American University of Beirut

KariaNet: Knowledge Access for Rural Interconnected 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. KariaNet builds on ESDU’s long experience in knowledge sharing and management. It was founded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in 2005 to enhance the effectiveness of development projects and programs that serve the rural poor. 

The first phase of the project lasted from 2005 until 2008. During this time KariaNet I worked with 10 IFAD funded projects in 5 countries and was managed jointly by IDRC and IFAD. The second phase KariaNet II (2010-2013) worked with countries in the  MENA region, acquiring the IFAD and IDRC funded projects as main clients.  A third phase, KariaNet III was devolved to the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) of the American University of Beirut in February 2013 and is present in ten countries of the MENA.

KariaNet works on sustaining the creation of material, the share of knowledge, best practices and resources. KariaNet is looking to create an impactful and scalable learning solution for every learner, especially for small-scale farmers and producers in rural areas.


  • Mainstream Knowledge Management/Knowledge Sharing (KM/KS) on Local Food Systems. 
  • Give smallholder farmers, especially rural women and youth, access to information on best practices, technologies, funding opportunities, etc.
  • Enable rural and agricultural development practitioners across Middle East and North Africa to improve the performance of projects across the region through enabling systems at the local, national and regional levels. 
  • Support smallholder farming, sustainable agricultural practices and local economic development. 
  • Raise awareness on best practices promoting the conservation of natural resources, the promotion of local food systems and the adoption of sustainable livelihoods


KariaNet is an online open access knowledge sharing platform that provides endless benefits. Here are KariaNet key advantages. 

  • ​Promoting best practices and alternative sustainable solutions for rural and agricultural purposes
  • Easing search of and access to relevant information and resources
  • Making knowledge available to small-scale farmers, development practitioners, government agencies, researchers, private sector, and national and regional NGOs involved in rural development
  • Linking up the knowledge providers with knowledge seekers
  • Enhancing the effectiveness of development projects and programs that serve vulnerable communities
  • Empowering membersthrough the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and non-ICT tools
  • Enabling rural and agricultural development practitioners across Middle East and Africa to promote sustainability
  • Promoting capacity building, smallholder farming, sustainable agricultural practices and local economic development.​

Partner Countries

KariaNet was set up as a regional knowledge management and sharing network expanding over 10 countries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. 

Over the years, these countries have actively taken part in KariaNet previous activities through their representatives liaising with ESDU to provide up-to-date information on local rural development and share relevant data to strengthen KariaNet’s regional knowledge.

Learn more about this project on KarinaNet Website​
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