Knowledge-sharing project launched

March 15, 2011 at 11:10 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The RAIN-WANA network: seven countries will work together to create a vast pool of information, freely shared

It’s important to find information – and even more important to share it. That is the rationale behind the IFAD-funded Regional Agricultural Information Network for West Asia and North Africa (RAIN-WANA), launched at a workshop held at ICARDA headquarters, 9-10 March. The network will involve seven countries: Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Qatar, Sudan, Syria, and UAE. It aims to

  • Create an information repository, through which every partner has access to all the information held by every other partner (subject to copyright issues)
  • Build knowledge-sharing capacity in each country through training programs for knowledge generators (research and extension) as well as knowledge managers (librarians, IT specialists and others)

In one sense, RAIN is a regional extension of a highly successful trilateral project: the Egypt-Sudan twinning agreement, coordinated by ICARDA, that dramatically improved knowledge-sharing capacity in both countries.

“Information is power – information sharing is critical for agricultural development,” said Dr Mahmoud Solh, ICARDA Director General. “We need to create IT platforms to share results, and to support both development and dissemination of new technologies.”

“RAIN will fill a major gap,” said Mr Taysir Al-Ghanem, IFAD’s Regional Communication Manager for the Near East and North Africa. “Research centers in WANA have produced excellent results – but have not been able to share these results effectively. ICARDA always takes the lead in innovation and partnership… this is one more example.”

A project framework and workplan have been outlined, and will be developed further. This will help select appropriate IT platform(s), identify training needs, and create a community of practice on knowledge-sharing.

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