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Strategic Plan 2012-15

// Achieving increased and more effective aid

for agriculture and rural development
Amended edition, July 2014
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Amendment to second edition
As per Platform Board decision on 26 June 2014, the validity period of the Strategic Plan 2012-2014
has been extended to the end of calendar year 2015.
References made to the original validity period in the previous edition of March 2012 have been
changed accordingly. No further editorial changes to the original.
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Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
Abbreviations 02
Executive Summary 03
Strategic Plan 2012-2015 05
1. Background 05
Part A: Vision and overall results 07
2. Vision and overall results 07
Part B: Roles and functions of the Platform
3. Role of the Platform 08
4. Objectives 09
5. Criteria for prioritising activities 10
Part C: Implementation arrangements and resources 11
6. Ownership is a reflection of quality and usefulness 11
7. Human and financial resources 12
8. Performance management and monitoring 13
Annex 14
Table of Contents
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Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
AAA Accra Agenda for Action
AE Aid effectiveness
AECF Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund
AGA Annual General Assembly (of the Platform)
ARD Agriculture and rural development
AU African Union
BMZ Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany
CAADP Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (of AU-NEPAD)
CSOs Civil Society Organisations
FP Focal Point
GAFSP Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme
GPAFS Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security
GIZ Deutsche Gesellschaft fr Internationale Zusammenarbeit
HLF High Level Forum
IFI International financing institution
MDG Millennium Development Goal
NEPAD New Partnership for Africas Development
ODA Official Development Assistance
OECD Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation
Platform Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
PBA Programme-based approach
PP Partnership Platform (of CAADP)
RBM Results-based management
SOFA State of Food and Agriculture (FAO)
SOFI State of World Food Insecurity (FAO)
SWAp Sector-wide approach
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Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
(Platform) is a network of all the major bilateral and
multilateral donors and international financing institu-
tions who share a common vision of the role that ARD
plays in reducing poverty. They are committed to
achieving increased and more effective aid for agricul-
ture and rural development.
International development partners agree that national
and global poverty reduction targets will not be met un-
less rural poverty is reduced. With only three years to
go until the 2015 MDG target date, 1.4 billion individu-
als still live on less than USD $1.25 a day and it is esti-
mated that currently about 925 million people are
undernourished. The 2008 food price crisis brought ad-
ditional international attention to the underlying prob-
lem of food insecurity in which millions of people suffer
food deficits and pushed an additional one hundred
million people into poverty. The recent volatility in food
prices has highlighted the impact of decades of under-
investment in developing country agriculture and a
general neglect of rural development. Food prices are
likely to remain volatile for the foreseeable future. Re-
current famine shows that hunger now remains higher
than before the food price crisis, and a major problem.
In 2009, the Platform created its first Strategic Plan
2009-2011 with the aim to make the network more fo-
cused and strategic. In its meeting in Paris on 16 June
2011, the Platform Board decided to update the docu-
ment and extend it until 2014, which was approved by
the Board on 2 March 2012. In a virtual meeting on 26
June 2014 the Board then took the decision to further
extend the documents validity for the year 2015. The
document at hand is therefore the revised Strategic
Plan for 2012-2015. Changes in this edition in compari-
son to March 2012 edition are not editorial but only re-
flect changes where the period of validity is mentioned.
Under the Platform members overall commitment to
engage for increased and more effective assistance for
ARD, the Strategic Plan defines the roles of the Plat-
form. According to members views, the Platforms
focus should be to share knowledge and coordinate re-
garding aid effectiveness in agriculture and rural devel-
opment and to advocate for more and better ARD.
Further Platform aims concern knowledge manage-
ment and networking on key themes and issues in
ARD, and service provision to facilitate these core ob-
jectives. Collegial networking and internal information
sharing should underpin the above functions and be
seen rather as a method of working than objectives of
Platform activity in and of themselves.
The Platform will share knowledge, capture and ex-
change initiatives in order to effectively advocate for
improved agricultural and rural development assis-
tance, through strengthening existing and creating new
networks. It will seek to influence all donors engaged
in developing country rural development programmes
at political and technical levels, and seek to enhance its
influence by an expanding membership.
Two main roles thus define the Platforms main
outputs for the new period 2012-2015, to 1)
Coordinate and manage knowledge sharing to enhance
capacity of member organisations to deliver more ef-
fective support for agriculture and rural development
and to engage in 2) Coherent and evidence based advo-
cacy in support of increased and more effective agri-
culture and rural development in developing countries.
In delivering these activities, the Platform will need to
be explicit about its added value to beneficiaries, in
particular in demonstrating the impact it has on part-
ner organisations and the rural poor.
In the next phase of the Strategic Plan, the Platform
will work towards the following two objectives that are
inextricably linked:
Executive Summary
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Objective 1: Coordinate knowledge sharing to enhance
capacity of member organisations to deliver more ef-
fective support for agriculture and rural development
The Platform will aim to provide a space for discussion
and debate on controversial and topical issues, and to
foster research into best solutions for confronting key
challenges in ARD. The Platform will also assist agri-
culture and development practitioners to enhance and
extend expertise and capacity through knowledge ex-
change initiatives focused on both external environ-
mental challenges and the implementation of aid
effectiveness measures.
