WA rev planning June2018

From africa-rising-wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Review and Planning Meeting
6-8 June 2018
Accra, Ghana
[edit | edit source]


  • Review progress, operations and results for 2017/18 season.
  • Plan for implementation of activities in 2018/19 season.
  • Share updates with partners about project implementation and new directions.


Day 1 (6 June)
08:00 Registration
08:30 Welcome remarks address - M. Abberton
08:40 Participants introduction, agenda overview
09:00 Update from the project manager - I. Zeledon
10:00 Break
10:30 Planning with a farming systems research perspective - L. Claessens
10:50 Discussion
11:20 Review of 2017/18 activities - see Africa RISING WA logframe to sub-activity level matrix - who will present, which sub-activity

  • Output 1.1

Activity 1.1.1 - A. Nurudeen presenting Ghana sub-activities 33 mins. pres. 15mins QA I B. Zemadim presenting Mali sub-activities <15 mins. pres. + 7 mins Q&A> Activity 1.1.2 - A. Ayantunde Mali 9 mins. pres. 4 mins QA I A. Ayantunde Ghana Activity 1.1.3 - B. Traore Mali <6 mins. pres + 3 mins Q&A>
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Review of 2017/18 activities (cont'd)

  • Output 1.2
Activity 1.2.1 - F. Kizito presenting Ghana sub-activities <9 mins. pres + 4 mins. Q&A> I K. Traore (presenting Mali sub-activities) <12 mins. pres. + 6 mins. Q&A>
Activity 1.2.2 - A.Zenebe presenting Ghana sub-activities <9 mins. pres + 4 mins. Q&A>
  • Output 2.1
Activity 2.1.1 - M. Saaka I J. Baptiste presenting Mali sub-activities 9 min. pres 4 mins. QA I C. Sobgui / J. Baptiste Mali
  • Output 2.2
Activity 2.2.1 2.2.2 - B. Kotu presenting Ghana sub-activities <18 min. pres + 8 mins. Q&A>

15:30 Break
16:00 Review of 2017/18 activities (cont'd)

  • Output 3.1
Activity 3.1.1 - C. Osei presenting Ghana sub-activities <9 min. pres. + 4 min Q&A> I O. Sanogo (presenting Mali sub-activities) <3 min. pres. + 2 Q&A>
Activity 3.1.2 - G. Fischer presenting Ghana sub-activities <3 min. pres. + 2 min. Q&A>
  • Output 3.2
Activity 3.2.1 - J. Groot presenting Ghana sub-activities <3 min. pres. + 2 min. Q&A> I O. Sanogo (presenting Mali sub-activities) <6 min. pres. + 3 min. Q&A>
  • Output 4.1
Activity 4.1.1 - B. Zemadim (presenting Mali sub-activities) <6 min. pres. + 3 min. Q&A> I J.Odhong presenting a related CKM activity <3 min. pres. + 2 min. Q&A>
Activity 4.1.2 4.1.3 - I. Zeledon presenting Ghana sub-activities <15 min. pres. + 7 min. Q&A>

17:20 Quick exercise to prepare for day 2

17:30 End of day 1

Day 2 (7 June) 8:30 Presentation of draft work plans
10:00 Break
10:30 Presentation of draft work plans continued
11:30 Feedback from farming systems research observatory team - Lieven Claessens,Jeroen Groot, Michael Abberton and Birhanu Zemadim
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Work planning break-out groups

- Ghana research team
- Mali research team

Day 3 (8 June) 8:30 Work planning break-out groups (cont'd)

-Ghana research team
-Mali research team

10:00 Break
10:30 Work planning break-out groups (cont'd)
11:30 Reporting back on developed work plans
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Reporting back on developed work plans (cont'd)
16:00 Next steps
16:30 Closing of meeting

Background materials

  1. West Africa work plans 2017/2018 - for Ghana I for Mali (click to download)
  2. Africa RISING West Africa phase 2 log frame
  3. Africa RISING WA logframe to sub-activity level matrix - who will present, which sub-activity


  • Click to download list of all confirmed participants - here


  1. Draft work plan for Africa RISING West Africa Project for 2018/2019 season


DAY 1 [6 June]

Welcome remarks - M. Abberton

  • You are all welcome to the meeting.
  • Thank you to the meeting organizers - Irmgard, Jonathan, Linda
  • We all know why we are here. We all know that at the moment across the CGIAR and even beyond, levels of funding for our work has gone down.But we know also (as we are going to hear over the next couple of days) that there is still a lot of good work going on in Africa RISING. We have to look at that, analyze and decide what is the way forward.
  • So I am looking forward to engaging discussions in the coming days.

