A delegation of FARA staff participated at the European Forum for Agricultural Research Development (EFARD) 2016 Annual Technical and Business Meeting held in Prague, Czech Republic from 29-30 November 2016.
With the PAEPARD team’s presentation titled as “The Future of the Users-Led Research and Innovation Partnerships: Learning from the PAEPARD Experience & Engaging with Eastern & Central Europe”, the meeting objectives aimed to deliberate on the future of the Users’-Led Research and Innovation partnerships for achieving greater research uptake and development impact to contribute to achieving the sustainable development goals.
Other objectives include the engagement EFARD with the Eastern and Central Europe AR4D community and finally, prepare the EFARD work plan for 2016 – 2017 including updating the management team composition and assessing options for future hosting of the EFARD Executive Secretariat.
The FARA delegation comprised Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo, the Executive Director of FARA, Dr Jonas Mugabe, the Manager of PAEPARD and Mrs Vesta Nunoo, the Grants Manager of PAEPARD.
Five presentations on PAEPARD activities (CRF, consortia, ULP) were made by African and European partners at the meeting. Among these presentations was the “PAEPARD Innovative Funding Mechanisms and Lessons Learned from Africa-EU AR4D partnerships over the years” presented by Jonas Mugabe and Remi Kahane of CIRAD.
In addition, 3 new documents of PAEPARD were officially launched by Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo. These include a 20-page material titled “Facilitating Innovation in Agricultural Research for Development: Brokerage as the vital link: from assumptions to reality” by Francois Stepman and published by FARA. It highlights lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia, illustrating various impacts of brokerage. The preliminary conclusions may appear obvious at first sight, but will be useful for informing the implementation of brokerage activities until PAEPARD activities end in December 2017.
The second document is a 40-page book titled “Enseignements des consultations sectorielles et multi-acteurs menees dans le cadre de PAEPARD entre 2010 et 2012” by Julie Flament, Denis Félicité-Zulma, Jonas Mugabe et Rémi Kahane. It summarises from multi-stakeholder consultations between African and European ARD and recommends that much attention should be paid to the capacity strengthening of actors, communication, fund-raising, coordination and facilitation.
The third document is an 8-page policy brief titled “Inclusive, balanced, demand-led partnerships for ARD: A consultative process” which outlines the lessons learned from the consultations. It recommends that attention should be paid to engaging researchers and non-researchers in a permanent dialogue, effective communication, capacity strengthening of stakeholders to work together, searching for funding opportunities and coordination versus facilitation.
Dr. Akinbamijo advised that ULP should stimulate home-grown solutions through which science should transform agriculture. He outlined the upcoming African Development Bank (Afdb) initiatives i.e the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) and the African Agricultural Research Programme (AARP) and observed that the ULP to play an important role in those initiatives.