Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture

In collaboration with the Governments of Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique the World Bank Group (WBG) and the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) are jointly launching a Call for Proposals for a Regional Project for Strengthening Higher Agricultural Education for Agri-food Systems Transformation in Africa (SHAEA). The main objective of this proposed project is to develop competent and relevant human resources required to accelerate agri-food systems transformation in Africa through strengthening
(i) agri-food related education and training enhanced with transdisciplinary approaches,
experiential learning and applied research at selected African regional anchor universities; (ii) university linkages to the regional agricultural sector – its priorities, needs and stakeholders; and
(iii) university partnership with private and public entities related to agri-food both within and outside Africa. SHAEA is part of the WBG Board’s significant reinvestment in higher education in Africa with a regional emphasis that complements the African Higher Education Centers of Excellence (ACE) projects as well as the regional agricultural projects – the West African Agricultural Transformation Program (WAATP) and the East and Central African Agricultural Transformation Program (ECAATP).
The SHAEA project was developed through broad multi-year consultations with relevant
stakeholders including governments and the private sector in the African region. The Project aims to build capacity and knowledge in six identified knowledge gap areas: (i) Agribusiness and  Entrepreneurship; (ii) Agri-food Systems and Nutrition; (iii) Rural Innovation and Agriculture Extension; (iv) Agricultural Risk Management and Climate Change Proofing; (v) Agriculture Policy Analysis; and (vi) Statistical Analysis, Foresight and Data Management.
The Project will support the governments of the participating countries to collectively address challenges in these regional key knowledge gap areas with interventions of:

(a) selecting Regional Anchor Universities (RAU) through a competitive and transparent process from among existing higher education institutions in participating countries that have agricultural capacity at the post graduate level and that show strong potential to help address the defined regional challenges taking into account national priorities;

(b) strengthening these specialized RAUs through professionalizing leadership and management, streamlining administration and capacitating faculty;

(c) establishing a strong culture of collaboration and partnership with the sector to ensure that the knowledge generated is accessible, and that the youth and women educated are capable of addressing the needs of the Agri-food sector and society at large; and

(d) developing a culture of results-orientation and accountability in institutional management through a project-led performance-based financing mechanism. As a regional project, SHAEA will be governed by its Regional Steering Committee (RSC) and facilitated by a Regional Facilitation Unit (RFU) hosted by the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM). Universities are not required to be RUFORUM members to apply.

Interested universities should meet all the following eligibility criteria:
a) Be from one of the participating countries which have IDA funding availability;
b) Has had at least 5 cohorts of graduates with masters degrees in relevant areas;

c) Offers postgraduate programs at the Masters level (preferably also at the PhD level) in agrifood systems related topics and preferably one within the identified regional key knowledge gap areas;
d) Has at least one existing active and functional regional partnership in the area of agriculture;
e) Demonstrates on-going effort in reform/change for institutional improvement;
f) No land acquisition needed if civil works are expected to be financed under the project;
g) If a university has an existing agricultural ACE, it can apply as long as the proposed focus area for being a RAU is not the same as what is already supported by the agricultural ACE; and
h) Only one proposal per university may be submitted

All submitted proposals that meet the eligibility criteria will be selected through an objective, transparent, strategic and merit-based competitive process. Proposals will be submitted to RUFORUM through the national governments in each of the participating countries.
Submitted proposals will be checked for compliance to the eligibility criteria by RUFORUM followed by a two-step evaluation process conducted by the Independent Evaluation Committee (IEC): i) a technical evaluation; ii) an onsite and leadership evaluation. The RSC will make the selection based on the c IEC’s recommendation.

Relevant documents, including the SHAEA Proposal Submission Form, SHAEA Evaluation Protocol, SHAEA Project Description and Results Framework, are available on the SHAEA website: http://www.ruforum.org/SHAEA/.

The deadline for submission of proposals to the RFU by the respective governments is November 30, 2018 (at midnight Greenwich Mean Time – GMT).
Additional information can be obtained from:

The SHAEA Regional Facilitation Unit,
Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)
151 Garden Hill, Makerere University
Kampala, Uganda
Email: SHAEA@ruforum.org.

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