Update from the project manager - I. Hoeschle-Zeledon[edit | edit source]

  • On 12 July 2017, I was informed by USAID that there will be a drastic reduction in funding to Africa RISING for the next fiscal year which could be as bad as no funds at all. I was asked to maintain essential functions of the projects and stretch the available money until around March 2018.I informed all partners about this news end of July.
  • The message came after we had developed our WA workplan. This necessitated recalling some activities and decisions like recruiting new students and starting activities requiring longer-term investments.
  • In the course of the second half of 2017, there were some indications that some funds could come beginning of 2018. In early 2018, we were hopeful to get funding restored within a couple of months. Unfortunately, until today, no funds have been received. Funding has been approved but not yet disbursed. Disbursement will be in installments. So, we can’t be sure how much we will actually receive.
  • The Africa RISING West Africa Project has not been affect as much as the ESA project. When we received the news in July, the ESA funds had been spent or committed because we were at the end of the field season. Therefore, we could implement only a skeleton workplan in ESA using some unspent funds, focusing on a few loose ends. In WA, we are always late in spending because of the different start of the cropping season.
  • Now, we have also exhausted all our reserves and since March IITA is pre-financing all expenditures in Africa RISING WA, including staff payments. This meeting is only possible because of IITA’s willingness to pre-finance. I was calling for this meeting to have a small chance to implement research during the coming field season should the funds come soon. If we did not plan now, then it would be very difficult to come together in the near future as we all have other commitments. This meeting would likely take place then end of September and that would be definitively too late for season dependent field work.
  • I am still confident that IITA will receive the money soon so that we can sign the partner contracts in time for the season.

Staff[edit | edit source]

  • This is our first annual meeting without Asamoah Larbi, the Chief Scientist. Asamoah left IITA on 11 May. IITA will recruit a replacement as soon as possible. In the meantime, I am your Africa RISING contact person.
  • Africa RISING had a Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist at program level. The position was with ILRI. The person left ILRI about 1½ years ago. The position was advertised, interviews held, and the job offered to a successful candidate. However, when we received the news about funding, the offer was withdrawn, and the position remained vacant.
  • Upon a decision of the PCT in March, the position has been moved to IITA and Jonathan will take it up. To replace Jonathan as Communication and Knowledge Management Specialist of the Africa RISING WA and ESA projects, IITA will recruit two NRS, one for ESA and one for WA who will be supervised by Jonathan.
  • The M&E and Data Management Specialist, based in Bamako, resigned last year July after just 6 months on duty. IFPRI did not fill the position again for the same reason of funding uncertainty. PCT decided that also this position should be moved from IFPRI to IITA to ensure better linkages between the incumbent and the researchers and ease recruitment and supervision. Carlo Azzarri of IFPRI remains one of the two supervisors. The new incumbent will be based in Tamale. The job has been advertised last month and we will start screening the application soon.
  • In November 2017, the Gender Specialist Kipo Jimah, moved from Africa RISING WA to the DfID funded project SAIRLA to alleviate the Africa RISING budget. We are very grateful to Kipo that he agreed to this move. As soon as we have received the funding from USAID, the position will be advertised, and we will hopefully be able to refill it.
  • We had recruited a Postharvest Specialist at junior level for Ghana in June last year, just before the funding news arrived. We did not extend his contract beyond the probation period because of lack of financial resources and lack of availability of a senior postharvest specialist for guidance and supervision. There are currently no plans to recruit a postharvest specialist.
  • Bekele Kotu is the Africa RISING Economist for WA and ESA. Once we have received funds we will recruit an economist for ESA so that Bekele can focus on WA.
  • Francis Muthoni, GIS Specialist and originally employed for a USAID Mission funded scaling project in Tanzania, has been supporting Africa RISING ESA and WA since last year September to a very limited extent. His time allocation to WA will be increased to provide more GIS support to the project.
  • More than a year ago, we advertised the position of a Farming Systems Specialist. However, we could shortlist only one candidate who later withdrew his application. We did not re-advertise because of the uncertain funding situation. However, should things change, we will do it. As you can see, the project management has reacted to the funding situation.

SI Indicator Framework

  • In October 2017, the SI Indicator Framework developed by researchers from different organizations and funded by the SI Innovation Lab at Kansas State University has been officially launched.
  • It is compulsory for all FTF research projects to implement this framework. A training had been planned for July and preparations were well advanced when we decided to postpone it to likely October to allow more time for researchers to collect additional data and get them organized for the training. This is an Africa RISING program wide event, so I have to coordinate with the Ethiopian Highlands project.

Science Advisory Group (SAG)

  • Most of you should know that we had a Science Advisory Group since beginning of 2014. However, by end of 2016, half of the members had stepped down or were no longer eligible to be part of the group. Therefore, we established a new SAG in April 2017.
  • The rational behind having such an independent standing advisory body is to ensure continuous, high-quality science in Africa RISING and compliance with and evolvement of the program research framework. Such a group increases trust of current and future donors in the research carried out by the different regional research teams and eventually attract further funding.
  • The group advises the PCT, has a role in priority setting, establishes strategic partnerships and external linkages to ensure that the technical program is well aligned and that the needed set of partners participates to achieve the goals and objectives of the program.
  • The revived SAG met for the first time with the PCT and the Chief Scientists in June 2017, just weeks before we received the funding news.
  • Against the funding background and the reduced research activities in ESA and Ethiopia, we put the further engagement of the SAG on hold. At the next PCT meeting, the future of the SAG will be a topic.

