West Africa Planning Mar2016

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Africa RISING WA Review and Planning Meeting
30 March - 1st April, 2016
Coconut Grove Regency Hotel
Accra, Ghana
[edit | edit source]

CPYprtcpnts-arwa2016.JPG[edit | edit source]

Click here to view all photos from the event

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Reviewing our progress, operations and results for the fifth and final research year
  • Allow partners to contribute to the emerging Phase II proposal for the Africa RISING program and the project in West Africa
  • Agree on activities and responsibilities for completing the project's first phase

Participants list

Day 1 (30 March, 2016)
08:00 Registration
08:30 Welcome and agenda (official welcome, objectives, agenda, participants)
09:00 Review 2015 activities, achievements and challenges - Research Output 1 (presentation and group discussion)
10:45 Group photo and coffee break
11:15 Review 2015 activities, achievements and challenges - Research Output 2 (Marketplace and reflection: Ghana)
01:00 Lunch break
02:00 Review 2015 activities, achievements and challenges - Research Output 2 (Marketplace and reflection: Mali)
03:45 Break
04:15 Overview of USAID commissioned external review (presentation and Q&A)
04:45 Gender capacity assessment (presentation and Q&A)
05:15 Wrap up and Close
07:00 Reception cocktail

Day 2 (31 March, 2016)

08:30 Revising 2016 work plans (integrating short term recommendations from the external review team) // Steering Committee Meeting runs in parallel (until lunch time)
10:30 Break and networking around coffee & tea
11:00 Work plan revision (continued)
01:00 Lunch break
02:00 Reporting back on 2016 work plans: Ghana (30' team presenting, 30' panel critiquing)
03:00 Break and networking around coffee & tea
03:30 Reporting back on 2016 work plans: Mali (30' team presenting, 30' panel critiquing)
04:30 Comms session (presentation and group hands-on training on using CG Space)
05:30 Wrap up and Close

Day 3 (April 1, 2016)

08:30 Data management and sharing
09:30 Integrate panel feedback and comments into group work (using feedback from previous day)
10:30 Break and networking around coffee & tea
11:00 Integrate panel feedback and comments into group work and short updates on the plans
12:00 Reporting back from steering committee (presentation and Q&A)
01:00 Lunch break
02:00 Presentation and discussion of draft Africa RISING umbrella proposal and draft West Africa phase 2 proposal
3:30 Break and networking around coffee & tea
3:45 Next steps (2016 work plans and proposal)
04:30 Wrap up and close


Words of welcome and introduction[edit | edit source]


  • Jenna Tajchman (USAID mission agricultural officer):
  • Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon (West Africa project coordinator, IITA):
  • Asamoah Larbi (West Africa chief scientist, IITA:

After these introductions, the participants self generated a set of expectations for a) what they aspire to see achieved and b) what they want to avoid in this meeting. Labels are added by the facilitators, not by the participants.


  • Achieve the objectives
  • Clear partner roles:
  • Clearly defined roles for each partner (partnership)
  • Building strong partnerships
  • More integration of activities (holistic approach)
  • Clear plans finalised:
  • Get specific on who what when
  • Well prepared, nearly finalised and integrated workplans
  • Put in place a clear plan for this season
  • Work plan ready for submission 2016
  • Finalized work plan from this meeting
  • Publications and data:
  • Put more emphasis on data analysis and publications in 2016

  • Livestock:
- More livestock activities in the work plan
- Learning and sharing:
- Broader info sharing
- Better connection of research themes (e.g. typologies with experiments)
- Strong collaboration between Ghana and Mali scientists

  • Phase 1 gaps --> Phase 2:
- Identify scalable technologies
- Clear identification of phase I gaps
- Phase II project clearly defined

  • Farmers: Bring farmers on board


  • Food: Food should not be only banku and fish

  • No practical follow up:
- This meeting should not be the 'usual' meeting of no practical application of synergy (actionable)
- No ability to have/develop a clear road map
- Vague good ideas, no follow through

  • Too much information:
- Too much information (overload and confusion)

  • Respect & safe space:
- No monopoly of talk
- Don't be defensive
- Repetition of ideas/comments

  • Time management
- Not going by program schedule
- Too long meeting
- Meeting should not drag on beyond the agreed time

  • Phone & internet behaviour:
- No calls
- No people on laptops, phones
- Disruption e.g.g movement, phone calls, internet

Review 2015 activities, achievements and challenges - Research Output 1[edit | edit source]

Presentations[edit | edit source]

  • Sara Signorelli 'Typology characterization of AR farmers in Ghana and Mali' - See the presentation
  • Mirja Michalsheck 'Evaluation of AR technologies per farm type and per region' - See the presentation
  • Mary Ollenburger Fitting options to context in Mali: implications for Africa RISING technologies' - See the presentation

