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Terms of Reference of the Stakeholder Advisory Board

 Updated Terms of Reference of the FACCE-JPI Stakeholder Advisory Board (StAB)

1.             Background

The Joint Programming Initiative on Agriculture, Food Security and Climate Change (FACCE-JPI) was launched in 2010. It brings together 22 countries that are committed to promote greater alignment of their national research programmes and activities in order to tackle more effectively the societal challenges of sustainable agricultural development and food security in the face of climate change.

On February 9th 2012, FACCE-JPI member-countries adopted the permanent governance structure of FACCE-JPI. It is composed of the FACCE-JPI Governing Board (GB), the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) and Stakeholder Advisory Board (StAB), all of which are supported by the FACCE-JPI Secretariat.

The FACCE-JPI Stakeholder Advisory Board (StAB) serves as the key forum for stakeholder organisations to interact with the JPI. Interactions with the StAB go beyond mere consultations, as StAB members’ perspectives are integrated in the entire work cycle of the JPI in view of enhancing the value and impact of its work for stakeholders.

2.             Roles

The roles of the StAB are to:

  • Provide advice to the FACCE-JPI Governing Board on ways to increase the relevance of the JPI joint actions and other activities in light of stakeholder needs.
  • Suggest ways to enhance the dissemination, valorisation and impact of FACCE-JPI joint actions for stakeholders.
  • Act as ambassadors for FACCE-JPI, by representing the JPI at external events of strategic interest, at the request of the Governing Board, in coordination with the Secretariat.

3.             Activities

The StAB will support the operation of the JPI by:

  • Contributing to the elaboration and update of the FACCE-JPI Strategic Research Agenda, e.g., by providing suggestions regarding the Core Themes and specific (short, medium, long term) Priority Topics to be addressed.
  • Proposing topics and issues for joint actions within the framework of the SRA to be included in the FACCE-JPI Implementation Plans.
  • Providing advice on ways to implement the FACCE – JPI joint actions, e.g., via joint calls, training, capacity building, infrastructure-sharing, and knowledge transfer.
  • Taking part in the development, implementation and evaluation of relevant JPI joint actions, in light of specific StAB members’ expertise, interests and capacities.
  • Attending international conferences and major events related to the aims of FACCE-JPI, at the request of the Governing Board. (Such requests should be channeled via the FACCE-JPI Secretariat, with the StAB Chair in copy). 

4.             Membership

4.1          Composition

The StAB consists of a maximum of 22 European or international organisations or initiatives, themselves often representing a great number of other (national/regional) stakeholder organisations active in the food, environment or agricultural sectors.

StAB members come from five broad categories of organisations:

  • Civil society organisations (e.g., NGOs and consumer organisations)
  • Farmer organisations
  • Industry organisations
  • European Technology Platforms (ETP)
  • Other international and European (scientific) initiatives and organisations

Each StAB member organisation is represented by one person. To the extent possible, the same representative should attend StAB meetings in order to provide continuity to the process.

The Governing Board will be informed regularly of any changes in the composition of the StAB.

4.2          Nomination and election

  • A list of potential candidates’ profiles is prepared by the Secretariat with the input from existing StAB members.
  • The GB is then invited to vote for their preferred candidates (via written procedure).
  • Criteria that need to be considered during the vote include: (i) the relevance of the organisation for FACCE-JPI; (ii) the diversity of stakeholders in the StAB (e.g., have a representative mix from each category mentioned above), (iii) the gender balance and (iii) the ability of future members to commit to the StAB, and to rely on their own financial resources to participate in the latter.
  • Upon completion of the vote, the Secretariat approaches the proposed candidates to gauge their interest and availability.
  • Once this process is complete, the Secretariat notifies the StAB and the GB of the outcomes, and communicates the final list of new StAB members.
  • StAB members are normally appointed for 3 years, and their term is extendable up to 1 year.
  • If a StAB member is absent from 3 meetings in a row without extenuating circumstances and without notifying the Secretariat, it will be considered that the member in question has resigned from the StAB.

