The Prolinnova international network, hosted by ETC Foundation, has entered into a partnership with the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) to explore approaches that enhance knowledge-to-action linkages among actors in agricultural innovation systems. The initiative, in collaboration with scientists at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) on behalf of CCAFS, commenced in October 2012 with a 3-month inception period to plan collaboration in 2013-15.
This collaboration comes under CCAFS’s Theme 4.1 “Linking Knowledge with Action”. It includes developing and spreading “social learning” approaches and tools that help policymakers, development practitioners, researchers and farmers make decisions with a greater understanding of the interactions between local conditions and national and international policies in the face of multiple drivers of change. The collaboration gives an opportunity to scale up Prolinnova activities conducive for social learning, such as multistakeholder platforms, transdisciplinary collaboration in participatory innovation development (PID), mechanisms to change the power balance in agricultural research and development such as Local Innovation Support Funds (LISFs) and various forms of communication and documentation (posters, videos, booklets, community radio etc), including face-to-face communication such as village workshops, innovation fairs, traveling workshops and exchange visits. These on-the-ground activities will allow CCAFS to explore how social learning can increase resilience to change.
The objectives of the inception phase (Oct–Dec 2012) are to identify where Prolinnova and CCAFS overlap in terms of geographical areas of work, and to design joint action-research activities at local level handled by Prolinnova Country Platforms (CPs) and at international level handled by Prolinnova International. The inception activities include:
- developing an overview of the action areas and partners of CCAFS and Prolinnova and jointly identifying opportunities in (initially) East and West Africa for specific activities that this partnership can support;
- developing a workplan and budget for 2013–15 activities with the partners involved;
- writing a strategy paper (including a communication strategy) for this collaboration, describing how to facilitate multistakeholder platforms and draw in relevant partners to build local resilience to change in a farmer-led process;
- designing and preparing an international workshop, in collaboration with JOLISAA (Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture), to be held in May/June 2013, that includes a regional East Africa Farmer Innovation Fair. This activity will be done in collaboration with Prolinnova–Kenya / JOLISAA-Kenya, which will host the workshop and fair, to be held back-to-back with the Prolinnova International Partners Workshop and the Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG) meeting.
The partnership with CCAFS complements the activities recently started by Prolinnova CPs in eastern Africa, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, to Combine Local Innovative Capacity with Scientific Research (CLIC–SR), in order to strengthen community resilience to change.