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Africa RISING Program Strategy Workshop
6-8 October 2015
Salon 'Yeleen' (main room) + break out rooms 'Tombouctou' and 'Bar Pacha
[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

October 2015 is a critical moment for Africa RISING. It is the beginning of the final year of the current phase of 4 projects; the USAID external review is just starting; and ideas for a Phase 2 proposal need to be refined and finalized in early 2016.

There is also much to take stock of and build upon: Four years action research in 6 countries; lessons from internally-commissioned external reviews of the 3 regional projects; lessons and evidence arising from the research activities, and initial efforts of a phase 2 design group (looking at key elements of the Program’s systems approach, scaling approach, theory of change, vision of success, hypotheses, and zone of influence ‘targets’). By October, we expect to also have a draft sustainable intensification assessment framework with indicators in 5 dimensions as well as some congruence on farm typologies (necessary for targeting and scaling) and ways the program engages with farm communities and R4D/innovation platforms.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

The workshop aims to:

  1. Take stock of the Program’s results, outcomes and lessons
  2. Review and agree key elements of an updated Program Framework
  3. Agree key elements and directions for a possible phase 2 proposal

Participants[edit | edit source]

Up to 40 key individuals in and around the program will be invited. Each need to be able to make a substantive contribution to one or more of the work streams identified below in Table 1.

Click here to download the list of participants.

Logistics[edit | edit source]

The main workshop takes place 6-8 October in Bamako, Mali. Local arrangements will be handled by ICRISAT. On Monday 5 October, some small preparatory discussions will be held. On Friday 9 October, PCT members and chief scientists will meet to review and decide all follow up actions.

Find the travel guide for all participants here: File:Travel Guidelines for AR Strategic Meeting Participants-Final.docx

Content workstreams[edit | edit source]

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Work stream people responsible Products Meeting phase Existing inputs Outputs from the meeting
Evidence-based outputs for different audiences DONE Simret and Jonathan Evidence-based narratives, stories, briefs, products for different audiences Review and prioritize; work with actual narratives Example briefs Agreed formats/templates - to be agreed with Jerry

Plan for content generation (including list of success stories from each project)

NEARLY DONE Bekele and Carlo Cost benefit analyses (CBA) of different AR technologies Program level CBA? Review and agree methods and formats

Develop common framework for CBA

Initial work on GH and TZ Agreed (framework/ToR for) program level CBA as well as technologies?

Plan for the analyses to be carried out

Farmer engagement Irmgard Info on ways we engage with farmers by country

in West Africa and East/Southern Africa in Ethiopian Highlands

Guidelines agreed for farmer engagement start with version from Wageningen Draft document Final texts to feed into the phase 2 proposal - stressing the success of engagement
R4D and innovation platforms engagement (DONE with farmer engagement) Irmgard and Kindu IP status by country Guidelines agreed for IPs, start with version from Wageningen Draft document Final texts to feed into the phase 2 proposal
TypologiesDONE Jeroen and Carlo Farm typologies for AR

Pending on the IFPRI report on typologies based on the data set

Validate and describe approach and content for phase 2 proposal

Develop plan of action to use the typologies in phase 1 and beyond
Start with version from Wageningen

Draft document Agreed typologies

Agreed plan
Content for phase 2 proposal

Targets and SI benefits DONE with vision of success Carlo, PeterT and Jeroen Draft template across the 5 SI dimensions;

Proof of concept of possible scaling and SI targets

Validate and agree with participants, build out from what was produced in Wageningen Initial ideas

Draft template / country

Agreed materials – for external reviews and Phase 2 proposal (to discuss with Jerry?)

1/2 page for targets and SI benefits max. including graph for expected + proof of concept?

SI indicators and assessment framework Carlo, Sieg and Peter T Draft assessment framework and plan to test and use To be part of M&E framework in the proposal Review towards operationalization for a specific scale Draft documents Updated draft framework for a specific scale;

Inputs to phase 2 proposal

Phase 2 systems approachDONE Bernard and Jeroen Write-up and description of AR systems approach Review, improve, agree, start with version from Wageningen Draft document Agreed systems write up for phase 2

How to bring it about in the proposal?
Write-up (1/2 page max) about benefits of systems approach built upon AR phase 1 and other initiatives

