Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

Global Donor Platform for Rural Development Strategic Plan 2009-11
Achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Abbreviations Executive Summary Global Donor Platform for Rural Development Strategic Plan 2009 – 11
1. Background 2. Vision and overall results 3. Role of the Platform 4. Criteria for prioritising activities 5. Governance 6. Outputs 7. Implementation arrangements 8. Human and financial resources 9. Performance management and monitoring

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Annex 1-3
ANNEX 1: Strategic Plan Log Frame ANNEX 2: Platform Governance Charter ANNEX 3: Platform Governance Structure

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Prepared and published by Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, c/o Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Dahlmannstraße 4, 53113 Bonn, Germany Layout Iris Christmann, Wiesbaden, Germany Paper Printed on special 9Lives photo paper (PaperLinx), certified according to FSC March 2009

ABBREVIATIONS I ACRONYMS
AAA AE ARD AU BMZ CAADP CFA DoL DWG FP GA GPAFS GTZ HLF ICR IFI JP KM MDG NEPAD ODA OECD PBA PD PER PP RBM SC SOFA SOFI SWAp VC Accra Agenda for Action Aid effectiveness Agriculture and rural development African Union German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (of AU-NEPAD) Comprehensive Framework for Action Division of labour Donor working group (at country level) Focal Point General Assembly (of the Platform) Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security German Technical Cooperation Agency High Level Forum Implementation completion report International financing institution Joint Principles (for agriculture and rural development programmes) Knowledge management Millennium Development Goal New Partnership for Africa’s Development Official Development Assistance Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation Programme-based approach Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness Public expenditure review Partnership Platform (of CAADP) Results-based management Steering Committee State of Food and Agriculture (FAO) State of World Food Insecurity (FAO) Sector-wide approach Video-conference

Platform Global Donor Platform for Rural Development

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EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (the Platform) is a network of all the major bilateral and multilateral donors and international financing institutions that share a common vision of the role that ARD plays in reducing poverty. They are committed to achieving increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development (ARD). International development partners agree that national and global poverty reduction targets will not be met unless rural poverty is reduced. With only 6 years to go until the 2015 MDG target date, 1.4 billion individuals still live on less than $1.25 a day and it is estimated that currently over 950 million people are undernourished. The 2008 food price crisis brought additional international attention to the underlying problem 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. A Network Evaluation of the Platform was carried out in 2007. Its principal recommendation was that “the Platform Board should immediately take steps to make the network more focused and strategic”. This Strategic Plan is the Board’s response to the Evaluation’s findings. It is the first step towards the formulation of an operational business plan including a work plan and budget for 2009-11. The Strategic Plan defines the two key roles for the Platform as being advocate and knowledge broker. These are inextricably linked and are driven by effective networking. The Platform’s current governance structure, as reflected in the revised Charter of 2008, will remain unchanged. However, efforts will be made to make the interaction between Board, Steering Committee and Focal Points more effective. A central part of this will be the introduction of results-based management (RBM) built upon clear definition of outputs, careful monitoring of performance, the achievement of outputs, and clear lines of accountability for delivering the outputs. Within the next three years, the Platform wants to achieve: an increase in the share of members’ ODA going to ARD; tangible progress in the implementation of Paris Declaration (PD) and Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) commitments at country level; an increase in the use of programmebased and sector-wide approaches in ARD programmes; and a rationalisation of ARD support by member agencies in selected countries. The Platform will develop knowledge capture and exchange initiatives in order to effectively advocate for improved agricultural and rural development assistance, 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. The Platform’s work is achieved through implementing twin pillars of advocacy (Output 1) and knowledge sharing (Output 2).

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OUTPUT 1: Coherent and evidence-based advocacy in support of increased
and more effective aid in ARD
Even though agriculture is presently “back on the agenda”, the Platform’s longstanding advocacy for ARD remains a priority to support increased and more effective aid. The Platform will renew its efforts to influence international debate on sustainable agriculture issues within the rapidly changing context of international aid architecture. The PD and the AAA have strengthened the resolve of donors to provide more coherent assistance to partner governments. The Platform will focus on achieving this goal within ARD. In particular, it will target improving results-focused and mutually accountable national development strategies at country level and supporting major new initiatives such as the Common Framework for Action (CFA) and the proposed Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security (GPAFS).

> Within the next three years, the Platform will:
• Support the implementation of the CFA and the GPAFS to fight food insecurity through coordination of, and advocacy with, ARD donors; • Advocate ARD issues into the 4th HLF on Aid Effectiveness (AE) in 2011 and other fora; • Provide a forum for the discussion of critical and/or contentious issues in ARD; • Strengthen outreach to CSOs, the private sector, foundations and non-traditional donors in the ARD sector; • Contribute to organising relevant high-level global and regional conferences and dialogues.

Activities:

OUTPUT 2: Fostering knowledge to enhance capacity of member agencies to deliver more effective support for ARD
Increasingly volatile food and commodity prices, the economic and financial crisis, climate change and water scarcity are among the major emerging global challenges influencing development today. The Platform will assist ARD practitioners to enhance and extend expertise and capacity through knowledge management initiatives focused on both external environmental challenges and the implementation of aid effectiveness measures.

> Activities:

Within the next three years, the Platform will:

• Facilitate the exchange of information between donors on country-level donor coordination; • Support regional initiatives such as CAADP as a means of enhancing national and regional African agricultural programmes, as well as exploring the possibility of collaboration with other regional entities in Asia & Latin America; • Prepare technical and good practice briefs and interactive discussions on critical issues; • Deliver/support training and e-learning events with member agencies on key AE and ARD issues; • Host knowledge events on key ARD issues; • Establish a data system that gathers, compiles and disseminates key ARD data from Platform members.

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GLOBAL DONOR PLATFORM FOR RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIC PLAN 2009 – 11

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BACKGROUND
When the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (the 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 unprecedented 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 MDG 1 to halve poverty and hunger in the world. There was also a growing awareness that the professionals concerned and their agencies 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, focusing 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 translated into reality through a number of activities, financed by ad hoc contributions from a number of the Platform members, in particular the EU and BMZ.

[1] Global Donor Platform for Rural Development: Network Evaluation, Universalia, September 2008

The Platform’s governance moved towards being less informal with the Platform’s formulation of a Charter which was eventually endorsed by members in mid 2005 and which, inter alia, stated the Platform’s 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[1] (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 Secretariat and the work programme, were constituted.

