For the November 2011 ‘liveSTOCK Exchange’ event at ILRI, Keith Sones and Alan Duncan prepared an issue brief with lessons on ways to establish and facilitate multi-stakeholder networks on smallholder agriculture in developing countries. …
Between 2007 and 2010, the Fodder Adoption Project (FAP) – funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and coordinated by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) – adopted innovation systems approaches to address issues around inadequate livestock fodder.
This issue brief draws lessons on ways to establish and facilitate multi-stakeholder networks on smallholder agriculture in developing countries.
One of the clearest lessons is that different actors participate in multi-stakeholder networks when they can identify tangible benefits, preferably with an early pay-off, that justify their investment of time, effort and resources. Put more simply, the networks must provide positive tangible answers to the question ‘what’s in it for me’?
Across the project countries – Ethiopia, Syria, and Vietnam – such networks worked best in situations with good market access and infrastructure, with a wide range of stakeholders, and where challenges were clear and tangible.
Our experiences highlight the need for a new breed of professional with wide-ranging facilitation and brokerage skills. This has major implications for recruitment by research and development organizations as well as for academic curricula
The ten lessons from the project are grouped into four clusters: Mobilizing stakeholders and establishing networks; facilitating networks; evolution of networks; and the applicability of networks.
On 9 and 10 November 2011, the ILRI Board of Trustees hosted a 2-day ‘liveSTOCK Exchange’ to discuss and reflect on livestock research for development. The event synthesized sector and ILRI learning and helped frame future livestock research for development directions.