Group discussion[edit | edit source]

How to use the results of this analysis in in-country work in the future? Mali:

  • Ex-ante cost-benefit analysis needs to be done at the earlier stage
  • Design interventions by contexts
  • Improve IFPRI mid-term surveys in 2017 based on country-specific context (socio-cultural)
  • Analyse which type of farmers are taking up which technologies
  • IFPRI links households and concessions
  • No clear difference between farmers and households
  • Provide technologies by type of farmers to increase technology adoption rate
  • Standardisation of research protocols
  • Organize better delivery inputs and management
  • Taking into account gender issues in decision-making
  • Better partnership arrangements
  • Help to design scaling up development projects by NGOs and extension services (IER, AMEDD etc.)


  • How practical are the clusters used in the baseline in inferring community- or country-specific or cultural-specific context?
  • How can we use the clusters to zero in on a specific intervention? The interventions could be presented in packages.
  • Adoption rates of interventions among the farmers interviews: what has been adapted?
  • How do we decide which farmer benefits from a particular package or technology are based on the typology?
  • To target appropriate household/farm type for testing technologies
  • Broaden the scope of typologies
  • To identify simple indicators
  • Integrative framework to use typologies --> model scaling
  • Trade offs for technologies
  • Phase 2: Baseline for scaling difficult to implement in Ongoing work
  • Use current work to validate typologies --> use typologies to explain observed outcomes
  • Harmonize typologies and clear identification
  • Be aware of limitation, find a balance between simple and complex

What's helpful or not: Mali:


  • Lack of background information to facilitate and understand results
  • Validation exercises at country level and mechanisms to use the recommendations
  • Graphs are overloaded and very academic
  • Involvement of other discipline??
  • Difficult to implement with partners (development organizations)
  • Useful as baseline for future implementation
  • Useful gender aspect
  • Validation

RO2 - marketplace Ghana / Mali[edit | edit source]

In order to present the results of 2015 work on research output 2, a marketplace was organized for each country, with five stations representing the research themes. For 5x10' the participants got to hear about the different activities, presented among others on posters. After that they got 15' to roam freely and ask more questions etc. The same process was followed for Ghana and then for Mali.

The posters that were presented will be available shortly on: [[1]]

After that a reflection session helped reflect on the 2 key questions: a) which of these research results are mature? b) based on what you know from these countries what has potential to be scaled up in phase 2?

Some confusion about 'what is completed research' - a definition is to have documented results


  • Water management (This includes: soil water conservation, potential for supplementary irrigation and potential for dry season irrigation, all important things for sustainable intensification)... here the group mentioned water bund...
  • NRM / water management
  • Spatially completed Aflasafe technology (requires another year of data collection before it's scaled up)
  • Maize level stray cropping can be completed...
  • Stray cropping Cereals-legumes using fertilizers and mechanization
  • Feed health interventions for small ruminants
  • Insecticide spray
  • Aflatoxin 'aflasafe' technology bio control


  • New cowpeas variety...
  • Nothing that is ready for scaling up but some for follow up activities e.g. cowpea/sorghum variety...
  • Combined hybrid maize and sorghum variety with watershed management
  • Local conventions pilots
  • Jujube and tamarind for end fruit production
  • Soil & watershed management technology needs some more work to be scaled

The full list of these research results and technologies was reviewed by the entire team so as to decide which research activities should stop in this final year/season.

The full list of these research results and technologies was reviewed by the entire team so as to decide which research activities should stop in this final year/season.
Ghana Mali
Research activities completed (don't need to continue in 2016) Maize/nitrogen maturity time

Integrated maize/cowpea
Insecticide 3-spray regime effect on cowpea (environmental concerns? Training farmers on safe use)
ISFM (triple super phosphate)

Documented process for developing local conventions

Compost improvement
Stakeholder mapping
New cowpea varieties
Sorghum hybrid

Research activities completed (but will continue somewhat) Cowpea spray regime

Aflatoxine biocontrol (Afla Safe) for niche markets --> EPA registration + targeting (markets) for maize and ground nut
Strip-cropping cereal/legume (unclear if this continues or not)
Feed health integrated interventions of small ruminants (small work left on health issues)
Economic analysis of AR techologies
Water management study (strip cropping, contour bund) --> economic analysis
Matching AR technologies with food security (depending also on market access)??
Nutrition: community sensitization on behaviour change
Hybrid maize and sorghum

Fruit trees (jujuber and tamarind)

Contour bund (watershed management)
Soil water conservation measures / watershed management + agronomic packages
Cowpea/sorghum variety testing
Economic analysis of AR technologies
Nutrition: intra household distribution (--> accessibility for food insecure households) + community sensitization on behaviour change

