Mapping South-South Cooperation in the Arab States

Arab States

Knowledge Access for Rural Inter-connected Areas Network (KariaNet) in the Near East and North Africa Region

Thursday, 25 June 2015 12:14 Written by 
  • Location(s): Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Near East and North Africa, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Type(s): Mechanism
  • Theme(s): Agriculture , Food Security, Knowledge Management, Rural Development
  • SDG(s): 11. Sustainable cities and communities
  • Locations of Agro Solutions: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Near East and North Africa, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  • Types of Agro Solutions: Mechanism
  • Themes in Agro Solutions: Agriculture , Food Security, Knowledge Management, Rural Development
  • SDGs in Agro Solutions: 11. Sustainable cities and communities
  • Locations in the Arab States: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Near East and North Africa, Oman, Iran, Mauritania
  • Types in the Arab States: Mechanism
  • Themes in the Arab States: Agriculture , Food Security, Knowledge Management, Rural Development
  • SDGs in the Arab States: 11. Sustainable cities and communities

The first-of-its-kind Knowledge Access for Rural Inter-connected Areas Network (KariaNet) was established as a regional network for the management and sharing of knowledge, information and experience in agriculture and rural development in the Near East and North Africa (NENA) region. 

In its second phase, the Network embraced u2018open access principles', and through the use of ICT and non-ICT tools made knowledge available to its stakeholders, consisting of development practitioners, government agencies, researchers, private sector as well as national and regional NGOs involved in rural development. 

The aim was to link up the knowledge providers and knowledge brokers with knowledge seekers (two-way knowledge flow) through three thematic networks: 

  1. knowledge management systems and practices in agriculture and rural development;
  2. food security; and
  3. rural enterprise development. 

The Vision:

KariaNet aims to enhance the overall performance and effectiveness of development projects in MENA, to enable the rural poor to overcome their poverty.

The Objectives:

  • To initiate and sustain a knowledge management hub that builds on and expands the existing networks and initiatives on knowledge management and knowledge sharing in rural development in ten countries in the MENA region;
  • To build and sustain national and regional competences needed in networking in knowledge management in food security and rural enterprise development.
  • To enhance knowledge sharing and management culture and practices supported by the use of ICT`s and non-ICT`s tools for agricultural and rural development.
  • To sustain the network after KariaNet II.

The beneficiaries: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen. 

Since 2010, KariaNet II has been testing different methodologies to enhance knowledge exchange across projects, such as learning routes, learning alliances, action research projects and innovation contests. The beneficiary countries in the region were diverse in terms of their contexts, needs and languages, so sub-regional activities were planned in addition to national and regional ones. This created synergies and allowed for productive engagement in issues of common concern. 

  • KariaNet built a regional network with 390 members, trained in documentation and systematization, in how to use KM-KS tools and methods, how to build online KM communities using social media.
  • Implementation of 35 face-to-face activities including: 14 regional-level workshops and review meetings, and 21 national-level workshops and capacity-building activities.
  • Knowledge mapping studies were completed in nine countries to assess the status of KM-KS. These were synthesized into a regional report and policy briefs on the status of KM-KS in MENA.
  • Three action research activities on KM-KS were initiated in Algeria, Egypt and Palestine as a state-of-the-art work on knowledge management in the region.
  • The website (www.karianet.org) served as a repository of knowledge in three languages: English, French and Arabic
  • Google groups evolved into communities of practices, with exchanges around KM-KS (documenting, systematization, learning routes) focusing on regional priorities including water management, farmers` organizations, and access to market

In 2013, the Network was successfully devolved to the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit of the American University of Beirut - the new regional host of KariaNet. The regional projects continue to benefit from the successful methodologies. 

Partners: IFAD, IDRC, IFAD-financed projects in the NENA region and the Environment and Sustainable Development Unit of the American University of Beirut.

Contact details: 
Abdelkarim Sma 
Country Program Manager 
IFAD/PMD/NEN 
Via Paolo di Dono 44 
00142 Rome, Italy 
Tel. +39 06 5459 2500 
Fax + 39 06 5459 3500 
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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