RUAF Foundation provides advisory services at various levels:

  • At the international level RUAF assists international organisations (FAO, UN Habitat, UNEP, the World Bank, ICLEI, Heifer International) in the development of their own policies and programmes regarding cities, food and agriculture through the production of scoping and discussion papers, assistance in the preparation and implementation of expert consultations, and the joint organisation of exchange and policy dialogue sessions on cities, food and agriculture at international conferences, including the World Urban Forum, Resilient Cities and the World Water Week.
  • At the national and city level RUAF provides technical assistance regarding the design of national and local policies and projects on urban food and agriculture as part of RUAF’s main programmes (see “Cities Farming for the Future” and “From Seed to Table” in the Projects section of this website) and as specific projects or advisory services.
  • At the project level RUAF provides technical assistance (both on location and through coaching at a distance) to the project partners regarding the various technical, socio-organisational and other aspects of their projects.

When providing policy advice and technical assistance, the RUAF Foundation puts heavy emphasis on strengthening local capacities, institutional development and south-south-north networking and joint learning. 

The RUAF Foundation holds seats on international advisory boards, including the ICLEI Resilient Urban Food Systems Forum; the UNEP/START Knowledge assessments on climate change and urban agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia; the International Urban Food Governance Network; the Advisory Committee of the Communitas project on Sustainable Urbanization (a joint effort by Tellus Institute, ICLEI, nrg4SD and UN Habitat, with the support of the Ford Foundation), the course programme committee of the Ryerson University and Toronto Food Policy Council course on municipal food strategies; and the Steering Committee of the SURFOOD (Sustainable Urban Food Systems) programme.

Food policy review for the Municipality of Ede (The Netherlands)

From December 2016 to February 2017, RUAF supported the Municipality of Ede with an external assessment of their municipal food policy which has been implemented for the past 2 years. Part of this policy development review included learning from other cities. Therefore, on the 15th of December 2016 the Dutch food team of Ede visited the city of Ghent. Ghent aspires to be a climate neutral city and developed a food policy called “Gent en Garde”.

Enhancing climate resilience of Gorakhpur by buffering floods through climate-resilient peri-urban agriculture

The project “Enhancing climate resilience of Gorakhpur by buffering floods through climate-resilient peri-urban agriculture” is part of the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN). Funded by The Rockefeller Foundation, it was implemented by the Gorakhpur Environmental Action Group (GEAG) from June 2012 to May 2016 to demonstrate the importance of ecosystem services –such as the flood buffering provided by peri-urban agriculture – in addressing climate change impacts in Gorakhpur.

Involving communities in urban planning in Northern Jordan: Assessments for VNGI and City of Amsterdam under the Dutch Funded LogoRep Programme

Forced displacement driven by the protracted conflicts in Syria and Iraq is having a profound impact on urban infrastructure and the management of natural resources in and around towns in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey, affecting both refugees and host communities in the already fragile social and agro-ecological systems. Continued food aid and other assistance and service provision to the refugees residing outside the camps, predominantly in urban areas, is not attainable in the current crisis response.

Tracking food flows in Kenya

RUAF serves on the expert advisory committee for an EcoAgriculture Partners project on tracking food flows in Kenya. In 2016, this project mapped food flows in Laikipia County in northern Kenya, where tens of thousands are at risk of starvation due to climate change, and helped prepare a data dashboard for county departments to use in designing an integrated development plan to increase food security of vulnerable groups and restore the degraded lands on which they depend.

Policy review for urban and peri-urban agriculture development in Namibia

In 2014, 51 local Namibian authorities signed the Windhoek Declaration on Food and Nutrition Security. In order to support the committed policy reformulation and implementation on the ground, RUAF Foundation, with support of the World Future Council Foundation, implemented a national policy review for urban and peri-urban agriculture development in Namibia.

Technical support to the City of Milan and other cities in urban food planning

The City of Milan has led a process with partner cities to elaborate an Urban Food Policy Pact that aims to build awareness on urban food systems, policies and practices and harness political engagement from cities for future activities on related issues. Over 120 cities have currently signed the Pact. The International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture (IPSA) in collaboration with RUAF Foundation and FAO Food for Cities acted as a technical advisory team to support this process.

