Action Plan 2015-2017

URGENCI – General Assembly – APPROVED ACTION PLAN: to download the PDF document, click here!
November 22nd 2015, Beijing, China

Principles guiding the implementation of the following action plan:
– Think beforehand of a financial plan together with each action;
– Form a working group (or rather an “Advisory Committee”) that would operate on a specific issue, each advisory group would also be attended by one IC member to bring the topics to the higher level;
– In the action plan that follows, activities have been sorted out by topic and characterized according to how difficult/easy they are and when could they be realized;
– Then, the IC, assisted by staff, should define what are the priorities and launch the advisory committees, based on the common Action Plan;
– Continental/national cooperation should be based on priorities agreed on at international level.

ACTION PLAN
    ⁃    1. Experience Sharing: How can we strengthen experience sharing within Urgenci?
— Through more and focused face-to-face meetings
– Make sure there are URGENCI observers on regional CSA meetings who disseminate URGENCI message
– Cooperation with our allies: URGENCI should be as much as possible represented at allies’ meetings
– Exchanges: Farmer to farmer, network to network, or regional, meetings should be intensified

— By multiplying experience sharing at different levels
– A Mentorship program and a contact directory could be set up, with a list of key persons to be contacted in order to provide trainings
– Continental programs: Within continents or countries, there should be similar programs replicating the European experience sharing projects.
– As a general principle, the focus should be on exchanges on specific topics, on which experience can be shared.

— Increase participatory methods, both on a permanent basis and during our face-to-face meetings
– Use online tools – that allow us to have a long-distance dialogue (for ex. Facebook groups, Instagram, webinars, online classrooms etc.) – ideally open-source solutions
– Webinar technology can allow us to organize seminars on a regular basis with well-known CSA practicioners and advocates
– Our events could be even more participatory (compared to the Symposium in China), and include eating, cooking together, dance, mystica…etc…
– Stories from the field: Case studies can be shared widely, through films, photos (to avoid language barriers), radio interviews

  –    2.  Advocacy
— How can we build up Urgenci’s advocacy capacity?
Principles to conduct a sound Advocacy Capacity building process:
– Alliances: Work with our allies.
– Touch base: Start from the base to build advocacy actions.
– Identify what advocacy is, assess how advocacy is interlinked from local to global, and bring the need for advocacy to the local level.

— Create a systematic process to decide Urgenci’s positioning on major issues
– Core Advocacy Ground: Define what issues should be addressed by Urgenci: all what is not in the pledge should not be addressed by Urgenci.
– Enlarge the Advocacy Group (with the creation of a list…etc…).
– Decision-making Clarification: Agree on a decision-making method that is clear and flexible.

— Communication (both external and internal) regarding Advocacy
– The Pledge that was written in China should be used as the basis for Advocacy, and should be disseminated widely.
Easy
– Communication stream: URGENCI should feed a stream to communicate what is done on a global level to the local level.
– Policy papers: URGENCI should be more active on the publications’ side of Advocacy, with a more systematic trend to issue policy papers, books about experiences, good practices and so forth.
– A work should be started on a Charter defining what CSA are in different contexts. Very difficult, but necessary, a process towards a common and context sensitive definition of CSA would require specific funds.
– Media Outreach: Need to improve our media outreach, for example through a joint Global campaign on a specific key issue.

    –   3.   Communications: How can we improve Urgenci’s internal and external communications?

— Reinforce the website, fed with original content
– Testimonials: Farmer and customer testimonials are very important to give more flesh to the content, to bring a sense of community.
– Centralise Communications: Prioritize website over Facebook and googlegroups.
– Communication Officer: Get an intern working specifically on communication. Make a job description altogether (IC+ Comm).
– Toolkit for newcomers: To make Urgenci purpose and functioning more understandable: who is who, what is happening.
– Website Contributors: Form a collective of regular contributors to the website, ask each organization to make a contribution per month, in order to provide original content. Trainees and studens could help in this respect.

— Make Urgenci work more visible
– Activity Yearbook: Write an Activity Yearbook (in English and French) to be available on the website.  It will be a toolkit for education, follows up what has been done that year.
– Public Relations: Give Urgenci a proper Public Relations Strategy

    4. Tools/resources/research: What are the tools/resources/research that Urgenci can offer to its members?

— Research our movement and assess the challenges CSA are facing
– Result Dissemination: The results should be made accessible to a larger public, thus raising the question of languages, translation and level of language.
– Action-research: Encourage research on impact that is useful for farmers (how to create and sustain CSAs) and based on action-research.
– Database: Collect a database of all members and allies, map them and make the database widely available.

— Shared tools offered by the network
– CSA Toolkit: Develop tools to help people to create CSA and CSA networks, bring and share knowledge: video explaining the worldwide CSA movement; giving the right links, contacts, redirect to allies, mentors.
– CSA Network Toolkit: Realize a video on how to create a new CSA network.
  ⁃    5. Financial Stability

— How can partners support Urgenci in order to increase staff’s capacity?
– Staff time contribution: Member organizations contribute staff time
– Regional Fundraising: Local staff from partner organizations shoud seek funding sources for specific events or projects, as has traditionally been the case for the International Symposiums.

— How to collect more income?
Diversify funding sources as a principle, instead of relying on a particular funder.
Increase Membership: Improve communication about Urgenci actions and propose a different membership model, based on networks’ contributions.

