Prolinnova Country Platform Coordinators’ Meeting in Entebbe

The Global Partnership Programme (GPP) Prolinnova met in Entebbe, Uganda, on 5–7 June 2005. The meeting showcased a participatory approach to designing a GPP through joint planning and review of country-level activities and using this as a basis for planning inter-country activities. The agenda for the meeting included: reviewing the progress of building country-level partnerships related to participatory innovation development, learning from the challenges and best practices in facilitating multistakeholder (primarily farmer-extension-research-education) partnerships, harmonising Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) within the global programme, exploring opportunities for mutual learning with other networks and agreeing on the operational plan for 2005–06. The meeting was scheduled to coincide with the Third General Assembly of the Forum on Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA) to give opportunity to Country Programme (CP) coordinators to attend the FARA pre-plenary meeting of NGOs to set up a consortium on agricultural research and development in Sub-Saharan Africa.

View or download the full Entebbe meeting report with the corresponding annexes:

View or download Code of Practice for Participatory Innovation Development (PID), as improved in the Entebbe meeting.

One of the highlights of the Prolinnova meeting included a presentation of the experience of the African Highlands Initiative (AHI) in institutionalising participatory research in natural resource management. AHI shared a model that explicitly empowers and builds the capacity of resource managers and users, an approach that requires deliberate adaptations, paradigm shifts and conquering individual and institutional barriers between and among stakeholders.

An important achievement of the meeting was the formulation of the Prolinnova Vision: A world in which farmers play decisive roles in agricultural research and development for sustainable livelihoods and its Mission: Foster a culture of mutual learning and synergy in local innovation processes in agriculture and natural resource management.

In small groups, eight priority themes were discussed by the participants using an innovative group-discussion methodology called “World Café”. The themes included: country mutual support, local innovation, documentation, farmer mobilisation, mobilisation of other stakeholders, participatory programme management, resource mobilisation and code of practice in PID. A new topic emerged out of the discussions of the priority themes: capacity building for partnership building. The participants discussed the themes as these relate to conceptual understanding, implications for Prolinnova CP operations, support needs of the CPs and potential action required from different groups within the GPP: CPs, Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG), and the International Support Team (IST).

The discussion on PM&E within Prolinnova flowed naturally from the formulated Vision and Mission and affirmed the overall goal of the programme. The M&E document prepared during the 2004 Prolinnova meeting in Yirgalem, Ethiopia, was reviewed for better articulation of desired results and indicators. Suggested indicators for various levels of results – output, outcomes and impact – were generated. The CPs agreed to identify PM&E focal persons to work with the IST focal person to continue sharpening the Prolinnova PM&E.

The participants also discussed various opportunities for mutual learning, resource mobilisation and capacity building. Potential activities and networks for mutual learning include the 2005 evaluation of the GFAR GPPs, of which Prolinnova is one, and working with the Participatory Research and Gender Analysis (PRGA) System-Wide Initiative of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) on enhancing awareness and appreciation of farmers’ innovation and support to women innovators. Ideas for resource mobilisation include the IST inventory of funding sources, the Innovation Support Fund proposal, sharing by CPs of specific fundraising efforts and tapping human resources through volunteer groups such as the VSO and DED. The Training of PID Facilitators course in the Philippines will be postponed to consider offering the course in early 2006 in collaboration with one or two CPs in Africa. Several CPs agreed to pursue a participatory video initiative proposal with the IST and to explore possibilities for acquiring funds for a joint project.

The three-day meeting was attended by the coordinators or technical advisors of the Prolinnova CPs in Cambodia, Ethiopia, Nepal, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda, the Chair and two members of the National Steering Committee of Ghana and a representative from a new country platform in Kenya led by the Intermediate Technology Development Group (ITDG). Others in attendance included IST and POG members.

The Entebbe meeting was hosted by the Steering Committee of the Prolinnova-Uganda CP, coordinated by the Ugandan NGO Environmental Alert.

View photos of the Entebbe meeting in the picture gallery

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