Rural development, agricultural extension and food security

Our work in rural development, food security and agricultural advisory services emphasises the need to focus these efforts on the local institutional structures and organisational actors involved in service provision and decentralised governance. We work with partners and clients to consider these local dynamics when promoting pro-poor policies which take into account the vulnerabilities of the rural poor, be they farmers, small entrepreneurs or labourers.

Our work in agricultural advisory services began with collaboration with the Neuchâtel Initiative and later with the Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services, networks that have been encouraging advisory service reform for over two decades.

In recent years our work in rural development and particularly food security has come to focus increasingly on how local and national structures need to change their orientation and approaches in light of the growing risks associated with conflict and climate change, and how these relate to other risks related to market uncertainty and political fragility. Ian Christoplos was co-editor of a Routledge volume, entitled New Challenges to Food Security: From climate change to fragile states.

Our past long-term assignments include being Chief Technical Advisor to the Macedonia Agricultural Advisory Support Programme and Capacity Development Advisor supporting the National Agriculture and Forestry Research Institute in Laos.

Recent assignments

2017 Swiss Development Cooperation

Consultant: Support for the formulation of a new phase of the Land Use Rights and Natural Resource Benefit Programme

2016 Evaluation Function of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers

Consultant: Quality assurance and preparation of a background paper on the role of the CGIAR in engaging with agricultural extension as part of an evaluation of the CGIAR’s role in capacity development.

2013 FAO

Technical advisor for the 2014 State of Food and Agriculture report.

2012  Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services

Senior advisor: Support to inception phase of a global evaluation of agricultural extension reform processes.

2011  Swiss Development Cooperation

Team leader: Review of the Water Productivity Improvement at Plot Level Project in the Ferghana Valley of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

2011  Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency

Team leader: External review of the programme Capacity Strengthening through Strategic Analysis and Knowledge Support for Agricultural Development in Mozambique (Moz-SAKSS).

2011  Global Forum for Rural Advisory Services and the World Bank

Team leader: Preparation of a guide for monitoring and evaluation of extension services.

2010  Swiss Development Cooperation

Evaluator: Team leader of a mid-term review of the Lao Extension for Agriculture Project.

2010 FAO

Consultant: Drafting of a brochure and an issues paper on future trends in agricultural extension (Mobilizing the Potential of Agricultural and Rural Extension) for the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

2010  World Bank

Team leader: Preparation of plans for comprehensive support to the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services.