Working Group Policy

A Working Group is a set of people selected for their expertise, or experience, to collaborate in order to produce a specific deliverable. A working group can be comprised of individuals from different roles, divisions, or organizations. The purpose of forming a working group is to enable the sharing of information and opinions between selected individuals to achieve the desired outcome.

TABIO has formed 3 working groups which are Seed working Group, Soil Healthy Working Group and GMOs and Emerging Technologies Working Group.

The Role of the Working Groups

The role of the working groups are to:

  • generate advocacy information on the subject matter
  • awareness on issues related to seed, soil, genetically modified organisms and emerging technologies
  • share advocacy information/knowledge on issues that require joint efforts
  • be informed and engaged in the advocacy work around seed, agroecology and food sovereignty
  • work with members and identify any community issues related to the potential solutions, and
  • receive feedback from stakeholders outside the working groups and serve as an Ambassador between the group and the other stakeholders

Who can be part of Working Groups?

The working groups are made up of representatives of TABIO members who are working on seed and agroecology related issues.

Working Group Coordination

The Working Groups is under the coordination of TABIO Coordinator. Also are the co-coordinator (co-chair) and secretary who are selected from the member organizations.

Roles and responsibilities

The Working Group Coordinator will:

  • provide leadership to the Working Group
  • call meetings of the Working Group at least three per year or when need arise.
  • Chair meetings of the Working Group or delegate this to someone else if he is not able to attend
  • explore the ways of strengthening the Working Group both in content development and inviting more relevant members.

The TABIO Secretariat will:

  • capture the minutes of the Working Group meetings
  • provide reasonable back-up to the coordinator and group
  • write quarterly updates and annual reports for the Working Group

Members of the Working Groups will:

  • join meetings as much as possible, sending apologies where this is not possible.
  • give feedback on written documents that relate to the Working Group
  • identify and follow issues related to the subject matter that require joint advocacy actions.
  • help keep the Working Group active and dynamic.
  • share the responsibility of ensuring the success of the process and the quality of the outcome
  • keep his/her organization informed about the perspectives, concerns and interests of the working group
  • actively participate in discussions
  • acknowledge and try to understand other’s perspectives
  • deal with differences as problems to be solved, not battles to be won
  • stay focused on the task at hand
  • refrain from distracting others through side conversations
  • concentrate on the content of the discussions and allow the facilitator to focus on how to promote productive discussion

Working Group Principles

The Working Groups will keep in mind TABIO’s overall principles which express TABIO’s values and underpin its effectiveness.

The Working Groups will also follow and assess itself from time to time against the following principles, aimed at making the working group as effective as possible:

  • ensure a space where TABIO members can advance their own work in a collaborative and continual way.
  • keep meetings regularly, lively and stimulating where members of the Working groups feel free to express their ideas and perspectives.
  • stay informed about TABIO’s bigger vision and direction in advocating for agrobiodiversity conservation in the country also linking with other processes happening at subregional, regional and global.
  • communicate the Working Groups activities and achievements on a regular basis to the TABIO membership
  • keep evolving Working Groups Content, composition and structure

Technical Advisors 

The working group may choose to invite other individuals with special knowledge and expertise related to the priority issue to attend meetings to provide information and/or advice. Advisors will be encouraged to participate in discussions but shall not participate in the decision-making of the working groups.

TABIO members and their Beneficiaries Involvement 

Working groups members serve as conduits for two-way information exchange with their members and beneficiaries. If members and beneficiaries want to provide input to any process going on in the Working Groups are encouraged to channel their concerns and suggestions through individual members of the working group who they feel could represent their interests. Working group members will make a concerted outreach effort to communicate regularly with their members and beneficiaries to keep them informed about the process and the issues under discussion.

Participation and Observation by Farmers’ and consumer representatives 

All working groups meetings are open to the farmers, consumers and observers. They are meant to focus on collaboratively developing recommendations regarding their specific issue affecting them. Farmers and consumers are encouraged to raise their concerns with working group members before or after the meetings, to help ensure that all issues of significant concern are considered in the working group’s deliberation.