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PROLINNOVA at the GFAR conference in Dakar

At the Second Triennial Conference of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) on 22–24 May 2003 in Dakar, Senegal, Prolinnova was presented both as a poster (also now on this website) and as a PowerPoint paper by Monica Kapiriri during the session on “Rural Knowledge Systems and Innovation Processes”. Monica was formerly with Environmental Alert in Uganda and is now with the Aga Khan Foundation based in Tanzania and is the spokesperson for NGOs in the GFAR Steering Committee. Already when she was a member of the NGO Committee (NGOC) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in 2000–2002, she was involved in developing the concept for Prolinnova. Environmental Alert is now the NGO in Uganda that is facilitating the multi-stakeholder process of designing a Prolinnova programme in that country.

Other important past achievements and events

In March 2003, IIRR, LBL (Swiss Centre for Agricultural Extension) and ETC – with funds from SDC (Swiss Development Cooperation) – compiled a CD-ROM on participatory innovation development.

In October 2002, IIRR published Participatory Technology Development for Agricultural Improvement: Challenges for Institutional Integration, based on African, Asian and Latin American cases analysed in the Philippines workshop.

2004 National Workshop

Prolinnova National Workshop in Sudan

The Prolinnova National Workshop was convened on November 29, 2004 at the Meridien Hotel - Khartoum in Sudan. This was attended by people from

  1. Agricultural Research and Technology Corporation (Wad-Mdani Rearch Station, Kassala Research Station, El-Obeid Research Station and El-Fashir Research Station);
  2. Academic Institutions: (University of Juba, University of Sudan for Science and Technology, University of Khartoum and University of Gezira);
  3. Technolgy Transfer and Extension Administration;
  4. Pastoraists Union Representative;
  5. Three farmers;
  6. Representatives of three Local NGOs;
  7. A representative of Save the Children UK Organization;
  8. Humaniterian Aid Commission;
  9. Director General of the Natural Resources Section of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry;
  10. 10- Representative of the daily local news letters.

Among others, the State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Dr. El-Fateh Mohammed Saeed, attended the opening session and addressed the workshop participants. He mentioned that, coming from a family who practice agriculture he knows that the farmers have their own local ideas that should not be ignored, but we should rather build on their ideas and try to supplement what they start or what they observe. The programme idea is acknowledged by all the Scientists from the Agricultural Research and Technology Corporation who attended the workshop. Dr. Hassan Osman El-Awad from El-Obied Research Station mentioned that the idea of involving the farmers and pastoralists in the research ideas is applied at their research station and also at El-Fashir Research Station. Therefore one of the workshop recommendations was to apply the idea of the Farming Systems Research in all other research stations. This approach will enable the farmers and scientists discuss the research topics together and come up with what the farmers suggest for the scientists to work on in order to solve their problems. Dr. Sami Ali Hamid from the Sudan University of Science and Technology recommended adding another member to the steering committee from the Academic Institutions. A full report of the workshop will soon be available on the website.

Training in Uganda

On August 24, 2004 the Deputy Director General of Uganda's National Agriculture Research Organisation (NARO) , Dr. John Aluma, opened a training for researchers and field extension workers from NGOs, NARO, UNCST, the National Agriculture Advisory Services(NAADS) and Makerere University Soil Science department. 

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IK Note 70: A woman innovators speaks

Six farmer innovators from Ethiopia took part in the recent international workshop on Promoting Local Innovation (PROLINNOVA), which was held in March 2004 at the Furra Institute of Development Studies in Yirgalem, Southern Ethiopia. Over 60 participants from Africa, Asia and Europe took part. They discussed experiences in building multi-stakeholder partnerships to promote participatory research and development that starts with recognizing the dynamics of indigenous knowledge.

Report on the First International Workshop on Promoting Local Innovation (Prolinnova)

 8–12 March 2004, Furra Institute of Development Studies,Yirgalem, Ethiopia

In March 2004 the first international workshop of Prolinnova partners was held at the Furra Institute of Development Studies in Yirgalem, Southern Ethiopia. It was hosted by AgriService Ethiopia (ASE), the NGO that serves as Secretariat of the Prolinnova partners in Ethiopia. Financial contributions for the workshop and its documentation came from CTA, Misereor, the World Bank IK Initiative and the GFAR. The non-governmental and governmental participants in the workshop shared experiences in developing country-level partnerships, discussed their national action plans and planned international activities and governance.

Bibliography on Impact Assessment of PR and GA

The PRGA Program ( has contracted a research liberian to produce an annotated bibliography on impact assessment of participatory research and gender analysis in plant breeding and natural resource management research. At this point she is only collecting information about referred journal articles published in English, but we hope to expand the scope of the bibliography at a later stage.

PROLINNOVA Oversight Group


Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG) has been formed to ensure effectiveness of the Prolinnova International Programme and transparency and accountability to the country-level partners, their constituencies and the donors. The group consists of seven members: three from the Prolinnova Country Programmes, one from the International Support Team and three external members. ETC Ecoculture serves as ex officio member and as Secretariat of the POG.

After a procedure of nominations and voting by the country partners, agreed during the first International Prolinnova workshop in March 2004 in Ethiopia, the following persons were approached to become members of the POG and have agreed to serve for a first term of two years:

International PROLINNOVA Workshop

8–12 March 2004, Yirgalem, Ethiopia


Prolinnova is an international NGO-led initiative to build a global learning and advocacy network on promoting local innovation in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management (NRM). The focus is on the dynamics of indigenous knowledge and learning, and on how research, extension and other actors in development can strengthen the capacities of smallholders, livestock-keepers and fisherfolk to adjust to changing conditions: to develop and adapt their own site-appropriate systems and institutions of resource management

Netherlands contributes to expansion of PROLINNOVA

As of January 2004, DGIS (Netherlands International Cooperation) is contributing to the building up of multi-stakeholder partnerships to promote local innovation also in Cambodia, Nepal, Niger, South Africa, Sudan and Tanzania, with a focus on combating land degradation. Over a period of four years, this will help Prolinnova function as an international network convened by civil-society organisations seeking to institutionalise participatory approaches towards environmentally sound use of natural resources.

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