Green Initiative for Afghanistan's Agriculture (GIAA): At the core of the initiative are GIAA's efforts to institutionalize Natural Resource Management (NRM) capacity-building.
Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDCSouth Asia Division | Published November 13, 2015 - Deadline January 8, 2016
The subject of this tender is the implementation of phase 1 of GIAA.
At the core of the initiative are GIAA's efforts to institutionalize NRM capacity-building services, for example in curricula for higher education and capacity development of government and private of professionals. This will be pursued through the close collaboration with stakeholders, both public and private, engaged in the area of NRM. Cross-cutting issues such as Gender and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) will be mainstreamed in the overall project design and in the curricula. A context-sensitive approach has to be adapted for project implementation.
In particular, the first phase of GIAA will examine and initiate the process towards the national institutional anchorage of capacity-building and policy dialogue in sustainable land and water management. The idea behind is to create a learning and exchange hub for Afghan professionals from different backgrounds. The external review of SLMP and stake-holder consultations confirm the relevance of such an initiative on the national level. Preliminary consultations with stakeholders have shown a high level of support for the idea. Nevertheless, its intended multi-functionality and its interdisciplinary character pose a particular challenge to identify the optimal institutional anchorage.
Examining potential entry points and identifying the optimal anchorage will therefore be a main focus of GIAA's first 2-3 years. Special care will be taken to avoid the creation of an additional or parallel structure and to include relevant government entities to the extent possible. Potential entry points still to be explored include, but are not limited to, government ministries (e.g. MAIL or MRRD), universities (public or private) and the National Environment Protection Agency (NEPA). A close examination of the existing institutional landscape, its capacities and willingness is required. Independent of its anchorage, how-ever, GIAA is understood as a hub for NRM in Afghanistan and will involve a range of stakeholders. To strengthen national ownership, it is foreseen to establish a steering committee with representatives of line ministries, academia and civil society.
Working with the government on a technical level, building its capacity and gradually in-creasing its involvement in the project will be an important aspect of GIAA. Currently, the government's institutional capacities are weak and corruption levels are high, and implementing the project through the government is therefore judged to be too risky. GIAA's functions will initially be assumed by an implementing partner. Both lines of intervention — capacity-building activities and policy dialogue/advocacy — will then gradually be handed over to a nationally anchored body, starting in the second phase of the project. The implementing partner will then be responsible for institutional capacity-building and thematic backstopping, to ensure the quality of the trainings provided and funds may be partially channelled through national institutions. The aim of the third phase of the project will be consolidation and institutional sustainability.
While the implementation set-up will evolve, GIAA is based around 2 main lines of intervention, which will remain at the core of the project throughout its duration:
— 1 line of intervention of GIAA will be the training and coaching of natural resource management professionals. Amongst others, this will include curricula development, internships, short and long term training packages, the development of an advanced studies program in Afghanistan and scholarship offers for Master programs at universities abroad. As there is presently a significant deficit of qualified women professionals in the field of agriculture in general and natural resource management in particular, GIAA will offer special training courses for women field practitioners. GIAA will not directly work with farmers and will not provide extension services.
— The other line of intervention is the facilitation of evidence-based policy dialogue. To improve capacities and foster awareness of the importance of sustainable natural re-source management, GIAA will feed evidence from the field into the policy dialogue. To this end, it will provide evidence on policy implementation, participate in fora for policy dialogue and document field experiences. GIAA will arrange exposure visits for government officials, teaching staff from universities and other professionals to introduce them to sustainable land and water management practices. GIAA will also facilitate exchange among the community of practice of natural resource management practitioners, including government staff, and will organize national conferences on topics related to natural resource management.