Communities of Practice (CoP)

    • Likewise, the four Communities of Practice established in January 2017 were put on hold because of lack of funding.
    • The 4 communities were on (i) Nutrition, (ii) Livestock, (iii) Private sector engagement and liking farmers to markets, (iv) Translating research outputs into scaled innovations. For a fifth CoP on economic assessment of technologies we were not able to find a champion.
    • The purpose of the CoPs was to exchange experiences among peers; to promote best practices across Africa RISING and partner organizations for greater harmonization of approaches and methods; to disseminate learning experiences and successes to the wider research and development community.
    • PCT has yet to decide how to proceed with the CoPs.

Future direction of Africa RISING[edit | edit source]

    • In my invitation to this meeting, I mentioned that we are required to provide evidence that our research results are not only relevant for the geography where the research has been done but for the entire region in West Africa with similar socioeconomic conditions. This is what the donor has repeatedly said over the past 10 months. This is against the background that it is extremely difficult within the US Agency to get funding approved for research projects like ours. Central funds cannot be used for country specific issues, they must produce global public goods. If we can provide evidence that we are producing globally/regionally relevant public goods then we will have much more support, including from the USAID Missions in the Region. Jerry Glover’s recommendations have been:
i) to pull in research from other countries into the technology parks in Mali and Ghana,
ii) moving out of the country focus to larger agro-eco systems for which we can provide solutions;
iii) include GIS work, socio-economic and gender implication studies in all what we are doing to provide the evidence of the broader relevance;
iv) aim at risk reduction for farmers and higher resilience of rain-fed systems (soil health, legumes integration, agroecological approach);
v) do not neglect involvement of the youth.
vi) move from technology research to research on systems dynamics (e.g. in Ethiopia they look at how hh and farms change over time by gradually adopting more innovations).
  • Important reminders from Jerry:
    • The purpose of Africa RISING’s research is to reduce the risk of USAID mis-investment in development activities, governments and private sector in the Region. This means, our research should guide Mission investments.
    • Our research activities should not become development activities. Dissemination of validated technologies is going beyond our mandate. We can do research on dissemination and particularly on adoption beyond our orbit (beneficiary tracking).

Information and updates from the Africa RISING IITA project management unit retreat

The future direction of Africa RISING and some other project implementation topics were discussed in April at a retreat of the IITA Africa RISING international staff. I would like you to give a summary of what we talked about and decided:

Regional relevance[edit | edit source]

We discussed many options how we can make our research regionally relevant, but we prioritized these two as immediate actions
For technologies validated extensively already in phase I of Africa RISING, a review shall be undertaken to determine whether the existing data provides enough biophysical and socio-economic information to enable use of GIS tools to establish regionalized recommendation domains. Responsible individuals for follow-up on this activity are: Chief Scientist, Project Manager, Gender Specialist and GIS Specialist. This process should be done and finalized by December 2018.
    • Conduct a literature review on the common constraints to Sustainable Intensification in various social contexts and relate the results to our interventions. The Gender Specialist will take the lead. Completion of this activity by 31 October 2018.
    • Gundula screened the literature already and there is not much information. So, we will change this to producing a list of indicators for the Social domain of our SI indicator framework that we could then apply to each of our technologies.
Other options include
- Incorporate GIS in all activities going forward
- Plan more regionally relevant research activities
- Disseminate research outputs to institutions with a regional scaling mandate
- Define clear recommendation domains and farm typologies
- Better characterize and document the bio-physical and socio-economic systems and contexts in which our research outputs have been tested, validated and proved to be successful
- Clearly identify and document the impacts of the technologies in the 5 SI domains
- Check them against agro-ecological and socio-economic contexts outside our implementation areas using trials, modeling and GIS information
- Identify partners in other countries who can test/validate some of our outputs
- Align the outputs to regional and national policies
- Document thoroughly the outputs with indicators that will attract potential regional users – *The handbook would be one of such products.

Youth involvement[edit | edit source]

    • We decided that all implementers of Africa RISING should indicate in their workplans how they intend to involve the youth.

And there are the following options:

  • Involve school children through linking with school agriculture clubs that link back to the extension officers. This could involve setting up school farms (either as control schools and action schools), establishing trials and demos within schools and involving students during demos/trials as part of the agricultural curriculum, or even installing weather stations at the schools and involving the students in data collection from the weather stations,
  • Linking to other existing youth projects already being implemented by IITA like ENABLE Youth or TAAT programs which are ongoing in some of the Africa RISING project countries too. In this arrangement, the Africa RISING project would aim to provide the improved technologies that have been validated through the research process to these youths who are mostly being trained to become agri-preneurs
  • Capacity building for youths in improved agricultural technologies
- Working with community youth groups on data collection of beneficiaries
-Linking up with NGO’s working with youths and women.
- Identifying incentives that are attractive to the youth
-Training the youth and use them as advisors to farmers on technologies
- Offer internships to undergraduate students in agriculture,
- Invite school students to be involved in the Africa RISING farmers field days,
- Targeting youth farmers – work through young farmers’ associations that are existent in some of the Africa RISING project countries,
- Develop a lead youth farmers approach model for scaling Africa RISING technologies.

