Prolinnova–Tanzania hosted IPW in March 2011

Prolinnova–Tanzania hosted IPW in March 2011The annual International Partners Workshop (IPW) was hosted on 21–25 March 2011 by the Prolinnova–Tanzania National Steering Committee and the coordinating NGO PELUM–Tanzania (www.prolinnova.net/tanzania). About 30 people from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe took part. It was preceded by a “writeshop” on experiences made by eight of the Prolinnova Country Platforms (CPs), including the one in Tanzania, in piloting Local Innovation Supports Funds (www.prolinnova.net/lisf). 

The first day of the IPW, held in Dar es Salaam, was open to other Tanzanian stakeholders in agricultural research and development. The Tanzanian Minister of Agriculture, the Honorable Professor Jumanne Maghembe gave the keynote address and formally opened the IPW. This day included an information market, presentation of the international and Tanzanian activities of Prolinnova, launching of a video on local innovation and participatory innovation development (PID), and launching of an associated project “Including Smallholders in Agricultural Research for Development” (INSARD; www.pelumrd.org/index.php/insard-argo-research).    

The following four days of the IPW were held in Morogoro and focused on key dimensions of Prolinnova work: mainstreaming gender in PID, strengthening multi‐stakeholder partnerships, integrating farmer organisations into Prolinnova, reviewing the network’s performance in 2010 and agreeing on future actions, including diversifying both in-country and external sources of funding. It was also an opportunity to interact with the civil-society organisations coordinating INSARD, which held its inaugural meeting at the same venue.    

The Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG; www.prolinnova.net/content/prolinnova-oversight-group), which had met in Dar es Salaam just before the IPW, briefed the network on its decisions. These included the welcoming of a newly formed CP in Cameroon (www.prolinnova.net/cameroon) and the go-ahead for an initiative to start a Prolinnova multi-stakeholder platform in India (contact: Ms Sonali Bisht sonalibisht@yahoo.co.in).    

This IPW was the first one organised without funding support from the Netherlands Directorate General for International Cooperation (DGIS). The fact that the network was able to organise the IPW using diverse sources of funding, including own funds from participants and their organisations, is an important sign of Prolinnova’s growing maturity and independence.     The proceedings of the 2011 IPW are now available under: www.prolinnova.net/resources/ipw-resources