New booklet of farmer-led documentation published !

Farmer-led documentation: learning from Prolinnova experiences is the fourth in a series of booklets that collects experiences of Prolinnova partners from diverse countries in promoting participatory agricultural research and development in ways that enhance local innovation capacities. It captures the experiences of network partners in giving farmers a key role in documenting their own experiences and innovations. It starts with a short introduction to farmer-led documentation (FLD) and summarises how the approach has been developed within the network thus far. More details on hands-on implementation of FLD are described in the five cases based on pilot activities undertaken in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Niger, South Africa and Sudan. The booklet concludes with some key lessons drawn from these experiences and highlights some points for consideration in pursuing the FLD approach.

Welcome to Prolinnova-India!

At the Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG) meeting in Bamako, Mali, in mid-March 2012, a new Country Platform (CP) was accepted into the Prolinnova Global Partnership Programme (GPP): Prolinnova-India. We welcome this newest member in our multi-stakeholder community of practice under the umbrella of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (GFAR).

Prolinnova-India is coordinated by Ms Sonali Bisht, Director of INHERE (Institute of Himalayan Environmental Research and Education). This youngest CP is already involved in a new regional initiative called LINEX-CCA: Local INnovation and EXperimentation: an entry point to Climate-Change Adaptation for sustainable livelihoods in Asia – together with the CPs in Cambodia and Nepal. LINEX-CCA is funded by Misereor, Germany.

LISF case in sourcebook on Agricultural Innovation Systems

The case of Local Innovation Support Funds (LISF) under the initiative known as FAIR (Farmer Access to Innovation Resources), currently funded by Rockefeller Foundation and implemented by eight Prolinnova Country Platforms in Africa and Asia, has been highlighted in the recently launched World Bank sourcebook on Agricultural Innovation Systems. The paper “Providing farmers with direct access to innovation funds” by Bernard Triomphe et al can be found here.

Strengthening local resilience to climate change: the role of grassroots adaptation and PID

Prolinnova contribution to study day on strengthen local resilience to climate change

On 25 January 2012, Laurens van Veldhuizen from the Prolinnova International Secretariat attended a study day on community-based adaptation to climate change organised  by Germany-based Misereor. In his presentation, he shared the findings of the initial work on local innovation and climate-change adaptation undertaken by partners in Nepal, Niger and Ethiopia and outlined how a participatory innovation development (PID) approach can help strengthen local adaptive capacities. His PowerPoint presentation - incorporating some of the comments and findings from the discussions during the study day - can be found here.

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New Misereor project LINEX-CCA in Asia !

On 1 January 2012 a new regional programme was started by Prolinnova partners in Cambodia, India and Nepal. “Local INnovation and EXperimentation: an entry point to Climate-Change Adaptation for sustainable livelihoods in Asia“ is known as LINEX–CCA for short. Misereor, Germany, has approved activities for three years. The content coordination of LINEX–CCA lies with LI-BIRD in Nepal, the administrative coordination with CEDAC in Cambodia. The overall aim is, by using participatory innovation development (PID), to improve the livelihoods of rural communities, especially women, that depend on agriculture and are vulnerable to climate change. Also the capacities of local organisations will be strengthened to support these innovating, experimenting and adapting communities. Evidence will be provided to feed into policy dialogue at national and international level, designed to increase recognition of local capacities and initiatives in dealing with climate change.

African & global extension network meetings in Kenya

Prolinnova was represented by Ann Waters-Bayer of the International Support Team (IST) at the “Showcasing Event” of the African Forum for Agricultural Advisory Services (AFAAS) on 12 November 2011 in Nairobi, Kenya, and at the Second Annual Meeting of the Global Forum on Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) on 13–14 November, also in Nairobi. At the AFAAS meeting, Salim Nahdy was appointed the Executive Director; he was previously with the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) in Uganda, one of the partners in the Prolinnova–Uganda platform. For own work with multi-stakeholder platform for agricultural research and development, Prolinnova partners worldwide may find particularly useful the AFAAS guidelines for “Establishing and Strengthening AFAAS Country Forums”.

Assessing impact of grassroots innovation: Prolinnova–SA paper at GLOBELICS

Brigid Letty from the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) in South Africa, a member of Prolinnova-South Africa, attended the GLOBELICS (Global Network for the Economics of Learning, Innovation, and Competence Building Systems)Conference in Argentina in November 2011. She presented a paper on “Assessing the impact of grassroots innovation in agriculture” (Brigid Letty, Zanele Shezi & Maxwell Mudhara), which explored two cases of grassroots innovation that had been supported through Prolinnova and FAIR (Farmer Access to Innovation Resources).

Strengthening multistakeholder partnerships in Tanzania

Based on six years of experience in facilitating the Prolinnova-Tanzania platform, the coordinating organisation PELUM Tanzania compiled contributions of partners, including farmer innovators, into a booklet entitled Strengthening multistakeholder partnerships: experiences from Prolinnova-Tanzania. The work was co-funded by EED (Evangelischer Entwicklungsdienst), Germany, and the Dutch Government through DGIS and the International Prolinnova Secretariat at ETC Foundation in the Netherlands. The publication includes case studies of farmer-led joint experimentation.

Prolinnova at CTA conference: innovation in agricultural extension

The experience of Prolinnova partners in piloting Local Innovation Support Funds (LISFs) was presented at a session on “Learning networks” at the international conference "Innovations in Extension and Advisory Services" held in Nairobi, Kenya, on 15-18 November 2011. The conference was organised by CTA (Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU) and GFRAS (Global Forum on Rural Advisory Services) to review current policies, thinking and practice in agricultural advisory services and to build a coalition of farmers, development practitioners and policymakers to meet the needs of smallholder farmers.

Prolinnova contribution to 2011 State of the World

In the book 2011 State of the World: Innovations that nourish the planet recently published by the Wordwatch Institute in Washington DC, Prolinnova contributed a chapter on ‘Farmers take the lead in research and development’ (authors: Brigid Letty, Qureish Noordin, Saidou Magagi and Ann Waters-Bayer).

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