Farming Systems Research:[edit | edit source]

  • We are challenged whether we are really doing farming systems research and we ourselves are saying in each and every planning meeting that we have to integrate our individual activities. We certainly have not managed to do this well or we did not document it well otherwise we would not receive these questions.
  • At our retreat we noted that workplans are not in all cases planned from a Farming Systems perspective and that implementers do not always implement what the have planned and in the way the planned their research.
- Ric Coe, at the training on participatory research design in January last year observed:
- Components rather than systems
- Biophysical rather than integrated
- Seeking optima for recommendations rather than generating diversity to match diversity, or information for farmers to take decisions
- Farmers are recipients of research not participants
- Focus on production rather than on all the dimensions of SI
- Participants generally see the need for moving to systems, participation and SI approaches but keep on coming back to the need for 'replicates', and the statistical analyses they are familiar with (ANOVA, means separation, 3 years data.
- We come up with the following decisions
- For planning, take an output-based approach, workplans must have FSR outputs and data have to be collected in all 5 domains
- Influence diagrams as presented during the participatory farming systems research design workshop in 2017 should be part of the research protocols to show the interdisciplinarity and how interdependencies are addressed
- Regular face to face research team meetings as requested by the Project Manager since years have to be installed. The Chief Scientists will fix the dates in consultation with the partners
- We need to look at the existing data and fill gaps to enable us to produce narratives on FSR; the FS Specialist to be recruited will be a tasked to work on this with the researchers
- Projects can contract FS modelers if needed

Research gaps[edit | edit source]

At the retreat, we also touched upon existing research gaps important to fill to achieve the outcomes and outputs of Africa RISING. During the process of preparing the Technology Handbook in ESA several gaps became very clear. In WA, we have not yet gone very far with the handbook, so we cannot tell from that process. However, we will have a session during this meeting during which you can express your view about any potential research gaps.
- Evidence of project beneficiaries and impact of our technologies. This has been neglected although IFPRI had developed tools almost 2 years ago. We are struggling to answer questions about the number of farmers we have been working with so far/o are benefiting directly or indirectly.
- There will be a major role for the M&E Specialist/Data Manager to play but this is only in collaboration with the researchers. The person cannot do it alone.

Africa RISING – SIMLESA meeting[edit | edit source]

- USAID and ACIAR intend to join forces regarding the promotion of the importance of farming systems research. While USAID is funding Africa RISING, ACIAR is funding SIMLESA, Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume Systems in East and Southern Africa.
- I have been requested to organize a meeting past March between the two programs with the aim to have a draft advocacy paper on the added value of agricultural systems research in sustainable development, and to outline a vision for a multi-donor systems research-in-development platform.
- The paper is still under development.

Africa RISING Technology Handbook[edit | edit source]

  • This is a commitment we made to the donor to show that we are documenting our research outputs and make them available.
  • In WA, the chief scientist had circulated an outline and assigned chapters to groups of authors. We also have a roadmap. By 25th May, co-authors should have sent their contributions to the lead authors. The info I have from some of them is that this has not happened. On 8th June, the lead authors are supposed to submit the draft chapters to me.
  • At our retreat, we had agreement that contributions to the handbook will be a pre-requisite for continued funding to partners. We cannot afford to face the same disaster we had with the technology briefs.

Reporting[edit | edit source]

  • Timeliness and quality of technical reports has been a serious issue over the last year. I do not know whether the reporting deadlines stated in the agreements are not communicated to you by your organizations. However, we send reminders before the deadline. I am always wondering whether IITA is taken seriously by the partners as a donor. I am asking myself whether the partners also send late and poor-quality reports to USAID or different donor.
  • It is a difficult task to extract good and compelling information from bad reports to put into our report to USAID. There is often no other option that just not mentioning something hoping that the donor will not ask for evidence of what came out of certain activities in the workplan. But this is only a short-sighted problem evasion. The handbook will reveal what we really have achieved.
  • I am reminding all partners who are sub-contracting others that they must ensure that the quality and timeliness of these sub-contractor’s reports are good. Please do not just copy and paste their submissions into your reports to IITA without critical review.

Data Management[edit | edit source]

  • You are not requested to upload your data files yourself but to send them to IFPRI for uploading.
  • This will ensure the level of standardization ad quality that we have to maintain on Dataverse.

Publications[edit | edit source]

  • I will contact everybody who attended the write shop in December 2016 and promised to publish a paper to check the status. Some papers have been published, others have been drafted or submitted and were returned, but some colleagues have not made any progress since 1 ½ years ago.
  • Institutions that don’t deliver will be suggested by the Chief Scientists to the Project Manager for discontinuation

Questions, response, & comments[edit | edit source]

