Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Stakeholder participation in agricultural research projects: a conceptual framework for reflection and decision-making

Stakeholder participation in agricultural research projects: a conceptual framework for reflection and decision-making. Authors: Neef, Andreas; Neubert, Dieter Agriculture and Human Values, Volume 28, Number 2, June 2011 , pp. 179-194(16)

This article (13 pages) gives an overview of the literature and provides a useful framework for decision making on how to collaborate with intended users of research and making them co-producers of research.


The whole wave of attention to bringing research into use, linking knowledge to action, and knowledge brokering models to promote interactivity provokes kind of a 'deja-vu' feeling, as in agriculture this started in the early 1980's.

Recent discourse in the field of participatory agricultural research has focused on how to blend various forms and intensities of stakeholder participation with quality agricultural science, moving beyond the simple “farmer-first” ideology of the 1980s and early 1990s.

Yet, most existing frameworks of participation in agricultural research still adhere to a linear typology of participatory research with an inherent claim of “the more participation, the better.” In this article, the authors propose a new framework that looks at participatory research elements along different dimensions and attributes and thus takes into account the diversity and dynamics of agricultural research projects.

The framework provides a basis for agricultural researchers engaged in participatory processes with local stakeholders to decide for which issues and in which phases certain participatory elements could be used in a specific research context. Rather than aiming at maximizing the adoption of participatory methods, it can thus become a tool for optimizing the use of participatory approaches in agricultural research.

The authors conclude that this framework can be a starting point for a more thoughtful integration of participatory elements in agricultural research projects that does justice to the multidimensional and dynamic nature of stakeholder participation in varying contexts.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

OECD Conference on Agricultural Knowledge Systems

15-17 June 2011, OECD Conference Centre, Paris. OECD Conference on Agricultural Knowledge Systems (AKS). Responding to Global Food Security and Climate Change Challenges.

Presentations related to Africa:

Andy Hall
Gert-Jan StadsProgram coordinator of the Agricultural Science & Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative at the Rome office of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), "How do fundamental capacity and investment challenges impede African AKS to respond effectively to existing and emerging challenges? Evidence from the Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) initiative". [abstract] [PPT]
Lloyd Le PageChief Executive Officer of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), "Experience with CGIAR reorganisation". [PPT]
Andy HallUNU-MERIT, Netherlands, "Partnerships in innovation systems". [abstract] [PPT]
Julian B. JafthaDirector, Genetic Resources, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa, "Technology transfer in South Africa"
Jaco MinaarSouth Africa, "Farmer's experience with biotech crops"". [PPT]

Related:Workshop on "Knowledge Sharing for Development: Taking Stock of Best Practices", 11 & 12 July 2011. Jointly organised by the KDI Center for International Development & the OECD Development Centre, the Workshop on "Knowledge Sharing for Development: Taking Stock of Best Practices" will take place on 11 & 12 July 2011 in Paris

Related: Publications by UNU-MERIT

  • Kingiri, Ann & Andy Hall, 2011, Dynamics of biosciences regulation and opportunities for biosciences innovation in Africa: Exploring regulatory policy brokering, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2011-023
  • Kilelu, Catherine W., Lawrence Klerkx, Cees Leeuwis & Andy Hall, 2011, Beyond knowledge brokerage: An exploratory study of innovation intermediaries in an evolving smallholder agricultural system in Kenya, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2011-022
  • Hall, Andy, Jeroen Dijkman & R. Sulaiman, 2010, Research Into Use: Investigating the Relationship between Agricultural Research and Innovation, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2010-044
  • Hall, Andy, N. Clark & Andy Frost, 2010, Bottom-up, Bottom-line: Development-Relevant Enterprises in East Africa and their Significance for Agricultural Innovation, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2010-042
  • Sulaiman, R., T. Laxmi, Andy Hall & Jeroen Dijkman, 2009, Tacit Knowledge and Innovation Capacity: Evidence from the Indian Livestock Sector, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2009-058
  • Hall, Andy & N. Clark, 2009, What Do Complex Adaptive Systems Look Like and What Are the Implications for Innovation Policy?, UNU-MERIT Working Paper2009-046
  • Klerkx, Lawrence, Andy Hall & Cees Leeuwis, 2009, Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Capacity: Are Innovation Brokers the Answer?, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2009-019
  • Steglich, Mirjam, Ekin Keskin, Andy Hall & Jeroen Dijkman, 2009, Are International Market Demands Compatible with Serving Domestic Social Needs? Challenges in Strengthening Innovation Capacity in Kenya’s Horticulture Industry, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2009-009
  • Keskin, Ekin, Mirjam Steglich, Jeroen Dijkman & Andy Hall, 2008, Private Capacity and Public Failure: Contours of Livestock Innovation Response Capacity in Kenya, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2008-068
  • Hall, Andy, 2008, Embedding Research in Society: Development Assistance Options for Supporting Agricultural Innovation in a Global Knowledge Economy, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2008-011
  • Hall, Andy, 2007, Challenges to Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems: Where Do We Go From Here?, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2007-038
  • Hall, Andy, 2007, The origins and implications of using innovation systems perspectives in the design and implementation of agricultural research projects: Some personal observations, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2007-013
  • Hall, Andy, Lynn K. Mytelka & Banji Oyelaran-Oyeyinka, 2006, Concepts and guidelines for diagnostic assessments of agricultural innovation capacity, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2006-017
  • Hall, Andy & Jeroen Dijkman, 2006, Capacity development for agricultural biotechnology in developing countries: Concepts, contexts, case studies and operational challenges of a systems perspective. , UNU-MERIT Working Paper2006-003
  • Hall, Andy, 2006, Public private sector partnerships in an agricultural system of innovation: concepts and challenges, UNU-MERIT Working Paper 2006-002
  • Hall, Andy, Willem Janssen, Eija Pehu & Riikka Rajalahti, May 2006, Enhancing Agricultural Innovation: How to Go Beyond the Strengthening of Research Systems, World Bank, More information