Technologies with potential for scaling up Aflatoxin bio control (Afla Safe)

Strip cropping cereal/legume (with improved varieties/fertilizer, mechanization, forages/livestock)
Feed health interventions of small ruminants
Soil and water management technology
Nutrition (behaviour change communication) and post-harvest (handling, processing, conservation)
Jujube and tamarind for early fruit production

Soil and water management technology

Nutrition (behaviour change communication) and post-harvest (handling, processing, conservation)
Jujube and tamarind for early fruit production

- Ask the farmers' opinion!
- Guidance from CBA

Gender presentation[edit | edit source]

See the presentation by Gundula Fischer (IITA).

Country group work presentations[edit | edit source]

Ghana[edit | edit source]

See the final group work results from Ghana: File:Ghana work plan 2016_combined_tracking.docx and clean version: File:Ghana work plan 2016_combined_clean.docx.

Mali[edit | edit source]

See the final group work results from Mali: File:WA work plan 2016 Draft_Mali_ReviewPlanning.docx.

Q: Have you done gender-responsive planning?

  • A: In my activities we track gender-disaggregated activities but my team can help respond
- There are gender-disaggregated activities e.g. in theme 3 on feed/health interventions for small ruminants, 50% for men 50% for women. It’s included in our protocols.

Q: You say you will have 2 new technology parks but have you done an analysis about the nutrient content in the soil etc.?

  • A: The new technology parks were recommended by the evaluation team because the current ones are far from people (up to 60km) and the idea is that we’ll continue the soil analysis with the current parks as well as for the new ones.

Q: Initial stakeholder mapping. I think it was a very useful description of how the stakeholders are organized and it’s great to have a publication about it but how are you going to design this and how can it be operationalized? Same with market information? How will it play out?

  • A: Market price information is very important for cost-benefit analysis and it varies a lot between village markets and town markets + variations in space.
- Re: the stakeholder analysis: Innovation platforms are were stakeholders come and share information about the different activities on the ground. The researchers can be informed by the farmers about the different things we have on the ground. Farmers can give information about the results. The work we’re doing on the evaluation of IP is to validate some hypotheses. Based on our current results, we are planning to develop a protocol for stakeholder mapping and engagement. If we follow different steps and start by identifying different stakeholders etc. we can make a kind of power analysis and a social analysis to identify more prominent actors engaged in the platforms. It’s more likely to have good results in terms of improving interaction and knowledge-sharing among different actors. If there’s a guidance protocol we can develop to show the different states.

Q: Is there any activity that is cutting across the 2 countries?

  • A: Nutrition (missed information)
- About nutrition, I’m assuming you have different components coming into IPs – and if that’s the case then the IP approach is good to share across countries.
-If we came up with a cross-country comparison about
- Comment: For IPs, I really like the recommendation of giving back feedback to stakeholders etc. and looking at approaches being used in Mali, the different protocols of engagement

Q: In many topics, you mentioned that things are completed and can be completed – but how can we communicate that and make use of it to get feedback, also from farmers etc. What knowledge do we have, what knowledge do they have to make well informed decisions etc. so they can adopt independently from Africa RISING?

  • A: The agronomic trials see us going every year thinking about what worked or not with the farmers and that helps us feed into the next trials. Now that these trials are finished, the plan is to keep looking at seed systems and storage approaches etc. Communication should not be just about publications but also through IPs and farmers.

Q: ??? (are you going to include livestock in technology parks?)

  • A: We’re all skeptical about having livestock in tech parks but we are doing trials with sorghum and cowpea.
- We have shared information with Jonathan and when there’s an important success story we invite the media, we publish in the weekly ICRISAT newsletter ‘Happenings’ and we are producing videos that are currently being edited + at country planning meetings we discuss work plans with partners etc. Exchange visits with Ghana etc.

Q: The recommendation talks about reducing the work load for the women (around agroforestry) so they can engage with other activities – have you considered that?

  • A: The work Katrien is doing is about targeting women farmers. She’s doing work on improving soil water conservation. There’s also a component on production of ?? for women farmers.

Q: Within the program, do we have any contingency measures about technologies that don’t work. Prices can be dynamic and some farmers may consider technologies because of the affordable price. How about stock-up measures? In TZ an agro dealer has good products but his seeds had germination issues and

  • A: ??