  • Question: Regarding the feedback about quality of reporting, it is a bit disappointing when someone makes a critical comment on reports that are not based on any sound science.
Response: You generally have to make your reports understandable to a non-scientist.
  • Question: Africa RISING is working in the same villages/communities for the past several years. Where is the data on farmer typologies so that we can make use of them?
Response: The data is available and has been shared with all partners.
  • Question: I would have expected the briefing about the Africa RISING IITA project management unit much earlier. Could you also in subsequent meetings include representatives from the other partner institutions. We also need to have regular meetings at the project levels. We need to all go together and have the same understanding of what is happening in the project.
Response: The retreat was for IITA IRS staff. This is in order for us as the management of IITA needs to have an effective communication channels with the IITA staff. We can hold as many meetings, but these have implications on your time and the research budget (from which we deduct costs for holding these meetings). The other challenge is that the teams have not been consistent to hold team meetings
  • Question: We had an M&E officer for Mali who resigned, but after that we haven't yet heard back from the project management unit on how this position will be replaced.
  • Question: We don't really know what to report in terms of SI domains or indicators. Probably a training should be given?
Response: There is an SI indicator framework that has been developed and disseminated. Please let us refer to this document as we decide the domains to report on.
  • Comment: IFPRI sent out an email about M&E and data management that was recalled almost immediately. Why ?
Response: The message was recalled because there is still no clarity about the embargo period (per USAID) guidelines for data to be uploaded/ become usable by others (open access). IFPRI are in the process of updating the Africa RISING data management plan so that the shift from CKAN to data verse can be reflected in the terminologies and other issues like embargo period guidelines can be clarified.
  • Comment: at the beginning of your presentation you talked about the need for planning for the future. we need to also think about the potential for a 'scenario B' - in the event that funds come much later and we aren't able to implement activities, what can we still do in the meantime.
  • Comment (Irmgard): The targets we put in our phase II proposals are very moderate. The big chunks of the numbers aren't supposed to come from us directly, but they are supposed to come from our linkages with the development partners. That is the approach we should take.

Planning with a farming systems research (FSR) perspective - L. Claessens[edit | edit source]

Questions, response, & comments

  • Question: What is the linkage between Farming Systems Research (FSR) and the Sustainable Intensification indicators framework?
Response: FSR and SI indicator framework is completely/ linked because all the domains are actually cutting across the biophysical and socio-economic domains.
  • Question: Why do we always reduce FSR to modeling?
Response: Models are just tools to make the complex analysis easier. It is not compulsory to use models, but it just makes it easier.
  • Question: It is important to know/understand what can be done at our level with regards to FSR. How do we make the work we have done so far (component research) a farming systems work?
Response: It starts from planning. We have not been talking to all concerned partners regarding the planned activities so that jointly we can think of the FSR perspectives of the work we are doing. It is from these early discussions/interactions that we then can identify the tradeoffs to study as part of the FSR activities.
Response: It is not yet too late to rectify what we have done so far to ensure we have a compelling FSR approach. From Lieven's presentation you can see the complexities of FSR and the components in which we have been working. What remains as part of that is to study the tradeoffs between the components. For example, if a farmer adopts dual purpose sorghum variety
what does that mean for him, his wife, his children, the soil, his livestock etc. Is it economically viable?
Response: Integrated analysis should be a starting point for FSR. So the best way to look at it is not in a sequential manner, but rather a continuous process.
  • Comment: There are different modeling tools available - some are more data hungry than others. The sustainable intensification framework and influence diagrams mentioned this morning are some of the more simple ones, and aren't data hungry. Those two could actually be used during planning to figure out the interactions/tradeoffs during analysis.
  • Comment: Probably to make the FSR approach more implementable for us is to keep on emphasizing the fact that interactions between different components is key, and also ensuring participation not the research process.
  • Comment: If we want to do proper farming systems research, we have to ensure that we work with the same farmers when implementing our research work.
Response: This is not fully correct. We don't necessarily have to work with the same farmers, but rather it is the technologies that need to be integrated.
  • Comment: Part of the consideration we also need to make when we aim for FSR is the budget. You can not do effective FSR with a limited budget.

Review of 2017/18 activities

  • Output 1.1 - Research products for more productive, intensive, diverse, profitable and resilient crop (cereals, legumes, and vegetables); livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, poultry and pigs) and integrated crop-livestock farming systems are identified and disseminated to farmers through development partners.

Activity 1.1.1 - Test and disseminate a combination of climate-smart crop varieties and agronomic practices to increase and sustain food and feed production. * A. Nurudeen (presenting Ghana sub-activities) * B. Zemadim (presenting Mali sub-activities) * H. Nantoume (Mali) * B. Traore (Mali) Activity 1.1.2 - Test and disseminate a combination of improved breeds, housing, feeding, health and breeding practices to intensify rearing of livestock (sheep, goat, pig, and poultry) for meat, egg and milk production. Activity 1.1.3 - Test and disseminate integrated crop-livestock-soil and agroforestry systems to increase and sustain productivity and reduce risk.

  • Output 1.2 - Integrated management practices and innovations to improve and sustain productivity and ecosystems services of the soil, land, water and vegetation resources are developed and disseminated with farmers and development partners in the intervention communities.

Activity 1.2.1 - Test and disseminate land, soil and integrated land-soil technologies and practices to improve and sustain productivity and ecosystems services at the farm and landscape/watershed levels. * F. Kizito (presenting Ghana sub-activities) * K. Traore (presenting Mali sub-activities) * A. Zenebe (presenting Ghana sub-activities) Activity 1.2.2 - Test and promote water management technologies and practices to increase water productivity in the small-scale crop-livestock farming systems under rain fed and irrigated conditions. Activity 1.2.3 - Test and promote integrated soil fertility and integrated pest management technologies and practices to increase and sustain productivity and reduce risk.