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Although clearly driven by its three founding principles of advocacy, shared learning and countrylevel harmonisation, throughout its early years the Platform’s activities were somewhat ad hoc, determined by opportunities that arose and rather uncertain financing. The absence of a clearlydefined set of monitorable outputs and an associated work plan and budget, was highlighted by the Platform Network Evaluation carried out in 2007 [2], the principal recommendation of which was “The Platform Board should immediately take that:

steps to

This present Strategic Plan is the Board’s response to the should initiate a strategic process aimed at clarifying Evaluation’s findings. It is the first the Platform’s role and objectives and should culmistep towards the formulation of an operational business plan nate in strategic and operational business plans to including a work plan and budget for 2009-11, and the specification guide the Platform’s future development”. of a feedback mechanism. The feedback mechanism will be a continuation of the extensive consultative process that has characterised the strategy formulation. All Board members and a total of 27 members and associates were interviewed, and there were external consultations with developing country partner governments, in-country local donor representatives, regional bodies, private sector, foundations and think-tanks. Two face-to-face sessions with members were also conducted, in Washington and London. Changing context: the Platform at a crossroads The Evaluation expressed the view that the Platform was at a crossroads and that the status quo was not sustainable: “it must demonstrate its continued relevance and added value in a growing and increasingly competitive field“. The existence of a “crossroads” has been brought into stark reality by recent world events which have triggered enormously increased interest in agriculture, and initiatives by the major donors that could transform aid architecture in the sector. World leaders were galvanised into action by the unprecedented rise in food prices that started in 2007 and peaked in early 2008. Processes that started with the UN High Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, and the World Summit on Food Security in June 2008, led to the formulation of a Comprehensive Framework for Action (CFA) and culminated in the proposal to create a Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security (GPAFS). At the Madrid High Level Meeting on Food Security for All, in January 2009, leaders called for the mobilisation of “adequate, predictable and flexible funding” for the short-, medium- and long-term actions proposed in the CFA. They recognised the central importance of the Paris Declaration (PD) and the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) in shaping the way donors respond to this challenge and pledged to undertake an inclusive and broad process of consultation leading to the establishment of a GPAFS. In the Strategic Plan set out below, the main thread focuses on how to improve what the Platform has been doing in the past and how it can respond flexibly to the changing global context. The Plan presents clearly-defined and measurable outputs upon which it will focus over the period 2009-11, and for which it will be accountable. It also examines ways of strengthening its overall governance structure so as to better realise its goals.

make the network more focused and strategic. It

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VISION AND OVERALL RESULTS
The Platform endorses and works towards the common 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 agencies in support of partner countries. Increased and more effective aid for agriculture and rural development The successful outcome of the Platform’s efforts would be seen in the form of increased and more effective aid in support of agriculture and rural development. This would be manifested as an increase in the share going to ARD in the Official Development Assistance (ODA) provided by Platform members, as well as extra-ODA aid flows from foundations and non-traditional donors. It would also be evidenced by greater coherence in donor assistance as they agree to work more closely together and rationalise their support for ARD in any one country – the so-called “division of labour” – as well as more widespread adoption of national strategies and country systems for programme implementation, and greater participation in sector-wide (SWAps) and programmebased (PBAs) approaches in the sector. Specific attention would also be given to environmental sustainability in agriculture – MDG7 and natural resource management in particular. Although agriculture as a productive sector is central to the Platform’s vision, the social dimensions of rural development, food security, gender and nutrition, are explicit priorities of some of its members. In addition, in view of the evolving aid effectiveness debate following the Accra HLF, more emphasis should be given to ownership and alignment aspects of aid effectiveness rather than simple donor harmonisation. The Platform also contributes to the global partnerships targeted in MDG 8. The Platform in 2011: a recognised influence in international agriculture and rural development By 2011, the end year of the present strategic plan, the Platform aims to have substantially enhanced its role as a trusted and influential player in the world of agriculture 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 advocacy and knowledge management, articulated by effective networking. 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 in-country capacities for agricultural and rural development; • Efficient and sustainable management of natural resources (land and water), and • Endorsement of the partnership commitments of the Paris Declaration and the tenets of country ownership, mutual accountability and results as conveyed in the Accra Agenda for Action.

In order to achieve this outcome, the Platform will streamline its governance structure, enhancing ownership on the part of its members through providing high quality and useful products, broadening membership and energising its Focal Points. It will introduce results-based management (RBM), defining specific monitorable outputs that will be achievable through a coherent and carefully formulated work plan and budget. By establishing a light but credible monitoring system, it will be able to report back each year on its performance and at the end of the plan period.

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ROLE OF THE PLATFORM
The Platform aims to operate at global, regional and country levels in a range of different fora in which it can influence decision-makers. The global level is the Platform’s main arena, operating through its members Emerging from the consultations was the view that the most important arena for the Platform 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. This conclusion begs the question as to how the Platform can operate at such a level without an independent political mandate – it is generally not invited to such fora in its own right. The conclusion is that the Platform operates through its individual member organisations in such fora and that its roles are:

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• As observer, reporting back to its members on issues, decisions and their implications; • As lobbyist, preparing well-informed, tailor-made briefings for members who attend HLFs, identifying particular champions for different issues.

Prior to any HLF, briefing materials would be prepared by members or by the Platform itself, and meetings 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 members should not be the primary objective of Platform. But regional initiatives offer unique opportunities for knowledge sharing Members were unanimous in supporting the role that the Platform has played over the last two years in support of the NEPAD Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (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 Platform will take a more proactive role in advancing the CAADP agenda through providing an opportunity for discussing obstacles to implementation, responding to the needs of the informal CAADP donors’ group. Where opportunities arise, the Platform will expand its regional role through partnerships in Asia (for example, with the Centre on Integrated Rural Development for Asia and the Pacific – CIRDAP) and Latin America. In this way, the opportunity for sharing experiences and learning between regions can be enhanced, as well as facilitating south-south exchange. Country level engagement should focus on donor coordination and capacity building The real “action” in ARD is at country level – this is where success or failure in meeting MDG1 will be measured and where GPAFS proposes to focus. For this reason, it is vital for the Platform to retain and even strengthen its engagement at country level so as to understand where the obstacles to success lie. The Platform’s role will, as far as possible, be played out through its member organisations and always in close collaboration with members’ local representatives. The Platform can facilitate the sharing of “good practices” in ARD and aid effectiveness (AE) between countries and regions, as well as gathering information for dissemination amongst its members. In such networking and knowledge management, two-way information flows between the Platform and countries will follow two paths:

• To and from the Secretariat to Focal Points for dissemination to country representatives; • To and from the Secretariat to the lead donor in country Donor Working Groups (DWG) on ARD.

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[2] Joint Donor Principles for agriculture and rural development programmes (draft)

Enhanced knowledge management is part of capacity building targeted at the local in-country representatives of donor organisations. This will include, for example, delivering briefs or “toolkits” for use by the DWGs and decision makers on issues related to ARD and AE, comprising “good practices”, and training sessions or e-learning events at the request of DWGs. If requested, the Platform will facilitate the coordination of members behind specific ARD and AE agenda issues in-country and share the work carried out on the “Joint Principles” [2] so as to advance debate about AE, promote the “division of labour” amongst donors, and enhance programme alignment at country level. The Platform will also gather information from country representatives and DWGs for use by Platform members on the status of policy reform, strategy formulation, donor programmes or Paris Declaration implementation. The Platform will also act as an intermediary for specific knowledge related to sources of capacity building for national strategy formulation processes and investment design. Advocacy and knowledge management are inextricably linked Advocacy and knowledge management are inextricably linked and must be strengthened if the Platform is to achieve its objectives. Effective knowledge management strengthens advocacy and efficient networking drives both processes.

> Conclusions on Role and Functions
• The Platform should play two key roles: – advocate, and – knowledge broker. • Advocacy and knowledge management are inextricably linked and must be strengthened through effective networking in order to influence decision-makers. • Knowledge management underpins all Platform activities and should be strengthened through the formulation of a coherent knowledge management strategy. • The Platform should act mainly at global level and in high level fora where it can be an observer and lobbyist. • The Platform operates in such fora through its individual member organisations. • The Platform should continue to support CAADP and seek a similar role in other regions • Country engagement will focus on donor coordination and capacity building, working through its members. • The convening power of the Platform should be used to stimulate discussion of key issues in a neutral forum. • Tracking implementation of Paris Declaration commitments in ARD must focus on identifying obstacles and conducting comparative analysis.

