FARA as a Forum is governed by the FARA General Assembly that meets every three years where it approves the main governance and management instruments such as its Constitution, Ten Year Strategic Plan and Five Year Medium-term and Operational Plan.
The functioning of the Forum between the General Assemblies is entrusted to an elected Executive Board. The Executive Board has a Chairperson nominated alternately by each SROs, confirmed by the General Assembly and serves for three years until the next General Assembly. The Executive Board is comprised of representatives of FARA’s major stakeholders SROs, scientific partners, farmers, NGOs and the private sector with one representative from the FARA investor’s group as observer.
A primary function of the Executive Board is to oversee the plans and performance of FARA’s Secretariat, which itself manages FARA’s programme. The Executive Board has subcommittees on finance and audit, nominations and programmes.
The Secretariat provides the services that FARA stakeholders require in order to function as a continental Forum to capture the added value of thinking and acting across the four sub-regions. These services include, but are not limited to, carrying out the five Networking Support Functions, which require leadership, planning, coordination, facilitation and resource mobilisation. FARA’s participatory approach also requires considerable and continual consultation between stakeholders in the form of workshops, meetings, conferences and other events, many of which are convened and organised by the FARA Secretariat. In providing these services the Secretariat’s responsibilities include:
1. Advocacy and resource mobilisation
2. Supporting networking amongst its stakeholders for the implementation of CAADP Pillar IV
3. Promoting compliance with FAAP principles
4. Linking to the global community, especially with GFAR and the CGIAR
Some of these responsibilities are shared with the sub-regional research organisations (SROs) with FARA bringing a continental perspective.
The FARA Secretariat, led by an Executive Director, as the functional arm of FARA, keeps a lean and flat management structure albeit with no compromise to excellence, rigour, transparency and accountability to its constituents and stakeholders. It recruits high quality professionals to implement the networking support function activities.
The Secretariat is coordinated by the Executive Director’s Office working very closely with the Director of Human resources, finance and administration as well as the networking support functions coordinators led by the Deputy Executive Director.
FARA’s Networking Support Function plan and implement initiatives and projects in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and in compliance with FAAP principles and guidelines.
The Secretariat is entrusted with ensuring that FARA’s Specific Objective is achieved with maximum efficiency and effectiveness. This includes:
Keeping overheads and transactions costs to a minimum
Engaging FARA stakeholders in representing FARA rather than relying on Secretariat staff alone
Being accountable to the stakeholders for delivery of agreed networking support functions
Maintaining financial probity and international accounting standards