Consultancy assignment - Deadline 21/03/08


The Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation (CTA) urgently requests expressions of interest from organizations based in African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) states for the above-mentioned assignment.

CTA launched in 2004/05 an agricultural TV program Agriflash (3 minutes segment dedicated to rural development in Africa, broadcast on national TV channels in Africa – watch ).
In order to adapt the idea to the new strategic plan, CTA wishes to produce agricultural programs which would repackage Spore (CTA’s flagship) on a monthly basis into a 3/5 minutes segment widely broadcast on television in ACP countries.

The project can be separated in two phases
· Production of a monthly TV program, repackaging Spore and revisiting the concept of agro news for a wide audience (length 3/5 minutes) according the following steps:
o CTA and the provider identify and prepare in consensus the content of the program (starting point: Spore magazine)
o The provider prepares the script of the program either in French or in English for CTA validation
o The provider selects adequate footage from archive bank or produce additional video
o The provider finalize a first draft of the program (voice over, final cut) for CTA validation
o The provider translate the script in English or French for CTA validation
o The provider delivers a copy of the program on DVD format in both languages
· production and distribution facilities
o The provider broadcast the program on a wide TV network/ web TV in 2 languages preferably on prime time

The provider can propose additional languages for production and distribution.
The project can be achieved through partnership between different firms adding their capacities

Agriculture is perceived as a dynamic activity amongst wide audience in ACP countries and the program creates a “culture of agro program”
Spore is better known and the TV program contributes to raise the number of beneficiaries of the online/printed publication

April-May 2008: selection of organizations
July 2008: start of the production for 12 months (12 monthly programs), renewable twice as a maximum


Key requirements for the organization in charge of the production
At least 5 years experience in TV production
Demonstrated capacity to produce (staff, equipment, network) TV programs
Experience with programs dealing with development topics, preferably in the agricultural ad rural development sector
Working experience in ACP countries
National of an ACP or EU state

Key requirements for the organization in charge of distribution:
Strong distribution networks in EU and ACP countries (TV, Webcast)
National of an ACP or EU state

Interested organizations are invited to manifest their interest to CTA by Friday 21st March 2008 at the latest with a brief résumé (not more than 3 pages) outlining their capacity to undertake the activity of production and/ or dissemination, a company profile, detailed CVs of persons who they may charge with undertaking the assignment and a list of references.

The information should be sent to:

Sarah Bel
Communication – Media Officer - CTA
E-mail:; Fax: +31 317 460067 ; website:

Only short-listed firms will be contacted, provided with the detailed terms of reference and requested to submit a complete proposal.
22 February 2008

Consultancy assignment - deadline 14/03/08

Part-time Coordination of Smart Toolkit project
The Technical Centre for Rural and Agricultural Cooperation (CTA) urgently requests applications from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) and European Union (EU) nationals for the above-mentioned assignment.

In 2005, CTA along with the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) and a host of other institutions and individuals from ACP countries, EU, Canada, Sri Lanka and the United States produced the first version of the Smart Toolkit for Evaluating Information Products and Services. Although the first Toolkit has been widely accepted as a groundbreaking resource for the evaluation of information projects, products and services, CTA, IICD and KIT, and several partners have embarked on the production of the second edition of the Smart Toolkit based on feedback on the first version and an online survey done in May 2007.

Substantial work has since been carried out and at an Editorial consultation meeting in Bonn (October 29-31, 2007) to critically review the Toolkit, there was general agreement that much more needs to be done to make it a ‘living document’. A ‘Steering Group’ made up of all the participants will continue to collaborate with a view to further improving and finalizing the content of the toolkit by making use of both conventional and new ICTs including Wikis and D-groups as appropriate. For the project to run successfully, however, a part-time project manager is required to coordinate the process with effect from May 2008.

The publication, promotion and dissemination of the Smart toolkit will contribute significantly to the field of information by providing practical and cost-effective methods for planning, monitoring and evaluating information to a wide range of stakeholders.