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 Paris Declaration (PD) and Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) in ARD. Although formal tracking of PD implementation is the primary responsibility of OECD, there is a role for the Platform in conducting comparative analysis of the issues obstructing fulfilment of PD commitments in the ARD sector in readiness for the next HLF on aid effectiveness in 2011.

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Different roles for different members The Platform must become more flexible and responsive to the different needs of its members. The Platform’s 30 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 associate members. The diversity of membership means that, as pointed out by the Evaluation, there are widely different expectations about what the Platform can deliver. As the Platform broadens its membership to include all donor agencies 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. This will be defined in the knowledge management and communication strategy. For example, smaller donors are more interested than larger donors in the Platform’s work in preparing briefs on “hot topics” 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 afforded by the Platform to network and discuss important issues and to set the agenda for HLFs collectively. For UN agencies, the Platform affords an insight into current thinking of the large aid providers.

CRITERIA FOR PRIORITISING ACTIVITIES
The over-riding 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 applied at all stages of work plan preparation. The criteria for the selection of activities outlined in the 2008 Charter include both positive and negative factors. Each activity should, in addition to being consistent with the Platform’s outputs:

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• 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 development; • Be expected to have an impact on aid effectiveness; • Have operational value, easy replicability and measurability; • Not duplicate operational work conducted by any member organisation; • Provide benefits to the majority of Platform members; • Be demand-driven (by government or field staff of Platform member organisations) and/or need-driven (by Platform FPs or headquarters of Platform member organisations); • Be approved by a majority of SC members; • Conform with set benchmarks which are agreed prior to engaging in the activity. Additional criteria that were suggested through the consultations were that activities should: • Be compatible with a majority of members’ priorities and avoid doing what individual members are already doing; • Link country level learning experiences to high level political fora; • Support enhanced high level coordination, and • Contribute to capacity building.

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GOVERNANCE
The current governance structure, reflected in the revised Charter of 2008, will remain unchanged. However, efforts will be made to make the interaction between the Board, Steering Committee and Focal Points more efficient and effective. The Steering Committee is the main link between members and achieving Platform outputs The Board was created in December 2007 comprising all full fee-paying member organisations. It is the central decision-making body of the Platform. The Board is responsible for the longterm operational strategy the Platform, considers and approves its annual work plan and budget, and meets at least once a year. The Steering Committee will remain the main link between members and the management of activities through the Secretariat to achieve the Platform’s agreed outputs. It provides supervision of and guidance to, the Secretariat, reviews its performance and reports to the Board. Six member organisations, elected by all members, will constitute the Steering Committee, each serving a three-year term. The Chair of the SC will be elected by the SC members and will rotate every two years. All full members will be eligible to be elected to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee must be more effective in its oversight of the Secretariat As the activities undertaken by the Platform have expanded, the demands upon the Secretariat have increased to the point where its ability to operate efficiently is impaired. However, members have expressed general satisfaction with the way the Secretariat operates and concur that, for the foreseeable future, its size and location are acceptable. In order to continue fulfilling the diverse and increasing demands upon it, the link between the Steering Committee and the Secretariat must be made more effective. The Secretariat needs to be strengthened, primarily through providing resources to enable it to buy in the technical and professional skills that it needs. With the formulation of a clear and agreed work plan and budget beginning 2009, the Steering Committee will be able to delegate responsibility for taking day-today decisions to the Secretariat. This should reduce the burden of work upon the Steering Committee, which will hold (under normal circumstances) once-a-month sessions with the Secretariat by teleconference/videoconference. Predictable financing for a core budget but flexibility as well The financing of the Secretariat and Platform activities has always been somewhat precarious and unpredictable. The specification of a minimum subscription fee (Euro 50,000) in the Charter was intended to enhance predictability but, with most bilateral donors unable to make a multiyear commitment, the uncertainty remains. Although – in common with SWAps – “basket funding” is preferred, the reality is that donors will often wish to contribute to specific activities (for example, support for the CAADP Partnership Platform) or make in-kind contributions. The Platform will maintain a minimum Euro 50,000 subscription from all donors who wish to become full members. However, contributions in cash and in-kind to support the costs of the Secretariat and for specific activities in the work plan will be encouraged. Associate members – defined as donors who do not pay the full subscription fee – will also be invited to make contributions in-kind. Extra-budgetary resources will be sought from members and/or associates for specific events and conferences, in addition to the voluntary “hosting” of events which occurs at present. Partners – non-donor bodies such as think-tanks and development research organisations – would not be expected to make contributions. Agreed outputs, work plan and budget are crucial The Platform must have a set of outputs that are agreed by a majority of members (“70:30 consensus”) and a clearly-defined annual work plan and associated budget. Armed with such a work plan and budget, the Secretariat will have a precise area of operational freedom as well as performance and accountability goals. This will mean that decision-making, which has been criticised in the past as being slow and cumbersome, could be greatly speeded up.

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Ownership is a reflection of quality and usefulness Ownership on the part of FPs is not a question of the amount of money contributed to the Platform, but more a matter of the quality and usefulness of the outputs provided. 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 FP’s organisation earn institutional ownership. On the basis of this simple 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:

• Preparing a communications strategy with clear objectives, approaches and processes. • More active monitoring of the entire activity cycle including 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 shots and targeting them more precisely at the most relevant users. • Maintaining and updating the website frequently.

Focal Points must become more engaged At present, individual organisations constitute the membership of the Platform but each organisation formally appoints a Focal Point (FP) to fulfil its responsibilities. The primary function of a FP is to ensure that the headquarters and field staff in their respective organisations are wellinformed about Platform activities and to exchange data and information with the Platform and other member organisations. Almost all FPs operate on a voluntary basis without specific time set aside in their work for Platform activities. The individuals concerned are invariably heavily overloaded with regular work responsibilities. Coming from widely varying professional backgrounds, it is impossible to expect similar levels of engagement and effectiveness from all. The Platform will enhance the engagement of FPs in three ways:

• Delivering more 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. • Inviting all agencies to appoint two FPs with complementary profiles – for example, one with a technical background and one with a political/institutional background – as representative and alternate. • Encouraging member agencies to make Platform FP responsibilities an explicitly recognised output, with time allocated for which the individual is accountable.

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> Conclusions on Governance
• The Steering Committee will remain the primary link between the member organisations and the delivery of outputs through the Secretariat. – The Board will include all full members. – Any member (paying the minimum Euro 50,000 fee) will be eligible to join the Steering Committee by election. • The Steering Committee must be more effective in its oversight of the Secretariat: – Providing adequate financial resources to buy in the skills needed; – Delegating responsibility for implementing agreed activities. • Predictable financing will be through subscriptions, but resource mobilisation will be flexible, allowing earmarked and in-kind contributions. • Agreed outputs, annual work plan and budget as part of results-based management (RBM) are the secret to improved governance. • Ownership depends upon quality and usefulness of the outputs delivered which is achieved by: – Closer management of activities; – Formulating a communications strategy. • Focal Points will be encouraged to become more engaged by: – Delivering to them more tailored, demand-driven support; – Seeking the appointing in each agency of one FP and one alternate with different profiles; – Making Platform FP responsibilities an explicitly recognised output in each agency. • Membership criteria: – Membership subscription (minimum) of Euro 50,000; – Full membership will include all donors including foundations and emerging bilaterals; – Associate membership will include donor bodies that do not pay the full subscription; – Partners will include think-tanks, development research and policy institutions, regional and inter-governmental organisations; – CSOs and private sector will not become members but links with them will be strengthened. • Associate members and partners are vital for effective outreach.