Presentations by UNU-MERIT

A new study has matched future climate change “hotspots”

ILRI’s Polly Erickson presents the
results of her study, at a seminar at the World Agroforestry Centre

COPENHAGEN (3 JUNE 2011)—A new study has matched future climate change “hotspots” with regions already suffering chronic food problems to identify highly-vulnerable populations, chiefly in Africa and South Asia, but potentially in China and Latin America as well, where in fewer than 40 years, the prospect of shorter, hotter or drier growing seasons could imperil hundreds of millions of already-impoverished people.

The report, "Mapping Hotspots of Climate Change and Food Insecurity in the Global Tropics" (PDF) was produced by the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS). The work was undertaken by a team of scientists responding to an urgent need to focus climate change adaptation efforts on people and places where the potential for harsher growing conditions poses the gravest threat to food production and food security.

In the map here under, the red areas are food-insecure and intensively farmed regions that are highly exposed to a potential five percent or greater reduction in the length of the growing season. Source: CGIAR

Feed the Future Research Forum

June 21, 2011 June 23, 2011. To further develop the key research challenges and major questions facing the Feed the Future (FTF) international agriculture initiative, the A-P-L-U organized the event, "Feed the Future Research Forum: Engaging the Research Community," in collaboration with the Board for International Food and Agriculture (BIFAD), in coordination with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Presenters include:
  • Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
  • Catherine Woteki, Ph.D., Undersecretary for Research, Education, & Economics, USDA
  • Brady Deaton, Chancellor of the University of Missouri and BIFAD chair
  • Peter McPherson, President of A-P-L-U and former Administrator, USAID
  • Kathleen Merrigan, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director, National Security Council
  • Monty Jones, Executive Director, Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa and 2004 World Food Prize Laureate
    Day 1 Audio Archive Listen to Prof Monty Jones'presentation starting after 2hours 23 minutes of this audio file
  • Jo Luck, President, Heifer International, and 2010 World Food Prize Laureate
  • Gebisa Ejeta, Distinguished Professor of Agronomy, Purdue University, and 2009 World Food Prize Laureate

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ohio State opening affiliate in Africa for crop research

Ohio State researchers are helping counterparts in
Tanzania learn how to increase the food supply in that country.
June 24, 2011. Ohio State University is establishing its second international affiliate, this time in eastern Africa, to manage a $24 million, five-year agricultural research grant to improve crop productivity and secure a stable food supply in Tanzania.

Ohio State is teaming with four other land-grant schools – Michigan State and Tuskegee universities, University of Florida and Virginia Tech – as part of the federal government’s effort to address the root causes of hunger. The U.S. schools will collaborate on research and graduate student training with Tanzania’s National Agricultural Research System and Sokoine University of Agriculture.
Ohio State has conducted research and consulted with farmers in the country for the past decade, including crop market evaluation, pest management research and adaptations to the warming climate.The lead researchers on the project are Mark Erbaugh, director of Ohio State’s Office of International Programs in Agriculture,
and professor David Kraybill, who will move to Tanzania during the project. A project budget calls for the university’s agricultural school to spend about $481,000 over the five years to augment the $24 million grant.

Challenges and innovative processes for Capacity Strengthening in Agriculture for Development

@ the Gchera - 7
7th Conference of the Global Consortium of  Higher Education and Research for Agriculture

Using the opportunity of the 7th Conference of the Global Consortium of Higher Education and Research for Agriculture (GCHERA - 7), which is held between June 27 to 29, 2011 in Beauvais, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), AGRINATURA and the European Forum for Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD) organised a pre-conference workshop on 26th and 27th June 2011 to review the progress to-date and the challenges still pending.

One of the most important initiatives that will be presented is the Tertiary Education for Agriculture Mechanism (TEAM-Africa), but other specific contributions, either thematically oriented (like UNIBRAIN) or focused on specific areas or sub-regions, such as the Engagement of West and Central African Tertiary Agricultural Africa Agriculture Development Programme in the CAADP Processes will also be reviewed.

By bringing together all those who are actively involved in agricultural development to share their views, the CIPCAD2 aims to inspire development and rebuilding of the capacity pyramid (see below) in agriculture, especially in the African context, driven by tangible results for poor farmers.