2. GEOGRAPHICAL ACTION PLANS
AFRICA
1.    Identify actors (farmers, NGOs, associations, coops, etc) / Simon
2.    Training and Dissemination programs / Oumar
3.    Organize sub-regional and national meetings and events / Simon & Oumar
4.    Establish advisory committees (both at the sub-regional and national levels) / Simon & Oumar
The project area is delimited to both French-speaking and English-speaking West Africa.

ASIA
What actions do we want to do together? What are our common goals?
1.    Create common directory of Asian CSA models/examples – Narumi
2.    Find variables that can be compared across farms and countries – Narumi
3.    Organise contact people in each country to coordinate exchanges
4.    Collect data (or aggregate existing data) about CSA in each country
1.    Document & share concrete growing (and animal husbandry) techniques, especially traditional ones

How can we network with each other?
1.    Document at a country level what CSAs look like
2.    Share that information & different models
3.    Organise an Urgenci Asia conference every other year; planning stage (Joy & Shinji) / collaborate with IFOAM Asia
4.    Base communication on common, simple data, ideas
5.    In-person communication very important: farm visits, exchanges, short internships
Q/ How do we overcome the language barrier?

What CSA experiences & best practices can Asian CSAs share?
1.    In many Asian contexts: huge rural/urban divides, class divides: successful examples of joint participation in cooperatives & CSA models
2.    Teikei: speaks to power of principles rather than duplicating exact models: applying shared principles in diverse contexts: use Teikei as model for 10 core principles

How can Urgenci support the CSA Asian network?
1.    Money for in-person meetings (and/or online)
2.    Expertise in compiling CSA experiences
3.    Research/ Document different supportive governmental policies – ISOFAR – IFOAM’s research arm
4.    Help connect farmers with funding for farm exchanges
5.    Institutional experience & knowledge
6.    Collaboration with other organizations (eg IFOAM)

LATIN AMERICA
1.    Find out what CSA values are shared and practised in LA
2.   Map organization forms and social movement
3.    Make visible the diversity of groups and actions
4.    Link solidarity economy and food sovereignty axis for actions
5.    Promote PGS strategy to impulse agroecology and strengthen communities
6.    Organise an LA international meeting in 2016
7.    Create Urgenci LA

NORTH AMERICA
1.    Disseminate information about the China conference + Urgenci locally / Elizabeth writes appeal
2.    Map, list all networks and create e-mail list / Fair Share
3.    Focus on organizing a North American conference next fall / Equiterre & find funding for one organizer.

EUROPE

IC Nominations
All those present unanimously supported the nomination of Judith, Denis and Andrea to the roles of international committee members of Urgenci (Zsofi was also elected during the GA unanimously).

Update on EU CSA Kernel activities
A number of initiatives are already under way across Europe, directly coordinated by kernel members.

⁃    Current EU declaration/charter writing process to define a common vision and values for CSA.
⁃    Research group collaborating on and collecting research on CSA for dissemination.
⁃    Erasmus funded ‘CSA training’ program within Be part of CSA project.
⁃    ‘Hungry for rights’ project working on food policy in local councils throughout Europe.
⁃    Logistics project in Belgium creating open source software to improve CSA produce distribution.
⁃    Planning the 3rd EU CSA meeting in Czech Republic September 16th- 18th 2016.
⁃    Recent conclusion of the Eu Gruntdvig funded ‘CSA 4 Europe’, supporting CSA exchanges between thousands of people and the production of a handbook on starting a CSA.

All those present were very encouraged by the progress made so far in Europe.

Kernel Structure & Decision Making
The kernel (meaning coordination group) currently contains up to 20 members and works informally. There was a shared feeling that it is now the right time to create more structure and formality in the kernel. This could include:

⁃    Creating a framework for the role of a kernel member, what is expected? Action: to further this at next kernel meeting.
⁃    Creating a clear decision making process to endorse Urgenci EU positions for those representing Urgenci in Europe.
⁃    Reducing the need for support from Jocelyn and Morgane, thereby freeing them up to do more work for Urgenci globally.
⁃    Creating more transparent ways of communicating and finding activities about Urgenci in Europe. Action: Danijel to add people to the email distribution list ‘EU CSA kernel’ and speak with Fabian about migrating this and other email lists to an Urgenci website forum. Also to create a list of the current discussion groups on the website.
Building on our success going forward

A number of projects were proposed.

⁃    Work more on food policy on an EU level to make it easier for peasant and CSA producers. Sharing guidance and good practice with local,  national authorities and producers. It was noted that Urgenci represents many consumers across the EU and some of the funding for agriculture could be used for a project on food policy.  Action: Isa to share Via Campesina documents on this subject with the kernel.
⁃    Potential to work on ‘guardian’ roles. i.e a consumer ‘guardian’. Action: Isa to share info with kernel.
⁃    Everyone agreed unanimously to support their neighboring countries with CSA development. i.e Jan of the Czech Republic has been supporting the Polish movement. Action: develop ways to make this support working in a regular way.
⁃    It was decided to give some focus to supporting and promoting community-supported fisheries in Europe.
⁃    The Kernel would like to request a regular update from the IC on Urgenci activities worldwide.
⁃    The Kernel will focus on building alliances and projects with key European institutions, foundations and movements, whether environmental, academic, social, or political in nature.
⁃    PGS was noted after the meeting as a potential project. Action, liaise with Eva at IFOAM to discuss potential EU PGS, CSA project.