Capacity development in the fields of intra- and peri-urban agriculture and urban food strategies is facilitated by RUAF Foundation in various ways:
- Training as an integral part of our research- and development projects and advisory activities: Capacity development is an important component of most of the projects we implement and assist. Such learning activities may be directed towards senior officers and decision makers (e.g. policy seminars), courses to train the trainers (2 to 3 weeks, often regionally organised), and training courses and exchange visits for midlevel- and field staff (3 days to 2 weeks; guidelines, manuals). As part of RUAF’s projects, also many training events are organized for urban producers and their leaders, applying the “farmer field school” approach.
- Training in multi-stakeholder policy dialogue, influencing, action planning and policy formulation: RUAF supports the integration of urban agriculture and city-region food measures in the policies and action programmes of local, regional and national governments, civic society organisations, NGOs, CBOs, research centres, financing organisations and private enterprises, with active and direct involvement of the urban producers and other actors in the food chain. In this context, one of the prominent approaches developed by RUAF and its partners in their work is Multi-stakeholder Policy formulation and Action Planning (MPAP). MPAP are based on principles of participation, ownership and commitment, mutual trust and collaboration (in planning, decision-making and control). They are thus in fact political processes through which power relations are re-defined and (if well organised) lead to a more participatory governance and increased participation of civil society in decision-making. MPAPs require enhanced awareness on participatory policy processes; capacity building of partners in participatory processes of diagnosis, problem identification, conflict mediation and negotiation, action planning, lobby and advocacy, policy review and design, systematisation, monitoring, and control of policy changes; continuous building of trust and cooperation; shared resource mobilisation and actual policy uptake and implementation, learning and monitoring.
- Tailor-made training activities: On request, the RUAF Foundation organises “train the trainers” and staff training courses for various levels of staff, tailored to the specific needs of the staff and programmes of the organisations requiring training support.
- Support for universities in the design of learning modules on urban agriculture: Universities in developing countries regularly approach RUAF to assist them in the design of learning modules on urban agriculture as part of their university courses in various disciplines.
- Distance learning courses: The RUAF Foundation developed, in cooperation with Ryerson University (Canada), a series of training courses on Urban Agriculture and Urban Food Security that are accessible by Internet. RUAF partner IPES (Peru) collaborated with the Latin America office of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in the design of a Spanish-language distance learning course and with the Brazilian government in the development of a Portuguese distance learning course. For more information see distance-learning-courses.
- Sharing and learning events: In cooperation with specialised agencies, the RUAF Foundation periodically organises thematic e-conferences, regional workshops and study visits to share state-of-the-art knowledge and experiences concerning a key issue in urban agriculture and urban food security.
Recent training activities implemented by the RUAF Foundation include the following ones: