Capacity Strengthening / CapDev / Humid Tropics / HUMIDTROPICS / ILRI / Innovation Systems

Understanding, facilitating and monitoring agricultural innovation processes: Humidtropics holds capacity development workshop in Nairobi

Workshop participants

From 29 April to 2 May 2014, the Humidtropics CGIAR research program held a capacity development workshop in Nairobi.

Organised by the International Livestock Research Institute ILRI), Wageningen UR, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), it brought together platform facilitators, Action Area Coordinators and other key-players from the research program.

The main topics of discussion were agricultural innovation systems, design and implementation of multi-stakeholder platforms (MSP), capturing knowledge and learning in MSP, and reflexive monitoring of MSPs.

Beyond mutual sharing and reflection, participants broadened their networks and gained a better understanding of the terminology and the current state of Humidtropics.

I am a natural scientist and this has been my first introduction to social sciences and it has really been an eye-opener” – Endalkachew Wolde-Meskel (N2Africa Ethiopia)

The workshop design involved an online training needs assessment, a pre and post workshop quiz, and posters capturing the current state of the various platforms. An analysis of these will enable the organizers to refine materials and consider additional learning and training approaches for future workshops.   Similar workshops are being planned in Central America and the Caribbean and the Central Mekong.

The Humidtropics CGIAR research program aims to reduce rural poverty, increase food security, improve health and nutrition and stimulate sustainable resource management. It focuses on subtropical areas in East and Central Africa, West Africa, Central America and the Caribbean, and the Central Mekong region. It works through an integrative research perspective that targets ‘whole’ farming systems in which multi-stakeholder interaction, collaboration and innovation platforms are key.

See a presentation by Iddo Dror and Zelalem Lema on ‘deciphering the DNA of innovation platforms

More workshop presentations:

Workshop posters:

More on innnovation platforms

This story was contributed by Dieuwke Lamers with inputs from Iddo Dror, Marc Schut, Valerie Poire and Peter Ballantyne

One thought on “Understanding, facilitating and monitoring agricultural innovation processes: Humidtropics holds capacity development workshop in Nairobi

  1. Thank you for this very useful update and for the links to the presentations! The embedded presentation above is really helpful, so also a big thank you for this already.

    Just a few thoughts and questions to add to the reflection, here and now but also for the longer run:

    – How did the training assessment work out and what are further plans with it? It sounds interesting to monitor change over time so this kind of baseline data would certainly be welcome;

    – It would be great to share some reflections on the use of reflexive monitoring in action. Having seen some of it at work before, I know it consists of various elements that can be brought in. Which elements have been retained to assess IPs/R4D platforms in this respect? M&E can be an all-time-consuming activity therefore this kind of decision on which assessment methods to go for make sense. Who is actually in charge of coming up with those overall M&E plans for the platforms (if anyone) for Humidtropics?

    – It would be great to have the back story of distinguishing IPs and R4D platforms, since this is a regularly recurring question across CGIAR programs and this presentation seems to have made some decisions, which sound great in terms of providing clarity – but a slide isn’t. Is there a back story to this then?

    – What matters in this work is that the work with these platforms gets done, wherever it comes from. Yet I see interest in exploring the theory and practice of these platforms cropping up from several areas (e.g. in ILRI: Innovation systems scientists coming from projects like NBDC, Africa RISING etc.), CapDev, ILRI comms). How do we make sure we reinforce each other rather than run the risk of duplicating and stepping on each other’s toes? In other words how do we coordinate this work to best support a strong theoretical embedding linked with ongoing reflexive practice (and indeed ‘practical practice’)?

    Just a few for now, more might come, so this has been a great conversation teaser (to me anyway)… Hope this conversation really makes it to the Humidtropics website too. I’m really disappointed that there are not comment options on it yet…

    Thanks again and keep up the great work Iddo, Zelalem and team!

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