Activities within the next three years will include:
Prepare technical and policy briefs on lessons
learned and best practice on topical issues
Facilitate the exchange of information between
donors on regional and country-level donor coordina-
Facilitate exchange of information on new sources of
funding for agriculture, in particular investments by
the private sector and new funding mechanisms
Support global or regional donor coordination initia-
tives, such as the CAADP Development Partners Task
Team, as a means of supporting and enhancing na-
tional and regional agricultural programmes, as well
as exploring possibilities for regional cooperation in
other regions (Asia & Latin America)
Deliver/support training and e-learning events with
member organisations on key aid effectiveness and
ARD issues
Host knowledge events on key ARD issues
Objective 2: Coherent and evidence based advocacy in
support of increased and more effective agriculture
and rural development in developing countries.
The Platform will advocate with its development part-
ners to raise awareness of the needs of the rural poor
and encourage better and higher investments in agri-
culture and rural development in developing countries.
The Platform will focus its efforts to influence develop-
ment partners in prioritising agriculture and rural de-
velopment investments.
Activities within the next three years will include:
Provide a forum for the discussion of critical and/or
contentious issues in ARD
Support collaboration by Platform members with
CSOs, the private sector, foundations and non-tradi-
tional donors in the ARD sector
Contribute to organising relevant high-level global
and regional conferences and dialogues
Improve outreach within member organisations to
mobilise and involve different staff in Platform advo-
cacy activities
Strategic Plan 2012-15
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1. Background
When the Global Donor Platform for Rural Develop-
ment (Platform) was created in 2003, its vision was of a
rather informal network of like-minded professionals
working for the main bilateral donors and international
financing institutions (IFIs) in the field of agriculture
and rural development (ARD). There was a keen sense
at that point in time that ARD had fallen off the global
development assistance agenda, reflected in the un-
precedented low share of official development assistance
(ODA) that it attracted. Although it was unfashionable and
undocumented at the time, the individuals concerned
shared a strongly-held belief that ARD was central to
poverty reduction in developing countries and to the
achievement of the Millennium Development Goals
(MDGs), in particular MDG1 to halve poverty and
hunger in the world. There was also a growing aware-
ness that the professionals concerned and their organi-
sations needed to work much more closely together if
they were to have the desired impact on hunger.
The need to act urgently to restore ARD to the priority it
deserved in the global development agenda, and for
donors to act more effectively together in pursuit of this
objective, became manifest in the First European
Forum on Rural Development in 2002. As a result, the
Platform was created. During its first few years, the
Platform established a small Secretariat in Bonn,
under the auspices of BMZ. Gradually, a clearer vision
of what the Platform was trying to achieve emerged, fo-
cusing on the need to strengthen advocacy in support
of ARD and to enhance aid effectiveness. This focus
was reinforced by the issuing of the Paris Declaration
on Aid Effectiveness (PD) in 2005. The vision was trans-
lated into reality through a number of activities, fi-
nanced by ad hoc contributions from a number of the
Platforms members, in particular the EU and BMZ.
The Platforms governance moved towards being less
informal with the formulation of a Charter which was
eventually endorsed by members in mid-2005 and
which, inter alia, stated its three outputs, specified
minimum subscription rates, and defined the role of
Focal Points (FPs) and the Steering Committee. The
Charter was substantially revised in late 2007 (Annex
2), at which point a Board of full subscription-paying
members, and a Steering Committee comprising six
Board members for day-to-day supervision of the Sec-
retariat and the work programme, were constituted.
Although clearly driven by its three founding principles
of advocacy, shared learning and country-level har-
monisation, throughout its early years the Platforms
activities were somewhat ad hoc, determined by oppor-
tunities that arose and rather uncertain financing. The
absence of a clearly-defined set of monitorable outputs
and an associated work plan and budget, was high-
lighted by the Platform Network Evaluation carried out
in 2007
, the principal recommendation of which was
The Platform Board should immediately take steps
to make the network more focused and strategic. It
should initiate a strategic process aimed at clarify-
ing the Platforms role and objectives and should
culminate in strategic and operational business
plans to guide the Platforms future development.
A first Strategic Plan was endorsed by the Platform in
March 2009. This present Strategic Plan draws upon
the Strategic Plan for 2009-2011 and is the Boards
response to a mid-term evaluation. It is the first step
towards the formulation of an operational business
plan including a work plan and budget.
Changing context
The Platform operates in the context of the evolving aid
architecture for agriculture and rural development,
which again achieved important milestones in recent
years. After world leaders had been galvanised into ac-
tion by the unprecedented rise in food prices that
started in 2007 and developed into an international food
crisis in 2008, a series of responses to diminish its ef-
fects, tackle the underlying causes and increase food
security followed. At the G8 summit in LAquila in July
2009, leaders agreed on five principles for sustainable
global food security and committed USD 22 billion for
sustainable agricultural development and safety nets.
