The Organizational Structure:
The organizational structure of AOAD is
considered an important working tool, since it is the channel
through which the organization achieves its objectives. Upon its
establishment, AOAD's organizational structure was suitable for
the period under consideration.However, with the regional and
international changes which have occurred since, and in light of
the newly set Development and Modernization Program, there
proved to be a need for a new organizational structure through
which AOAD's program is to be implemented in the upcoming
The Structure of the Organization:
It consists of the General Assembly members
(Council of Arab Ministers of Agriculture), and on a smaller
scope, the Executive Council members, elected by the GA and
consisting of seven Ministers of Agriculture.
B. Executive Authority:
It consists of the organization's Administration, represented by
The Director General assisted by a Deputy Director General, a
Technical Advisor and a Legal advisor, in addition to a
technical structure of departments, units and centers with their
relevant personnel and technical experts at AOAD Headquarters,
implementing different projects, and at the regional offices.
Each one of the above-mentioned authorities has a specific
mandate and rules by which to abide. They also have
decision-making authority, and demonstrate the required
flexibility and transparency.
The General Assembly:
It consists of the Arab Ministers of
Agriculture, and is considered the highest authority in the
organization. It is the body which sets the strategy and
policies to be followed by the organization, the overall
planning of activities, and is responsible for monitoring the
technical, managerial and financial performance of the
organization. The General Assembly approves the development and
work plans of the organization as well as its internal
structure. It elects the members of the Executive Council,
appoints the Director General and his/her deputy and has the
authority to amend the organization's constitution. Furthermore,
the General Assembly has the right to coordinate the ways of
cooperation between the organization, the member states and the
The Executive Council:
It consists of seven Arab Ministers of
Agriculture elected by the General Assembly members for a period
of two years. The Executive Council meets twice a year. The
Council implements the resolutions passed by the General
Assembly, monitors the performance of the Management of the
organization, and overviews the work plan, schedule, and
resolutions that are to be presented to the General Assembly.
Furthermore, the Executive Council takes decisions on proposals
made to it by the Administration.
The General Administration is the implementing
body for the organization, with the responsibilities and
authorities bestowed upon it by the organization's charter. It
is responsible for the delivery of the work plan approved by the
General Assembly and the Executive Council. The General
Administration is headed by a Director General, assisted by a
Deputy Director General, a Technical Advisor, a Legal Advisor,
administrative personnel, as well as technical and managerial
The organizational chart clearly defines the different
departments, units and centers in the organization, the
horizontal and vertical levels, the reporting lines, the
positions in each department, the in-house facilities, the
external links, etc.
Certain units report directly to the Director General.
The day-to-day management process is set by the Director
General, in conjunction with the management team. Furthermore,
in the decision-making process, the Director General relies on
the active participation of the management team as well as the
entire body of staff in their respective positions. As such, the
work undertaken by the organization -in terms of planning,
implementation, reporting, etc- is based on a true team effort.
An annual general meeting brings together the Administration
with the managers of the AOAD regional offices, and liaison
officers in the Arab region.
The Director General:
The Director General reports directly to the
General Assembly and the Executive Council, and is considered
the main person responsible for the organization's work. He is
appointed as per the procedures set in the organization's
The Director General's duties are mainly to achieve the
organizations objectives, by the day-to-day management process.
he ensures that the resolutions and work plan approved by the
General Assembly and Executive Council are implemented.
Furthermore the Director General is the official representative
of AOAD. As such, he attends international meetings and
conferences, signs bilateral and multilateral cooperative
agreements and memoranda of understanding, and undertakes other
tasks as conferred to him by the General Assembly and/or the
The internal prerogatives of the Director General include:
Appointing staff and experts, as well as terminating contracts
as seen necessary and in line with the rules and regulations of
Specifying the functions of each department, unit and center,
and monitoring their performance.
Ensuring the smooth running of the workflow, including sound
synchronization between departments, information-sharing,
delegation of authority, and clearly set responsibilities and
Submitting to the Executive Council, followed by the General
Assembly, an annual auditing report, approved by the external
auditors or the auditing department of the League of Arab
Preparing a development plan for the organization, and ensuring
Preparing and submitting to the Executive Council and General
Assembly the organization's work plan and its financial
Proposing, when and as needed, amendments to the rules and
regulations for the approval of the Executive Council and the
The Director General Assistant:
The Director General Assistant's main
responsibility is to assist the Director General in the
day-to-day management of the organization. He reports directly
to the Director General, and act on behalf of the Director
General in his absence. The Deputy Director General is appointed
as per the rules and regulations of the organization. Should the
position of Director General become vacant, the Deputy Director
General acts on his behalf until the General Assembly appoints a
new Director General.
The Technical Advisor reports directly to the
Director General. He has a number of responsibilities, namely:
Supervising the work of the specialized centers of AOAD and the
other departments, to ensure that the work is implemented
correctly and within the given timeframe.