A donor platform should include all donors With the emergence of major new donors with an interest in ARD, it is important for the Platform to take immediate steps to broaden its membership to include all donor organisations. Foundations which contribute substantial resources to programmes in ARD, and emerging economy donors such as China, India and Brazil, will be encouraged to join the Platform. This will provide a forum for bringing new donors actively into the harmonisation and aid effectiveness debate 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. Associate members and partners are vital for outreach The category of associate member includes donors that do not pay the subscription fee, whilst partners are all other interested parties such as think-tanks, development research and policy institutions working in ARD. Regional and inter-governmental organisations (such as NEPADCAADP) are important partners in achieving the Platform’s goals. All associates and partners would be invited as observers to the annual General Assembly and will be able to access Platform knowledge resources, engage in discussions at the General Assembly and will be encouraged to channel their own knowledge contributions through the Platform, including the website. The Platform will not open membership to CSOs and the private sector. However, it will actively and systematically forge links with them through regular meetings and events at which topical issues can be discussed and information shared. The Platform will build upon its tenuous but positive links with CSOs that emerged from the Berlin Forum and the preparatory work for the Accra High Level Forum. Similarly, stronger links will be forged with policy and technical networks in order to align agendas and agree on common objectives.

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OUTPUTS
Early 2008 saw the highest food prices for almost a generation, and a resulting food security crisis facing over 850 million people. This led to consensus on the part of the UN, major donors and financing institutions on the need for immediate and sustained action, possibly in the form of a Global Partnership for Agriculture and Food Security (GPAFS). Operating at political, technical and financial levels, the Global Partnership, the members of which all belong to the Platform, provides a framework for action. The crisis has highlighted the impact of decades of underinvestment 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 crisis is not over. 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 need to substantially increase ODA and to meet existing development financing commitments is likely to be even more difficult as the impact of the financial crisis and world-wide recession begin to be felt. Working more effectively together as donors and genuinely supporting national development strategies and using national systems, are especially difficult challenges in ARD. Platform member organisations are committed to contributing to the achievement of the MDGs through support for agriculture and rural development. They are united in the belief that agriculture and rural development are uniquely effective in reducing poverty and hunger (MDG 1), the achievement of which underpins all other MDGs. At the same time, ARD contributes environmental benefits of global importance (MDG 7) and enhanced partnerships (MDG 8). The delivery of the outputs described below, for which the Platform will be accountable, will contribute to achieving its defined outcome of increased and more effective assistance for ARD by Platform members. These outputs will guide the selection of specific activities to be undertaken over the period 2009-11. The outputs and activities are presented in the Platform log frame (Annex 1).

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[3] Global Donor Platform for Rural Development: Network Evaluation, Universalia, September 2008

OUTPUT 1: Coherent and evidence-based advocacy in support of increased and more effective aid in ARD
Members have a clear vision of the Platform as a network that advocates for ARD and aid effectiveness in the global fight against hunger and poverty. The Platform’s longstanding advocacy for ARD remains a priority even though it is accepted that agriculture is “back on the agenda”. The articulation of coherent and evidence-based advocacy in support of increased and more effective aid in ARD will be a priority for the plan period. A system will be put in place by June 2009 to ensure the quality and timeliness of the advocacy notes and briefs that are prepared, through formal collaboration with reputable development research organisations to formulate and review such pieces. Advocacy will be enhanced through making agreements with other stakeholders and networks related to ARD, increasing outreach to CSOs and the private sector, and seeking to expand membership to foundations and non-traditional donors. Advocacy in support of aid effectiveness in ARD will be targeted through advancing the work on the Joint Principles (JP), which will be finalised by August 2009 with the intention that at least five countries use this to guide the way donors work with governments. The longer term aim is to prepare material and issues papers for the 4th HLF on Aid Effectiveness in 2011. In addition to aid effectiveness, the Platform will continue to target topical issues such as food security, and the impact of climate change, drafting at least two position papers per year for members attending HLFs, and helping in the preparatory processes. Platform representatives will also attend international meetings and report back to all members on outcomes, and support will be provided to a number of major events such as the European Forum on Rural Development in 2010.

Strategic Plan 2009-11 //

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OUTPUT 2: Fostering knowledge to enhance capacity of member agencies to
deliver more effective support for agriculture and rural development
The Platform adds value to the efforts of its individual members by facilitating exchange of knowledge and evidence-based good practices. The overall aim will be to enhance the capacity of member agencies to deliver more effective support to ARD. To this end, the first task will be to formulate a knowledge management (KM) strategy that should be operational by October 2009. The KM system will include forging links with other networks in ARD, at least three newsletters per year, and a means of facilitating informal exchange between FPs. In addition to its regular schedule of meetings, during the Plan period the Platform will offer a neutral forum for the debate of at least one controversial issue each year, in each case identifying a “champion” to lead the discussion. Enhancing the capacity of donor field-level staff in implementing AE measures will be a priority through at least two training and e-learning events per year, aiming at having at least five countries moving towards the adoption of JPs. The Platform will also contribute to knowledge sharing by supporting the preparation of one or two evidence-based pieces each year on important topics, and by reviewing seminal publications for the benefit of members. The preparation of policy briefs will continue, aiming at four or more per year, and special attention will be given to disseminating the work completed on the indicators for rural development. KM will also be strengthened through creating data gathering systems that will complement OECD in tracking implementation of agreements under the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action, and will also facilitate the ad hoc and rapid collection of data on topical issues. The aim is for at least 50% of members to contribute and use these systems. As part of enhanced KM, the Platform will strengthen its support for regional initiatives, in particular information flows under the CAADP Partnership Platform. It will also aim to establish similar partnerships with at least one other regional initiative during the Plan period. For the most part, the Platform achieves its objectives through the outputs and activities of its individual member organisations. Where there are gaps in advocacy or knowledge, the Platform will act as a catalyst, using its convening powers to bring critical issues to the attention of the development community, applying the principle 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.

Over the three year period of this Strategy, the Platform wants to achieve: • An increase in the share of members’ ODA going to ARD; • Tangible progress in the implementation of the Paris Declaration (PD) and Accra Agenda for Action (AAA) commitments at country level; • An increase in the use of programme-based and sector wide modalities in ARD; • A rationalisation of ARD support by member agencies.

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IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS
The key assumptions around which successful implementation would be managed are: • Membership: membership will be opened to non-traditional donors, including foundations and emerging donors. • Main roles: the Platform’s main roles will be advocacy and knowledge management (to include knowledge brokering, synthesising and to a limited extend creation). • Main focus: the Platform will operate mainly at global level, but with some important activities at regional and country level. • Key target groups: the Platform will target HQ staff (FPs, senior management, and sector specialists), and policy practitioners “in-country” (including heads of donor missions, donor working groups leads, and policy practitioners dealing with ARD).