Phase 2 research questions PeterT and Bernard Documented generic program theory of change with pathways worked out for Ethiopia Review, improve, agree, start with version from Wageningen Draft document Fine-tune existing document (table)
Phase 2 vision of success Bernard and Carlo Vision of success diagram and explanation for countries and program as a whole Questionnaire content (section 5-6) Review, improve, agree, start with version from Wageningen Diagram and initial ideas Agreed text for phase 2 proposal

1/2 page max. linked to ToC/Impact pathway and targets

Phase 2 scaling approaches Mateete, Kindu and Asamoah Scaling approaches and partnering models for the program Stocktake current approaches and results

Describe different models (eg NAFAKA).
Identify key elements for phase 2 proposal

Outline text for phase 2 proposal (1 page max for each project + 1 page generically for our approach)

Key actions for phase 1 (short action plan for exploring/expanding partnerships)

Phase 2 nutrition strategy DONE Mariamah Nutrition approaches for the program Stocktake current approaches and results

Identify key elements for phase 2 proposal

Outline text for phase 2 proposal (1/2 page)

Key actions for phase 1 (action plan for 3 projects and for program as a whole)

Phase 2 gender strategy DONE Annet and Gundula Gender strategy and approach for the program Stocktake current approaches and results

Identify key elements for phase 2 proposal

Outline text for phase 2 proposal (1/2 page)

Key actions for phase 1 (action plan for 3 projects and for program as a whole)

Data management (linked to M&E) DONE Carlo Update on current and planned activities and priorities Stocktake current approaches and results

Identify key elements for phase 2 proposal

Outline text for phase 2 proposal (1/2 page)

Key actions for phase 1 (action plan for 3 projects and for program as a whole)

M&E DONE Carlo Update on current and planned activities and priorities

(Focus on local coordinators for phase 2)

Stocktake current approaches and results
dentify key elements for phase 2 proposal
Key actions for phase 1 (action plan for 3 projects and for program as a whole)

Status of proposed scope of work IFPRI

Comms DONE Simret, Jonathan, Ewen,Tsehay Comms plan ideas Stocktake current approaches and results

Identify key elements for phase 2 proposal

Phase 1 materials Draft comms plan
Phase 2 timetable and milestones STARTED Boni Break 10:00-10:30 Identify phase calendar of activities and timetable for phase 2 proposal completion Calendar of actions and products and milestones to submit phase 2 proposal

If possible, phase 1 key products and deliverables list

Draft agenda[edit | edit source]

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Mon 5 October Tue 6 October Wed 7 October Thu 8 October Fri 9 October
Event organizing group pre-meeting Plenary

- Introductions
- Opening
- Objectives
- Roadmap
- PCT chairs (Boni/Bernard)
- Jerry
- Irmgard
Introduction to workstreams and where we are now
- Communications- Simret
- Vision of success – Bernard
- TOC and IPs – Peter
- Research questions and
SI – Carlo and Sieg
- Systems and typologies – Jeroen
- Farmer / stakeholder engagement – Irmgard
Meeting roadmap - Ewen


- Evidence and narratives
- Vision of success, ToC, Research questions
- Farmers' engagement
- SI framework and indicators

Intro about not funding scaling partnerships (BvL).

Parallel - synthesis of the previous conversations
- Gender
- Data / M&E
- (individual writing of softcopy)

08.30 - 12.30

PCT and chief scientists meeting
(9 people)


- SI framework
- Systems approach and typologies
- Scaling approaches
- Engagement
– farmers and platforms
- Comms


- Evidence and cost benefit analysis
- Vision of success, ToC, Research questions
- Nutrition
- Gender
- Cost benefit analysis


-Parking lot
Development project mappin-g AOB?
- Next steps: Boni
- Light evaluation
- Closing words - Peter Thorne, Carlo & Jerry Glover.


- SI framework
- Systems approach and typologies
- Scaling approaches
- Engagement – farmers and platforms
- communications


Stocktake progress
15' free roaming
30' round 1 with station owners
30' round 2
15' 1-2-4-all on what's coming for a program-wide proposal


Plenary with external review team

Focus Group Discussions on gender IFPRI internal meeting
SI Indicators steering group meeting Parallel

- Scaling approaches
- Engagement
– farmers and platforms
- Targets and SI benefits


- Data
- M&E
- Gender
- Cost benefit analysis
- SI framework and indicators?
- Engagement?