This AFSI initiative and the LAquila principles were en-
dorsed at the World Food Summit in Rome in 2009. To
assist the implementation of the USD 22 billion pledge,
a G20 meeting in Pittsburgh reaffirmed the call for a
World Bank-managed food security trust fund, the
Global Agriculture Food Security Programme (GAFSP).
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
Strategic Plan 20122015
Global Donor Platform for Rural Development: Network Evaluation, Universalia, September 2008
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In 2010, the G20 Summit in Toronto committed to provide
USD 350 billion in capital funding to multilateral develop-
ment banks to increase their financial support of eco-
nomic and social activities in developing countries. The
UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals in
New York concluded with the adoption of a global action
plan to achieve the eight anti-poverty goals by their 2015
target date. The first meeting of a reformed Committee
on World Food Securitywas held in Rome in October
2010. The 3rd European Forum on Rural Development
met in early 2011 in Palencia. The 4th High-level Forum
on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4), which was held in Busan,
South Korea in October/ November 2011, looked at the
achievements of the Paris Declaration and setting an
agenda for aid and development effectiveness in the
post-Paris Declaration context.
In the course of this process, a series of priorities are
being established internationally
A higher level of attention is being paid to agricul-
ture and food security, including consideration of an
international governance framework for addressing
global food security, but those interviewed believe
there is still a long way to go. Among many issues
raised, food, aid, for example is not yet being ade-
quately addressed. Priorities are changing, however:
there have been significant increases in investment
in ARD in some organisations such as the World
Bank; and more beneficiary countries are being en-
couraged to ask for assistance specifically for ARD.
What has happened is a real shift in understanding
that more solutions are needed beyond increasing
agricultural productivity. Related issues on land and
water management need to be better understood.
The Platform is viewed as having a critical role to
play in looking at the broader picture of rural devel-
opment and its relationship to agriculture and food
security and other sectors that contribute to the
eradication of rural poverty. The comparative advan-
tage of the Platform is to bring together multilateral
and bilateral donor organisations on a regular and
long-term basis (assembly, board meeting) that
allows fostering mutual trust and synergies between
the members and the partners.
The attainment of the MDGs: with the deadline of
2015 looming, greater attention from the develop-
ment assistance community is turning towards what
interventions might be possible or necessary to move
closer to achieving the targets; within the ARD sec-
tor, goals one and seven (eradicating extreme poverty
and hunger; and ensuring environmental sustainabil-
ity), are top of mind.
On food security in particular: There is a need to ad-
vocate for policy options to respond to the volatility of
food prices; and there is a need to find new and bet-
ter ways to invest in food production and distribution;
in particular, how to fully engage the private sector in
the ARD agenda. How to strengthen resilience in
communities and households in rural areas could be
part of the food security priority.
On agriculture and climate change: Agricultures
role in addressing climate change is coming onto the
agenda slowly; there are a number of difficult coun-
try positions that will take time and effort to resolve.
Nevertheless, agriculture and climate change is an-
other rapidly growing field; and there is again a need
to bring diverse organisations together around a
common agenda. More work is needed to inform de-
veloping countries of the linkages between climate
change with agriculture, on both the mitigation side
(emissions and carbon sinks) and the adaptation side
(water management, crop diversification and so
forth). It is viewed that there is an important inter-
section of climate change, agriculture, food security,
energy, and the environment, but this complex nexus
needs to be approached in a coherent, coordinated
The impact of the global financial crisis: Although in-
vestments in ARD are increasing in some organisa-
tions, priorities are being affected in other organi-
sations by the financial crisis and deficit reduction pro-
cesses. One impact of the financial crisis is that donors
are being forced to concentrate on more results based
evidence of results/impacts for their investments.
Newapproaches for rural development: Work on eco-
nomic valuation of ecological goods and services, and
its role in new economic development approaches for
rural areas, is slowly moving out of the academic com-
munity into the policy making community; with the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and
others initiating research and training for bureaucrats
in Sudan, Laos, and other countries.
In the Strategic Plan 20122015 set out below, the main
thread focuses on how to enhance its services to its
members, partners and clients in the developing world
and how it can respond flexibly to the changing global
context. The Plan presents clearly-defined and mea-
surable outputs upon which it will focus over the period
2012-15, and for which it will be accountable.
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
Drawn from interviews, Mid Term Review, p. 10
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2. Vision and overall results
The Platform endorses and works towards the com-
mon objectives of its member institutions to support
the reduction of poverty in developing countries and
enhance sustainable economic growth in rural areas.
Its vision is to be a collective, recognised and influential
voice, adding value to and reinforcing the goals of aid
effectiveness in the agricultural and rural development
strategies and actions of member organisations in sup-
port of partner countries.
