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ROSA Food Security Network Migrates to the Platform

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25 March 2013

Last week capacity4dev launched the updated Food & Nutrition Security – ROSA group. Laura Gualdi, Programme Manager for Food Security at EuropeAid, shares her thoughts on the importance of knowledge management tools and the advantages of integrating the ROSA (Réseau Opérationnel de Sécurité Alimentaire) network into a wider platform.

Set up in 2007 by EuropeAid, ROSA is the European Commission’s (EC) Operational Food Security Network. It comprises over 300 practitioners working on food and nutrition security in the European Institutions, as well as with non-governmental organisations (NGOs), research institutes, and regional and international organisations. The network is supported by a virtual space to exchange ideas and share knowledge, and provides access to information on issues relating to food security. 

Until recently the ROSA community was housed in a platform accessible only to its members. It is currently being transferred to capacity4dev, which - once complete - will make the Food & Nutrition Security – ROSA group one of the largest on the platform and the ideal space for those working in this area to share, grow and learn from each other. This integration has also opened up the ROSA community. “A year ago we realised that there is information that is worth sharing with a wider audience,” explained Ms. Gualdi, who hopes that this migration will both increase exchanges among ROSA members, and contribute to more engagement on capacity4dev.

One of the main driving forces behind the network was to open up a direct communication channel with people that have experience working on the ground. However, since “food security is quite a cross cutting issue,” Ms. Gualdi explained that one of the reasons ROSA moved to a more extensive platform was that “it offers the ROSA practitioners the opportunity to interact with other groups dealing with overlapping topics, which makes the sharing of information and the shift from one subject to another easier.”

The ROSA document library contains 700 documents in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. These include meeting outcomes, seminar presentations, ROSA newsletters, and key documents; particularly those representing the basis of EC food security initiatives.

A small group of ROSA members have also been identified as regional or topical focal points for the network. Ms. Gualdi hopes to introduce them as peer-to-peer supporters that capacity4dev members can contact through the Peer Support tool with questions related to food and nutrition security issues.


ROSA is currently managed by EuropeAid’s unit for Rural Development, Food Security, Nutrition working alongside a team of experts. This same unit also manages two other groups on capacity4dev on the topic of Agriculture and Rural Development. “We will clearly have to make an effort to try to use and develop all these groups in a harmonic way, considering that it is the same unit supporting them,” said Ms. Gualdi. “Since capacity4dev is trying to increase the ability of EC staff to manage knowledge, I think it’s really important that this ability is developed internally, which doesn’t mean that we will not need to still have external support, but we really need to take ownership of this technology.”

She encourages EC staff to consider capacity4dev "not as a project but as a tool that we have the reflex of using spontaneously every time we need to communicate and manage knowledge. Only by doing this will [knowledge sharing tools] become economically sustainable.”

The migration to capacity4dev is an important milestone in the EC's effort to rationalise knowledge sharing platforms in EuropeAid. Although managed by the Food Security unit, ROSA was created with support from the Training, Knowledge Management, Document Management unit at EuropeAid. Giulio Groppi, who works for this unit was involved in the collaboration and commented that he is pleased to see how the network has evolved over the years. He believes that this recent migration is an important step forward in consolidating knowledge management within EuropeAid.

To mark the launch of ROSA, we are currently highlighting the topic of food and nutrition security. Ms. Gualdi hopes that this will be a real opportunity for ROSA to showcase different issues and to attract a new audience.



Click here to watch this video in French. 

The ROSA website will shortly be taken offline, however, all of the content has been archived both on and on a CD-ROM. The disk contains the old newsletters, seminars, presentations, and the document library (including all policy and evaluation documents). This is particularly valuable as a starter kit for new staff in EU delegations, to provide them with what they need to know about food and nutrition security and to help them figure out their first steps. If you would like to request a copy of the CD-ROM please email


Join the Group

If you are already a member of capacity4dev, work in issues relating to food and nutrition security and are interested in joining this group, then please visit the group home page and request membership. 

If you do not yet have a profile on capacity4dev please click here to register

Already a ROSA member?

You should shortly receive an email from the ROSA moderating team explaining the migration, what this means for you, how to create a profile on capacity4dev and how to access the new group. If you joined ROSA since September 2012, then you should have been informed of this migration at the time of joining, and you will have already been asked to join capacity4dev.

If you are experiencing any difficulties then please contact:


This collaborative piece was drafted with input from Laura Gualdi, Giulio Groppi, Vanessa Alby-Flores, Marie-Christine Lebret and Raymond Lataste with support from the Coordination Team.


DISCLAIMER: This information is provided in the interests of knowledge sharing and capacity development and should not be interpreted as the official view of the European Commission, or any other organisation.

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