Evaluation of a rooftop farming pilot project and feasibility study of urban agriculture approaches in Cairo

RUAF Foundation was contracted by the GIZ supported Participatory Development Programme  in Cairo Urban Areas to evaluate a pilot project on rooftop farming in Ezbet el Nasr; Cairo and to implement a subsequent feasibility assessment for potential up-scaling of the specific pilot project approach and other sustainable urban agriculture approaches in the Greater Cairo Region. Two respective reports were produced and concluded open rooftop farms would have highest potential for combined impacts, expansion and implementation potential in informal settlements in Cairo.

Scoping paper on urban food systems for UNEP

The scoping paper that was prepared for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) provides an overview of the programmes on urban agriculture implemented by international key players, an overview of the state-of-the-art and key issues in the development of intra- and peri-urban agriculture, identifies important research, institutional and policy gaps in this field and provides concrete recommendations to UNEP regarding its policy on intra- and peri-urban agriculture. 

Assistance to the development of “low space” urban agriculture in Antananarivo (Madagascar)

During three years, RUAF Foundation supported the Institut des Metiers de Ville (Región Ile de France) and the city of Antananarivo in  the design and implementation of the “Low Space-No Space” Urban Agriculture project (AULNA) in Antananarivo (Madagascar). In partnership with INRA (France), a project formulation mission, a project inception cum training mission and a mission to evaluate the first phase and prepare the second phase of the project were implemented. A video and a poster on the project and low space technologies are available. 

Assistance to the ICLEI-CDKN Learning alliance on Subnational Climate Compatible Development

The RUAF Foundation participates in the joint Learning Programme on Subnational Climate Compatible Development established by ICLEI (Germany) and CDKN (UK), prepared a paper on the main lessons learned in the RUAF-CDKN “Monitoring the impacts of intra- and peri-urban agriculture and forestry on climate change adaptation and mitigation” and acted as learning coordinator in the ICLEI-CDKN workshop on 3–4 June 2013 in Bonn, Germany.

Assistance to the “Urban Matters” project of CORDAID in El Salvador

The RUAF Foundation is assisting the CORDAID Urban Matters programme in El Salvador with regards to the integration of urban agriculture in the multifunctional design of an urban park and neighbourhood. RUAF provides advice on the technical design and budgeting as well as the community and policy involvement in project preparation and implementation.

Assistance to FAO for Technical Consultation on Food, Agriculture and Cities

The RUAF Foundation assisted the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO, Rome) in the organisation of the Expert Consultation on Food, Agriculture and Cities, Rome, 2009. RUAF prepared the programme for the event, produced the Discussion Paper on key issues and challenges in the field of urban food security and agriculture (also published as RUAF Working Paper #3) and prepared the five-page summary of the main outcomes of the meeting that was used as an input for the World Food Summit later that year.

Assistance to COOPI on Youth Employment and Urban Agriculture Project, Sierra Leone

The RUAF Foundation assisted the Italian NGO Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI, Italy) in the design and implementation of the project “Empowering youth for self-reliance and pro-poor growth in Makeni, Sierra Leone”, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), including training of COOPI and local partner staff and guiding the design and implementation of the project activities with 400 unemployed youth (skill development, market analysis, establishment of market driven food related enterprises). The following report summarizes the main lessons learnt in this project

Organisation of policy dialogues on urban agriculture at World Urban Forum III, IV, V and VII

The RUAF Foundation organised networking sessions at the World Urban Forum (in most cases including programme preparation, production of DVDs with resource materials, organisation of an exhibition area with posters on most relevant experiences, and presenting RUAF’s experiences at the session):

  • WUF III in Vancouver, Canada in cooperation with FAO and IDRC
  • WUF IV in Nanjing, China with FAO, IDRC and Nanjing Agricultural Bureau
  • WUF V in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with FAO, IDRC, World Bank and the Brazilian Ministry of Social Affairs
  • WUF VII in Medellin, Colombia with FAO, Province of Antioquia, ILO, ORU-FUGAR / UCLG and other members of the Food for the City network.

