The Management Team of SASSCAL, consisting of the Acting Executive Director, the 3 Directors of the Regional Secretariat and the 5 National Directors representing the African member countries, met in Windhoek during late September, 2016, to draft the SASSCAL Strategy 2.0 for submission to the Governing Board. Inputs for the Strategy were collected during national and regional workshops that were conducted during late 2015 and in 2016 (refer to a report on the Regional Science Workshop in the 2nd edition of the SASSCAL News, and on the Capacity Development and Services Brokerage Workshops in the current issue). The document will be scrutinized and debated by the Board in Windhoek on 20 and 21 October 2016 during a joint workshop with the Management Team. Once amendments and improvements have been incorporated, the Strategy will be finalized for submission to the Council of Ministers in early November 2016. It is expected that the Council of Ministers will sign-off the SASSCAL 2.0 Strategy during their inaugural meeting to be held on 24 November 2016 in Windhoek. The Governing Board decided in 2015 that a new 5-year regional strategy should guide SASSCAL’s direction in terms of future funding, long-term sustainability and institutional transformation. The strategy needs to follow a bottom-up approach in setting the new regional knowledge agenda and has to be based on national concerns that were refined into regional priorities. A value chain approach has been followed in developing the SASSCAL 2.0 Strategy and in determining the three pillars of SASSCAL, namely research management, service brokerage and capacity development. Building on the achievements of the first phase of SASSCAL, the new Strategy focuses more on regional relevance and demand-driven efforts to produce useful services and capacities to address climate change, land use management and other human-environment problems. In this way, the SASSCAL 2.0 Strategy will ensure that SASSCAL’s interventions are for the benefit of those people most vulnerable to the effects of climate change and unsustainable and destructive land management practices.
SASSCAL Acting Executive