4.3          Membership renewal

  • The process for renewing the StAB membership normally occurs every 3 to 4 years.
  • A selected set of core members may however be appointed for an indefinite period.
  • If several members leave before the completion of their term and the membership is below 15 organisations, the Secretariat can launch a new nomination process ahead of the timeline indicated above.

5.             Chair and Vice-Chairs

  • The StAB will elect a Chair and at least one Vice-Chair from its members.
  • The Chair will moderate the meetings of the StAB, with the Vice-Chair(s) assuming this responsibility in the event of the Chair being unable to attend.
  • The Chair and Vice-Chair(s) are elected for a 3-year term, extendable up to 1 year upon approval by the GB.
  • To ensure cross-representation between the boards at their respective meetings, the StAB Chair or Vice-Chair(s) are expected to attend GB and SAB meetings. The StAB Chair and Vice Chair(s) can nominate another StAB member to attend these meetings depending on the availability and required expertise for the GB and SAB meeting agendas.

6.             Meetings

6.1       Meeting frequency and attendance

  • The StAB will meet at least twice and up to three times a year at the invitation of the Secretariat. Additionally, the StAB may be convened by the Chair and/or the GB if special circumstances necessitate such a meeting.
  • Regular attendance to meetings is expected and will be a consideration in the renewal process.
  • The StAB, through the StAB Chair and Secretariat, may invite external experts to attend StAB meetings where their attendance would facilitate the discussion.

6.2          Preparation of meeting and meeting documents

  • Meeting dates will be proposed by the Secretariat to ensure that SAB and StAB activities are coordinated well with GB expectations.
  • The Secretariat will prepare an agenda in liaison with the StAB Chair and Vice-Chair(s), taking into account GB priorities. The meeting documents will be sent to the StAB members at least 10 working days prior to each StAB meeting.

6.3       Meeting minutes

  • The Secretariat will produce written minutes of each meeting which shall be the formal record of all discussions and decisions taken. The Secretariat will send these electronically in draft form to all of its members within 15 working days after the meeting.
  • The draft minutes will be considered as accepted, if, within 10 working days, no member has suggested amendments in writing to the Secretariat. The minutes will be formally approved at the beginning of the next StAB meeting.

7.             Decision-making process

  • Quorum: StAB meetings require a quorum of two-thirds, either in person or by video/telephone conference, in order to be able to make decisions.
  • Voting: The StAB makes decisions by consensus.

8.             Expenditure and travel expenses

  • The members of the StAB are not employed by FACCE-JPI, hence they are not paid to participate in the StAB meetings.
  • They are not reimbursed for their travel expenses for StAB meetings taking place in Brussels.
  • However, when asked to attend other meetings related to FACCE-JPI activities on behalf of the StAB outside of Brussels (e.g., joint action working group meetings, exploratory workshops, etc.), their travel related expenses will be reimbursed by the FACCE-JPI Secretariat.


9.             Conflict of Interest (CoI)

  • StAB members will not participate in any decisions or any joint action evaluation committees where a situation or circumstance of personal or professional nature has the potential to compromise their ability to make decisions in the interest of best performing their role in the StAB.
  • In case of a potential conflict of interest, such StAB member will raise the issue with the Chair. The StAB is informed and decides, as a panel, on whether or not the StAB member can participate in the discussion. The StAB will make this decision outlining the situation(s) considered as conflict of interest.
  • Before the detailed scoping of a call text for a FACCE-JPI joint action or call for research projects is due to take place, members of the Stakeholder Advisory Board intending to apply for funding shall indicate their intention to the Chair, the Vice-Chair and the Secretariat. The Secretariat shall then inform the other StAB members about the arising conflict of interest, as well as the Call Office.
  • StAB members with conflict of interest will not participate any further in the preparation of the respective joint action. As a second step, and based on best practice in national and transnational peer review procedures, it is expected that funding partners involved in the call will verify and determine any additional CoI by potential StAB members applying to FACCE-JPI joint calls.