Assistance to IAGU on 3 urban agriculture projects in Dakar, Senegal

The RUAF Foundation implemented feasibility studies and business plans for 3 urban agriculture projects around a dumpsite—earmarked to be closed—under preparation by Institut Africain de Gestion Urbaine (IAGU, Senegal) and assisted in the final design, implementation and monitoring of these projects with active involvement of the actual waste pickers (especially women and youth): a. Sustainable and safe pig production; b. Flower, tree and medicinal plant production; and c. Sustainable and safe poultry production

China-Europe Exchange on urban agriculture and the urban food crisis

On behalf of the Fondation China-Europe Forum, the RUAF Foundation, in cooperation with the Development Planning Unit of the London University College and the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resource Research (Beijing), implemented 10 case studies (5 in Europe and 5 in China) on urban agriculture experiences, prepared the “Europe-China Exchange Workshop on Intra- and Peri-Urban agriculture to face the urban food crisis” in Nanjing and presented the main results of this exchange at the Europe-China Forum meeting in Hong Kong.

Assistance to the World Bank for the Expert seminar on peri-urban horticulture

The RUAF Foundation, together with an expert from the University de los Andes in Colombia, contributed to the preparation of the expert seminar on high value horticulture in/around fast growing cities in eastern and southern Africa,  organized by the World Bank and GlobalHort, by assessing national and municipal policies in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Nairobi and Nakuru (Kenya), Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and  Antananarivo (Madagascar) and their constraints and opportunities for peri-urban horticulture, and  through preparation of the paper “The growth of cities in East-Africa: consequences for urban food supply”.

Evaluation of IDRC-funded programme in Tunis

The RUAF Foundation led the mission that implemented the final evaluation of the project ‘’Valorisation des eaux pluviales et grises en agriculture urbaine pour l’amélioration des conditions socio-économiques de la population défavorisée de l’ Ariana-Soukra, Tunis’, funded by IDRC (Canada). 

Paper on the socio-economic impacts of urban agriculture for FAO

The RUAF Foundation implemented a desk study and prepared an overview of available research data on the socioeconomic aspects of intra-and peri-urban agriculture for the Food and Agriculture Organisation. This overview was based on three studies done in 2002 and 2003, of the profitability and sustainability of urban farming, one by the International Water Management Institute in Ghana, one by the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD) in Thailand, and a third study by Danso et al. (2003) with a focus on Africa. FAO requested RUAF to integrate the results of the above studies, to put them in a wider context, using additional published and unpublished information available, and to add a section on policies. 

Assistance to PAPUSSA (Production in Aquatic Peri-urban Systems in SE Asia)

RUAF Foundation partner ETC assisted PAPUSSA, an EU funded research project coordinated by the Institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling (Scotland) that analysed peri-urban aquatic food production systems in 4 cities in Southeast Asia, to engage with senior stakeholders and facilitate policy uptake of the research results, by preparing a set of 4 Policy Briefs based on the project results, and by organising an online dialogue with policy makers and senior officers. 

Evaluation of the urban agriculture projects supported by Heifer International, and strategy advice

RUAF Foundation member organisation ETC visited selected urban agriculture projects in the USA supported by Heifer International in order to evaluate the achievements and failures of their urban agriculture programme in North America. RUAF also contributed to the development of Heifer’s strategy for supporting urban agriculture projects in developing countries (preparation of a discussion paper and a strategy formulation workshop).

Assistance to the DIOBASS in formulating an urban agriculture programme for the Great Lakes region

The RUAF Foundation assisted the regional NGO network DIOBASS to analyse the potentials and limitations of urban agriculture in cities in the Great Lakes region in Rwanda and DR Congo, to design a regional programme on urban agriculture and to bring together potential project partners (including NGOs, universities, local and national governments and urban farmer groups) from 9 cities in the region.