Parallel with external review team

AAR: Coordinators meeting the external evaluation team Reception ICRISAT-IITA meeting on modelling data

Background documents and materials[edit | edit source]















Notes from the meeting[edit | edit source]

Introductory comment[edit | edit source]


Africa RISING is recognized within the CG system as a systems research program. There are new discussions going on about which way for the systems research. There is renewed motivation to advance the systems research. This is the perfect time to stand still, look back and reflect on the way forward. We also have the review team by USAID team with us here, they will be engaging with all of us. Thank you I look forward to fruitful meeting.

Sibniso MOYO

Good morning colleagues. It’s a pleasure to be here. We have agro ecological zones that we can transfer some of the experiences we have in ESA and West Africa between which we can transfer some technologies. I welcome you all to this strategy workshop. I also thank the outgoing PCT chair for the far we have come under his leadership. I know lots of people have worked hard to prepare the different work streams. I want also to appreciate the presence of our partners and hope that together we can transition to another interesting phase for the Africa RISING program. This is a great opportunity to transform our learnings into a winning and excellent proposal for the second phase. I also appreciate the role of the local organizing committee having done all the preparatory work for the meeting. The strength of the Africa RISING program is in its partnerships….when added up these partners make up thousands of years of agricultural research experience. So a s a program we need to continue capitalizing on this. I also would like to mention the good work done by the communications team in phase one of the project and would encourage that this is even enhanced in the upcoming second phase. Specifically let me congratulate Africa RISING Ethiopia team for winning USAID award for a story on learning experiences within the program. Otherwise I am looking forward to great discussions in the upcoming 2-days that will give clarity to our phase 2 proposal.

Thanks everybody for coming. Thanks to the ICRISAT team for putting together another good meeting. I would like to think and believe that as we say this is the last part of the first phase of Africa RISING, there will be a 2nd phase. But importantly we have to deliver the goods so as to make a clear case for this. One big sign of success for Africa RISING is delivering research outputs that the USAID missions can use for their development efforts. So we can look at this as transition period focusing more on scaling and development in phase 2. We’ve had a lot of success in showing the high level of research outputs within USAID. Africa RISING is well recognized. And recently we’ve had several good opportunities of showing missions in Zambia, Mali and Tanzania to show good results. There have been other recent successes, the winning of the USAID writing competition, Bekele’s CBA results have also generated a lot of attention within the USAID too. I think we are moving into a new phase where communication is more important than ever. We’ve finalized the budget process; the good news is that the budget levels are the same – which is a good thing. The way this will work out is that a proposal will be worked on by you all and in June, a final version of the phase 2 proposal will be submitted and shared with USAID. After June there may be some revisions and then we’ll look to have it formally approved in September 2016. It is important to get the document in early.

Irmgard H.Zeledon
Good morning and welcome everybody. I’m happy that we can hold this meeting in Bamako Mali. I was asked to introduce the objectives of this meeting. This phase is coming to an end and we knew that at some point we would have to have this meeting. So here we are gearing up for the second phase. This time we have to put together a compelling proposal that will move Africa RISING to a new level. So we have to come up with something that will convince the donor that we did a good job in the first phase and so we can build up on the successes we had for the 2nd phase. Our 2nd phase proposal should be based on our experiences of phase 1. The purpose of this meeting is therefore to prepare the bits and pieces of the proposal. During the previous PCT meeting we agreed that this proposal will be developed in participatory way hence this meeting was set up. Other issues also are going on in parallel to help advance Africa RISING. Our objectives for this meeting are therefore:

  1. Take stock of the Program’s results, outcomes and lessons
  2. Review and agree key elements of an updated Program Framework
  3. Agree on key elements and directions for a possible phase 2 proposal

To achieve these objectives we will need to put in hard work for the next three days. So we are going now to present these draft elements that we thought will be necessary for the new proposal. We will then go into groups to develop the materials based on these work streams that will be part of the phase 2 proposal.

Feedback from day 1[edit | edit source]

(At the end of day 1 we took stock of progress with each of the groups to find out how well they had advanced with their work and to see if some extra work was required. The pictures are actually from a similar but larger scale session organized on day2).

Systems research
Integrated Systems Research 2.jpgIntegrated systems research 3.jpg
Encouraging. Good examples that SR has been carried out. We added that to a document already prepared and reviewed it and we looked ahead for phase 2 for including SR into our work… People will report to me before 8.30am

SI indicators (Cheryl)
Trying to put a step-by-step procedure for what indicators we would be interested in, not just production but also consequences of intensification of that production on environment, social etc. Then we moved on to indicators and everyone talked about yield. We spent more time on the environment and a bit more on human conditions and we’re struggling with social indicators. We have working groups that will refine what we worked on (based on previous workshops including San Jose) and we’ll come up with very nice modifications with 5 working groups. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll have these completed tomorrow night. Gold standard or proxies for measuring SI to look across domains? Anything we learnt? It went very well, very productive.

