A two day workshop will be held February 3-4, 2010 in Nairobi, Kenya to bring together key stakeholders to discuss how agricultural research for development partnerships can be made more effective and thus contribute more to development impact.
The Partnership Workshop aims to increase understanding of how to connect research with development through partnerships including issues, best practices and ways forward. Strong and direct linkages with the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) will help ensure that the lessons learned are made available to a wide range of agricultural research organizations and their partners.
The workshop will focus on highlighting success factors, principles and broad recommendations, which will be presented to a wider constituency at GCARD as part of reframing the agricultural research for development system for greater impact for the poor.
Objectives and Focus
The Partnership Workshop has the following objectives:
1. Increase understanding about what works in terms of organizing partnerships for impact for the poor from agricultural research for development stakeholders, including success factors, weaknesses and challenges
2. Identify the factors that lead to success and develop an agenda for future action research to improve the effectiveness and impact of agricultural research for development partnerships
3. Influence donors to apply their funding to support the changes necessary for effective partnerships that meet the needs of the poor, including mutual accountability and trust, indicators of effectiveness, and management guidelines
The Workshop focuses on "research for development partnerships" that is, the subset of partnerships that aim to produce development outcomes. Research for development partnerships link researchers with other actors across the agricultural innovation system, including producers, service providers, educators, marketing agents, NGOs, community representatives and policy makers and people from other sectors interacting with agriculture to address the needs of the poor (health, environment, transport, education etc). Research for development partnerships are also distinguished by the way they function, with an emphasis on shared knowledge generation (including indigenous knowledge) and adaptation of technology by users to site specific conditions. Because of the wider range of partners involved from innovation to production to markets, the time frame between research and development impact are thought to be reduced and the impacts more sustainable.
Examples from agriculture where such partnerships are most likely to be relevant include: increasing the use of under-utilized plant or livestock genetic resources to improve the livelihoods of the poor; developing options for sustainable management of water, land and forest resources upon which the poor depend; linking stakeholders in poor communities to knowledge; and improving policies and facilitating institutional innovation to increase support to the poor; among others.
Participants in the Partnership Workshop will include:
1. Practitioners involved in agricultural research for development partnerships including those from international, regional and national public sector agricultural research institutes, civil society organizations and the private sector;
2. Partnership specialists will complement practitioner knowledge with theoretical knowledge and experience from other sectors.
Meeting dynamics and outputs
The Workshop will be anchored in the practical experiences of those who are working in agricultural research for development partnerships, representing different “angles of vision” on partnership effectiveness. A range of people experienced in partnership development and management will also be invited to share their experiences.
A combination of presentations and highly interactive working sessions will promote dialogue and knowledge sharing. Participants will be invited to either prepare papers or share materials, which will be made available on the web and used as the basis of experience sharing during the Workshop.
Workshop conclusions will be synthesized in a summary report, and then communicated to leaders of agricultural research for development organizations through briefing notes, follow on presentations and a dedicated page on the ILAC web site, where all associated workshop materials will be made available.
Linkages with GCARD and the CGIAR Change
The Partnership Workshop will inform the debate about agricultural research currently taking place through the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD), scheduled for 28 March – 01 April, 2010 in Montpellier France. A presentation based upon the workshop summary report will be presented in the GCARD session dedicated to partnerships. Broad guidelines and principles developed during the Partnership Workshop will be made available for use as appropriate in the CGIAR Change Process and to other agricultural research for development organizations.
Organizers and Supporters
The Partnership Workshop is being organized by the CGIAR Institutional Learning and Change Initiative (ILAC) and the Global Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (GFAR). It is made possible by a generous grant from the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Workshop will be hosted by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).