More effective aid for agriculture and rural
The successful outcome of the Platforms efforts
should be more effective aid in support of agriculture
and rural development, including both Official Develop-
ment Assistance (ODA) provided by Platform members
going to ARD, as well as aid flows from foundations
and non-traditional donors mobilized through Platform
efforts. Greater coherence in donor assistance as
members agree to work more closely together and ra-
tionalise their support for ARD is additional evidence of
more effective aid. This so-called division of labour
as well as more widespread alignment with national
strategies and country systems for programme imple-
mentation, and greater participation in sector-wide
(SWAps) and programme-based (PBAs) approaches in
the sector are also ways to demonstrate more effective
aid. Other approaches e.g through public private part-
nerships and new funding mechanisms (e.g. Africa En-
terprise Challenge Fund and Global Agriculture and
Food Security Program private sector window to lever-
age private sector investment) should be considered to
be an integral part of improving aid effectiveness.
Recognising that sustainable and long-lasting develop-
ment is achieved through interdisciplinary approaches,
specific attention will also be given to environmental
sustainability in agriculture MDG7 and natural re-
source management in particular. Although agriculture
as a productive sector is central to the Platforms vi-
sion, the social dimensions of rural development, food
security, gender equity and nutrition, are explicit priori-
ties of some of its members. The Platform will continue
to be a convenor of global partnerships and contribute
to targets in MDG8.
The Platform in 2015 a recognised influence in
international agriculture and rural development
By 2015, the end year of the present strategic plan, the
Platform aims to have further enhanced its role as a
trusted and influential player in the world of agricul-
ture and rural development, contributing to the goal of
increased and more effective aid in support of ARD. It
will seek to achieve this aim by knowledge exchange
and management, articulated by effective networking
and targeted advocacy. In its operations it will be
guided by specific underlying approaches:
Higher incomes and improved food security at the
household level by both rural women and men
Strengthened and inclusive in-country capacities for
agricultural and rural development
Increasing responsible private sector investment in
agriculture and rural development
Efficient and sustainable management of natural
resources (land, water and biodiversity), and
Endorsement of the partnership commitments of the
Paris Declaration and the tenets of country owner-
ship, mutual accountability and results as conveyed
in the Accra Agenda for Action.
In order to achieve this outcome, the Platform will
streamline its processes, enhancing ownership on the
part of its members through providing high quality and
useful products, broadening membership and energis-
ing its Focal Points. It will define specific time bound
measurable outputs that will be achievable through a
coherent and carefully formulated work plan and bud-
get. By establishing a results based monitoring system,
it will be able to report back each year on its results
and performance at the end of the plan period.
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
Part A: Vision and overall results
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3. Role of the Platform
The Platform operates through its individual member
organisations to advance the two stated objectives of
coordinating knowledge sharing and providing coherent
evidence-based advocacy in favour of more effective aid
to ARD. The Platform aims to mobilise members ef-
forts and facilitate networking and collaboration among
members to fulfil its principal roles:
As observer, reporting back to its members on
issues, decisions and their implications
As advocate, preparing well-informed, tailor-made
briefings for members who attend HLFs, identifying
particular champions for different issues
As facilitator of donors dialogue on policies, ap-
proaches and instruments used to improve efficiency
in aid delivery for ARD and increased finance for pro-
grammatic approaches
The global level is the Platforms main arena,
operating through its members
The most important arena for the Platformas a whole is
at global level and in high level fora (HLF) at which issues
relating to agriculture, food security, rural development
and poverty reduction are discussed. Prior to any HLF,
briefing materials would be, as appropriate and needed,
prepared by members or by the Platformitself, and meet-
ings would be convened to discuss key issues. Sometimes
this will lead to a collective agreement on positions by the
key players. However, achieving consensus by all mem-
bers should not be the primary objective of the Platform.
Regional initiatives offer unique opportunities for knowl-
edge sharing and advocacy. Members support the role
that the Platformhas played in support of the NEPAD
Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Pro-
gramme (CAADP). Its role at this regional level has been
mainly the sharing of information, an activity managed by
a CAADP-dedicated member of the Secretariat. The Plat-
formwill continue to advance the CAADP agenda through
providing an opportunity for members to collaborate, dis-
cussing obstacles to implementation, and facilitate en-
gagement of Platformmembers in the informal CAADP
development partners task team(DP TT) and other fora.
Where opportunities arise, the Platform will expand its
regional role through partnerships in Asia and Latin
America. In this way, the opportunity for sharing expe-
riences and learning between regions can be en-
hanced, and south-south exchange can be facilitated.
An advantage of the Platform is to facilitate link-
ages between global and regional initiatives
with country level coordination
The real results in ARD are at country level this is
where achievements in meeting MDG1 will be as-
sessed. It is therefore vital for the Platform to demon-
strate how it delivers results to beneficiaries at
country-level. Country-level coordination remains the
domain and role of in-country representatives of donor
member organisations, and not a priority activity of the
Platform. However, the Platform should play on its
strengths and expand its role in bridging or connecting
global and regional processes with country-level pro-
cesses. This will go a long way in helping the Platform
demonstrate its value to helping the rural poor at
Advocacy and knowledge sharing are inextricably
linked and must be strengthened if the Platform is to
achieve its objectives. Effective knowledge sharing
strengthens advocacy and efficient networking drives
both processes.