- Comment: How often do we involve farmers in our work plans? Decisions start and stop with scientists but are they only actors in innovation platforms? Are their views incorporated in the workplans?
- We try, in designing trials and treatments, to do this directly in collaboration with farmers.
- It would be good to learn from your project about how you ensure that… à
- At community level meetings scientists need to be present and let farmers decide.
- When I joined Africa RISING I worked with Tom van Mourik to define priority action research topics and based on these we prioritized them. Farmers prioritized agroforestry trees etc. That shows the relevance of the stakeholder mapping, engaging relevant actors that have influence or not. They have been engaged in the process.

Q: I didn’t see about improving the involvement of local universities (e.g. involvement of students)

  • A: We are mostly thinking about that for phase 2 as we can’t do it overnight.

Q: Nutrition work: Are you not supposed to integrate crop-livestock?

  • A: When we are doing nutrition we are really trying to engage livestock, cash crops, vegetables etc. If Mali have enough money to conduct some livestock activities that can feed into nutrition. For the next round we can think about integrating this.

Q: You mentioned post-harvest losses and I didn’t hear anything about this for Ghana so if we care about yields we need to think about this.

  • A: Post harvest is substantial but how substantial? Can you estimate post-harvest loss? Speaking to a few farmers is not conclusive evidence. We need to be sure about that.
- Comment: Taking into account farmers’ priorities in the process, what we used to do is to do participatory surveys in Northern and Upper East Ghana to hear that water, fencing and seeds are the biggest key issues. The project is now building infrastructures for vegetables. Farmer participatory variety selection is also used.
- But in other countries and also in Ghana this is an important issue. I assume you have the data that I have.
- In Ghana the MoA estimated post-harvest loss to 10-15% for cereals. They’ve interviewed a lot of farmers.

Communication[edit | edit source]

(In the communication session, the comms team administered a questionnaire about comms tools File:Africa RISING end of phase 1 comms questionnaire-revised.pdf, and proceeded with a hands-on demonstration of CG Space. Here are a couple of questions that the participants asked the comms team).
Q: Search criteria are difficult. If you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for it’s difficult to find stuff…

  • A: If you know the whole title of the document search for it. Otherwise you might know the name and search by author name, published date, publisher etc.

Q: Is it possible to search for the author profile? It would be great to do some analysis.

  • A: We don’t have the author profile but only the name and publications in their name etc.

Data management[edit | edit source]

See the presentation by Sara Signorelli (IFPRI)

Questions and answers:
Q: Is it is possible to show the completeness of the date in the Meta data?

  • A: It is something you can put in the data information which is called subject, you should specify the data collected and the years. When 12 month pass you can upload the new data.

Q: The request to IFPRI on hiring the local M&E people, in the job description there should be a requirement if they are trained in gender responsive, if they are not they should receive the training

  • A: Yes we have to indicate this in the job description we can also communicate directly with them.

Q. What do you mean by the US government requirement?

  • A: Every USAID funded projects have the requirement to enter their data on CKAN

Q. Why is important to collected data on CKAN, it is also to show the availability of the data. Do you have annual plans sharing the information on newsletter to inform the type of data available?

  • A: We are thinking about it, we need to make it visible on the Africa rising website and wiki but the newsletter is also a very good suggestion

Q:. Would it be possible to share the data managers proposed to be recurituted with us?

  • A: IFPRI is paying the money but the people should be recruited by ICRISIT

Steering committee feedback

  • We have the data management policy in place. It has been more than a year and we have to comply with this
  • In our work plan, we need to indicate which data to be collected. In the work plan we have asked you to indicate the type of data to be collected for each activity and this will help us to monitor and value the data.
  • All the institutions agree to comply with the data policy from Sara’s presentation this morning, you have seen a few data set is uploaded form Ghana and this is the way beyond what we have expected we need to work on this,
  • The second point we discuss was how can ensure the quality of our research. The poster shown the research done over the past years, it was not clear for steering committee, why we are doing this reach, which research questions we are addressing, the research should design research questions.
  • To improve this in the future, in phase 2 we will have 3/ 4 scientist to articulate the research question, the research questions are appropriate in the design.
  • In terms of the quality, we are a research project we are expected to publish high level publication. In order to have publications, the scientist need to have publication plan. Our publication to be accepted on journal articles we need to have a good research questions and design. So that we can plan for data collection accordingly,
  • The other point the steering committee emphasized is team meeting, are these meetings are relevant to inform each other, for the implementation of the themes, and discussion of these meeting needs to be documented and shared with teams. It should be uploaded on the wiki and some teams who missed the meeting will be informed about it.
  • In the steering committee we have one sit for international vacant it was fill by AVRCD and this sit will be open. We offer this sit to IWMI for 12 month starting in October.

Q: Gender main streaming in our work Africa RISING, what is the difference b/c gender equality and equity?

