New directions for Inclusive Pluralistic Service Systems
documento de debate
Autor (es): 
Wongtschowski, M.
Bitzer, V.
Hani, M.
Blum, M.

A growing variety of public and private agricultural advisory services are available today, leading to increasingly ‘pluralistic service systems’ (PSS) where advisory services are provided by different actors and funded from different sources. This is generally regarded as an important step forward, as it steers away from relying on purely state-led or privatised service systems. PSS hold the potential to overcome constraints related to funding, staffing and expertise, and to make advisory services more demand-driven. But are they really able to reach the hundreds of millions of farmers in need of services? Reality seems to indicate that too many farmers still fall through the cracks between service providers and remain without any services at all. The inclusive character of PSS thus warrants closer attention. What are the characteristics of pluralistic service systems that are necessary to improve access to services for small-scale farmers? What actors, policies and mechanisms are needed to make such a system work in practice? How can public and private actors support service providers in improving the quality, relevance and reach of their services? These were some of the questions that the FAO Expert Consultation on Inclusive Pluralistic Service Systems, held in Rome in May 2016, aimed to address. This paper presents a synthesis of the expert consultation deliberations, and highlights a set of key messages and policy recommendations on the main themes of accountability, coordination, financing mechanisms and scaling of inclusive PSS.

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