The comparative advantages of the Platform need to be
strengthened by further exchanging information about
the policies, approaches and instruments used by the
individual donor organisations in achieving the vision
and objectives of increased aid effectiveness for ARD,
consistent with the Paris Declaration. The linkages be-
tween direct budget support, sector-wide approaches
and other programmatic tools of national governments
and ODA and international finance, for example for cli-
mate change, are critical. It is crucial for the donor
community to increase the information and mutual un-
derstanding amongst the community on the way for-
ward in meeting the objectives of food security. The
Platform should play an active role in making knowl-
edge available within its members organisations to in-
duce change at country level.
In addition, the Platform will act as a convenor on
ARD issues. In this role, it will provide a neutral forum
in which its members can freely discuss provocative or
controversial issues. It would also take on the task of
monitoring the implementation of the Paris Declaration
on aid effctiveness and the Accra Agenda for Action in
Strategic Plan 2012-15
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Part B: Roles and functions of the Platform
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Different roles for different members
The Platform will become more flexible and responsive
to the different needs of its members. The Platforms
34 current members are diverse in terms of size and
function, unified by their interest in agriculture and
rural development and in the belief that MDG1 cannot
be achieved without successfully developing this sector.
Although dominated by traditional bilateral donors,
there are international financing institutions (IFIs) and
UN agencies, as well as think-tanks among the associ-
ate members. The diversity of membership means that,
as pointed out by the evaluation, there are widely dif-
ferent expectations about what the Platform can de-
liver. As the Platform broadens its membership to
include all donor organisations including foundations
and emerging donors such as China, Brazil and India,
the challenge of satisfying expectations grows.
In order to avoid frustrating diverse expectations, the
Platform will explicitly acknowledge this diversity and,
as far as possible, target members with different and
tailored products and communications. For example,
smaller donors are more interested than larger donors
in the Platforms work in preparing briefs on hot top-
ics and other documents that provide insights into
HLFs or regional initiatives (such as CAADP) in which
they are not directly involved. Smaller donors also see
the Platform providing an opportunity to table and
leverage their own concerns and positions by having
them disseminated through the member network and
discussed. Larger donors welcome the opportunity af-
forded by the Platform to network and discuss impor-
tant issues and to set the agenda for HLFs collectively.
Technical agencies and international financing institu-
tions are important sources of information and knowl-
edge, which could benefit the broader donor
4. Objectives
Platform member organisations are committed to con-
tributing to the achievement of the MDGs through sup-
port for agriculture and rural development. They are
united in the belief that agriculture and rural develop-
ment are uniquely effective in reducing poverty and
hunger (MDG 1), the achievement of which underpins
all other MDGs. At the same time ARD contributes en-
vironmental benefits of global importance (MDG 7) and
enhanced partnerships (MDG 8).
The food security crisis of 2008 facing over 850 million
people has not abated. The crisis has highlighted the
impact of decades of under-investment in agriculture
and a general neglect of rural development on the part
of most developing country governments and donors.
The crisis has highlighted the impact of decades of un-
dernvestment in agriculture and a general neglect of
rural development on the part of most developing
country governments and donors. Although both food
and energy prices have recently declined, the persis-
tence of hunger and undernutrition continues to be a
global challenge. The Global Partnership for Agricul-
ture and Food Security (GPAFS) has been formed and
the LAquila Food Security Initiative (AFSI) is in place to
track the needed investment commitments.
The need to substantially increase ODA and to meet ex-
isting development financing commitments is likely to
be even more difficult as the impact of the financial cri-
sis and world-wide recession begin to be felt. Working
more effectively together as donors and genuinely sup-
porting national development strategies and using na-
tional systems, are especially difficult challenges in
The High Level Forum in Accra was able to point to
some progress on aid effectiveness following the Paris
Declaration, but also showed that there was still much
work to be done. The December 2011 HLF Busan Out-
come document has established the Global Partnership
for Development and, in this regard, there is much the
agricultural and rural development sector can offer as
lessons and on-going partnerships with a series of
stakeholders. This places the sector and Platform
members in an advantageous position to move forward
on both the results agenda and the need to establish
accountability mechanisms between those actors.
During the implementation phase of the Strategic Plan
2012-2015 the Platform will work towards the following
two objectives:
Objective 1: Coordinate knowledge sharing to enhance
capacity of member organisations to deliver more
effective support for agriculture and rural development
The Platform will aim to provide a space for discussion
and debate on controversial and topical issues, and to
foster research into best solutions for confronting key
challenges in ARD. It will also assist agriculture and
development practitioners to enhance and extend ex-
pertise and capacity through knowledge sharing initia-
tives focused on both external environmental
challenges and the implementation of aid effectiveness
The Platform adds value to the efforts of its individual
members by facilitating exchange of knowledge and ev-
idence-based good practices. The overall aim will be to
enhance the capacity of member organisations to de-
liver more effective support to ARD. To this end, knowl-
edge sharing and communications strategies will
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include forging links with other networks in ARD, at
least three newsletters per year, and a means of facili-
tating informal exchange between FPs. In addition to its
regular schedule of meetings, the Platform will offer a
neutral forum for the debate of at least one controver-
sial issue each year, in each case identifying a cham-
pion to lead the discussion. Enhancing the capacity of
donor field level staff in implementing AE measures
through training and e-learning events will be a priority
and will be developed on request from and in collabo-
ration with country-level donor working groups.
