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Knowledge & Learning

Knowledge & Learning is a cross-cutting theme incorporated into the design and implementation of each country project and is a key function of the Regional Hub. Activities that support Knowledge & Learning, or Knowledge Management, work to capture, analyse, and disseminate the cumulative knowledge and experience of each RFS project and programme as a whole.

Why is there a need for Knowledge & Learning activities in RFS countries?

Why is Knowledge & Learning critical for building resilient food systems?

How are RFS countries implementing Knowledge & Learning activities?

When implementing large-scale development projects and programmes in the agriculture, natural resources, and environment sectors, Knowledge Management is often “treated as an afterthought”, according to the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel. The cumulative experience of a programme or organisation is an under-utilised resource that, if used correctly, could improve project impact, sustainability of project outcomes, and long-term capacity development. 

Knowledge Management systems exist within resilience building projects and programmes, but often fail to be effectively embedded into project design and implementation. This shortcoming is both a product of and results in a lack of resources or expertise dedicated to Knowledge & Learning. Because Knowledge Management is not adequately formalised or incentivised, projects fail to capture and apply knowledge of what works and what doesn’t within adaptive management processes and within broader policy and decision-making processes. 

Well designed and executed Knowledge Management systems that allow for frequent exchange of knowledge, documented learning and project adaptation can lead to transformational change. Ongoing Knowledge Management activities support RFS teams in translating evidence and project experience in to accessible products and tools that can feed into project design and implementation processes as well as decision-making and policymaking processes at the local-, national-, and continental-level. Making sure key stakeholders have the right information at the right time can improve the quality of decision-making and build efficiency both within and between projects. 

By building Knowledge & Learning activities into each of the RFS country projects, RFS is contributing to growing Communities of Practice that operate within agriculture, natural resource management, and food security domains. Each of the RFS country projects operate within unique contexts, yet they all face common challenges. Communities of Practice capitalise on that commonality, connecting practitioners and stakeholders across countries and regions for peer-to-peer knowledge exchange, support, and collaboration.

Knowledge & Learning activities take place both within country projects and across the RFS programme as a whole. Within the programme, the Regional Hub is responsible for identifying, capturing, and disseminating knowledge for use and for learning for the country projects and external audiences. Through our Implementing Agencies, RFS offers an array of tools, methods and knowledge exchange approaches to connect country projects with each other and with the Regional Hub for support on implementation, filling information gaps and scaling-up learning. The Regional Hub develops knowledge products and tailors knowledge platforms, such as the Science-Policy Interface and the Resilience Atlas, to disseminate knowledge and key information and evidence to country projects in support of improved decision-making and project implementation. 

The Regional Hub also organises South-South learning exchanges, annual workshops and webinars and cultivates relationships between country project for learning and collaboration. In May 2019, the RFS Uganda project team travelled to Kenya to see first-hand the technologies and approaches the RFS Kenya project is implementing to improve smallholder access to water and restore degraded riverbanks in the Upper Tana catchment. In March 2029, RFS project teams visited project sites in the Northern Ghana to learn how local farmers and communities are benefiting from Payment for Ecosystem Services, women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming, Village Savings and Loans, and community engagement activities. 

Explore the RFS Country Projects to see more examples of how RFS countries are implementing Knowledge & Learning activities.

Stories from the Field

Explore our stories from the field to learn more about how RFS country project teams are implementing activities related to the programmatic theme of Knowledge & Learning.

Relevant resources

We have a growing library of reports, briefs, case studies, media, tools and guidelines. Explore all resources related to Knowledge & Learning to get greater insight into our programme activities.

  • Resilient Food Systems 2020 Programme highlights

    02 April 2021

    This presentation provides an overview of the key highlights, emerging lessons and experiences documented in the 2020 RFS Annual Report.


    Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the presentation shows the significant progress RFS made in 2020. Through the 12 country projects and Regional Hub, the programme engaged over 1.4 million beneficiaries. Over 150,000 hectares of previously degraded land have been restored through mechanical and agronomic interventions. The adoption of sustainable practices has greatly contributed to land restoration goals—over 160,00 farmers have been trained by RFS projects in sustainable land management approaches and technologies. Throughout 2020, RFS projects delivered global environmental benefits while building the resilience of smallholder farming communities and production systems to stresses and shocks – work that is essential for responding to crises now and in the future. 

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    Resilient Food Systems Communication and Knowledge Management Strategy

    02 April 2021

    The Communications and Knowledge Management Strategy lays out a framework for advancing communications and knowledge management efforts within the Resilient Food Systems programme. It supports the development, implementation, coordination and assessment of communication and knowledge management actions throughout all RFS projects, contributing to the overarching objectives of Resilient Food Systems and the programme’s theory of change.

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    Resilient Food Systems Knowledge Management Toolkit

    02 April 2021

    Effective communication and knowledge management go hand-in-hand and are crucial to development – whether in the form of dissemination of guidelines or recommendations, advocacy, promotion, press relations, persuasion, education, conversations, roundtables, consultations or dialogue. Sometimes, providing information is the most powerful strategy available. This toolkit offers a quick-reference guide of how to apply knowledge management in the context of the Resilient Food Systems programme to effectively capture and disseminate knowledge in a strategic way to achieve project outcomes.

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