First (virtual) meeting of new Prolinnova Oversight Group

The Prolinnova Oversight Group (POG), the governance mechanism of the Prolinnova network, has a new composition after recent elections and held its first (virtual) meeting on 25 November 2014. The POG consists of 9 persons: 4 elected by the Country Platforms (CPs) and 1 by the International Support Team (IST) plus 4 independent persons, nominated and elected by the CPs and IST.

JOLISAA & Prolinnova lessons presented to EC & other CGIAR donors

At a day-long workshop in Brussels on 7 Nov 2014, the European Commission Directorate General Development and Cooperation (DEVCO) presented its new approach to research and innovation for sustainable agriculture and food and nutrition security (www.egfar.org/sites/default/files/files/DEVCO%20Research_Innovation.pdf). Among several speakers, Ann Waters-Bayer from the Prolinnova International Secretariat at ETC Foundation presented the lessons learnt in the EU-funded project Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture (www.jolisaa.net) and the continuing work of Prolinnova (www.prolinnova.net) along the same lines.

Recognising farmer innovation: the Phiri Award in Zimbabwe

In October 2014, the first Phiri Awards for Farm and Food Innovators were made to farmers in Zimbabwe. The award is named for Zephaniah Phiri, a renowned water-harvester and ecological farmer in Zvishavane District. In the words of Ian Scoones, who worked with him for several years, his innovations in wetland farming over 50 years earned him first arrest and then national and international recognition. The Phiri Award opens up a new chapter in advancing endogenous innovation in Zimbabwe.

WorldFish: Farmer-led innovation key to lasting change

WorldFish, the host organisation of the CGIAR Research Programme Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS), has made a podcast of an interview with Boru Douthwaite, the scientist who leads the research theme on knowledge sharing, learning and innovation. Here, he talks about farmer-led innovation as key to lasting change: https://soundcloud.com/worldfish/farmer-led-innovation-key-to-lasting-change

For those of you who are interested in reading more about the study on farmer-led research to which he refers, there is a PPT with key lessons and a 4-page paper posted on the Prolinnova website under www.prolinnova.net/content/farmer-led-research-featured-tropentag-prague ; the full study can be found under http://www.prolinnova.net/content/prolinnova-cgiar-study-farmer-led-rese...

Click here for the transcript of the podcast with Boru Douthwaite.

Prolinnova in CGIAR Development Dialogues

A member of the Prolinnova International Secretariat at ETC Foundation, Ann Waters-Bayer, took part in the CGIAR Development Dialogues on 25 September 2014 in New York City. This event focused attention on the vital role of research in crop farming, livestock, forestry, fisheries, landscapes and food systems in achieving the emerging United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Dialogues featured lively panel debates among research scientists, high-level policymakers, private-sector players and people from philanthropic organisations, academic institutions and civil-society organisations.

Farmer-led research featured at Tropentag in Prague

A study of farmer-led research, carried out by Prolinnova in partnership with two CGIAR research programmes (CRPs), was presented at the Tropentag Conference on International Research on Food Security, Natural Resource Management & Rural Development, held in September 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic. The study examined the documented impacts of CSO-facilitated “informal” agricultural research and development (ARD) in terms of food security, ecological sustainability, economic empowerment, gender relations, local capacity to innovate, and influence on ARD institutions.

International Partners Workshop 2014 in Cambodia

On 12–15 May, the annual International Partners Workshop (IPW) was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. This celebrated the 10th anniversary of Prolinnova as a global partnership. Even though some last-minute travel problems prevented participation of people from two of the Country Platforms, the workshop recovered from this disappointment and developed into one of the more intensive and productive IPWs in the past decade.

SOLLINKKA: SOcial Learning LINKing Knowledge with Action

A 3-year collaboration (2013-15) is underway between Prolinnova and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) under the title "Social Learning LINKing Knowledge with Action" (SOLLINKKA). This fits into CCAFS’ theme “Integration for decision-making”, which aims at making knowledge useful for policymakers and ensuring effective engagement of rural communities in research. In SOLLINKKA, Prolinnova partners are engaging in social learning on the ground to demonstrate the value of the Participatory Innovation Development (PID) approach in strengthening resilience of farming communities in the face of climatic and other change, e.g. through:

CLIC–SR 2014 coordination & co-learning meeting

The Prolinnova Country Platforms (CPs) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda held a one-day regional project meeting for coordination of and co-learning from CLIC–SR (Combining Local innovation Capacities with Scientific Research) funded by Rockefeller Foundation, USA. The main topics covered this year were:

1) Strengthening capacities in Participatory Innovation Development (PID)
2) Linking farmer innovation with science through joint experimentation and Local Innovation Support Funds (LISFs)
3) Issues related to monitoring and evaluation, partnership and policy dialogue
4) The way forward for the final year of the project, planned to run until August 2015.

During the Prolinnova International Partners Workshop (IPW) immediately after their respective regional meetings, held simultaneously, the CPs involved in CLIC–SR in eastern Africa and LINEX–CCA (Local Innovation and Experimentation for Climate Change Adaptation) in southeast Asia facilitated a joint session on enhancing community resilience to externally driven change, climatic and otherwise.  

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