Reviewing the preparation of the work plan, and in particular
all technical aspects included in the organization's studies,
training sessions, seminars, etc.
Preparing reports that may be required by counterparts as well
as the General Assembly of the League of Arab States.
Ensuring that the decisions taken by the General Assembly, the
Executive Council, and the Economic and Social Council are
implemented; as well as reviewing reports submitted to these
same entities and proposing changes if needed.
Providing technical advise to the Director General and Deputy
Director General, if and when needed.
Directly Reporting to the Director General:
The units directly reporting to the Director
General are four and consist of:
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (M&E):
The need for an M&E unit arises out of two main considerations:
first, it enables the organization to identify bottlenecks or
potential problems in a timely manner, which permits it to clear
or solve the problem without negatively affecting the overall
work plan. Second, evaluation of the work undertaken, allows the
organization to assess its results, outputs and impact, and
compare with the targets set in the planning phase. This enables
the organization to identify weaknesses, propose solutions for
future projects, and learn from past experience.
In particular, the M&E unit undertakes the following functions:
Within the Monitoring function:
Monitor the timeliness of the tasks
undertaken by AOAD with local, regional and international
Monitor the timely implementation of
Attend meetings of the General
Administration, the Executive Council and the General
Assembly, and prepare the relevant minutes of meetings.
Review the monthly reports of each
department, and the respective comments made, in order to
solve potential problems which may arise.
Within the Evaluation function:
Evaluating the work implemented according to
qualitative performance indicators.
Assessing actual results obtained and
comparing with targeted results.
Direct and indirect impact assessment on
Evaluating the work process in terms of its
effectiveness, efficiency, and cost, and comparing with
Public Relations Unit :
This unit is the liaison between AOAD and many external
entities, and undertakes the following work:
Prepares the necessary travel arrangements for AOAD staff going
on business trips, including meeting them upon their return.
Makes the necessary arrangements for AOAD's guests arriving from
abroad, in terms of accommodation, transport, visits, return
travel arrangements and 'Meet and Assist' services at the
Coordinates with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for all
arrangements needed by the organization, in particular with
regard to duty waivers.
Proposes ways to enhance work of the unit.
Promotes the organization, its objectives, goals, and
Internal Audit Unit:
Reviews all financial transactions as well as
monthly and annual financial reports.
Reviews and compares administrative decisions with the internal
rules and regulations to ensure procedures are in order.
This unit is responsible for the promotion of the organization,
its activities and achievements, through a number of channels,
the most important of which are:
The monthly newsletter which includes the activities, and
achievements obtained every month.
The bi-annual specialized magazine, Agriculture and Development
in the Arab Region. It includes information, articles and
studies written by staff from AOAD as well as by experts
interested in Agriculture in the Arab region. These experts come
from different academic and scientific entities such as
universities, research centers, specialized centers, etc.
The mass media, such as the newspapers, radio and television.
Particular coverage is given to activities held in the host
country and attended by high-ranking member country officials,
such as workshops, conferences, and training sessions.
Furthermore, the unit undertakes the following functions:
Reviews and collects articles published on topics related to
agricultural development in the Arab region, and disseminates it
internally and externally.
Receives information relevant to agricultural development from
AOAD's regional network of offices, and in particular, the
topics which are of interest to member countries. This
information is then disseminated as seen appropriate.
Develops good working relationship with the media, especially in
the host country.
Subscribes in specialized magazines and publications, to gather
information relevant to agricultural development.
The Technical Departments and Specialized Centers:
According to the organization's structure, there are seven
technical departments, each headed by a Department Manager who
reports directly to the Director General, or whoever acts on his
Each department specializes in a field, and within their
specialization, the department staff may assist the Director
General when necessary. When need arises, they may also
represent the Director General in conferences, at meetings with
counterparts, as well as with specialized entities in the member
states. Department staff partake in the preparation of their
section of the generic organization reports that are submitted
to the General Assembly and/or the Executive Council.
Furthermore, department staff are expected to play an active
role within their field of work, namely by:
attending meetings on topics relevant to their work;
following up on the financial aspects involved;
preparing and implementing the work plan;
monitoring the implementation phase and submitting relevant
periodic reports accordingly;
involving the financial department if needed;
coordinating with other departments internally; etc.
Food Security and Agricultural Integration Department:
This department focuses on issues related to food security and
agricultural integration. In particular, the department works
Preparing studies and general plans on the development and
improvement of commodities; and implementing related activities.
Preparing plans on the improvement of, and coordination between,
different agricultural policies with the aim of encouraging a
fully integrated Arab Agricultural policy.
Setting plans for agricultural-related services such as
research, credit provision, training, and disease control, among
Enhancing the capabilities of Arab countries to respond to food
security issues. This includes:
providing foodstuff, either through production or importing;
taking precautions to ensure food provision and securing
alleviating poverty and aiming for sustainable agricultural
encouraging agreements, activities and programs related to the
production, marketing and trade of commodities.