The Platform will also contribute to knowledge sharing
and management by supporting the preparation of evi-
dence-based pieces that synthesise important topics in
ARD, and by reviewing seminal publications for the
benefit of its members. The preparation of policy briefs
will continue to provide concise tangible recommenda-
tions and options for members on specific topics in
ARD. As part of enhanced Knowledge management, the
Platform will strengthen its support to link global, re-
gional and country-level initiatives, and ensure that in-
formation flows effectively across these different levels.
Objective 2: Coherent and evidence based advocacy in
support of increased and more effective agriculture
and rural development in developing countries.
Members have a clear vision of the Platform as a net-
work that advocates to development partners for ARD
and aid effectiveness in the global fight against hunger
and poverty. It remains a priority for the Platform to
ensure that ARD remains high on the development
agenda, in particular as the next few years are pre-
dicted to be lean years for development assistance. The
articulation of coherent and evidence-based advocacy
in support of increased and more effective aid in ARD
will be a secondary priority for the plan period.
Advocacy will be enhanced through making agree-
ments with other stakeholders and networks related to
ARD, increasing outreach to CSOs and the private sec-
tor, and seeking to expand membership to foundations
and non-traditional donors. Advocacy in support of aid
effectiveness in ARD will be targeted at developing
country partners to increase their share of national
budgets allocated to ARD. The Platform will respond to
the outcomes of the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effec-
tiveness. In addition to aid effectiveness, the Platform
will continue to target topical issues such as food secu-
rity or f climate change, and help in the preparatory
process for members attending HLFs or other major
events. Platform representatives will also attend inter-
national meetings and report back to all members on
outcomes, and support will be provided to a number of
major events.
For the most part, the Platform achieves its objectives
through the activities of its individual member organi-
sations. Where there are gaps in advocacy or knowl-
edge, the Platform will act as a catalyst, using its
convening powers to bring critical issues to the atten-
tion of the development community, applying the prin-
ciple of subsidiarity, and always in collaboration with
one or more members. However, the Platform itself
will be held accountable for the implementation of the
activities that constitute the programme of work each
year in support of its members. To facilitate these core
activities the Platform will act as a service provider to
assist members in networking and internal information
sharing. Over the three year period of this strategy, the
Platform wants to achieve:
An increase in linkages between ARD and other de-
velopment processes such as climate change, health,
education, etc.
Tangible progress in the implementation of the Paris
Declaration Paris Declaration on aid effctiveness and
Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) commitments at
country level
Increase of policies that pay attention to the impor-
tance of aid effectiveness for ARD as well as the op-
portunities ARD offers in achieving AE
5. Criteria for prioritising activities
The overriding criterion for prioritising activities to be
conducted by the Platform is to test whether or not
each activity directly contributes to the achievement of
a specific output in the Platform log frame. Although
this is tautological, it is a useful test that should be ap-
plied at all stages of work plan preparation.
The criteria for the selection of activities outlined in the
Platform Charter include both positive and negative
factors. In addition to being consistent with the Plat-
form's output, each activity should:
Have the potential to result in a global public good
Make a contribution to the rural development debate
and support the comprehensive approach to rural
Be expected to have an impact on aid effectiveness
Have operational value, easy replicability and mea-
Complement operational work conducted by any
member organisation
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
strategie:Layout 1 09.07.2014 10:40 Uhr Seite 12
Provide benefits to the majority of Platform members
Demonstrate value and benefit to Platform member
beneficiaries partner organisations and rural poor
Be demand-driven (by government or field staff of
Platform member-organisations) and/or need-driven
(by Platform FPs or headquarters of Platform mem-
ber organisations)
Be approved by a majority of Platform members
Be compatible with a majority of members priorities
and avoid doing what individual members are already
Link country level learning experiences to high level
political fora
Support enhanced high level coordination, and
Contribute to capacity development
6. Ownership is a reflection of quality
and usefulness
Ownership on the part of FPs is determined by the
quality and usefulness of the outputs provided by mem-
bers themselves beyond the formal membership
through financial contributions. Reports, briefs, notes,
and information documents of high quality strengthen
the feeling of ownership at a personal level, and those
that add knowledge that could be useful to the FPs or-
ganisation earn institutional ownership.
On the basis of this feedback and in order to strengthen
FP and institutional ownership, the Platform will take
steps to enhance quality and relevance of its outputs.
