The key outcomes of YPARD Strategic meetings of January 2014
Two key strategic meetings took place this January 2014, at YPARD. A strategic planning gathered major partners, donors, and YPARD representatives at different levels – national, regional, global, and the steering committee. Based on the progress done by YPARD these last years, and the results of the 2013 External Review particularly, it was meant to revisit YPARD Strategy, and planning forward. A strong focus was given to strengthening the logframe, YPARD management and ensuring funding diversification.
Right after the strategic planning meeting, the YPARD Steering Committee and Global Coordination Unit held their annual SC meeting, in order to approve the final changes and directions for 2014.
YPARD’s full name, its vision and mission, have been revisited in order to better encompass YPARD focus on Youth’s key role for Agricultural Development ( beyond research ).
YPARD - “Young Professionals for Agricultural Development”
It was decided that YPARD would be identified as the “Young Professionals for Agricultural Development” – as a replacement of “Young Professionals’ platform for Agricultural Research for Development”. Indeed, although born in a Research environment, YPARD is meant to be the platform where all types of stakeholders in the broad field of agriculture – from farmers to researchers and policy makers - get together to work actively on better young professionals’ involvement. This new name is meant to reflect the multi-stakeholder nature of YPARD.
A youth-focused vision and mission
The new YPARD Vision states specifically the young professionals’ crucial role in ensuring a bright future for agricultural development. Our mission is to empower young people through our community activities, in order for them to be able to lead the change needed for a sustainable agricultural development
YPARD Vision: Sustainably improved livelihoods worldwide where young professionals are proactively contributing to innovative agricultural development.
To serve as the collective global platform enabling young professionals to realize their full potential and contribute towards innovative agricultural development.
In order to achieve its missions YPARD will focus its activities on:
- Promoting agriculture among young people
- Giving opportunities for young people to contribute to strategic policy debates in Agricultural development
- Connecting Young Professionals and facilitating information & knowledge exchange
- Facilitating access to resources and capacity building opportunities
- Securing diversified funding
- Ensuring strong management supporting the platform
YPARD charter is also refined in light of these changes.
2014-2018 activities focus
In order for YPARD to perform better, it was agreed that some regional coordination units and the Global Coordination Unit’s capacity should be strengthened. Indeed, regional coordinators only have a small percentage of their time dedicated to YPARD activities, and the GCU only counts two full-time staff. YPARD team should also concentrate efforts on more capacity building and guidance for YPARD representatives at all levels, and stronger internal communications and information sharing.
YPARD activities will focus on soliciting institutional changes for better youth inclusion in their programmes, such as organizing activities around key events for the youth to get a stronger voice. In addition to this, Content / Youth messages should be reinforced. YPARD may identify some key thematic priorities, for which working groups would take the lead for in-depth discussions. Through this, representation of more diversified stakeholders would be ensured.– For example, we would get more young farmers and women involved. .
The development of a mentoring programme will be one key project for 2014. Agropreneurship will be one area of focus, to attract young people into agriculture and an area where young professionals need stronger skills.
Eventually, it is crucial that YPARD is successful in diversifying its funds and in strengthening its M&E (monitoring and evaluation) plans.
2014 is a milestone; we trust that the YPARD team has the full potential to adapt and sustain its role in fostering youth’s involvement for agricultural development.
The 2013 External Review and YPARD management response to the External Review will be published in the coming days - keep in touch.