ICT  Expert  Consultation Meeting to Strengthen RAIS 

in WANA Region


25-27 Feb.,2003,Cairo,Egypt




AARINENA, in the framework of GFAR GLOBAL.RAIS Project (GLOBal ALliance of the Regional Agricultural Information Systems), organized, together with the Agricultural Research Center (ARC) of Egypt, an ICT Expert Consultation Meeting to Strengthen the RAIS of WANA Region from 25 to 27, 2003 in Cairo, Egypt.

Objectives of the AARINENA-RAIS Workshop: Key Issues to be Addressed

This workshop taked place two years after the first regional workshop, which was held in Cairo, Egypt, and it was twofold:

  • a) To update the current regional situation on Agricultural Information and Communication Management (ICM) and to share preliminary conclusions regarding the ongoing situation;
  • b) To address further pending questions.

A shared vision statement

  • Is it needed to update the data on: (a) human and institutional skills in ICT/ICM, (b) ongoing ICM Initiatives in ARD at national or regional levels, (c) internet connectivity availability and use by the RAIS stakeholders, and (d) emerging leadership of a regional organisation?
  • Can we say that there is a good and healthy portfolio of projects and initiatives, but that there is a need for a better: (a) follow up and monitoring, (b) fund raising and financial strategy?
  • Does the ownership of the RAIS by the national stakeholders must be improved or not, and if yes how to do that?
  • Is the AARINENA web site launched by AREO a first step for the RAIS or an external initiative?

Further questions to be addressed

Five main sets of questions can be articulated:

  • How to improve the ICT skills of the human resources involved both at a national level (National Information Nodal Points - NINPs) and the regional level (RAIS).

     Definition of a specific Plan of Work and Business (PWB)
     Crossbreeding and knowledge sharing at an (a) intra-regional level, and (b) an inter-regional level
  • What the expectations of the National AARINENA Stakeholders in their RAIS

     Definition of national priorities
     Validation and endorsement of the twofold RAIS Strategy : (a) Management Information System (MIS) through its four sub-components (Regional Research Networks Database, NARIS/NARS Databases, ARD Projects Database, Agricultural Research & Development Indicators Database), and (b) Regional Reference System (RRS)
  • How to articulate national web information resources and regional requirement of the RAIS

     Definition and role of what could be National Information Nodal Points (NINPs)
     Role of NINPs in Management Information System (MIS) and Regional Reference System (RRS)
     Added value of the RAIS
     How to steer the RAIS activities form the NINPs and AARINENA points of view
  • SWOT Analysis (Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of the AARINENA Web Site launched by AREO (Iran)

     Definition of the next steps
     Specific plan of Action including Management Information Tools for of ARD activities, including the straightening of the gateway function

These are the main questions and pending issues to be further discussed during the 2nd Cairo Workshop. In order to be sure that key issues are not missing an electronic discussion on the first draft of these background will be launched in order to prepare consistently: (a) a comprehensive agenda for these two days meeting, and (b) a related timetable.

  • How to support NINPs and RAIS activities

     Improvement of the institutional networking and commitment of the institutions, at a policy level, involved in the AARINENA-RAIS
     Definition of a sustainable funding strategy and access to funds
     Definition of cost sharing activities at all levels (from the local to the regional through the national)
     Co-operation with other RAIS
     Definition of a well articulated set of collaborative programmes with FAO, GFAR and other stakeholders to be further defined


To download background documentation, papers presented during the Workshop and output documents please click here.