In March 2017, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) launched the National Learning Alliance (NLA) for the Sustainable Agricultural Intensification Research Learning Alliance (SAIRLA) project in Ethiopia.
During the first phase of the Africa RISING program (2012-2016) the three projects set up innovation and R4D platforms to support learning, sharing collaboration and joint actions. These experiences were critiqued at the recent program science for impact workshop to guide phase 2 interventions.
One of the main ‘program-wide’ changes in the second phase of Africa RISING is the institutionalisation of ‘communities of practice’ (CoPs). Five initial pilot CoPs were officially launched at the first science meeting of Africa RISING phase 2, in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania between 17 & 19 January 2017.
Insights from the results of an evaluation of different Africa RISING technology packages per farm type and per region in Northern Ghana.
The U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Bureau for Food Security in Washington DC has announced funding for a second 5-year phase of the Africa Research in Sustainable Intensification for the Next Generation (Africa RISING) program beginning October 2016.
The final innovation platform meetings in all four regions where Africa RISING is present in Ethiopia took place in June and July 2016. These meetings offer a chance to look back at some of the achievements, issues and questions around the project and its upscaling efforts. Experiences from the platform meetings show that promising scaling up activities are taking place with strong support from partners.
In September 2015 the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) installed solar pumps in Upper Gana and Jawe, two research kebele sites of the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands .
Addressing the question of how to sustainably intensify farming systems can benefit from collaborative and iterative social learning processes. This post reflects on what Africa RISING is doing and could do to strengthen social learning, based on interviews with program staff.
Since 2013, the Africa RISING project in Sinana district (woreda) has engaged local partners in its research for development interventions in two villages (kebeles) to test and evaluate technologies that work best in the local context, identify innovations preferred by farmers and support scaling up within and beyond the woreda.
Two innovation platforms (IPs) and two technology parks were launched recently in southern Mali. The IPs aim to facilitate knowledge sharing while the technology parks will provide infrastructure for farmers and agriculture students.
Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands organized the 2nd woreda level strategic innovation platform and Kebele level operational innovation platform meetings from 14 December 2014 – 16 March 2015.
It has not easy to measure innovation platforms (IPs) contribution to research and development outcomes. From ILRI’s experience, the complex nature of issues that IPs try to address and the more emphasis given to effective integration of IPs into the research process, rather than evaluating their contribution to intervention outcomes, have contributed to an information gap.
The 2nd Lemo woreda Innovation platform (IP) meeting was held on 19th Feb 2015 in Hosanna, the capital of the woreda. The focus of the meeting was to share the findings of the action research the project carried out in 2014 to local partners for potential scaling up.
The IITA commissioned external review of Africa RISING East and Southern Africa project concluded on 16 March after nearly five weeks of literature review, project stakeholder interviews and field visits to project sites in Tanzania and Malawi.
Agricultural scientists and researchers from over 30 nations gather today at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in Ibadan, Nigeria, for the International Conference on Integrated Systems for Sustainable Intensification in Smallholder Agriculture, which lasts through March 6.
Technical leads of the Africa RISING project in West Africa, East and Southern Africa and Ethiopia took part in a cross learning exchange on sustainable intensification from 28 January to 4 February 2015.
In Africa RISING, innovation platforms are one of the mechanisms of ensuring research is put into use and actually contributes to solving real problems that are based on a real demand. Here is an overview of the theory, practice and perspectives around innovation platforms in the program.
Facilitators play key roles in making sure the IPs function well. This manual is prepared for innovation platform facilitators in Africa RISING Ethiopia sites to help them get the basics of facilitating innovation platforms.
The leadership committee of Tanzania’s Babati District research for development (R4D) platform, JUMBA (Jukwaa la Utafiti kwa Maendeleo wilaya ya Babati) recently held a two-day retreat to refine its constitution, vision and mission and to develop and prioritize JUMBA activities for 2015.
The Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands aims to establish Innovation platforms(IPs) at different levels to better involve many local stakeholders to address common challenges and opportunities in agricultural sector.
The Africa RISING program in Mali is looking to recruit two MSc Candidates from West Africa to join the team and contribute to ongoing activities. The program is currently working on establishing two research hubs (in Bougouni and Koutiala) in an effort to integrate multiple activities to achieve the overall objectives of the research program. Natural …
Research-for-Development platform by Africa RISING in Babati District, Tanzania is stimulating learning and innovation about productivity, nutrition as well as opening up business possibilities for farmers within the locality.