07

Results-based management is the key Results-based management (RBM) is built upon clear definition of outputs, careful monitoring of performance, the achievement of outputs, and clear lines of accountability for delivering the outputs. In order to facilitate the assessment of performance, a system for monitoring and reporting on both inputs and outputs is needed and this will need to be developed quickly during the implementation of this Strategic Plan. Key elements will be: definition of lines of management and supervision including the role of the Steering Committee, output and activity-based budget reporting, and a time-recording system for Secretariat and other professional staff (including consultants). The RBM approach will operate according to the following principles:

• 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 default, be carried out by members’ organisations. Only where this is not possible shall the Secretariat take steps to initiate implementation, but with a member organisation identified to take the lead role in overseeing the activity concerned. • The Steering Committee will assist the Secretariat in preparing the Platform’s annual work programme, within the three-year Strategic Plan. The annual work programme and budget will be discussed and approved by the Board. The annual work programme will be implemented on the basis of results-based management principles and will thus relieve the Steering Committee from day-to-day decision making. • The annual work plan will comprise a priority core work programme, based on known and reliable financial resources, and a non-core programme the implementation of which will depend upon the availability of resources. • Activities will be coordinated and supported by the Platform Secretariat. • The General Assembly will be the ultimate public face of the Platform and as such will provide an opportunity for all stakeholders in ARD to network in the community of professionals in the field, comment upon the Platform’s performance and to provide inputs to guide its medium term plan and annual programme of work. The Board will be accountable to the GA for the performance of the Platform with respect to delivering its agreed outputs. The Secretariat will report to the SC.

Strategic Plan 2009-11 //

15

08

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’s human resources are its primary asset The implementation of the Platform’s activities in pursuit of its agreed outputs rest on three distinct types of human resource:

• Voluntary human resources, primarily the Platform Focal Points (FP) and other staff in member organisations; • Dedicated full-time personnel, primarily the staff of the Secretariat and seconded professionals from member institutions; • Consultants in different fields recruited as necessary to implement the annual work plan.

Based on the experience of the last few years, the Secretariat will need the following core team of staff in order to achieve the agreed outputs and to undertake the core work programme:

• • • • •

Secretariat Coordinator Task Leader Agricultural and Rural Development Policy Task Leader CAADP Communications Officer Junior Professional Officer – to support the technical and logistic functions of the Secretariat • Office Manager/Secretary • Financial Officer (50%)

Inevitably, as the work programme of activities is detailed and additional financial resources become available, human resource gaps will appear, in terms of specific skills required for a particular activity, or demanded by the sheer scale of the task to be undertaken. A capacity and needs assessment will be undertaken in order to determine the extent to which additional human resource requirements will be filled by secondments from member organisations or by consultants. This assessment will include examining the desirability and feasibility of making the Chair of the Steering Committee a part-time professional post, as suggested by the Evaluation. Total non-staff needs (consultant fees, travel etc) will have to be met within the available financial limits. Financial resources must match priority outputs The Platform Secretariat is hosted by BMZ with GTZ contracted to manage the Platform [multidonor] trust fund and the Platform Secretariat, applying standard GTZ financial and administrative rules. The Platform is financed through membership contributions. Those institutions/organisations that contribute the equivalent of Euro 50,000 annually are full members. In order to enhance management effectiveness, members are encouraged to engage into multi-annual agreements for payment of the subscription. The [multi-donor] trust fund is a non-earmarked trust fund. On special request, earmarking can be allowed, but this requires the prior approval of the Board. Platform members will be allowed to contribute to Platform activities in-kind, but such in-kind contributions would not qualify for full membership.

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Financial resources will be allocated as follows, in accordance with the priority roles that have been chosen by members, together with overall management and support costs: Role Knowledge management Advocacy Governance, secretariat management, administration Percentage of available budget* 35-45% 25-35% 7-17%

* The indirect support costs of managing the funds charged by GTZ are not included

In order to allocate resources outside the percentage bounds set, the approval of the Board would be required. The time and imputed cost of all staff resources including the Secretariat will be set against the specifically 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 output categories above, and will include reporting on extra-budgetary 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.

PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT AND MONITORING
As recommended in the Evaluation report, steps will be taken to strengthen the overall output management of the Platform. Results-based management is based on the log frame The management of the Platform’s performance will be facilitated by its operational business plan and from adopting a results-based management (RBM) system. A RBM system requires measurable, monitorable and relevant results, adequate resources, organisational arrangements that are aligned with the results and resources, and processes for planning, monitoring, communicating and resource release that enable the resources to be converted into the desired results. The Platform’s RBM utilises the outputs and associated indicators from the Platform log frame and allocates the financial and human resources on an annual basis. The annual work plan becomes an annual budget with allocations to specific outputs. This will be the key operational document of the Platform, guiding the Secretariat in its day-to-day implementation and support activities. The output-budget relationship will be monitored on a quarterly basis and an analysis presented to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee 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 managed through the GTZ contracts under which the Secretariat are recruited and supported. The GTZ annual performance reviews will include inputs and assessments 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 and the benefits that arise. The Platform will also use the RBM to carry out an overall annual evaluation of the Platform’s activities which would form the basis for the inputs into the annual report. A more in-depth review would be undertaken at the end of the strategic plan period, in 2011, ideally carried out by a Platform member’s evaluation department/unit. This review would either be along thematic lines or be an overall assessment of Platform outputs. This would serve the purpose of reporting back to members, improving the performance of the Platform itself and, importantly, providing the basis for medium term planning and identification of financing requirements. This would allow the Platform to establish a medium-term (i.e. three-year) financing plan that would enable members to plan internally for paying subscriptions and for the Platform itself to better respond to the fast changing development aid architecture in the rural development sector.

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Strategic Plan 2009-11 //

17

ANNEX 1 STRATEGIC PLAN LOG FRAME

Description

Indicator

Impact
Contribute to reduced poverty in rural areas of developing countries • Enhanced, equitable and socially and environmentally sustainable economic growth in rural areas – MDG 1

Outcome [Expected benefits at the end of the defined period (2009-11)]
Increased and more effective assistance for ARD by Platform members • Tangible progress in PD and AAA commitment implementation by members in agriculture including at country level; • Increased ARD share in member ODA; • Decrease in the number of member agencies in ARD in selected countries increased DoL; • Increased share of PBAs/SWAps in ARD.

Outputs [Tangible goods and services that are delivered – under Platform (members’) control]
1: Articulation of coherent and evidence-based advocacy in support of increased and more effective aid in ARD • System in place to ensure quality and timeliness of advocacy notes and briefs by 2009; • Scope of agreements with other stakeholders and networks on key ARD issues • Two advocacy notes and briefs on aid effectiveness in ARD prepared in 2009, 3 in 2010 and 3 in 2011; • ARD issues fed into 4th HLF in 2011; • Preparatory HLF 4 event in 2010; • Contributions made to harmonised donor positions at HL events; • Four publications and target group-specific messages prepared per year; • Number of presentations given and meetings/conferences attended by members with Platform brief; • Platform advocacy reflected in major ARD events; • More than 50% of members refer to Platform membership in publications.

2: Fostering knowledge to enhance capacity of member agencies to deliver more effective support for ARD

• Members finalise and approve KM strategy in 2009; • Members contribute to and use 75% of proposed tools by 2010; • Members’ contributions to and usage of KM tools and outputs up by 100% by 2011(base year 2009); • Increased capacity of member-agency field-staff to implement AE measures [in 2009 15% of FPs have system that forwards Platform KM messages to in-country staff; 30% in 2010 and 50% in 2011].

Activities will be proposed by the SC and the Secretariat, presented in the AWP and approved by the Board.

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Source of Verification

Risks / Assumptions

• SOFA (FAO); • SOFI (FAO); • WB reports.

