (NAS) to develop the most appropriate strategies for their work in the field of information management. At a CTA seminar on the role of information for rural development in ACP countries, held in Montpellier in 1995, it was emphasised that 'Ten years ago, the priority was to make available to ACP countries appropriate scientific and technical information, from sources often located in Europe. The beneficiaries of this information were usually central, or intermediate, players: planners, researchers, trainers, extension workers, and information managers. Since then there has been a far-reaching evolution in information and communication needs, in the nature of the players, in the role of information professionals and in information technology'. The notion of 'partnership' is crucial to working out new forms of cooperation between public and private institutions and, indeed, for CTA in its own relationships with other organizations with regard to the services it provides. The working group has established that, in comparison with other forms of cooperation, partnership includes greater elements of equity between partners, more sharing of risk and rewards, more enduring relationships and more dimensions. According to some studies undertaken by UNDP, partnership also includes more elements of flexibility, consensus and participation. Criteria for successful partnerships are being developed, with emphasis on each partner's openness and vitality, overall effectiveness, clarity and efficiency in governance and management and the sustainability of the organization.Hpar The next stage of the group's work will be to test and develop these elements and criteria. The group's aim is to ensure that partnership issues can be not merely a fashion in development, but also a model for effective cooperation between the different sectors.
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