  • A: Gender equality means that the access is not open to men and women.Gender equity means to consider some equity to give access , men and women actually use the same resources

Q: What are the lesson from phase 1 Africa RISING? What are we still lack is more systematic approach. How do we really integrate it ,For phase 2 we have a plan. We need to know our capacity and a more systematic approach.

  • I really appreciate the report you sent recently, the cross cutting team need to be part of the Africa RISING fabric meetings. From the beginning of our planning and programs. How to incorporate it from the beginning and this should be on phase 2.
  • We have a gender action plan it is on the wiki and CGspace

Q: I have a problem on gender analysis, all are focusing on comparison on men and women only what do you advise to do a good gender analysis in the case of Africa RISING project?

  • A: The good gender analysis look in to other criteria, education, age, not only looking on men and women. It is good to have diversity. It should look into complexity. One has to look into specific topic on how to integrate it on your work.
- Clarification: the gender equity your are talking about ex. Access to resources ? marginal soil is for women but we can say that , how do you take the land access and access to quality of land?
  • A: It is taken in the gender analysis. We don’t’ want to include, expand the land access.

Phase 2 proposal[edit | edit source]

Presentation of phase 2 umbrella proposal See the presentation by Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon

Q&A about umbrella proposal
Q: Where is capacity development? Is that a cross-cutting issue?

  • A: It must be there and something is written up about it.

Q: On the first slide you mention the sustainable intensification indicators moving forward – can we get clear guidance on the vague use of these indicators at program level? Yesterday we implied that there was no guidance yet on how we proceed with the SI framework – if soon, at the next PCT meeting this can be decided it would be great.

  • A: It will take place next week.

Q: I’m a bit confused about the difference between the new approach and the R4D approach. In R4D we are also considering the innovation platforms, R4D platforms etc. to address the farmers’ demands.

  • A: This was also a new concept to me but we said we would have a mixed approach. We brought R4D platforms 2-3 years into the project, we didn’t have such a close link to the ground. We had farmers’ involvement in constraint analysis etc. but the main difference is that research teams go to development partners and ask where you are going, what are the needs of your target group and from that point we start the research planning.

Q: This RinD approach, does it empower local NGOs and private sector actors in a better way than R4D?

  • A: Early engagement, from the beginning with development partners etc. (through government initiatives, NGOs etc.) means we’ll have a stronger say from the beginning. Now we go to development partners and mention to them ‘hey these are our technologies, wouldn’t they be interesting to you?’ but in RinD we start by asking them what their needs are.

Q: How is the umbrella document connected to the regional proposal?

  • A: The link is that we have to show we are operating as a program and that we have something that pulls the three regions together. Our principles and approaches should be applied in all regions.

Q: So RinD, is it demand-driven research/innovation/technology? But isn’t that the same as in R4D?

  • A: In AR we claim we do demand-driven research but obviously that is not rigorous enough. We have a few citations about this concept in the proposal document.

Q: We are talking about some concepts but the previous concepts are not yet understood by all. Let’s not waste time by using these new concepts.

  • A: But it has implications on how we do research and we have to show that the project is evolving.

Q: Yesterday we were talking about integration of different aspects of the work, modeling etc. but do you think that an RinD model will be helpful in helping us integrating.

  • A: For our thematic integration, I don’t know. We’ll have to ask partners and beneficiaries about the variety they want. A research program has the flexibility to look into other aspects.

Q: So we go ask what questions they want to see answered and research on these but does that mean that all our research will be dictated by the needs of development partners?

  • A: For sure we’ll have a blend of the 2 approaches. We have invested years of work and money in certain approaches and we will continue some of that research in phase 2.

Q: There’s a bit of semantics about R4D and RinD. Even in R4D development partners are involved and influence what we are doing. We also assume that in RinD development issues will be translated into research questions but it may not necessarily be the case. We need to be pragmatic and as a research project we can’t address all development issues from a basket of issues to address. Phase 2 is building on phase 1. We still need to build on what we’ve done.

  • A: Yes! A danger would be also that development actors are totally out of our sites and we are currently constrained by the fact we currently are not allowed to change our sites.

Q: In this case, we are going to involve development partners in our research and this action research will directly be embedded in the development process but my concern here is that we are shifting from a research approach with a conventional type to action-research. We are going to conduct action research. I’m not sure whether we have thought this shift in our West African research plan.

  • A: I wouldn’t worry about action research because what AR has done and will do is action research. Our RO1 is on diagnostic research and use of tools. RO2 is the action research. This is not a shift.

Presentation of the West Africa regional proposal
See the presentation by Asamoah Larbi. If I received suggestions from you, I will circulate the refined draft proposal and send it to project manager by end of April.

Q&A about the regional proposal
Q: We need to flag linkages with existing and upcoming projects - how to early on build on those projects e.g. Crop-livestock project by BMGF.