Promoting investments in the field of food production and
Department of Natural Resources and Environment:
This department focuses on the following activities:
Gathering, sorting and analyzing information on the natural
resources available in the Arab region in terms of water, land,
forestry, animals, and pastures.
Creating a database on the natural resources available in the
Promoting the efficient use of natural resources.
Preserving the rights of the Arab states to their natural
Monitoring the socio-economic, legal and environmental factors
affecting Arab natural resources, on the national, regional and
international levels. " Collecting and evaluating data on Arab
Identifying detrimental environmental factors and finding
methods to combat them.
Partaking, on behalf of the Arab region, in the national,
regional and international activities related to natural
resources and environmental preservation.
Training and Capacity-building Department:
This department is concerned with developing and upgrading the
technical and managerial capabilities of Arab cadres working in
the field of agriculture. This entails assisting the member
countries in identifying their training needs; exchanging
experiences and expertise between member countries;
capacity-building; as well as providing assistance to training
centers and training providers within the region.
The Projects Department:
The projects department undertakes all necessary arrangements
for the implementation of national, regional or joint
development projects in the Arab region. Focus is on
agricultural technology transfer projects since the use of
updated technology is considered one of the most important means
of increasing and improving productivity. Upon review, and
according to current priorities, the functions of the department
have been redirected towards greater field presence within the
member states. This entails the following:
direct involvement in the project implementation process;
provision of scientific consultancies and emergency technical
arranging scientific tours and assessment of field trips;
Supervising and monitoring the work undertaken by the project
officers and consulting experts.
The International Cooperation Department:
The main function of this department is to network, create and
develop linkages with Arab, regional, and international
institutions and organizations working in the Arab region. It is
the responsibility of the International Cooperation Department
to prepare cooperative agreements and memoranda of understanding
between the AOAD and its counterparts, in accordance with the
set rules and regulations. Accordingly, the International
Cooperation Department gets involved in activities jointly
undertaken by AOAD with other Arab, regional or international
entities. Furthermore, this department is to actively promote
AOAD, its activities and objectives to counterpart organizations
and entities working in the same field.
Administrative and Financial Affairs
This department takes care of all administrative and financial
affairs of the AOAD. As such, it acts on behalf of the AOAD with
respect to the financial auditing authorities. Furthermore, it
prepares the annual financial reports, the end-of-year budgets,
and keeps an inventory of the organization's assets.
Information and Documentation Department
Today more than ever, with the technology-based resources widely
available, obtaining accurate and up-to-date information has
become a priority. This is particularly the case with the Arab
agricultural sector. Accordingly, AOAD established the
Information and Documentation Department to identify, gather and
sort data relevant to Arab agriculture. This information would
then be used to create reliable databases made available to
interested users. This department is made up of a number of
units and sub-departments.
The functions of this department include:
Creating and maintaining different databases.
Managing and maintaining the computer-based network within the
Developing and managing the organization's website on the
Electronic dissemination of information, through databases, to
Creating and managing the Arab Network for Agricultural
Collecting, documenting and disseminating new concepts emanating
either from the organization itself, or through it, from local,
regional or international entities including academic and
Exchanging published documents with other entities.
Promoting Arab, regional and international cooperation between
academic libraries, documentation, information and research
Improving collaboration and coordination among Arab, regional
and international documentation centers.
Obtaining and updating bibliographical databases.
Providing AOAD staff with the necessary information upon
Obtaining the documents, publications and references needed.
Publishing the annual Arab Agricultural Statistical Yearbook.
Taking part in the preparation of the annual report on the
Development of Agriculture in the Arab Region.
Preparing an annual report on the organization's statistical
Publishing flyers and leaflets with statistical information on
the production, consumption and trade of the main commodities,
including the observed trends and expected forecasts.
Building and enhancing the capacities of persons working in the
field of Arab agricultural statistics, in order to increase the
accuracy and unification of statistical methods within the
Arab Center for Studies and Consultation:
In light of the increase in demand on AOAD in the preparation
and implementation of fee-based agricultural studies, the
General Assembly approved the creation of a specialized center
to cater to this emerging need. Consequently, the Arab Center
for Studies and Consultation was created with the dual-objective
of improving the cooperation between AOAD and the Arab
Ministries of Agriculture on one hand, and between the
organization and other developmental entities and the private
sector on the other hand. More over, the Center aims at
expanding its activities to cover the African and other regions,
in addition to the Arab region.
The Arab Center for Studies and Consultation provides the
opportunity for the exchange of experience amongst Arab
professionals, as well as between them and their regional and
international counterparts. This ultimately leads to an
improvement in performance.
By contracting these studies, the Center has become an
income-generating unit, which provides the organization with
additional resources to undertake its work.
The Center includes a number of units and sub-departments. The
main functions of the Arab Center for Studies and Consultation
Conducting technical and financial proposals for development
Implementing or supervising the implementation of agricultural