The assignment will involve:
* Supervising the finalisation of the Smart toolkit
* Organising the launching of the Smart toolkit in 2008
* Networking with peers and the inter-agency group on issues related to the production and launching of the Smart toolkit
* Managing the Smart toolkit website and moderate discussions related to the toolkit using a pwiki/ + other web2 tools
* Preparing promotional material to promote the Smart toolkit
* Liaising with key stakeholders in an effort to build the resources of the toolkit
* Liaising with users and potential users of the toolkit to carry out field testing of the toolkit
* Gathering information on key donor requirements with respect to M&E

* Smart Toolkit updated to produce the Second version of the toolkit
* Second version of the Smart Toolkit published
* Smart Toolkit promoted among the key organisations’ partners

Key requirements for the assignment:
* University degree or equivalent
* Knowledge of the role of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and Information and Communication Management (ICM) in the field of agricultural development
* Understanding of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation concepts and issues
*Demonstrable analytical skills on sustainable development issues
* Excellent command of written & spoken English, working knowledge of French would be an asset
* Working experience in ACP countries
* Project coordination/ team management experience
* National of an ACP or EU state

The successful applicant will be expected to work 20-25 days every quarter in 2008, with the possibility for extension in 2009.

Interested persons having the relevant expertise are invited to submit their letter of application and CV by Friday 14 March 2008 to:

Dr Ibrahim Khadar
Manager, Planning & Corporate Services - CTA
E-mail:; Fax: +31 317 460067; website:

Only those short-listed will be informed.
15 February 2008

Press Release : CARICOM Ministers Endorse Regional Policy Framework

Press release issued 4 February 2008

CARICOM Ministers and other senior officials unanimously endorsed a new policy framework on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) that will guide regional planning and development to spur economic development in key priority areas. The Second Joint Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) and the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) took place in Georgetown, Guyana on 24 January 2008. The Meeting was jointly chaired by The Hon Karl Samuda, Minister of Trade and Industry of Jamaica and The Hon, Bertrand Joseph, Minister of Education, Youth and Sport of Antigua and Barbuda.

Minister Joseph acknowledged that, although CARICOM leaders had long recognized the critical need to strengthen STI capacity for the region to keep pace with global advances, there had been an inordinate lag in creating and implementing relevant policies. This delay has resulted in a costly setback to the region’s development in terms of promoting innovation, economic competitiveness and social development, as well as in building the physical infrastructure and human resources required to sustain future development. Minister Joseph and his ministerial colleagues at the COTED/COHSOD meeting agreed with the policy document framers on the urgent need for clear policy direction, backed by more substantial commitment of resources, to drive the process. Against this backdrop, the meeting unanimously endorsed the Regional Policy Framework for STI, as the first step towards final ratification by CARICOM Heads of State.

The policy framework for STI attempts to reflect the changing needs of the region as it strives to meet the demands of the new knowledge-driven era, as well as to be in line with the ‘single development vision’ being articulated through the mechanism of the CSME. A single vision for STI will, in the same vein, foster greater collaboration and networking to optimize relatively scarce resources and help in the advancement of common STI goals that would be difficult to achieve individually by member states.

The policy elaborates nine areas for government intervention; infrastructure, policy and planning, development finance, innovation and entrepreneurship, standardization, human resource development, science and technology education, research and development and regulatory framework and intellectual property rights. Twelve policy priority areas have also been identified for Caribbean development:

• Agriculture and the food sector
• Biotechnology and biosafety
• Environmental Management
• Coastal and Marine Resources Management
• Waste Management
• Integrated Water Resources Management
• Alternative energy and Energy Management
• Disaster Preparedness
• Health
• Sustainable Tourism
• Development of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises
• Information and Communication Technology

The Caribbean Council for Science and Technology (CCST) spearheaded the development of the policy framework for CARICOM. In July 2000, CARICOM Heads designated CCST as the agency responsible for coordinating and implementing CARICOM’s policies and programmes in Science and Technology. The CCST is an inter-governmental organisation, with a mandate to promote regional cooperation in Science and Technology. It was established 25 years ago, and is currently undertaking projects in the region to promote Science and Technology foresighting, science popularisation and environmental awareness and education. It is also developing student capacity in creativity and innovation. It took CCST nearly four years to prepare the policy framework, to stage national consultations throughout the region, and to get the final document onto CARICOM’s agenda for discussion and endorsement. The Technical Centre for Agriculture & Rural Cooperation (CTA), a specialised agency of the ACP- EU Group, funded by the European Commission provided critical technical and logistical support for staging regional and national consultations.