• OECD reports • High level meeting reports • IFI reports – ICRs, PERs, donor reports

• More and better investment from other stakeholders in ARD is forthcoming. • Other stakeholders implement coherent policy and institutional reforms.

• • • •

Platform publications and website; Secretariat records; Partner reports; Assessments.

• Focal Points who are well networked into their own agencies are selected. • Focal Points network inside their agencies 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 Africa´s agriculture continental framework.

• • • •

AE assessment; Platform publications and website; Secretariat records; Partner reports;

• Members utilise KM system output. • Members learn from and adapt policies in response to advocacy and enhanced knowledge. • Lead donors in DWGs see the benefit of accessing Platform material and feeding back information. • CAADP remains Africa´s agriculture continental framework.

Necessary ad-hoc activities will be discussed and approved by the SC. They may include but are not limited to the following:

Strategic Plan 2009-11 //

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ANNEX 1 STRATEGIC PLAN LOG FRAME

Description

Indicator

1. Advocacy cluster:
1.1 Establish links and collaborate with other stakeholders and networks to enhance ARD’s role in development cooperation, and extending membership • Formal discussions initiated with at least 5 networks/initiatives/alliances; • At least 3 target group specific messages developed and kept up dated; • At least 1 new member recruited per year.

1.2 Formulate a coherent set of aid effectiveness messages, Joint Principles (JP) and lessons learned for use in advocacy for ARD, informing the HLF 4 process

• % of communication material for advocacy includes lessons learned; • JPs finalised by 8/2009; • Number of occasions JPs and other Platform advocacy materials are utilised by members and their institutions; • 2 advocacy notes and briefs on aid effectiveness in ARD prepared per year; • Issues paper for 4th HLF prepared by 6/2011.

1.3 Facilitate drafting of (joint) positions and/or briefs for members on selected ARD and CAADP issues for HL and other events

• Systematic feedback to all members on issues and outcomes of HL events, regional initiatives etc; • No. of activities organised in preparation of HL and other events; • 4 publications and target group-specific messages prepared in a year; • No. of events attended, presentations given, and leadership/facilitation role played by Platform representatives; • Joint donor statements on regional initiatives such as CAADP; • No of publications that quote Platform documents or events; • Links to website, clicks on website.

1.4 Feed key ARD AE and CAADP issues into international deliberations through networking, participation and other inputs

• No of hits on website with advice, publications etc. double 08 - 11 (from output indicator list); • 2009 joint event on food prices organised; • 2010 European RD Forum co-organised.

2009-11 //

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Strategic Plan 2009-16

Resources

Assumptions

• Human resources; • Financial resources.

• Members continue to pursue joint action; • Members sponsor discussion fora and identify important issues; • Members supply data and utilise collected information in support of ARD dialogue; • Implementation of the “70:30” rule on consensus remains acceptable.

Strategic Plan

ANNEX 1 STRATEGIC PLAN LOG FRAME (ctd.)
Description Indicator

2. Knowledge Management cluster:
2.1 Develop and implement a knowledge management system that serves the needs of members • Draft KM strategy prepared by 6/09, consolidated final KM strategy by 10/09; • Assessment finds members register improvement in KM system; • Systematic implementation of KM strategy from 11/2009 and least 3 newsletters a year; • Informal exchange system used by 75% of FPs. • Keep website updated, hits on website; • At least 12 telcos per year; • Number of conference announcements resulting in Platform participation. • • • • 1 GA organised per year; At least 2 Board meetings organised per year; At least 6 SC VCs meetings organised per year; At least one Platform discussion a year.

2.2 Enhance information on ARD and CAADP issues between member agencies 2.3 Organise an implement Platform meetings and events

2.4 Provide a neutral convening forum for the discussion of contentious/emerging issues in ARD and CAADP 2.5 Deliver/support training and e-learning events on key issues, tailored to specific global, regional and country needs

• At least 1 emerging issue and champion identified; • Discussion of at least 1 contentious/ emerging issue facilitated by Platform per year.

• E-learning/training package developed by 9/2009, up-dated annually; • Demand for learning sessions; briefings; in-country facilitation1 training session for policy practitioners and 2 training sessions for in-country field staff per year; • At least 5 countries use JPs for their respective country processes.

2.6 Prepare limited number of evidence-based pieces on critical ARD or CAADP issues including policy briefs and studies 2.7 Gather, compile and disseminate information on key ARD data from donor members

• • • •

Number of knowledge pieces channelled through Platform and partner networks; 3 to 4 evidence-based knowledge pieces implemented per year; 4 to 5 seminal publications reviewed; Indicators for rural development method disseminated in priority countries (GPAFS).

• Ad-hoc data gathering system operational by 6/2009; • Regular reports on AE in ARD; 2/3 of members contributing information on AE in ARD and data reporting system; • Assessment of national, regional and sub-regional level ARD donor coordination in Africa, Asia and Latin America completed and published. • Number of strategic meetings supported organisationally and thematically (e.g. CAADP Partnership Platform (PP)) ; • CAADP PP enhanced through better information flows and at least one issuefocused meeting per year; • At least 6 CAADP telcos per year; • Number of donor-focused PP deliberations implemented; • Number of HQ level DP representation in CAADP roundtable conferences.

2.8 Strengthen donor-CAADP relations to support successful CAADP implementation

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Resources

Assumptions

• Human resources; • Financial resources.

• Members continue to value joint KM • Requests for toolkits, training and e-learning are received; • Members identify and undertake to carry out specific studies; • Partner governments accept Platform role in reviews; • Collaboration with OECD in place; • Regional initiatives see the benefit of collaborating with donors through the Platform.

Strategic Plan 2009-11 //

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ANNEX 2: PLATFORM GOVERNANCE CHARTER I. Background
1. There is consensus among international development partners that national and global poverty reduction targets will not be met unless rural poverty is reduced. In this respect, many of these partners have recently taken stock of their experiences and redefined their approaches and commitments to poverty reduction and economic growth. An understanding of what it takes to meet the needs of the rural poor has never been closer. 2. The global agreement on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and other internationally-agreed development goals – the core principles underlying the Comprehensive Development Framework and those implicit in the PRSP (Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers) processes – stress the need for consensus to be reached between the international donor community and partner countries and for the adoption of mutually-agreed processes and a common agenda for development. These are essential for both effective rural and national development. 3. Another prerequisite for sustained and effective development is to reduce duplication and overlap of effort. Despite their growing consensus, the international donor community still exhibit differences as to the policies, strategic directions and approaches to be put in place, as well as to the content of interventions and institutional arrangements that are required to achieve lasting impact. Furthermore, each donor organisation offers different strengths and demonstrates different limitations. Effective and systematic lesson-learning between donor organisations and consensus among stakeholders on what works well in rural development – and what does not – is generally not in place. A common understanding by the international donor community and partner countries of the most effective development approaches is still being sought. 4. While there is general agreement that the focus of collaboration will be at the country level, advocacy and lesson-sharing at this level is not enough. Experience with strategic policy issues and lessons learned in nationallevel processes must be effectively linked to the efforts at regional and global levels, in order to deliver the intended outcomes in rural poverty reduction. 5. Guided by this rationale, and in light of the aid effectiveness agenda led by OECD/DAC, in particular the Paris Declaration, like-minded donors, both private and public, development agencies and multilateral organisations including international financial institutions, created the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development in 2004. This was preceded by a donor consultation meeting held in Rome in June 2002 as well as further meetings in Montpellier, France, and Washington, DC. 6. The Platform is a joint initiative of the international donor community and multi- and bilateral organisations. The member organisations of the Platform work together in solidarity towards their common goal to reduce rural poverty in developing countries through increased cooperation and collaboration. In doing so, every Platform member is regarded as equal, irrespective of available resources, whether human or financial.