  • A: I didn't want to go into details here but in the draft we have projects and linkages (see p.8 of the document shared) for Ghana and Mali and the involvement of development partners. We have several partners in Ghana and I pulled out the key ones. If something's missing please add it to the list?
- Comment: The way you have categorized interventions into two components kind of defeats the spirit of RinD. You need to embed development in each of these themes. Partnerships and delivery help you get the outcomes for each theme. I would like you to consider the framing for specific outcomes/target groups. So which of the themes and partnership arrangements do we need to achieve the outcomes we have set out to reach?
- We need figures for the vision of success and the value for money we have viz. USAID etc. We haven't yet had concrete and firm commitment from development partners but we need to put in figures in the proposal. That's the first thing USAID will look at in the proposal.

Q: Is the research theme 4 on scaling of technologies and networking not a development theme?

  • A: We split the themes and theme 4 is about what works best (scalable technologies) and reviewers said "you should never have proposed RO3 in the current framework because you don't have a comparative advantage or expertise to do it". We discussed it at the PCT meeting 2 weeks ago and wondered if we should do it and 2 members said that somebody has to do it so we want to have a database about what works best in terms of scaling. We are exploring with partners and are collaborating with them on that. That's anyway the reason why this theme is a research theme
- Comment: We talked about the feasibility of development issues and if we embed different components, it seems the theme 5 is more about feasibility.
- Comment: I'm sure there's not so much time for revision of this so we would better spend time looking at research questions etc. rather than look at objectives, themes etc.

That's what we need: suggestions, inputs to revise the proposal.

- Comments: About theme #4 and the option of dropping it. If we drop it we will compromise our action research methodology which is about triggering change in research etc. If we get rid of that theme I would be wondering where action research is. If we keep it, the implication is that we need more social scientists about innovation studies etc. I would suggest we keep that as part of our action research methodology and with more social scientists.

Q: We need to quantify what we are doing - should we do this on hard copy or do we get a chance to chip in more on this?

  • A:


  • A:


  • A:

Suggestions/inputs from the participants about the regional proposal[edit | edit source]

Key comments

  • In a lot of cases, there's not necessarily a good relationship between the research questions and activities
  • Research questions or activities are in a number of cases not clearly building upon what has been achieved in phase 1, with some exceptions.
  • The flow from objectives to questions to activities was not really very clear in a lot of cases.
  • Mismatch between research questions and objectives in theme 3. Some should move to other sessions e.g. research question objective 3.1 should move to objective 3.2 to match it. Objective 3.1 research question 2 should be reformulated to fit 3.1
  • The focus is on women, children but about other target groups?
  • Develop theme 3 where we felt there was a missing link to policy --> provide policy suggestions on how we can assess our inputs to vulnerable groups like women.

Closing and evaluation[edit | edit source]

Next steps[edit | edit source]

A lot has been done about the group work, I'll put it all together and 6 April the project managers should receive the final work plans. 15 April: we'll circulate the draft proposal to everybody so make sure your email address is mentioned in the participants' list. Based on your suggestions, the revised proposal will be sent to the managers on 27 April.

  • Q: When are we likely to have the new agreements?
  • A: When you have submitted data! When we (Irmgard+Asamoah) get these work plans we review them and might have questions and then these plans get to the steering committee; once they are approved by the steering committee the agreements are sent.

Advancing cash, as last year, is good as we have work plans that start in April (e.g. IP meetings, technology park identification etc.).

Michael I wish you all the best... I would like to thank Linda for the logistical organization. Thank you for the facilitators for the excellent facilitation, it has made the facilitation very productive. Thank you Asamoah, Irmgard etc.

Evaluation[edit | edit source]

Is there a value in review and planning meetings? Yes says a majority of participants

What did you like about review and planning meetings - to continue in phase 2

  • Please invite me again
  • We appreciated having the posters as we can come back to that, it's more dynamic than the Powerpoint presentations
  • We have posters, there are some results
  • We had a very good meeting, we were interacting, no hard discussion and most of the time we came up with conclusions, it was a very professional meeting

What would you do differently in the future, for phase 2

  • We should invite other stakeholders, and emphasise markets and policies for social inclusion
  • We should really see how we can involve the deliberations of different people in AR to reduce duplication - is it a number of farmers! Improve integration!
  • Scientists should have some more time to tell us about their success stories, beyond the posters
  • We can be more inclusive in decision-making about our activities
  • Socio-economists will get 50% (or 65%) of the budget in the 2nd phase ;))
  • We did actual research for development but on the quiet side. In the 2nd phase we want to step up R4D and reach so many households
  • We don't want to see conflicts in the roles between CGIAR and other actors

After action review[edit | edit source]

In addition to the evaluation by the participants, the organizers and facilitators had an 'after action review' to check what went well and what could be improved in such meetings in the future...

