Category Archives: DAY 4

Key messages Open Space discussions

See the key messages from the discussions in the Open Space.

These topics were discussed in the different groups during the open space on Thursday afternoon:

  • RAS & Market (Demand & Supply) / „How to bring innovation in the RAS to have consistent demand“
  • Capacity enhancement of service provider to meet the demand
  • Gender and RAS, Women and social groups responsive RAS
  • How to support coordination of an effective pluralistic RAS system?
  • Quality assurance of RAS
  • Cost-benefit analysis of RAS
  • Roles of local state and government agencies in institutionalizing RAS and sustainability
  • Private sector, effective collaboration between private and public sector and civil society for inclusive and pluralistic RAS
  • Strengthening “Demand side” interventions / Strengthening “voice” of farmers in RAS planning and implementation
  • How do RAS systems support to apply policies in to actions?
  • Research – Extension Linkage (How? Participatory vs non-participatory)

Input: Learnings from SDC projects

Have a look at the presentation about “Learnings from SDC projects” (by Stefanie Kaegi)

Discussion points after the presentation (by Renate Lefroy, SDC Switzerland):

  • Why did demand side support not lead to beeter effectiveness or higher sustainability?
  • Where are the possible traps of demand-side financing?
  • You need pre-existing farmer organisations NOT create new groups for the purpose of increasing demand-side
  • Why does upscaling of participatory approaches lead to weakening of participative approaches?
  • Training without institutionalization of the training content is not effective
  • Research framework is very production-oriented: Dilemma between expectations and definitions
  • What is the consequence of reluctance of governments to finance RAS, if donors do it already?
  • Why should demand and supply side interventions be independent from each other?



Input: Samriddhi project in Bangladesh


See the presentation “Private Rural Service Provision System“, the Samriddhi project in Bangladesh (presented by Shamim Ahamed, Helvetas Bangladesh).

Shamim Ahamed presenting the Samriddhi project

Shamim Ahamed presenting the Samriddhi project

Comments and questions raised after the presentation (by Maurizio Guadagni, World Bank)

  • Really reached 1 million. Strong economic focus with relatively good inclusiveness
  • Capacity to reach many beneficiaries thanks to high population density. Strong M&E to follow income ad inclusiveness. 750,000 poor beneficiaries and 250,000 non poor. 3 poor beneficiaries per one non-poor (less than $1.25 per day are considered poor)
  • How did the market work for poor? Market system development: value chain, support function by private companies, and enabling environment (including Government)
  • Role of local public institutions: an initial assessment identified constraints to enter in the value chain. Usually the role of public institutions is limited. Exception: medicinal plants are grown in public land, and public institutions need to allocate land for this
  • Market for the Poor (M4P)
  • Private companies and government agencies are providing training. What is the challenge? To formal introduce private sector providers is politically difficult for governments
  • How much do the non-poor pay? Training are paid equally by farmers. They all pay the full cost. Farmers may individually contract the Service Providers

Key messages and conclusion by Maw Maw Soe (SDC Myanmar):

  • Land allocation
  • Strategy for M4P approach in livelihood project
  • Strategy of capacity development program among user group
  • The role of each stakeholder (farmer, user, private sector and government)
  • Lobby and advocacy still needed (government policy enhance for inclusiveness)

Key messages and conclusion by Sediqi Sayed Jamaluddin (Helvetas, Afghanistan):

  • Project had good linkage with all stakeholders
  • Good record keeping and clean data
  • Encourage private sectors and organizations

Introduction speaker Shamim Ahamed (Samriddhi, Bangladesh)

Shamim Ahamed

I am Shamim Ahamed, serve as Deputy Programme Director for HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Bangladesh. As part of the Programme Directorate, I am responsible to provide technical supports to the projects under the Rural Economy domain which covered market system development and rural advisory service. Through my functions with the projects, I gained knowledge and experience on Rural Advisory Services in Bangladesh. In Bangladesh, RAS played important role in rural economy through economic empowerment of rural poor households. My main interests is to know the following from other country experiences: best practices in RAS, public and private sector contribution in promotion of RAS, and challenges in RAS. Through this workshop, I would also like to establish networking with related organisations and with individuals of other countries to exchange learning and innovations in rural advisory services.