Farmers/stakeholder engagement
We first looked at the summaries that were prepared on how we currently engage with farmers and we discussed a bit how good/weak we were and it quickly turned out that we needed a standardized framework to work with farmers that everyone is aware of. We felt the current standards are not related to anything. Engagement1.jpgEngagement2.jpg

We started this morning as a small group of 6 people and in the afternoon we got more participants who contributed to a more balanced mix of the AR regions.

A sub-group worked on that framework: a table that lists different stakeholders that we should engage with (farmers, government, extension, private sector, policy makers)… Another column talks about the project stage at which they need to be engaged and another one looks at methodologies. We couldn’t discuss that in detail. We ran out of time. In parallel we discussed existing engagement standards with farmers and did quite a lot of changes to these standards and expanded them to scientists and other stakeholders. E.g. under farmer engagement we have a new heading on how we engage and when with farmers when ending activities/ the project.

We added sthg about how we communicate potential risks of our technologies. We have done changes for data management – one bullet point addresses this.
Data management policy is not fully taking care of some aspects. Very good session and process – everyone engaged. Indications of shortcomings e.g. on data management policy. Comment: I worked in both sessions etc. and what resonated with me is that we see links with scaling up etc. and we need to make sure we connect. We have a feedback session and it’d be good to have people looking for linkages across all work streams. Identify some people that can create linkages.


Comment: Farmer engagement varies from country to country etc. In some sites there are compensations for farmer inputs and time and in others not. That’s a research question… Which is getting us to adoption/scaling… There’s a change in farmer engagement and is that research question going to be captured? Comment: When we did farmer engagement standards it was a quite narrow focus and I hope we won’t lose some standard behaviors (e.g. administering long questionnaires)…

Scaling approaches
Very diverse expertise. We had brainstorming and we tried to gather previous experiences in AR and from various research institutes. Identified scaling gaps and strategies for scaling. We summarized our discussion and came up with 6 important points:

  1. Know what to scale, who to scale
  2. Use different approaches – review some approaches for phase 2
  3. Research on scaling
  4. Considerations of cross-cutting issues for scaling e.g. market, gender, policies, cap dev, nutrition, post harvest
  5. Recommendations – identify which technology to apply where (e.g. tools based on CIAT experience)
  6. Targeting appropriate partners for scaling

We tried to draft/write outline and we shared responsibilities among team members. We’ll have a draft tomorrow. We don’t know how big a document we should produce so we thought of examples etc. so we agreed

Communication session
Our task was to draft a comms plan for the 2nd phase. We did a SWOT analysis and reviewed the comms objectives in the current program framework. Then we worked on comms objectives and we took the experience from the comms group in Rome about CGIAR CRP comms planning and adapted it to draft 5 objectives and outcomes/activities for these 5 objectives. We had good feedback from Jerry who came to discuss with us about possible comms channels in the 2nd phase. Good inputs and good discussion in the team. We have some ideas about comms activities for scaling and engagement etc. We documented all that we did on the wiki with a link to the comms section.

Q: You should communicate a product/service and we have various groups struggling to develop these so when will you intervene?

  • A: Our comms work should be integrated in the objectives of phase 2. We have experience of phase 1 and we’ll look into what you produce.
- Comment: Our internally commissioned team felt that our comms was mainly targeted to the donor and the outside world but we were weak in communicating with our farmers.


Targets and SI benefits
We’ll come up with a proof of concept and work around the Tanzania case. We need to have selection criteria from the chief scientist from Tanzania. We’ll work on this over the next couple of months and so we’ll need inputs from Mateete.

Vision of success1.jpgVision of success.jpg

Typologies discussion
We had an open discussion, no systematic review. We discussed methodological issues and which variables to select, how often to do ??? and… Additional ways to use typologies is with outscaling…




Gender (from feedback session day 2)


Cost Benefit analysis (from feedback session day 2) CBA1.jpgCBA2.jpg

Open session[edit | edit source]

(An open session was organized for anyone that wanted to address any pending issue).