II. Objective and Outputs
7. The ultimate objective of the Platform is to reduce poverty in developing countries and enhance sustainable economic growth in rural areas through improved cooperation and collaboration between international development partners and coordinated dialogue with partner countries. Members agree that Platform objectives should remain practical and feasible. The specific outputs that the Platform endeavours to achieve include: Output 1: Advocacy and Outreach 8. The members of the Platform serve as advocates for the needs of the rural poor and the agriculture agenda at the international, regional and country level. This includes contributing to policy debates and highlighting the relevance of rural development and agriculture within the context of the MDGs. Output 2: Knowledge management and innovation 9. The members of the Platform seek to enhance the quality and impact of rural development investments through shared learning and the recognition of best practices, both through networking and the collation and dissemination of innovations, and by undertaking joint training sessions and missions. Output 3: Aid effectiveness 10. The members of the Platform join in collaborative efforts to refine aid effectiveness principles for agriculture and rural development programmes by means of further debates, agreement on common principles

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and the dissemination and application thereof at the international, regional and country level. This includes joint efforts to support national agriculture and rural strategies, harmonising procedures and practices in the context of OECD/DAC donor alignment efforts, utilising national systems, and strengthening the assessment of the impact of strategies and investments.

III. Governance and Organisational Structure
Membership 11. Membership in the Platform is voluntary and open to donor countries and development agencies, multilateral organisations including international financial institutions, and foundations. Membership is composed of Full Members and Associate Members. 12. Full members are members contributing a minimum of 50,000 Euros per year. Full Members will receive all services of the Platform without additional cost and can serve as task leaders for specific activities. They are invited to the Annual Meetings of the Platform. Each Full Member has one seat in the Board which determines the Platform’s strategic direction (see The Board, Articles 19-23). In the case of bilateral organisations, only one Full Member organisation per country can have a seat in the Board. 13. Associate members are members that do not contribute financially to the Platform, or contribute less than 50,000 Euros per year. Associate Members are invited to the Annual Meetings and are welcome to collaborate in specific thematic areas or activities. Associate Members do not have a seat on the Board but otherwise benefit from the full range of Platform services. 14. All members endorse the mission and objectives of the Platform, contribute actively and regularly to its activities and outputs, and adopt this Charter, including its principles of working together, as laid down in Annex 1 to this Charter. 15. Focal Points: All Members (Full and Associate) nominate one representative, known as a Focal Point, together with an alternate, who serves as the official contact person between the Platform and the respective member organisation and represents the member at Platform meetings. The role of the Focal Points is defined in the Terms of Reference adopted by the Platform (Annex 2). Most importantly, they ensure that the headquarters and field staff in their respective organisations are well-informed about Platform activities. 16. General Assembly: : All members meet once a year in the Platform General Assembly. The meeting is hosted by one member organisation on a rotational basis and supported both logistically and in terms of its content by the Platform Secretariat (see Article 31) and a General Assembly Task Force. The objectives of the General Assembly are as follows: •To provide a comprehensive overview and update of Platform activities; •To network and exchange knowledge of members' ongoing programmes and efforts in agriculture and rural development; •To promote coherent policy approaches within member organisations; •To lift the experience made by countries in the quest for greater harmonisation and alignment to a global level; •To actively comment on the work plan of the Platform for the following year. Suggestions and priorities are taken up and decided upon during the following meeting of the Platform Board (Articles 19-27). 17. Platform activities and joint studies are conducted on the basis of the criteria and processes laid down in Annex 3. Partnerships 18. The Platform may enter into partnership with other platforms and networks, including other donor platforms, farmers’ organisations, regional or international research organisations, civil society organisations and regional networks, which share common interests with the Platform. Platform Partners engaged in parallel activities that support Platform objectives commit to implementing the vision and objectives shared by all members of the Platform. Examples of partners are the Neuchâtel Group, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Regional Unit for Technical Assistance in Central America (RUTA), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the European Initiative for Agricultural Research for Development (EIARD). Representatives of Platform Partners are invited to attend the Annual General Assembly, or sessions thereof, as appropriate.

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The Board 19. The Board is the central decision-making body of the Platform and consists of the Focal Points of all Full Members. The Board can decide by consensus to extend its membership to Associate Members that do not contribute financially to the Platform. 20. The responsibilities of the Board include the following: •To nominate, through election, the Platform Chair and Vice-Chair; •To nominate, through a consensus of Board members, the members of the Platform Steering Committee (Articles 26-30); •To agree upon the admission of new Platform Full Members and Associate Members; •To consider the long-term operational strategy of the Platform; •To approve the Platform annual budget; •To approve the Platform annual work plan; •To approve and amend the Platform Charter, including its Annexes; •To agree on the formation of Technical Working Groups; •To agree upon new Platform Partnerships and their modalities; •To approve and amend the Terms of References of the Secretariat; •To approve and amend the general terms of agreement with the institution (currently GTZ) that provides the Secretariat of the Platform. 21. The Platform Chair and Vice-Chair and members of the Steering Committee are elected ad personam. 22. The Board shall meet at least once a year in a Business Meeting (preferably back-to-back with the Annual General Assembly) and, unless otherwise specified, takes its decisions by a two-thirds majority vote. 23. If agreed by consensus of all its members and on a case-to-case basis, the Board may take a decision in writing. Platform Chair and Vice Chair 24. The Platform Chair and the Platform Vice-Chair are elected during a Business Meeting of the Board for a mandate of two years. One individual cannot be elected for more than two consecutive mandates in one position. 25. The Platform Chair is also the Board Chair. The Platform Vice-Chair is also the Board Vice-Chair and the Chair of the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee 26. The Steering Committee (SC) consists of the Vice-Chair of the Platform plus five Board members. The Steering Committee members are designated ad personam by the Board, for a three-year period. Two SC members are to be replaced every year. Membership of the SC will rotate among all Platform Board members. 27. Upon request from the Platform Chair and with the support of the Secretariat, Steering Committee members may also represent the Platform in the performance of its official business. 28. The members of the SC will conduct videoconferences (or phoneconferences) with each other on a regular basis. 29. Decisions of the SC are made by consensus. 30. The responsibilities of the Steering Committee include the following: •To provide day-to-day supervision of, and guidance to, the Secretariat; •To review the performance of the Platform Secretariat and evaluate its impact; •To help raise additional resources; •To report to the Board Chair on a regular basis, and annually to the Board. Secretariat 31. The Secretariat is the central management unit of the Platform, and serves as the hub for relations with its Full Members, Associate Members and Partners. The Secretariat’s work is focused mainly on serving, assisting and supporting member organisations and on ensuring financial and institutional stability. It also actively explores strategic partnerships to complement the work of the Platform. The Secretariat works under the direct supervision of the Steering Committee and reports to the Board. At present, the Secretariat is managed by the GTZ. The Secretariat operates within the annual activity and budget lines agreed by the Board each calendar year and takes all relevant decisions to move activities forward within the agreed budget, including the hiring of consultants, establishing networks and travels on Platform business. In the case of new activities that involve a financial commitment by the Platform, the Secretariat advises the SC on the purpose and scope of the activity and carries out the decision of the SC on further action.

