KariaNet-ESDU News & Events>>
What is KariaNet
KariaNet – Knowledge Access for Rural Inter-connected Areas Network - (www.karianet.org), is a regional network for the management and sharing of knowledge, information and experience in agriculture and rural development, covering 10 countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region: Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen.
KariaNet is a multi-stakeholder partnership between IFAD ( www.ifad.org), IDRC (www.idrc.ca), and IFAD-financed projects in the NENA region (Near East and North Africa). Activities are coordinated across the networks and throughout the MENA region through a small, regionally based, secretariat.
Hosting of KariaNet
In October 2012, IDRC issued a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to host the KariaNet regional secretariat. The International Institute for Sustainable Development was chosen to provide an independent scoring and assessment of the EOIs on the basis of its previous work with KariaNet.
ESDU’s application presented a strong case for institutional alignment and long term ownership of KariaNet, based on its prior experience with proactively setting up and running other networks where they saw to be a need and opportunity, and seeking ongoing support for those activities, because they were considered to be important to ESDU’s mission. ESDU’s technical capacity for knowledge management (KM) and knowledge sharing (KS) is strong, with (a) demonstrated experience in running centers of excellence and communities of practice, and (b) a designated KM officer in place as a long term commitment to the role of KM in development. The organizational capacity to operate across the region was well documented and met all the requirements. The documentation provided suggests ESDU has an extensive reach into a number of countries in MENA and are recognized as a regional organization. They are “implementation ready”, based on infrastructure, available staff, contracting ability and prior experience contracting with IDRC.
Objectives and Responsibilities
The overall goal of KariaNet is to enhance the effectiveness of development projects and programs that serve to enable the rural poor to overcome their poverty.
Its primary objective is to develop sustainable mechanisms, using action research and learning, for sharing knowledge and innovations among rural and agricultural development projects in MENA, that enable them to improve their performance.
The key tasks and responsibilities of ESDU during and after in the transition consist in providing leadership in coordinating the network, creating interest, learning environment and leveraging resources in a participatory and consultative way with key partners (individual and organizations) in the region.
The general objective of the devolution exercise is to ensure the sustainability of the regional knowledge management and knowledge sharing network, KariaNet, for Agriculture and Rural Development practitioners, government agencies and agricultural research institutions and programs working on or interested in KM/KS practices for agriculture and rural development in MENA region.
The specific objectives of KariaNet are to provide leadership and coordination of the network in order to facilitate change in KM/KS perception, value and role in projects and programs’ efficiency and outcomes, through
- Collaboration with regional and national organization to ensure a viable network of individuals and organizations that are interested in KM/KS in order to promote the culture and practices of KM/KS.
- Organizing of regional knowledge management and knowledge sharing events to build the capacity of all partners in KM/KS.
Networking for Best Agricultural Practices
First Regional Workshop on Social Media
Knowledge Access for Rural Inter-connected Areas Network (KariaNet) is a regional network for the management and sharing of knowledge, information and experience in agriculture and rural development in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A competitive call for an expression of interest to host KariaNet was launched and the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) was selected to be the hosting organization. ESDU will work jointly with KariaNet team progressively assuming the responsibility of moderating the regional knowledge management network, with a target of full handover by October 2013. This Network, inspired by ‘open access principles’, seeks to empower its members, through the use of ICT and non-ICT tools, to make knowledge available and timely accessible to farmers and practitioners involved in rural development. With a focus on knowledge management KariaNet facilitates and supports demand driven capacity building activities, action research and networking activities across MENA region.
The Environment and Sustainable Development Unit at AUB hosted a regional workshop “Social Media for Knowledge Management and Knowledge Sharing and Prospects for KariaNet Network Sustainability” which was held in Beirut on May 20th and 21st at the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences. It was attended by 11 representative members from the following nine countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen as well as the Senior Program Officer of the Regional Office of IDRC Cairo (International Development and Research Center).
The general objective of the workshop was to debate on ways to ensure sustainability of the regional knowledge management and knowledge sharing network, KariaNet.
Based on the experiences of KariaNet members on the network, the workshop aimed to achieve the following:
1. Introduce the ESDU team to the participants in the nine countries of KariaNet and build linkages with the focal points.
2. Develop the capacities of members of KariaNet in the field of social media by exposing them to state-of-the-art social media tools (social media tools in general and www.Glasscubes.com in particular).
3. Develop a regional proposal prepared by ESDU for joint feedback, in order to identify funding opportunities and leverage resources for sustaining KariaNet.
4. Introduce and link the KariaNet community to the regional Monitoring and Evaluation initiative hosted by ESDU.
Overall, the workshop has met its objectives. Most importantly, Karianet has proven to be an innovative regional network that uses social media platforms to share knowledge among practitioners, researchers and developers in order to serve and improve the livelihoods of farmers across the MENA region.
Participants from the MENA Region participating in the "Social Media for Knowledge Management and Knowledge Sharing and Prospects for KariaNet Network Sustainability Workshop" held at FAFS- AUB- Beirut.
Group photo with Dr. Nahla Hwalla (FAFS Dean), Dr. Shady Hamadeh (ESDU Director), ESDU team and KariaNet workshop participants of the MENA region.