Project mapping

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Name / Acronym Focus Country / coverage Lead / partners Funder
Innovation lab on small scale irrigation (ILSSI) Small scale irrigation ET, GH, TZ Texas A&M USAID
Innovation lab on Sustainable intensification (SILL) Sustainable intensification Burkina Faso, ET, Senegal, TZ, Asia (Bangladesh Cambodia) Kansas State U USAID
Innovation lab on sorghum and millet (SMIL) Increasing productivity

Genetics, production, nutrition, pathology

ET, Mali, Niger Kansas State U, Purdue, TAMU, West Texas USAID
Innovation lab on reduction of post harvest loss Post harvest ET, Bangladesh SA??? (couldn't decipher handwriting) Kansas State University USAID
Innovation lab on nutrition (NIL) Human nutrition ET, GH, Asia Tufts University USAID
Innovation lab on livestock Livestock Burkina Faso, ET, ML, Rwanda, Asia Florida University USAID
Innovation lab on peanut mycotoxins Mycotoxins GH, ML, MW + ?? University of Georgina USAID
Cowpea scaling Cowpeas GH, Nigeria IITA USAID
Groundnut scaling Groundnuts GH, ML, Nigeria ICRISAT USAID
CNFA Livestock value chain + irrigated fodder ET ?? USAID
SmAT Scaling agroforestry ML ICRAF USAID
Global Climate Change Climate change impact on crops + NRM ML ICRISAT USAID
Community Resilience to Climate Change Climate change ?? IWMI / WLE USAID
LIVES Livestock & irrigated value chains ET ILRI / IWMI Canada
Helvetas cotton project Cotton ML Helvetas,ICRISAT SDC
SIMLESA Sustainable intensification of maize and legumes in Southern Africa ET, Kenya, MW, Mozambique, TZ, Zambia CIMMYT ACIAR
N2 Africa Nitrogen fixing DRC, ET, GH, Kenya, TZ Wageningen UR BMGF

AidData is the interactive map of Development Gateway which includes development projects, the website is []] and the SSA map: [

For the CG projects we have:

  • The research stations: [[1]]
  • The CRP investment areas: [[2]]
Socioeconomics of SI.jpg

Socio-economics of intensification

Socioeconomics of intensification

A Conceptual framework

The purpose of the discussion was to gather views from colleagues if this framework appealing to guide socioeconomic research within Africa RISING. This is tentative outcome of the discussion. It will be enriched and used to guide specific reaches activities.

Closing words[edit | edit source]

Boni Moyo

We've been working hard day and night to generate a lot of inputs and come out with good outputs. The content of the next steps are about delivering a good strong phase 2 proposal by May 2016:

  • Tomorrow the PCT is meeting to reflect on the outputs from this meeting - we know some work streams have advanced midway. Map the way forward; Identify 3-4 people that will pull this together in a writing team - which will be identified in the PCT tomorrow.
  • At some point when the doc is nearly ready we'll bring in a writer that will get the proposal in shape with the right wording.
  • Consultations continue on the wiki, on Yammer etc. and then the writing team will have a f2f meeting soon to share responsibilities - sometime in February.
  • In parallel, the external evaluation is going on and we have to continue to prepare for this in all three regions and start prepare the responses for the West Africa component once it's done.
  • Another parallel process is to develop the evidence briefs/narratives - where we pick up lessons learned etc. and we expect to see evidence briefs in November-December [actually January-February];
  • Some of the work streams will help us define what data to bring into phase 2;
  • We realized we may have to drop some activities so we need to define criteria for making this decision;
  • A key element will be about partnerships in the proposal - we need to develop our partnership strategy and find innovative ways of engaging and collaborating. Let's continue that it's a key element. Find new ways of partnering.
  • Above all, we have a work plan up to Sept. 2016 and we have to deliver on that while this other process is going on.

Timeline is emerging but tomorrow you will see a more specific timeline appearing on the wiki. On behalf of the PCT thank you for the hard work you've put and continue to work on these products. Let's work hard on this phase 2.

