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Toward a FANRPAN strategy: 2007-2016 - Meeting the Need for Effective Food, Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Analysis in Southern Africa
A Report of the Proceedings

The Farm Inn, Pretoria, South Africa
26 September 2006 - 27 September 2006


Background

FANRPAN has, over the last 2 years (2005-06), been involved in a major process of strengthening and revamping its institutional capacity - a process that has been supported by USAID-Southern Africa. This process has been characterized by five main thrusts: (I) Strengthening FANRPAN's governance systems; (II) Strengthening FANRPAN's links with, and contributions to, key regional policy processes and related regional institutions investing in policy reform; (III) Revitalizing FANRPAN country node system and stakeholder contributions in four pilot countries (Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa and Zambia) through training, policy dialogues, action research and new peer review partnerships; (IV) Engaging national level analysts in policy research contributing to the harmonization of regional policies relating to agricultural inputs trade; and (V) Developing and implementing a sustainable funding strategy for the regional FANRPAN network.

As part of this 5-pronged capacity-strengthening process, FANRPAN commissioned a baseline institutional viability review, at both national and regional levels, to establish and analyze FANRPAN's current strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats as a basis for designing new medium term organizational and operational strategies. This baseline review was undertaken using the Partner Institution Viability Assessment (PIVA) tool and reviewed 7 main organizational elements: Governance Systems; Operational and Management Systems; Programmes and Service Delivery Systems; Human Resource Development Systems; Financial Management Systems; Resource Mobilisation strategies; External Relations and Advocacy.

The peak of this 2-year capacity strengthening and organizational review process was a 2-day strategic planning meeting (26-27 September 2006), organized by the FANRPAN regional secretariat in Pretoria, South Africa. The meeting brought together key stakeholders to discuss the lessons and findings over the 2-years and to convert these into a new FANRPAN 10-year strategic and operational plan (2007 -2016). The strategic planning meeting was organized around 8 main elements:
  1. Reviewing the evolution of FANRPAN
  2. Defining the scope and role of policy analysis
  3. Stakeholder analysis
  4. A SWOT analysis of Agricultural Policy in Southern Africa and of FANRPAN and its role
  5. A review of FANRPAN's vision, mission and goals
  6. A review FANRPAN's internal environment
  7. An assessment of the key strategic policy issues for FANRPAN to focus on
  8. Linking performance to Mission and to Strategy: the balance scorecard approach.
The guiding principles and critical issues within these elements were presented in a strategic planning workbook - that guided stakeholder discussions at the meeting.

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