  • Output 1.3: Labor-saving and gender-sensitive technologies in target areas to reduce drudgery while increasing labor efficiency in the production cycle delivered.

Activity 1.3.1 - Train local partners on appropriate use of drudgery-reducing technology delivery. Activity 1.3.2 - Introduce, test and adapt existing pre-harvest small-scale mechanization options to farmers and partners in the intervention communities.

  • Output 2.1 - Labor-saving and gender-sensitive technologies in target areas to reduce drudgery while increasing labor efficiency in the production cycle delivered.

Activity 2.1.1 - Develop a nutrition strategy to harmonize the nutrition activities with national nutrition approaches and link them to the crop and livestock activities. * M. Saaka (presenting Ghana sub-activities) * J. Baptiste (presenting Mali sub-activities) Activity 2.1.2 - Train farm families, especially women to produce and consume diverse and more nutritious food. Activity 2.1.3 - Use nutrition focused activities as an entry point for greater involvement of younger women and the youth in the production and consumption of diverse and more nutritious foods.

  • Output 2.2 - Improved technologies, innovations, practices and habits to increase production and consumption of safe diverse and more nutritious food for farm families, especially by women and children developed and disseminated in partnership with research and development partners.

Activity 2.2.1 [Introduce, evaluate, adapt and disseminate existing postharvest technologies and practices.] & 2.2.2 [Build capacity of farm families to reduce postharvest losses.] * B. Kotu (presenting Ghana sub-activities)

  • Output 3.1 - Postharvest technologies and practices to provide options for the food, and feed sectors are tested and disseminated to farmers, through researchers, extension staff, and development partners.

Activity 3.1.1 - Review existing policies and institutional arrangements affecting equitable access to production assets and markets. * C. Osei (presenting Ghana sub-activities) * O. Sanogo (presenting Mali sub-activities) * G. Fischer (presenting Ghana sub-activities) Activity 3.1.2 - Assess the level of inclusiveness of women and the youth along crop and livestock value chains. Activity 3.1.3 - Advocate enabling policies and institutional arrangements to increase participation of farm families, especially women and youth in the output and input markets.

  • Output 3.2 - Options to expand accessibility of production assets and increase participation in house-hold decision-making by disaggregated groups by gender.

Activity 3.2.1 - Identify constraints to, and opportunities for increasing women and youth access to production assets in the target area. * J. Groot (presenting Ghana sub-activities) * O. Sanogo (presenting Mali sub-activities)

  • Output 4.1 - Alliances and effective partnerships developed between farmers, local communities, and research and development agents in the public and private sectors to enable the release, dissemination, and adoption of proven technologies and practices to scale.

Activity 4.1.1 - Conduct cost-benefit and gender analysis coupled with other socio-economic analyses to identify and quantify adoption constraints and opportunities for different farmer contexts. * B. Zemadim (presenting Mali sub-activities) * J.Odhong (presenting a related CKM activity) * I. Zeledon (presenting Ghana sub-activities) Activity 4.1.2 - Map and assess relevant stakeholders to establish dialogue for the exploration of mutual synergies for scaling delivery of validated technologies. Activity 4.1.3 - Leverage/link and integrate (engagement and outreach) with existent initiatives including Government extension systems to support and encourage the delivery pathways.

  • Output 4.2 - Gender-sensitive decision support tools to assess technology-associated risks and opportunities are available for use by project partners.

Activity 4.2.1 - Identify and communicate gender-sensitive decision support tools in the context of different farm typologies.

  • Output 4.3 - An updated framework for monitoring technology adoption to be used by the project team and scaling partners available and accessible.

Activity 4.3.1 - Monitor and report technologies and their associated beneficiaries or farmers exposed to the innovations using the tools developed by IFPRI. Activity 4.3.2 - Make these reports available on the Africa RISING repositories.

  • Output 4.4 - Knowledge sharing centers (physical structures) and learning alliances are developed within existing local and regional institutions

Activity 4.4.1 - Establish knowledge-sharing and learning alliances among scaling actors.

DAY 2 [7 June]

Presentation of draft work plans (click name of presenter to download the presentation)

  • Output 1.1

Activity 1.1.1 * Ghana ' J. Baptiste 3 sub-activities ' A. Nurudeen 3 sub-activities * Mali ' B. Zemadim (2 sub-activities) ' J. Baptiste 3 sub-activities ' B. Nebie 1 sub-activity Activity 1.1.2 * Ghana ' A. Ayantunde 3 sub-activities * Mali ' A. Ayantunde 3 sub-activities ' IER activities 2 sub-activities Activity 1.1.3 * Mali ' K. Descheemaeker ' Akin Folorunso

  • Output 1.2

Activity 1.2.1 * Ghana ' A. Zenebe 3 sub-activities ' F.Kizito 3 sub-activities * Mali ' B. Zemadim 1 sub-activity ' IER 2 sub-activities Activity 1.2.2 * Mali ' B. Zemadim (1 sub-activity)