1.      From CIPCAD 1 to CIPCAD 2: An Update – Prof. Didier Pillot, AGRINATURA
2.      Overview of PCAADP Processes & Capacity Needs – Dr. Martin Bwalya, AUC-NEPAD / Dr. Komla Bissi
3.      Rebuilding the African Human Capacity Pyramid and Estimating Capacity Demands – Mr. Ralph Von Kaufmann, FARA
4.      Restructuring Agricultural Education and Training in Sub-Saharan Africa – Prof. A. Stroebel/Prof. F. Swanepoel, University of The Free State
5.      Plenary Response to Background Presentations - Facilitator

1.      The Pan African University
2.      Technical and Vocational Training
Barefoot Universities
Farmer Field Schools,
FAR network in francophone Africa
3.      Rural Learning Platforms
4.      Linking Universities, Business & Research
5.      Collaborative Research Support Programs (CRSPs)
6.      PAEPARD Multi-stakeholder Partnerships: training to broker

1.      Status of Agricultural Education and Training in the CAADP Investment Plans – Dr. Irene Annor-Frempong /Dr. Nelson Ojijo, FARA
2.      TEAM-Africa Presentation (ANAFE/RUFORUM):
·         How to determine the demand in scope, quality and quantity for trainees and graduates, and how to prioritise actions,
·         The factors that must be taken into account in planning to respond to the diverse demand,
·         The successes, best practices and novel approaches that can be used in reconstructing and expanding the capacity pyramid
·         The costs and benefits and where the financial resources will come from.
·         Who is demanding what from the TEAM Africa,
·         How the mechanism will respond to that demand, and what outcomes are sought and how its success will be defined
3.      Overall Discussion - Chair

1.      The LMD Reforms in French Speaking African Universities: Challenges, Perspectives and Opportunities – Prof. Félicien Avlessi
2.      Engagement of the CRUFAOCI Network in University Reforms in French Speaking African Universities – Prof. Jacques Nanema
3.      Preparing the Conference of Rectors of French Speaking African Universities in November 2011 – Dr. Aissetou Yaye
4.      Summary Discussions - Chair

1.      New Enterprise Skills, Food Value Addition & Access to Markets
2.      New Value & Reward Systems in Universities (going beyond publications)
3.      Integrating Research, Education & Extension
4.      Improving teaching and conditions of service
5.      Investment in Changing Curricular and Introducing Advanced Training Approaches, Aids and Contextualized Courses
6.      Introducing Teaching in Experiential Learning, Soft and Personal Mastery Skills
7.      Overall Discussion - Facilitator

Sustainable Nutrition Research for Africa in the Years to come

EU Funded project (2011-2013). Coordinator Prof Dr Patrick Kolsteren ITM Antwerp, Belgium. SUNRAY is a Coordination and Support Action of the EU FP7 AFRICA call under Grant Agreement nr. 266080

The SUNRAY project will develop a nutrition research agenda for sub-Saharan Africa. 

The main activities in SUNRAY are:
  1. Mapping of current research. SUNRAY will identify the main actors and lines of research in the field of nutrition in Africa. An inventory of all academic and applied research in the field of nutrition in sub-Saharan Africa will be made. The major research topics, research locations, actors and funders will be identified through desk research and mobilisation of existing networks. In addition, a sample of the researchers will be interviewed to analyse the drivers and constraints doing nutrition research in Africa, and understand unmet needs as perceived by African researchers.
  2. Stakeholder analysis. The relevance of the on-going nutrition research will be evaluated from the perspective of different stakeholders such as local policy makers, small and medium size enterprise, health and agricultural professionals, social sector etc. Multi-criteria mapping analysis will be used to identify the research options that each interviewee deems significant, capture their ranking of the options and their weightings of the relative importance of each option.
  3. Assessment of the future research needs in nutrition research. A series of papers (i.e. climate change, markets, demography, social dynamics, water and political dynamics and governance) will identify emerging research challenges for the nutrition research community.
  4. Regional workshops (Tanzania, Benin, South Africa) will be organised to build consensus between stakeholders, develop a coherent research agenda and outline the conditions and actions required to implement it.
Related: Workshop IX at the conference of Leeds: How can plant science research be translated into impact on food security?
  • SUNRAY - Sustainable nutrition research for Africa in the years to come - Patrick Kolsteren

    1. Website created and designed by Polar Design SolutionsWebsite created and designed by Polar Design Solutions
    The SUNRAY Consortium is:

    Institute for Tropical Medicine, Belgium (coordinator)

    Patrick Kolsteren

    Wageningen University, The Netherlands

    Dr. Fré Pepping

    North-West University (Potchefstroom), South Africa

    Prof. Annamarie Kruger

    Sokoine University, Tanzania

    Dr. Joyce Kinabo

    University of Abomey-Calavi, Benin

    Dr. Romain Dossa

    Intermón Oxfam, Spain

    Mrs. Teresa Cavero

    Institute for Tropical Medicine, Belgium

    Carl Lachat

    International Foundation for Science, Sweden

    Mrs. Nathalie Persson Andrianasitera

    Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France

    Dr. Michelle Holdsworth

    Makerere University, Uganda

    Dr. Christopher Garimoi Orach