This will include:
More active monitoring of the entire activity cycle in-
cluding the formulation of clear terms of reference
and instituting a formal review mechanism for all
documents before they are disseminated this would
not necessarily involve peer review by FPs as in the
past, but would rather seek the views, on a regular
basis, of respected individuals and organisations in
relevant fields, and applying rigorously remedies for
outputs that receive negative review or peer review
Carefully structuring information flows by refining e-
mail information and targeting them more precisely
at the most relevant users
Maintaining and updating the website frequently
Focal Points will become more engaged
At present, individual organisations constitute the
membership of the Platform but each organisation for-
mally appoints a Focal Point (FP) to fulfil its responsi-
bilities. The primary function of a FP is to ensure that
the headquarters and field staff in their respective or-
ganisations are well-informed about Platform activities
and to exchange data and information with the Plat-
form and other member organisations. All FPs operate
on a voluntary basis without specific time set aside in
their work for Platform activities. The individuals con-
cerned are invariably heavily overloaded with regular
work responsibilities. Coming from widely varying pro-
fessional backgrounds, focal points are mutually sup-
portive working jointly on outputs and achieving jointly
the objectives of the Platform.
The Platform seeks to enhance the engagement of FPs
in three ways: (a) by delivering tailored, demand-driven
support to the individual FPs through responding to
requests for information, providing advocacy material
etc. so as to strengthen their position within their
own organisations; (b) by inviting all organisations to
appoint two FPs with complementary profiles for ex-
ample one with a technical background and one with a
political/institutional background as representative
and alternate; and (c) by encouraging member organi-
sations to make Platform FP responsibilities an explic-
itly recognised output, with time allocated for which the
individual is accountable.
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
Part C: Implementation arrangements
and resources
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A donor platform should include all donors
With the emergence of major new donors with an inter-
est in ARD, it is important for the Platform to take im-
mediate steps to broaden its membership to include all
donor organisations. Foundations which contribute
substantial resources to programmes in ARD, and
emerging economy donors, will be encouraged to join
the Platform. This will provide a forum for bringing new
donors actively into the harmonization and aid effec-
tiveness debate, honouring the Busan Partnership for
Effective Development Cooperation, and will also bring
into the network partner bilateral donor countries that
have an immediate interest in ARD themselves and
have important experiences to share.
Partners are vital for outreach
The Platforms partners are interested parties such as
think-tanks, development research and policy institu-
tions working in ARD, or regional and inter-govern-
mental organisations (such as NEPAD-CAADP) who all
share a common interest in achieving the Platforms
goals. All partners will be invited to the annual General
Assembly and will be able to access Platform knowl-
edge resources, engage in discussions at the General
Assembly and will be encouraged to channel their own
knowledge contributions through the Platform, includ-
ing the website.
The Platform will strengthen its partnerships with
CSOs and the private sector building upon its positive
links with CSOs that were evident from the Busan Aid
Effectiveness consultations. It will actively forge strate-
gic relationships with CSOs or private sector entities to
leverage their experience and knowledge in order to
advance certain topical issues. In each year the Plat-
form could identify key organisations with which to de-
velop stronger relationships regarding priority themes
in that year. Similarly, stronger links will be forged with
policy and technical networks in order to align agendas
and agree on common objectives. These efforts will
help the Platform demonstrate how its work reaches
and has impact on the lives of the rural poor.
7. Human and financial resources
As a network, the success of the Platform depends
upon the extent to which it is able to mobilise the pool
of talented and committed professionals that constitute
the network and the light hand of administration that
facilitates network operations. The Platform Secre-
tariat is hosted by BMZ with GIZ contracted to manage
the Platform [multi-donor] trust fund and the Platform
Secretariat, applying standard GIZ financial and admin-
istrative rules. Financial resources will be allocated fol-
lowing the priorities that have been chosen by
members, with consideration of the overall manage-
ment and support costs:
* The indirect support costs of managing the funds charged by GIZ are
not included
In order to allocate resources outside the percentage
bounds set, the approval of the Board would be re-
quired. The time and imputed cost of all staff resources
including the Secretariat will be set against the specifi-
cally defined outputs, a system that will be facilitated
by time-recording by staff and consultants. The annual
budget report will be presented against the main out-
put categories above, and will include reporting on ex-
trabudgetary resources that have been earmarked for
specific activities. All non-core programme activities
that are funded from extra-budgetary resources must
be clearly attributable to an agreed output and be
linked to the log frame.
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
Knowledge management
Governance, secretariat
management, administration
Percentage of
available budget*
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8. Performance management and
In order to facilitate the assessment of performance, a
system for monitoring and reporting on both inputs and
outputs is needed and results-based management
(RBM) will need to be developed during the implemen-
tation of this strategic plan. RBM is built upon clear
definition of outputs, careful monitoring of perfor-
mance, the achievement of outputs, and clear lines of
accountability for delivering the outputs.
As a network, the Platform will pursue its defined
outputs primarily through activities implemented by
its members and/or the Platform Secretariat. The
principle of subsidiarity will be applied, meaning that
all substantial activities in the programme of work
(such as studies and major meetings) shall, by de-
fault, be carried out by members organisations.
The co-Chairs with inputs from Board members will
assist the Secretariat in preparing the Platforms an-
nual work programme, within the three-year strate-
gic plan. The annual work programme and budget
will be discussed and approved by the Board. The an-
nual work programme will be implemented on the
basis of results-based management principles.