As global developments race ahead in the industrialized and newly-industrialized nations, it is even more urgent for the Caribbean to build capacity in STI in these priority areas to gain a competitive advantage. CCST will work with CARICOM and the member states to ensure that the regional framework is translated into national policies, programmes and action plans for immediate implementation, to accelerate economic growth of all member states and ensure the sustainable development of the region.

Taken from
13 February 2008

New criteria for seminar support programme

The Seminar Support Programme (SSP) provides financial assistance to nationals from the ACP countries working in the field of agricultural and rural development to enable them to participate in regional and international conferences/seminars dealing with themes relevant to their fields of activity, which are not organised or co-organised by CTA. New criteria have been developed for the support programme. These can be downloaded from here.

Seminar: Underutilized plant species for food, nutrition, income and sustainable development

Venue and dates
Arusha, Tanzania; 3-7 March 2008

Background and justification
Underutilized plant species contribute to environmental sustainability and can combat land degradation. Products made from these niche crops are used in family health care, for animal feed and construction purposes. They can contribute substantially to family income and provide opportunities to diversify vulnerable livelihoods.

During 2006, the International Centre for Underutilised Crops (ICUC) and the Global Facilitation Unit for Underutilized Species (GFU) consulted widely about the problems and opportunities faced by the underutilized plant species research and development community in their efforts to promote these plants for the benefit of poor people. Whilst initially ‘lack of funding’ was stated as major obstacle to increased knowledge and promotion of these plants, a thorough problem analysis showed that better communication, information exchange and knowledge sharing (including indigenous knowledge) amongst researchers, policy makers and the general public were actually amongst the key issues that need to be addressed.

Many underutilized plants actually have a wide geographic spread over several countries and continents (e.g tamarind, jackfruit, ber, amaranth etc.), however, research results are often only published in national journals or local reports, thus not reaching colleagues elsewhere. In other cases, approaches tried and tested for main crops may not be immediately apparent for underutilized species but exchange through a forum such as this symposium can trigger cross-disciplinary efforts.

The contributors to the consultation asked ICUC, GFU and other international partners to continue to play a key role as catalyst for information exchange, through electronic media (e.g. websites, Blogs, newletters) as well as the organization of conferences, workshops and training events, a challenge which we are addressing with this planned Symposium.

Problem statements
  • Limited awareness about the potential of underutilized plants to contribute to the reduction of extreme poverty and hunger, improved health and sustainable development and as a means for diversification;
  • Limited information exchange amongst researchers in different countries which has led to duplication and gaps in the overall limited research on underutilized plants.
  • Limited North-South-South research and development partnerships.

Beneficiaries/Target groups
The Symposium is intended to provide room for exchange and discussion amongst researchers who work on underutilized plant species from NARES, NGOs, ARIs and IARCs. These are therefore the primary beneficiaries. Further down the line other secondary beneficiaries, such as small-scale entrepreneurs and producers, will benefit from increased knowledge, shared information and newly formed/strengthened research alliances.

Overall objective
To contribute to the global goals of reduction in hunger, malnutrition and poverty by increasing understanding and knowledge about the benefits of underutilized plant species.

Project purpose
South-South and South-North information exchange fostered in order to increase awareness and knowledge about the value and potential of underutilized plant species and help develop new collaborative research and development projects.

ICUC, GFU, International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), Globalhort, Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC), Plant Resources for Tropical Africa (PROTA), Bioversity International, Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)

Hannah Jaenicke (
John Woodend (

Further information

04 February 2008
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