  • Output 2.1

Activity 2.1.1 * Ghana ' M.Saaka 3 sub-activity * Mali ' C. Sobgui 2 sub-activities ' J. Groot (1 sub-activity)

  • Output 2.2

Activity: 2.2.1 * Ghana ' A.Ayantunde (1 sub-activity) ' I. Sugri 1 sub-activity Activity 2.2.2 * Ghana ' I. Sugri (1 sub-activity)

  • Output 3.2

Activity: 3.2.1 * Ghana ' C.Osei 1 sub-activity ' J.Groot 1 sub-activity * Mali ' B. Traore 2 activities

  • Output 4.1

Activity 4.1.1 * Ghana ' B. Kotu 1 sub-activity Activity 4.1.2 * Ghana ' C. Osei 1 sub-activity Activity 4.4.1 * Mali ' B. Zemadim 1 sub-activity

Feedback from farming systems research observatory team - Lieven Claessens,Jeroen Groot, Michael Abberton and Birhanu Zemadim

DAY 3 [8 June]

Reporting back on developed workplans and feedback[edit | edit source]

B. Zemadim - reporting for various Mali workplans

  • All sub-activity leaders will in the coming year work on contributions to the technology handbook.
  • We agreed to make a Ghana - Mali economic analysis on a few selected technologies, these include: hybrid Sorghum (Mali), contour bunding (Mali)
  • Bougouna and Francis have proposed a joint activity and survey on GIS.


  • Comment (Bekele): Just to clarify that this activity reported by Birhanu is not an "economic analysis", but rather it will be the prediction of adoption study, but now expanded to also include two technologies from Mali.
  • Comment (Irmgard): Birhanu let me make a slight correction regarding the way forward you just mentioned on upload of data. It is not only the meta-data that is required, but the actual research data is also required to be uploaded 12 months after the conclusion of the whole experiment.
  • Comment (Abberton): Following up on the comments and advisories from the previous day, please remember that we agreed that going forward there will be a standardized way of doing the economic analysis, gender studies, predicting adoption studies etc.
  • Comment (Irmgard to Bekele): You said that the prediction of adoption studies are being done on the assumption that economic analysis has also been done for the technologies. I don't think in that case we should do the adoption studies, but rather focus efforts to having an economic analysis done for all the technologies first.
  • Question: Do let know which technologies in both Ghana and Mali have economic analysis be done for?

Response (Bekele): In Ghana - strip cropping (maize-legume), pest management spraying regime for cowpea, maize-fertilizer. While in Mali - contour bunding, and improved fertilizers - specific sorghum hybrids.We are not ignoring economic analysis both my names and Felix's name are in Mali

  • Comment: Is it our role as a research project to be doing studies on predicting adoption? And is it a good fit for our limited resources? Shouldn't this sort of study have already been done buy the seed companies?

Response (John): The seed companies in West Africa are still in general not yet as advanced as their counterparts in Europe. So they don't have a value chain approach, they just focus on the breeder seed and multiply. So we actually have a mandate of informing them that if you want to multiply seed variety xxx for example, then this is what you need to do?

  • Question: How regionally relevant are the sorghum seed varieties being promoted in Mali under Africa RISING?

Response: The varieties are grown in Ghana, Mali and Senegal. They are also included as part of the regional catalogue for seeds in west Africa. So they don't require fresh registrations in these locations.

Akinseye Folorunso

  • Most of our initial proposals were okay, but one of the key changes we made is to incorporate economic analysis into our work.


  • Comment: Why do you still need to do another separate economic analysis yet yesterday you already presented that the model you will be using will also take care of economic analysis?

Response: It is a validation process - we will basically use the outputs of the economic analysis done by Felix Badolo to v alidade the economic information out of our model.

  • Comment: Since you are calibrating DSAT in a field condition, you can also include GSAT to do recommendation in a broader area (the whole of Mali). You can consider this option too.

Baloua Nebie

  • After yesterdays comments, I now have more deliverables.
  • I have had discussions with Francis Muthoni and we will integrate some GIS into this work.
  • We will also seek to collaborate with ILRI (Augustine) to incorporate dual purpose sorghum into the feeds of the livestock. they will use the residue of the variety. The ILRI team will also use the improved feeding troughs.


  • Comment: Change the title of this sub-activity - use of the word promoting is a bit misleading.

Response: The varieties are already developed and tested in some zones beyond Africa RISING communities. There is also a portion of scaling in this work from before.

  • Comment: The technology handbook covers completed technologies. How will the work presented in this technology factor in?

Response: We have one year worth of data already to go by in writing sections for the technology handbook. So we don't need to finish the activity before we start.

  • Comment: How come you do not have plans to monitor the environmental domains in your work?

Nurudeen We made a few changes:

  • Added Fred Kizitos / his expertise so that we have some more info. on the
  • The leaf stripping will now be set up with some linkage to the feeding.Also in our plans is to link the activities together with the Aflasafe to ensure feed safety.

