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New workplan for accelerating delivery of technical assistance in Africa: a joint effort between African Development Bank and Global Office

On August 31st, the Global Executive Board endorsed the revised 2016 regional workplan for Africa.  The new plan addresses the comments made by the main funding partners of the Global Trust Fund – the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and DFID – and the European Union (EU) on the first proposal submitted to the Regional Steering Committee in March 2016. The requested changes advocated for increasing the balance in the distribution of the technical assistance (TA) activities delivered by the Regional Office (RO), by scaling down its support to the development of SPARS and increasing the TA activities on cost-effective methods. The main funding partners also requested the Global Office (GO) to participate in the accelerated delivery of the TA component by designing and implementing part of the activities.
As a result, the revised workplan will expedite the delivery of technical assistance on seven cost-effective methods through a joint effort between the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the GO. In particular, through this new partnership, it is expected that over 45 African countries will benefit from TA activities and be able to adopt at least one of the following seven methods by the end of 2017:

  • The use of Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) tools for effective data collection
  • Building master sampling frames for agricultural sample surveys such as AGRIS
  • Measuring costs of production
  • Measuring post-harvest losses
  • Compiling livestock and livestock products’ statistics
  • Compiling food balance sheets
  • Reconciling agricultural census/survey data and routine data

Additionally, in an effort to scale up the TA and accelerate the transfer of know-how across the continent, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), Sub-Regional Organizations (SROs) and statistical training centres will also be invited to participate in the TA activities. For example, the GO’s implementation plan relies on several strategic partnerships that involve institutions such as AFRISTAT, SADC, UEMOA, EAC, EASTC, ENSAE and ENSEA. The objective is that these institutions progressively start providing TA in their respective geographic and technical areas of competence.
With the arrival of the GO as a new partner in the delivery of the TA component in Africa, the Regional Office, hosted by AfDB, has already taken some measures to ensure proper coordination between AfDB and the GO in the implementation of their respective activities. Two meetings have already taken place in July and August, and more will be scheduled in the coming months. Although the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA)’s role in the implementation of the Global Strategy in Africa remains unchanged under this new workplan, ECA will also continue to participate in these meetings to ensure an adequate integration of all training and technical assistance activities.

Valérie Bizier, Global Office 
Vincent Ngendakumana, AfDB


Expert meetings on Global Strategy research methodologies


On 5-8 September 2016, the Global Office conducted four validation meetings for research methodologies that have been developed and tested on the following topics:
  • Measuring crop area and yield under mixed and continuous cropping (by IASRI, India)
  • Measuring crop area and yield for vegetable crops (by FAORAF, Ghana)
  • Improving and using Administrative Data in an Agricultural Statistics System (by Iowa State University (USA) and Makerere University (Uganda))
  • Reconciliation of censuses and surveys data (by FAORAF)
Validation meetings are an important final step in each research program to ensure that the results are rigorous, robust, and cost-effective.  Accordingly, lead investigators, country partners, and international experts on each topic were brought to Rome to discuss and validate the final results of the research programs including findings of the in-country field and desktop testing, and provide feedback on the methodologies. The comments received from participants will be incorporated into the final methodological reports.
Publication of the final methodological documents for all topics is expected in the first quarter of 2017. Training materials will then be developed and published mid-2017.                                                                                                                 

Michael Rahija, Global Office
Dramane Bako, Global Office


Improving Collection and Use of Data on the Socioeconomic Benefits from Forests and Trees

FAO, CIFOR, IFRI, LSMS and PROFOR of the World Bank are jointly organizing an International Seminar on “Improving Collection and Use of Data on the Socioeconomic Benefits from Forests and Trees” at FAO headquarters (Rome) on 27 October 2016.  The event aims to discuss and promote ways to strengthen the collection and use of data on socioeconomic benefits from forests and trees in the context of LSMS-type surveys. Discussions will also cover ways to strengthen reporting and data availability, including for monitoring the Sustainable Development Goals.
An event will take place at 13:00 for the launch of the publication ‘’National socioeconomic surveys in forestry: Guidance and survey modules for measuring the multiple roles of forests in household welfare and livelihoods”, jointly produced by the five partners mentioned above. The International Conference on Agricultural Statistics participants will also participate in the event. 
This seminar targets experts on quantifying the socioeconomic benefits from forests and trees. Registration is free of cost. For registration, a short email (maximum 200 words) explaining how you could contribute to the discussions at the seminar should be sent to Illias Animon (, copying Thais Linhares-Juvenal (
More details, including the background and purpose of the seminar and the tentative programme may be found at 

Upcoming Meetings

Global Strategy training and outreach workshop on agricultural surveys

24-25 october 2016, FAO headquarters, rome


Third Regional Coordination Meeting for Africa

31 October - 1 November 2016, Rome


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