Work areas and deliverables
AgriCord supports PO's financially (direct support to PO's), with advisory services (focus on farmer to farmer) and facilitation towards other actors and programs. Agricord strengthens PO's capacities in 4 different "work areas".
1. Organisational strength and inclusiveness
2. Institutional development
3. Policy elaboration and advocacy
4. Business development
Additionnally 4 cross cutting issues are recognised: farmers' income and food security, gender equality and empowerment of women, financial management and environmental sustainability.
The working areas allow maximum specialisation between agri-agencies and facilitate to learn lessons in the network of agri-agencies and PO's and outside. In several areas we have developed so-called solutions, i.e. standardized cooperation response to recurrent problems. This enables us to break away from the project bureaucracy and skip the extensive project planning phase, entering rapidly into project implementation.
Three strategic options of the "Farmers Fighting Poverty" program deserve specific comments: the organisational mapping and profiling of PO's; the participatory policy generation in and by PO's, and the prospective capacities of PO's with special attention to financial management and (project) planning. The IFAP Executive (Montevideo, November 2005) approved the following 3 strategic options, as proposed by its Development Cooperation Committee (DCC).
Organisational mapping and profiling of producers’ organisations
Within AgriCord, 4 agri-agencies, Agriterra, UPA DI, SCC and Trias have practical experience in profiling. They followed separate but very similar approaches and methodologies.
The current profiling instrument of AgriCord, consists of three core elements:
- qualitative profiling, providing an exhaustive description of the organisation;
- quantitative profiling, resulting in Organisation Indicators;
- strengths and weaknesses (SWOT) analysis.
Together these elements serve multiple objectives. It enables a characterization of organisations and thus prepares outsiders to know what to expect from each organisation. It gives the possibility to measure progress in the field of organisation capacity through indicators and indices. And finally, it provides input to organisational capacity building trajectories. More than 35 PO's have been profiled by agri-agencies since 2002.
Participatory policy generation
PIPGA stands for "Programa de Investigación Participativas Generadora de Alternatives de Desarrollo" method actively involves the constituency of organisations in identifying key policy issues, a process that also contributes to strengthening internal democratic structures. Moreover, pro-active policy-oriented research (with support from external academics) generates better policy proposals to be presented to regional and national governments.
The method is based upon experience in Latin America, converting campesino organisations from a movement of protest (and little impact) into a movement capable of influencing government policies based on internally developed priority needs. This component supports the increasing demand by PO's for policy dialogue and efficient participation in the different regional, sub regional, issue-linked, etc. alliances of farmers-organisations.
Prospective capacities of PO's
To be a self-sustained rural people's organisation is a hard felt need. Financial management and accountability are seen as the fundament for a financially self-sustained organisation. A clear division of roles between directors, personnel of the financial administration and external accountants is a prerequisite for sound financial management. The Board of AgriCord has prioritized AgriCord’s efforts in support of financial management of PO's, including training sessions linked to planning and budgeting, and focusing on remunerable services to be rendered by the organisation.