Jean Baptiste The key changes in Mali work plan include:

  • Adding 2 new SI domains to collect data on.
  • Changed the team to include profitability studies (to be done by the economists)


  • Comment: What are the links / SFR perspectives in this work? It is not yet very clear. Indicating that the activities will be done within the same communities/with the same farmers is not enough.
  • Comment: Farming systems doesn't necessarily mean that one activity uses the outputs of another activity rather it focuses on studying the tradeoffs between the activities.
  • Comment:I recommend that everybody goes back to look at the SI indicator Framework to ensure that the indicators you are each citing makes sense.
  • Comment: Vegetables are high value crops and are very nutritive.

Charity Osei Feedback

  • Comment: Generally you have indicated you'd like to implement activities that relate to specific partners in this room, please be sure to have discussions with each of them in good time.

Fred Kizito

  • I have sent an email to Regis (in Africa RISING ESA) to find out the approaches they are using to study nutrient dynamics so that we can develop common approaches
  • I have also added some economic and gender into the work in consultation with Gundula and Bekele.
  • Still I haven't gotten offers for people who'd like to partners with me on the ICT for information platform. So I still hope to get the feedback.


  • Comment: Possibly you and Mahama Saaka can discuss further and see whether there is scope for you both to collaborate on the ICT for information platform.

Augustine Ayantunde

  • We'll be implementing common interventions in both Mali and Ghana.
  • We'll develop a book chapter on the livestock technologies developed.
  • I have incorporated some elements of GIS work after discussion with Francis Muthoni.
  • We have also fine tunes the FSR approach that we will be taking with better linkages with activities being implemented by Saaka for example and others.


  • Comments: Please ensure that the consultant from UDS isn't earning double/triple/quadruple from Africa RISING when he has private arrangements with different Africa rising scientists. We can talk more about this.

Jeroen Groot

  • We had revised of proposed activity to ensure that we have more recommendations coming out of our work.

Bouba Traore

  • We now have changed from PhD student to Mac student to help with some aspects of the research work.
  • We have added the social SI domain to our work now and also the human domain.


  • Comment: Your title still needs to be edited, its not clear.

Mahama Saaka

  • We have linked our work now with the vegetable activities proposed in northern Ghana and seek to understand the links with nutrition.
  • We have also tweaked the approach that we will use to a cascading one that uses a group of mothers who will train others.


  • Comment: We should still rethink whether developing radio programs is really our job and whether the budget you have indicated is enough.
  • Comment: Not sure whether this sub-activity should rather be placed under a different outcome.

Issah Sugri

  • I have consulted and revised the composition of expertise that we'll need for this activities on post-harvest.


  • Comment: What do you want to do about PICS bags - what is the research? Zero fly bags didn't work in Tanzania and you have indicated that they are hard to bring to Ghana-why do you still include it?

Adimassu Zenebe

  • We have had a discussion with colleagues from World Veg to implement a joint collaborative activity that can bring out the complementarity of our work.
  • We also had a discussion about whether they can do variety screening in our water use/solar activity experiments, but this was not possible because of the number of our water treatment s.

Discussion on the way forward on technology handbook production - discussion led by Birhanu Zemadim Partners reviewed progress made with the contributions to the proposed chapters of the technology handbook. It was agreed that progress has not been satisfactory and some of the individuals assigned to lead (chapter coordinators) some of the chapters were no longer involved in the project so replacements had to be made. Members therefore collectively reviewed the timelines proposed for the book chapters and amended the chapter leads to coordinate contributions as below.

Date Action Responsibility
9 March Comments on outline of handbook sent to Chief Scientist All partners
22 March Revised outline circulated to authors Chief Scientist
15 August Authors send their contributions to the chapter coordinator Co-authors
15 September contributions and send back to authors
30 September Coordinators send draft of chapters sent to Chief Scientist Coordinators
15 October Comment on chapters sent to coordinators by the Chief Scientist Chief Scientist
15 November Coordinators send revised chapters to Chief Scientist A 2-day workshop in Accra to review and revise the chapters Coordinators

NB: Project manager to write an email to partners listed in the chapter outlines, but are no longer actively involved in Africa RISING to contribute their fair share to the handbook considering that the project was investing in them in the past even if they aren't actively involved anymore.

Closing remarks - Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon[edit | edit source]

  • Thank you all first all for coming to this meeting in a short notice.
  • We shouldn't forget that this meeting was only possible because our Financial director at IITA accepted to allow us to spend without USAID money yet coming in.
  • I think this in general has been an effective meeting, maybe thanks to our smaller numbers.
  • Despite the fact that we can't at this stage make commitments with regards to when the funds will get to you so that you can go ahead and start implementing activities, nevertheless we are now well prepared to start activities as soon as we have the money.
  • Thank you Jonathan for helping us facilitate the meeting and discussions.
  • Thanks also to Linda for helping organize the event.
  • We now have a roadmap going forward on the work plan and have agreed on the dates.
  • The process of recruitment of a Chief Scientist for the project has started, but as you know in most of our institutions this takes bit more time.
  • I found that (from what I observed) that it was very useful to bring in colleagues from ESA project - Francis Muthoni and Lieveen Claessens to this meeting. It has been very beneficial to get their inputs.
  • Have safe travels back home and let us stay in touch.