Positive outcomes

  • Work plan better than last year
  • Expectations met
  • No complaint (from participants) about not being involved in the writeshop
  • Interaction and feedback on West Africa proposal
  • Venue is good
  • Posters are good

Could have been better

  • Noisy room
  • Reception wasn't well arranged
  • Miscommunication with the hotel
  • Feedback on the West Africa proposal could have been collected otehrwise
  • Posters were wasted
  • Internet didn't help for the communication session
  • Getting all organizers together for planning sessions about this event didn't happen until very late

How to change that in the future

  • More preparation time and communication for the posters
  • Duration of sessions on day 1: make it lighter
  • Arrange alternative internet facility
  • Arrange training for beginners, intermediate people etc.
  • Start comms training with basic skills (browsing, password management, searching etc.)
  • Paraphrase organizers to end up with clear instructions the next day of work and avoid confusion / misunderstandings

Organizers page

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Reviewing the progress, operations and results for the 2014/15 research year
  • Allow partners to contribute to the emerging Phase II proposal for the Africa RISING program and the project in West Africa
  • Agree on activities and responsibilities for completing the project's first phase

Agenda Day 1 (30 March, 2016)

  • 8:00 Registration
  • 8:30 Welcome, objective and agenda

Process: ELB * 3' Welcome by Michael ?? (Deputy Director West African hub IITA) * 5' Welcome speech - Irmgard * 5' Introduction of the workshop objectives and agenda by Asamoah * (if need be introduce USAID rep) * 5' Intro exercise by Facilitator * 15' Group definition of what they want to see achieved in this meeting and b) what they want to avoid + If anyone is new, introduce him/her.

  • 9:00 Review 2015 activities, achievements and challenges - Research Output 1

Process: ELB * 75': three presentations (WUR/IFPRI) ' Sara Signorelli 'Typology characterization of AR farmers in Ghana and Mali' (20' presentation + 5' clarification Q&A) ' Mirija Michalsheck 'Evaluation of AR technologies per farm type and per region' (20' presentation + 5' clarification) ' Mary Ollenburger 'Fitting options to context in Mali: implications for Africa RISING technologies' (20' presentation + 5' clarification) * 10' group discussion about why it may or may not work... and how to use the results of this analysis for in-country work in the future. Collect feedback on flipchart sheets. * 20' Open discussion to collect this feedback...

  • 11:15 Review 2015 activities, achievements and challenges - Research Output 2 (Marketplace 1/2) GHANA - TG

Process: * 50' BUS STOP process, the session will happen in parallel, 10 min' for each stand, depending on the number of booth we will arrange the time split accordingly. PROBABLY 2 SESSIONS WITH 5 STATIONS EACH = 50' FOR EACH COUNTRY * 25' FREE ROAMING * Theme leaders/presenters:

        1. Bekele
        2. Nureddin
        3. Franklyn Avorno
        4. Fred K.
        5. Mamah Saaka
  • 12.30 Reflections on promising issue from the marketplace:

a) Which of these research results are mature? b) Based on what you know in the countries, what has potential to be scaled up in phase 2? * Process: ' 10' 1-2-all about these questions ' 15-20' Open discussion to finish this ' 5' Filling the form by activity leaders * Theme leaders/presenters:

        1. Binyam
        2. Mary O.
        3. Augustine
        4. Birhanu
        5. Caroline S.
  • 13.00 Lunch
  • 14.00 Review 2015 activities, achievements and challenges - Research Output 2 (Marketplace 2/2) MALI - ELB

Process: * 50' BUS STOP process, the session will happen in parallel, 10 min' for each stand, depending on the number of booth we will arrange the time split accordingly. PROBABLY 2 SESSIONS WITH 5 STATIONS EACH = 50' FOR EACH COUNTRY * 25' FREE ROAMING

  • 15:15 Reflections on promising issues from the marketplace

Process: * 10' 1-2-all about these questions * 15-20' Open discussion to finish this

  • 15.45 Break
  • 16.15 Overview of USAID commissioned external review (presentation) - TG

Process: * 15 min presentation by Irmgard * 15 min' Q&A (clarification) * 5 min about USAID mission expectations about what could be funded

  • 16.45 Gender capacity assessment: TG

Process: 15' presentation + 15' clarification questions

  • 17.15 Wrap up and close + introduce the template for group work (Asamoah) + closing comments (5' together + 7 words each) - TG
  • 7:00 Reception cocktail

Day 2 (31 March, 2016)

  • 8:30 2016 work plans revision (integration of evaluation comments) // Steering Committee Meeting runs in parallel (until lunch time)

Process: * Group work per country: Based on the recommendations and some emerged discussion ideas of day 1 discussion, countries will modify/ revise 2016 working plan. * IF TEAMS ARE DONE WITH THE GROUP WORK THEY CAN START THINKING ABOUT HOW TO ENSURE BETTER INTEGRATION IN THE NEXT PHASE - DO WE HAVE ANY QUESTION FOR THEM TO PREPARE FOR THIS? * ECONOMICS, COMMS, GENDER SPECIALISTS TO ROTATE AND ADDRESS THE PLANS...

