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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  • Dates/times: 3, 4 November & 5 November (if needed); each time 15:00 – 18:00 East Africa Time
  • Zoom access links sent to all participants privately via Email

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

  1. To review and agree on existing and yet-to-be-produced legacy products of Africa RISING.
  2. To reflect on the future of Africa RISING beyond September 2021
  3. To reflect on lessons and principles to help guide future programs on SI & systems research

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 - 15.05 Welcome to the meeting & logistical information J.Odhong & M. Victor
15.05 - 15.10 Introduction to objectives and background of the meeting S. Moyo
15.10 – 15.15 Opening remarks J. Glover
15.15 – 15.35 Progress against program-level outcomes & research questions for AR Phase II proposal P. Thorne, I. Zeledon & C Azzarri
15.35 – 16.00 Collective critique of progress against program-level outcomes and research questions Facilitated discussion by M. Victor/J. Odhong
16.05 - 17.00
  • [15 min. per presentation]
Keynote presentations by projects – impact, RoI and achievements
  • Program M&E
  • East and Southern Africa Project
  • Ethiopian Highlands Project
  • West Africa Project
  • C. Azzarri
  • M. Bekunda
  • K. Mekonnen
  • F. Kizito
17.05 - 18.00 Actionable conversation around the following points:
  1. What are the priority actions for documenting AR scaling, impact and RoI?
  2. What are the gaps between the regional vs. program level outcomes and how can we fill those in the next year?
  3. What are lessons learned in AR that we would like to leave behind for future use -technologies, new ways of doing business, multi-center cooperation etc?
  • A 30 min. provision is made at the start of day 2 in case more time is needed to discuss the above points.
Facilitated discussion by M. Victor & J. Odhong

Day TWO [4 November 2020]

Time Activity Lead/Facilitated by
FOCUS: (i) Present and future outlook for SI & Systems research and (ii) possible pathways for AR after September 2021
15.00 – 15.30 Wrap up any pending discussions from day 1 Facilitated discussion by M. Victor & J. Odhong
15.30 - 15.40
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Status of the discussion around the research agenda of the ‘One CGIAR’ I. Wright
15.45 - 15.55
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Status of conceptualization of systems research in AR P. Thorne
16.00 - 16.10
  • +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
16.15 – 16.25
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Excellence in Agronomy 2030 B. Vanlauwe
16.30 – 16.40
  • +5 minutes for clarification questions
Presentation: Transforming Livestock food systems – focus on SI of integrated crops - livestock production S. Moyo and P. Thorne
16.45 – 17.45 Actionable conversation:
  1. What are some principles we are learning about integrating systems research that would be useful for the new OneCGIAR action areas (both from a science and a programmatic perspective)?
  2. How can we document the items in point (i) above and mainstream them into OneCGIAR discussions and decisions?
Facilitated discussion by M. Victor & J. Odhong
17.45 – 18.00 Closing remarks J. Glover & S.Moyo