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.