  • 10:30 Break and networking around coffee & tea
  • 11:00 Group work, continued
  • 1:00 Lunch break
  • 2:00 Reporting back on 2016 plans (Ghana)

Process: * 20-30' PRESENTATION BY GHANA TEAM INCLUDING ALL 5 THEMES FOCUSING SPECIFICALLY ON INTEGRATION ISSUES AND ON ADDRESSING RECOMMENDATIONS FROM EXTERNAL REVIEW TEAM * 30-40' CRITIQUING IN A DRAGONS' DEN PANEL KIND OF FORMAT. DRAGONS' DEN INCLUDES A MIX AMONG: ' 'Ghana: Birhanu, Bekele, Sara, Niamoye Yaro. ' 'Mali: Fred, Bekele, Sara, Kehinde Makinde, Roland (Heifer country rep in Ghana). ' + comments from anyone else from the audience (e.g. Irmgard, Jonathan)

  • 3:00 BREAK
  • 3:30 Reporting back on 2016 plans (Mali)


  • 4:30 Comms session

Process: * Objectives: ' To understand the participants use of the communication tools we have had in Africa RISING phase 1 – the wiki, yammer, CG space etc ' To train them on retrieving publications from CG space * Process: ' 5' Intro ' 10' Administer a 1-2 page questionnaire that we can (administer and) analyze later, after the event. This will be a useful assessment for internal reflections on the tools we’ve been using and what if any we need to tweak in phase ' 15' Debriefing on that questionnaire ' 25' Capacity building on CG space because it has come to my notice that most of our partners aren’t first of all aware of the existence of this mega repository for all the reports and presentations they produce and for those who are aware they complain of the difficulty of retrieving materials. I believe we can build an interesting session on this. ' 5' Closing statements

  • 5:30 Wrap up and close

process: If Mateete comes to ask him to give us reflection of the day/ pop corn with participants - > yes, perhaps preceded by 3' talking to your neighbour? // I LIKE THE TALKING TO YOUR NEIGHBOUR PART - SO WE CAN ELICIT PARTICIPANTS' COMMENTS TOO

  • 5:45 Close

Day 3 (April 1, 2016)

  • 8:30 Data management and sharing session (ELB)

Process: * 15' PRESENTATION ("Data management and sharing protocol”) including who's uploaded stuff on CKAN ? - 15' Q&A

  • 10:30 Break and networking around coffee & tea
  • 12:00 Reporting back from steering committee (ELB)

Process: reporting from steering committee (15') Q&A (5-15') clarification only

  • 12:30 Lunch break - including filling the FtF sheets for activity leaders (ELB)
  • 2:00 Presentation (and discussion) of draft Africa RISING umbrella proposal and draft West Africa phase 2 proposal? (TG)

20 minutes (10-15'+10-15') presentation/ update about phase proposal write-shop output/ draft: Irmgard / Asamoah? 10 min' Clarification Q&A 20-30' suggestions in break out groups about what they would like to propose etc.

  • 3:00 Break and networking around coffee & tea
  • 3:00 Next steps (2016 work plans and proposal) and closing - DEADLINE 6 April. (TG)

Process: * 15' Asamoah / Irmgard to present next concrete steps * 15' Clarifications from the group * 15' Evaluation * 15' Closing comments and thank you's (Michael, Asamaoah)

  • 4:00 Close

1.To understand the participants use of the communication tools we have had in Africa RISING phase 1 – the wiki, yammer, CG space etc 2.To train them on retrieving publications from CG space

To achieve objective 1, I plan to develop a 1-2 page questionnaire that we can administer and analyze later (after the event). This will be a useful assessment for internal reflections on the tools we’ve been using and what if any we need to tweak in phase 2. With regards to my objective 2, the aim is to continue our capacity building efforts on communications at every annual review and planning meeting. I selected CG space because it has come to my notice that most of our partners aren’t first of all aware of the existence of this mega repository for all the reports and presentations they produce and for those who are aware they complain of the difficulty of retrieving materials. I believe we can build an interesting session on this.