ARmini-workshop Nov2020

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Mini-workshop: The future of Africa RISING, SI and systems research in One CGIAR
3 - 5 November 2020
Virtual via Zoom
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Logistics

  • Dates/times: 3, 4 & 5 November; each time 15:00 – 17:30 East Africa Time
  • Link: [add link]



Introduction
The future of Africa RISING beyond Sept 2021 came up during a number of recent Program Coordination Team meetings. Major points raised include:

  • How will Africa RISING fit within the changes in the CGIAR coming into effect in 2021? Are we considering another phase? AR phase II finishes on paper in September 2021, but there may be a no cost extension considering the time frames for the release of funds.
  • The question about whether there is a next phase in the horizon for Africa RISING has also come up during the Internally Commissioned External Review (ICER).
  • There is a need to work out some of the larger issues about the program, its medium-longer term future. For example, with the Excellence in Agronomy initiative, which is moving along rapidly. Do we need to somehow place Africa RISING within it or on one side of it conceptually?
  • There is a need to further clarify and be more specific on the work going forward (in AR) and what the deliverables are. In part because it is necessary to see this taken up more through a common research & development agenda with other donors.
  • Other additional topics that would be useful to discuss include: (i) Systems research within the ONE CGIAR reform process – Excellence in Agronomy? (is it a big enough “Big Lift” for “systems research”) – What is the AR perspective/definition of systems research; (ii) Livelihood analysis of AR communities (IFPRI working on this); (iii) Advancement of SIAF—how to improve and advance its use; (iv) Re-direction of AR strategy?; (v) Refocus on USAID mission communication & needs; (vi) Increased support for regional agriculture innovation systems (e.g., CORAF iREACH); (vii) Much greater focus on synthesizing, evaluating, and communicating findings; (viii) Capturing impact of innovations; and (ix) “Exit” strategy for Africa RISING?


Meeting Objectives

  • To review and agree on existing and yet-to-be-produced legacy products of Africa RISING.
  • To reflect on the future of Africa RISING beyond September 2021 in the context of the One CGIAR, in terms of its research agenda, funding mechanisms, and other relevant dimensions
  • To reflect on the possible role of SI & systems research in the One CGIAR and how this could be accommodated in the context of the ‘global research domains’ and ‘regional integrated programs’
  • To agree on next steps and priority activities for 2021 and beyond to streamline AR activities towards integration in the One CGIAR as per above suggestions


TENTATIVE AGENDA
Day ONE [3 November 2020]

Time Activity Lead/Facilitated by
FOCUS: AR legacy (Presentations to feature highlights on program/project impact, Return on Investments (RoI), achievements. See guide shared by JG)
15.00 - 15.10 Opening remarks/introduction to objectives & background of the meeting S. Moyo
15.10 - 16.00
  • [10 min. per regional presentation]
Keynote presentations by the 3 regional projects:
  • East and Southern Africa Project
  • Ethiopian Highlands Project
  • West Africa Project
  • Program M&E
  • M. Bekunda
  • K. Mekonnen
  • F. Kizito
  • C. Azzarri
16.00 - 17.30 Actionable conversation:
  • Identification of priority actions for documenting AR scaling, impact and RoI
Hoeschle-Zeledon, P. Thorne, and C. Azzarri

Day TWO [4 November 2020]

Time Activity Lead/Facilitated by
FOCUS: (i) Present and future outlook for SI & Systems research within One CGIAR and beyond, and (ii) possible pathways for AR September 2020
15.00 - 15.10
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Status of the discussion around the research agenda of the ‘One CGIAR’ I. Wright
15.15 - 15.25
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Status of conceptualization of systems research in AR P. Thorne
15.30 - 15.40
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Topline action points for SI & systems research and other donor-led efforts J. Glover
New pathways within one CGIAR
15.45 - 15.55
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Excellence in Agronomy 2030 B. Vanlauwe
16.00 - 16.10
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Transforming Livestock food systems S. Moyo and P. Thorne
16.15 - 17.30 Actionable conversations about four topics listed below in any order preferred [anticipated spill-over into day 3]:
  • The essential components of systems research and how best to document this (with examples)
  • Identifying possible routes for integrating systems research in the ongoing transitions within One CGIAR/Other donor-led efforts an initiative (recognizing many uncertainties).
  • Key legacy products of AR and how to get these integrated in the ‘One CGIAR’ with action plans
  • Identification of priorities for 2021 and beyond in view of earlier discussion towards integrating AR in the ‘One CGIAR’
B. Vanlauwe

Day THREE [5 November 2020]

Time Activity Lead/Facilitated by
15.00 - 15.10 Brief recap of key points/decisions from the actionable discussions initiated on day 2 Facilitator
15.10 - 17.00 Actionable conversations about four topics listed below in any order preferred [continued from Day 2]:
  • The essential components of systems research and how best to document this (with examples)
  • Identifying possible routes for integrating systems research in the ongoing transitions within One CGIAR/Other donor-led efforts an initiative (recognizing many uncertainties).
  • Key legacy products of AR and how to get these integrated in the ‘One CGIAR’ with action plans
  • Identification of priorities for 2021 and beyond in view of earlier discussion towards integrating AR in the ‘One CGIAR’
B. Vanlauwe
17.00 - 17.30
  • [flexible timing depending on emerging conversations]
Wrap-up and way forward S. Moyo

NOTES