About Prolinnova

PROmoting Local INNOVAtion in ecologically oriented agriculture and NRM 

VISION:   A world where women and men farmers play decisive roles in agricultural research and development for sustainable livelihoods

In several countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, diverse organisations have joined forces to promote local innovation in agriculture and natural resource management (NRM). After analysing their own experiences in agricultural research and development (ARD), they have formed Country/Regional Platforms (CPs/RPs), designed their own programme and agreed on joint international activities for mutual learning and policy dialogue. This Global Partnership Programme (GPP) is a Community of Practice that is built from the bottom up, in the spirit of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR).

Prolinnova is an NGO-initiated multistakeholder programme to promote local innovation in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management (NRM). The focus is on recognising the dynamics of indigenous knowledge (IK) and enhancing capacities of farmers (including forest dwellers, pastoralists and fisherfolkappropriate systems and institutions of resource management so as to gain food security, sustain their livelihoods and safeguard the environment. The essence of sustainability lies in the capacity to adapt.

The programme builds on and scales up farmer-led approaches to development that start with finding out how farmers do informal experiments to develop and test new ideas for better use of natural resources. Understanding the rationale behind local innovation transforms how research and extension agents view local people. This experience stimulates interest on both sides to enter into joint action.

Prolinnova International Partners Workshop 2014 in Cambodia

On 12–15 May, the annual International Partners Workshop (IPW) was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This celebrated the 10th anniversary of Prolinnova as a global partnership. Even though some last-minute developments prevented participation of network members from two of the Country Platforms, the workshop recovered from this disappointment and developed into one of the more intensive and productive IPWs in the past decade.

Prolinnova seeks enthusiastic volunteers! / cherche des volontaires enthousiastes! / busca voluntarios entusiastas!

Prolinnova is seeking enthusiastic volunteers!

PROmoting Local INNOVAtion in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management (NRM) is the essence ofProlinnova. In several countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific, diverse organisations have joined forces to promote local innovation in agriculture and NRM.After analysing their own experiences in agricultural research and development (ARD), they have formed Country Platforms (CPs), designed their own programmes and agreed on joint international activities for mutual learning and policy dialogue. 

In 2014, Prolinnova will be celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its inaugural workshop help in Ethiopia in 2004. To keep the spirit and communication with the CPs, enthusiastic volunteers native in English, French and Spanish are needed to assist the network in editing and/or translating concept notes, emails, policy briefs and diverse texts.

CLIC–SR 2014 coordination & co-learning meeting

 

The Prolinnova Country Platforms (CPs) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda held a one-day regional project meeting for coordination of and co-learning from CLIC–SR (Combining Local innovation Capacities with Scientific Research) funded by Rockefeller Foundation, USA. The main topics covered this year were:

1) Strengthening capacities in Participatory Innovation Development (PID)

2) Linking farmer innovation with science through joint experimentation and Local Innovation Support funds (LISFs)

3) Issues related to monitoring and evaluation, partnership and policy dialogue

4) The way forward for the final year of the project, planned to run until August 2015.

Telling the Prolinnova story at Agrinatura Science Days

Susan Kaaria, FAO Senior Gender Officer and Co-Chair of the Prolinnova Oversight Group, represented Prolinnova at the Agrinatura Science Days “Growing together: family farming and agricultural sciences transforming world food systems” on 5–7 May 2014 in Vienna, Austria. The event was hosted by the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in cooperation with Caritas Austria, the Austrian Development Agency, the Commission for Development Research and the Vienna Institute for International Dialogue and Cooperation. In support to the International Year of Family Farming, it brought together researchers and practitioners concerned with smallholder farming and food security in exchange, learning, networking and exploring new research and higher education partnerships. Susan was a speaker in the panel discussion on small-scale family farming and, in a later session, told the story of transformative change brought about by promoting local innovation in the field, using an example of women farmers in Uganda.

Prolinnova option for bridging gap between research & farmers

On 7–8 May 2014, Ann Waters-Bayer of the Prolinnova International Support Team took part in the final workshop on the assessment study of demand for and supply of agricultural innovations for smallholder farming, hosted by the German International Cooperation (GIZ) and ICIPE (African Insect Science for Food and Health) in Nairobi, Kenya. Participants included farmer organisations, NGOs, private and public sector, international agricultural research centres, FAO, EU, regional agencies and GIZ representatives. The assessment in southern Africa was made by Brigid Letty, coordinator of Prolinnova–South Africa.

Learning about LISFs at European IFSA symposium

In April 2014 in Berlin, Germany, Prolinnova’s approach in piloting Local Innovation Support Funds (LISFs) was presented at the 11th European IFSA (International Farming Systems Association) symposium on “Farming systems facing global challenges”. The event was hosted by Humboldt University and attracted 280 people from 35 countries, including some from Africa, Asia and Latin America. The presentation “Multi-level joint learning about locally managed innovation funds” (paper and PPT) showed how social learning was stimulated and facilitated at local, district, national and international level in the process of piloting the fund.

Enhancing systemic research & development in agriculture

At the 2014 IFSA (International Farming Systems Association) Symposium in Berlin, Prolinnova joined a contact group for continuing and deepening collaboration between IFSA and the CGIAR Research Programs (CRPs) on agricultural systems. During a Global Issues session in Berlin, participants re-examined Farming Systems Research (FSR) in the context of reform in the CGIAR system. The CRPs bring together the 15 International Agricultural Research Centres and other research and development partners in partnerships focused on major issues. Three of the CRPs explicitly take a systems perspective.

Enhancing & measuring capacity to innovate

In March 2014, two staff members from the Prolinnova International Secretariat attended a workshop on "Innovation in the System CRPs", organised by the CGIAR Research Program (CRP) Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS). The workshop was hosted by the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) in Amsterdam and brought together mainly people from the CRPs but also a few people from universities and NGOs who are keen to understand, enhance and measure capacity to innovate as part of “Research in Development” (RinD). Important outcomes of this workshop were agreement on the CRP Intermediate Development Goal (IDO) “Capacity to innovate” (see 4-pager – watch this space!).

25-27 Nov: West African Workshop on Research by & with Smallholders/28-29 Nov: West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair

A West African Workshop on Approaches to Research by and with Smallholder Farmers and a West Africa Farmer Innovation Fair (FIPAO in French: Foire de l’Innovation Paysanne en l’Afrique de l’Ouest) will be organised in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, framed in the International Year of Family Farming (2014) and the International Farmer Innovation Day (29 November each year). The fair follows along the lines of the successful experience of the Eastern Africa Farmer Innovation Fair held in Nairobi in May 2013 (see http://aisa2013.wikispaces.com/farmer+fair). 

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