Comments about the event evaluation spectrogram

  • My expectation was to get an understanding of the content of the final proposal and I think I've gotten bits of it but Boni mentioned some things would be dropped and I wonder which.
  • I would have liked to see more of an overview of the program and with these people that have been part of the process (happy people) it's easier but I'm missing that big picture and I missed a bit the demand: where is the demand for this work? Where are the farmers, advisers etc.
  • I had an expectation to meet somebody else who does nutrition and I got a chance to work on post-harvest but there's no real nutritionist here. That would have helped me to get a comprehensive picture of where we're going.
  • I'm standing here (on the low end) because I had an expectation about how we would take our technologies to scale, to be used by farmers, but the challenge is about scaling out.
  • I'm borderline between both sides. My expectation was to have an idea of where we're going from here on out and it's still wooly. We need to fine-tune it. On the other side, I've had a very good overview of where we are. We didn't fully translate that into where we're going.
  • I'm here because I wanted to get a sense of where we'd go from here and those elements are there - we just need to continually think through and some of this comes out of the work streams. These are the things we need to synthesize. I'm in a good space for now.
  • I'm happy with what we did. We were able to draft our comms plan, our objectives, so I'm happy.
  • We've made some good progress, writing and I got some good feedback. Outputs are not complete but if they had been there in advance it would have been difficult for people to step in.
  • I was very satisfied with what I could do in the SI work stream. Lots of expertise and giving good thoughts. We did much better than expected.
  • Fred K: On my way here I knew I was coming to a planning meeting with the roadmap but the way it was organized we drew the roadmap and fleshed out the elements. The set up of the meeting allowed for a diversity of opinions. Discussing with the colleagues, if we could translate that into clear research questions that could maybe link to the five domains and crystallize everything.
  • Jerry: I came with a checklist of things and for the most part (e.g. gaps, tensions etc.) it's been covered. The other positive thing was the move from project team members focusing on their own activities and now in the later years trying to see in the context of the whole program. It's taken us quite a while but it's moving forward finally. I appreciate that people didn't get the overview here but in the first 30 meetings we did that every time and we get new people every time and they just have to get the overview through other conversations. Once the proposal gets written up it will emerge from there. There's a much clearer/coherent vision that we'll be able to articulate more clearly and more concisely. I was very impressed with peoples' focus...
  • Vara: My expectation was very specific: work with the team developing the SI indicators and we made tremendous program and it'll be very helpful for our innovation lab and hopefully for AR too.
  • Asamoah: I have a little concern that we're still having to define the boundaries. Hopefully with the inputs and paragraphs of the work streams we'll be able to define these for the 2nd phase. That's why I'm in between things.
  • Irmgard: I introduced the objectives. First stock taking, then agree on key elements and finally write elements (paragraphs) for the proposal. I could tick all objectives. I haven't see the text of others but it seems third objective has been achieved. All objectives achieved. We didn't say we would know the boundaries and would have the outline of the proposal.
  • I thought at the beginning if we had defined the objectives of phase 2 more carefully we could have advanced more. There wasn't any opportunity to discuss commercialization and marketing of agriculture. Once you scale up you have to discuss input/output markets and value chains etc. This is quite different from the work we've been doing so far. :: ::- No debate about that, it's true. The systems perspective results in the challenges we know. Markets and value chains are strong components in all three projects. We have linked VC actors to the innovation platforms etc. Sustainability indicators are not finalized yet. As we move to engagement with scaling activities that will be a big part of it.

Jerry Glover
Thanks again for everything. I think it went remarkably well. For those that are new to AR, I do ask: hang in there and keep asking questions. Some have been answered in other meetings/ways but keep pressing to make sure these guys are filling gaps. Keep raising those questions and please also do recognize that this is a big program and make sure you come back to the next meeting.

Peter Thorne

The end of another AR meeting. No emergency visit to the psychiatric hospital. I would like to thank everybody. The collaborative nature of what we do strikes me. How well all these people etc. are working together, coming from many organizations. After 4 years I haven't heard anyone say "the CIMMYT component will be this, the ICRAF component will be that". People in early meetings were much more territorial and this is almost gone. It's really encouraging and all the more important as some new (development) partners will be coming and will be asking about the value of what we're doing. I want to thank the comms team for keeping things smoothly. It's really difficult. Some people are long-winded etc. so I want to acknowledge the role of you guys in this and many other meetings.
I want to thank Birhanu and the ICRISAT team to extend your thanks for the meeting, all the paperwork we got. Thank you very very much for all that work. Thank you very much to everybody.

Carlo Azzarri
This was supposed to be the learning and M&E event. We learned quite a lot in the work streams. As far as the M&E meeting is concerned we didn't hurt you this year. It wasn't painful. Last thing is that we are in the 4th year of our relationship. We've been having issues in the first 2-3 years and we fought a lot and now we commit ourselves to being 5 years together. Let's ask ourselves if we want to renew our engagement.