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32. The Secretariat's key responsibilities include: a) Governance and management •Support to the main Governance bodies of the Platform – the Board, and the Steering Committee – and implementation of their decisions, bearing the primary responsibility for ensuring that Board and SC decisions are carried out; •Proposing activities to implement Board decisions and preparing the terms of reference for contracted consultants who carry out work on behalf of the Platform; •Providing advisory services to the Board, member organisations and partners in the area of rural development and agricultural policies, aid effectiveness and specific external initiatives, for example the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). b) Implementation and supervision of activities •Guiding and supporting Platform activities, including thorough analysis and policy advice in the area of aid effectiveness, knowledge management and innovation, CAADP and rural development and agricultural policies; •Screening and evaluating programme proposals as a basis for informed decision-making by the Board; •Identifying international consultants, preparing their ToRs, and providing supervision and quality control of their work and its products. c) Communication & network management •Establishing and maintaining an effective stream of communication with Full Members, Associate Members, Partners and the general public; •Organising and managing all aspects, both substance and logistics, of Platform meetings (Annual General Assembly, Board meetings, Steering Committee meetings, Technical Working Groups); •Providing the necessary support for Platform Focal Points so that they may adequately fulfil their mandate as advocates of the Platform both inside and outside their organisations and as specified under the Platform's advocacy and outreach activities. d) Financial management •Ensuring the proper financial management of the Platform Trust Fund, including the drafting of the annual work plan and budget, and the administration and disbursement of funds; •Managing all eligible expenditures that are directly related to the fulfilment of the Platform's mission and activities. e) Reporting and auditing arrangements •Complying with specific reporting and auditing requirements within the framework of co-financing agreements that are concluded between participating donors and the Secretariat; •Preparing an annual report on all Platform activities and a summary of financial statements for all Platform members, no later than six months following the end of the calendar year; •As fund administrator, providing Full Members with a management statement on an annual basis, together with a certification from the Platform's internal auditors of satisfactory performance in compliance with agreed procedures and controls for the administration of Platform funds; •Arranging for external financial audits of Platform activities at the request of the Board, and/or individual Members with respect to their contributions; •Fulfilling other reporting duties to the Focal Points of the Platform, and especially to the SC, including: –Regular official email correspondence by the Secretariat related to the work programme and funding requests; –The sharing and storing of Platform documents such as the minutes of meetings, work plans and the budget on a password-protected web-page at www.donorplatform.org. Funding 33. The Platform Trust Fund includes core-funding and financial contributions with donor restrictions that relate to themes, activities or regional programmes of the Platform. All funding allocations for Platform activities and programmes are managed by the Secretariat in accordance with the work plan endorsed by the Board. 34. Contributions to the Platform shall be in cash and/or in-kind. In-kind contributions (e.g. in the form of provision of in-house consultancy services to fulfil activities of the annual work plan) are recognised by the Board but are not necessarily accepted as creating eligibility for full Platform membership. 35. If funds are transferred, the contributor shall enter into a financing agreement over the nature and purpose of its contribution to the Platform with the institution providing the Secretariat of the Platform (currently GTZ).

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ANNEX 1: Principles for working together in the Platform membership
Platform Full Members and Associate Members commit to certain minimum standards as best practices for working with each other, thereby fostering mutual accountability among them. Full Members and Associate Members of the Platform agree to the following: • To commit to the Platform mission and objectives; • To endorse and apply the “Joint principles for effective agriculture and rural development programmes” as last updated and to endeavour to encourage field offices to continuously refine the content and applicability thereof; • To shape the Platform image as a donor initiative that is devoted to practicing and promoting aid effectiveness principles in agriculture and rural development; • To endeavour to foster a shift in the governance agenda from conditionality to positive incentives for change; • To commit to coordination and consultation with the local donor coordination group in the case of country activities and to act in accordance with the group recommendations; • To endeavour to support members in their efforts to promote transparency and information-sharing; • To avoid financing activities in countries that could otherwise be covered either by partner governments or local donors; • To make sure that each Platform Focal Point has the appropriate time to fulfil his or her obligations to the Platform as outlined in Annex 2 of this Charter.

ANNEX 2: Terms of References for Focal Points
The Platform member organisations agree to designate one staff member, or Focal Point, and one alternate from their respective organisations who are authorised to represent them in all matters relating to the activities of the Platform, and to commit these Focal Points, from time to time, to perform functions on behalf of Platform. It is recommended that each Platform member organisation budgets 4-5 staff weeks for the duties of the Focal Point. The duties and responsibilities of the Focal Points include: • Serving as contact point between the Platform Secretariat or all other Platform working bodies and their relevant member organisation; • Reviewing work undertaken by other organisations on behalf of the Platform in accordance with communications procedure as laid down in Annex 3; • Exchanging data and information with other member organisations, including providing the Secretariat with relevant data and other information materials for the Platform website and relevant publications; • Attending meetings of the Platform (currently, some 1-2 meetings per year); • Ensuring that his/her organisation meets its financial and/or human resources obligations to the Platform; • Standing prepared to represent the Platform at international meetings and other fora, in agreement with the Platform Chair, with support from and coordination by the Secretariat.

ANNEX 3: Selection criteria and approval processes for Platform products and activities.
1. Process for identifying and endorsing Platform activities: • The Secretariat and/or member organisation drafts an outline scoping-document and terms of reference for the proposed activity or publication; • The Secretariat solicits members for an expression of interest; • A lead member and/or a member of the Secretariat is selected who is responsible for overseeing the particular activity, alone or in partnership with other Platform members; • A detailed proposal is submitted, followed by endorsement of the Steering Committee based on agreed criteria (see below); • Funds are allocated (unless the lead member proposes to fully fund the activity); • The Secretariat coordinates reporting to the Steering Committee and Platform membership; • Members are solicited for comments on the final ToRs and the final document, coordinated by the Secretariat and lead member, based on a 10-day communication rule (see point 3 below); • After conclusion of the 10-day period for comments, and if no further objections are made within that period, the activity or Platform document is approved and its launch or publication is started.

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2. The selection criteria for Platform activities are: • Consistency with the three ‘outputs’ of the Platform; • The potential to result in a global public good; • Non-duplication of any operational work of any member organisation; • The provision of benefits to the majority of Platform members; • Operational value, easy replicability and measurability; • Being demand-driven (by government or field staff of Platform member organisations) and/or need-driven (by Platform Focal Points or headquarters of Platform member organisations); • Approval by the majority of Steering Committee members; • Conformity with set benchmarks which are agreed prior to engaging in the said activity; • Making contributions to the rural discussion as such and supporting the comprehensive approach of rural development. 3. Communication procedures: • To assure a smooth processing of activities, communication within the Platform membership network is based on a 10-working day rule. All members are asked to reply to specific requests for information and/or to comment on joint activities or publications within this time limit. After these 10 days, activities and publications are considered as approved. It is possible to obtain an extension of the 10-day rule if special consultations that need to be undertaken make the rule impractical.

ANNEX 3: PLATFORM GOVERNANCE STRUCTURE

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www.donorplatform.org

Contact: Secretariat of the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development, c/o Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) Adenauerallee 139-141, 53113 Bonn, Germany Phone: +49 228 24934 166 Fax: +49 228 24934 215 Email: secretariat@donorplatform.org Website: www.donorplatform.org Publication date: March 2009

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