In September 2014, Africa RISING partners in Ethiopia received training on innovation platform (IP) facilitation, coordination and M&E. More than 50 people attended, including partners from CGIAR centres, regional research institutes and centres, universities, woredas and kebeles working with Africa RISING.
Innovation Platforms (IPs) have been established at Africa RISING research sites to bring together key local stakeholders to support integrated approaches to strengthen farming systems. These platforms help members to jointly conduct participatory research that identifies technologies and management practices that work for farmers.
The second Africa RISING program learning event brought together over 65 staff and partners in Arusha, Tanzania, from 11-12 November 2014. They shared lessons and ideas to improve farm typology work, innovation systems and platforms, and dust off the program framework to gear it towards serious scaling up for the remaining two years.
Following the recent workshop on ‘Integrating Gender into Agricultural Programming’, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian Highlands has decided to engage ‘gender champions’ to raise gender awareness, cultivate gender equity and ensure sustainability of gender work in the project.
In this interview, Per Hillbur introduces himself and his work with Africa RISING. It is one of a series of portraits of key people in the project.
Recently, several CGIAR staff and national partners from the Africa RISING project and the Humidtropics Program in Ethiopia travelled to Kisumu, Kenya (from 22-27 June 2014) to attend a training organized by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) on how to set up and operate innovation platforms (IPs).
In February 2014 a team of Africa RISING researcher traveled to Basona Worena woreda to establish the woreda as well as kebele-level innovation platforms.
To this end a field visit was organized in Sinana in June 2014 to identify farmer research groups for crop and livestock related action research protocols. The project team was able to identify farmers that will participate in different research groups.
In April 2014, the Africa RISING project organized a field trip to establish four strategic (woreda level) and eight operational (kebele level) Innovation Platforms (IPs) in its sites (Basona Worena in Amhara, Endamehoni in Tigray, Lemo in SNNPR and Sinana in Oromia).
In the past few months, the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands has initiated the the establishment of local innovation platforms in each of its four sites. The start-up process has been documented in a series of short photo ‘trip’ reports.
A recent study by ICRAF presents information on tree-crop-livestock farming system constraints in the four Africa RISING project sites in Ethiopia. It identifies local innovation platforms as a key mechanism to prioritize and work together on problems and solutions in each site. Specific roles and implementation modalities are set out.
The partners of the Africa RISING project and the Babati District Council have launched the Babati District Research for Development (R4D) platform to facilitate the uptake of the project’s innovations in the district. Babati District in Northern Tanzania is one of the three district the project is working in in Tanzania. The platform will help in setting priorities for the research and ensure sustainability of the project.
After launching of the Babati District Research for Development (R4D) platform the Africa RISING partners and beneficiaries have high expectations of the the platform and those selected to the Platform’s Committee to represent various stakeholders have very clear ideas on their roles. The platform was well appreciated and many feel it will play a key role in pushing for the adoption of the new innovations and technologies generated by the project’s research.
In March 2014, rhe Africa RISING team visited Sinana woreda aiming at briefing agricultural research, development and other stakeholders about the program’s and the project’s activities, and initiate the establishment of Innovation Platforms (IPs) with key partners.
In February 2014, a meeting was conducted in Maichew woreda, Tigray region, as part of establishing innovation platforms in the Africa RISING project sites in Ethiopia.
In February 2014, the Africa RISING team from Addis Ababa travelled to Lemo woreda with the aim of initiating Innovation platform at different levels.
This post was drafted by Terry Clayton based on contributions by Beth Cullen (ILRI) at the Participatory Agricultural Research: Approaches, Design and Evaluation (PARADE) workshop held in Oxford from 9-13 December 2013. In his keynote address at the PARADE workshop, Professor Paul Sillitoe offered insights into how theory informs practice. Beth Cullen’s presentation on day …
Agricultural research is still seen primarily as research in plant, animal and soil science that affects crop production. The social, economic, and political bases of crop production and land management have most often taken a back seat to the design of technical interventions. Participatory research is still seen as an ‘add on’ after the ‘real’ research has been completed. Farming systems research and Robert Chambers’ work on ‘putting farmers first’ created an impact, but participatory approaches are still marginal within agronomic research. How do we change that?
What must we do to gain wider acceptance of participatory agricultural research methods within the mainstream of the CGIAR system and beyond? Professor Paul Sillitoe (Department of Anthropology, Durham University) believes the answer to the question will in no small part depend on addressing some of the deep-seated contradictions within development discourse. In his opening keynote, Professor Sillitoe outlined the deeply entrenched incongruities that PAR practitioners must resolve, or at least acknowledge. The list is long (17 points in all), which underscores how deeply conflicted our discourse is.