Platform for African – European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development

Monday, July 1, 2024

Agroecological transition - the role of research in co-design and support of innovations

1 July 2024
. InfoPoint Hybrid Conference: "Agroecological Transition: The Role of Research in Co-Design and Support of Innovations

The DeSIRA initiative aims to support research and innovation projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America, while strengthening research capacities and governance by involving key actors at national, regional, continental and global levels. This initiative represents a major commitment to promoting agroecological innovation worldwide.

This InfoPoint shared research approaches and positions, as well as the changes they enable, through the testimony of three DeSIRA projects: 

  • Co-construction with local actors: Dinaamicc emphasizes co-construction with local actors to ensure the response to the real needs of communities.
  • Open innovation: the project integrates open innovation, accelerating the process of innovation and adoption (scaling). The DeSIRA program has enabled a scaling-up in the appropriation of solutions identified a few years ago.
  • Scaling process: by focusing on accelerating and expanding innovations, Dinaamicc aims to maximize the impact of agroecological practices within local communities.
Sustenta & Inova Brazil
  • Project setup and impact path: these projects emphasize the design and implementation of projects with deep reflection on the impact path. They allow the definition of clear objectives in line with the needs of local actors.
  • Rural Forums: the establishment of rural forums facilitates the appropriation of new agroecological practices among local communities. Research support allows innovators to gain scientific legitimacy, promoting the dissemination of solutions.
  • Training of leaders: the project includes training programs for local leaders, thereby strengthening their capacities to adopt and promote innovative practices.
  • Articulation with local policies: they work closely with local decision-makers to integrate innovations into municipal strategies, ensuring effective adoption, implementation and relay.
  • Technical innovation and policy dialogue: this project introduces technical innovations and facilitates their approval at the local policy level by integrating them into territorial strategies.
  • Role of scientific "broker": acting as a neutral mediator, Asset ensures scientific legitimacy and facilitates informed decision-making. Farmers, relying on scientific bases, strengthen their legitimacy with decision-makers.
  • Multi-scale collaboration: from local policies, the work extends to international bodies, including the UN, to foster a legal framework conducive to scaling up. In this context, Asset participates in the development of ASEAN guidelines on agroecology.
These experiences illustrate the importance of the research-development continuum, the continuity of research, and its central role in the co-design of agroecological innovations. They also highlight the importance of key mechanisms (participatory approaches, capacity building, science-policy interface) that foster the use and impact of these innovations.

  • Leonard Mizzi, Head of Unit, INTPA F3- Sustainable Agri-Food systems and Fisheries
  • Philippe Petithuguenin, Director General for Research and Strategy, CIRAD France
  • Andry Rasamimanana, Head of Ceffel Center – Madagascar, Partner in Dinaamicc project (presentation in French)
  • Emilie Coudel, Researcher, CIRAD France, Sustenta & Inova project (Brazil)
  • Sayvisene Boulom, Head of Food Lab at National University of Laos, Partner in Asset project

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