The annual work plan will comprise a priority core
work programme, based on known and reliable fi-
nancial resources, and a non-core programme the
implementation of which will depend upon the avail-
ability of resources.
Activities will be coordinated and supported by the
Platform Secretariat.
The Annual General Assembly is the flagship event
of the Platform and as such will provide an opportu-
nity for all stakeholders in ARD to network in the
community of professionals in the field, comment
upon the Platforms performance and to provide in-
puts to guide its medium term plan and annual pro-
gramme of work. The Secretariat will report to the
steering committee.
Results-based management is based on the log
The management of the Platforms performance will be
facilitated by its work plan. The annual work plan be-
comes an annual budget with allocations to specific
outputs. This will be an important document of the
Platform, guiding the Secretariat in its day-to-day im-
plementation and support activities. The output-budget
relationship will be monitored on a quarterly basis and
an analysis presented to the co-Chairs. The co-Chairs,
with inputs from Board members as appropriate will
then adjust human and financial resources during the
course of the year to ensure that the agreed annual
outputs are achieved.
Management performance at all levels will be
regularly reviewed
The performance of the Secretariat staff will be man-
aged through the GIZ contracts under which the Secre-
tariat are recruited and supported. The GIZ annual
performance reviews will include inputs and assess-
ments by the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Platform.
Given the dependence of the Platform on its members
themselves for leading, conducting and participating in
Platform activities, the Platform will also undertake a
short annual review of the input by Platform members
in activities as part of an overall annual evaluation of
the Platforms activities which would form the basis for
the inputs into the annual report.
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
strategie:Layout 1 09.07.2014 10:40 Uhr Seite 15
Contribute to reduced
poverty in rural areas of
developing countries
More effective assistance
for ARD by Platform
1: Coordinate knowledge
2: Coherent and evidence
based advocacy
Indicator[and target]
Enhanced, equitable and socially and environmentally sustainable economic
growth in rural areas MDG 1, 7 & 8
Tangible progress in Paris Declaration and AAA commitment implementation by
members in agriculture including at country level
Share of PBAs/SWAps in ARD and development of new approaches to fund ARD
and leverage private sector funding [increase from 2011 baseline]
Volume of information flow between Platform members [knowledge exchange in-
creased, and learning events conducted]Number of knowledge products pro-
duced by Platform (policy briefs, research papers, etc) [at least 1 per year]
Contribution of members to knowledge sharing, knowledge products or tools
[at least 50% of members contribute to products by 2015, and contributions in-
crease by 50% by 2015 from 2011 baseline]
Number of knowledge products accessed by member focal points
[FPs access at least 2 Platform knowledge products or information on improved
AE measures per year]
Number of contributions made to harmonised donor positions at HL events
[At least 1 contribution from the Platform is made at major HL events]
Targeted group-specific messages or meetings
[At least 1 per year]
Number of presentations given and meetings/conferences attended by members
advocating Platform messages
[An increase in presentations and participations in each year]
Platform advocacy reflected in major ARD events
[Demonstrate at least 1 policy linkage between Platform advocacy and event
Volume of information flow between Platform task teams and global or regional ini-
tiatives or development partner [corresponence and communication increased]
Reference to Platform in member publications
[More than 50% of members refer to Platform membership in publications]
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
Annex: Strategic Plan Log Frame
Outcome [Expected benefits at the end of the defined period (2012-15)]
Activities [Tangible goods and services that are delivered under Platform (members) control]
Activities for this logframe will be approved by the Board on a yearly basis. The discussion and decision of the annual
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Source of Verification
WB reports
OECD reports
High level meeting reports
IFI reports Implementa-
tion completion reports
Public expenditure reviews
Donor reports
AE assessment
Platform publications and
web presence (web-
stats/Google analytics)
Secretariat records
Partner reports
Platform publications and
web presence (web-
stats/Google analytics)
Secretariat records
Partner reports
More and better investment from other stakeholders in ARD is forthcoming
Other stakeholders implement coherent policy and institutional reforms
Members utilise Knowledge Sharing system output
Members learn from and adapt policies in response to advocacy and enhanced
Lead donors in Donor working group at country level see the benefit of accessing
Platform material and feeding back information
CAADP remains Africas agriculture continental Framework
Focal Points who are well networked into their own organisations are selected
Focal Points network inside their organisations with messages derived from the
Platform (including to decision makers)
Platform outputs exert influence on decision-makers
ARD has an accepted place in donors political economy
Platform remains the leading donor network in ARD
CAADP remains Africas agriculture continental framework
Strategic Plan 2012-15
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development
workplan takes place in and following the Board meeting closest to the end/beginning of the calendar year
strategie:Layout 1 09.07.2014 10:40 Uhr Seite 17
Prepared by:
Platform Secretariat
Published by:
Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
Godesberger Allee 119
53175 Bonn,
Original publication
March 2012
Amended edition
July 2014
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Secretariat of the
Global Donor Platform for Rural Development,
c/o Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation
and Development (BMZ)
Dahlmannstrae 4, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Phone: +49 228 24934 165
Fax: +49 228 24934 215
Original Publication: March 2012
Amended edition: July 2014
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