The JOLISAA project aims to increase understanding of agricultural innovation systems focusing on smallholders’ livelihoods and the articulation of local/traditional and global knowledge. Lessons learnt about past and ongoing experiences with agricultural/rural innovation in East, Southern and West Africa will be synthesised by combining joint case-study assessment with capacity-strengthening and networking at various scales. Case studies will tackle diverse innovation types and scales: from natural resource management to production and agribusiness, from local initiatives to national and regional ones. Joint learning will be fostered by engaging diverse stakeholders, including researchers, practitioners and policymakers. The project will deliver relevant, pragmatic and collectively validated recommendations to the EC and to African decision-makers for future research, practice and policy. Over 30 months, a small consortium of European and African partners involving highly experienced and motivated research, development, capacity-strengthening and networking institutions will facilitate an iterative process consisting of five interlinked thematic Work Packages (WPs). In WP1, an analytic framework and an operational approach will be developed based on an innovation-system perspective and carefully adapted to the context and experiences of three regions in Africa. WP2 will involve joint assessment and learning from a series of case studies in Kenya, South Africa and Benin. In WP3, the capacity of members of existing multistakeholder innovation platforms to assess their experiences and to facilitate innovation will be strengthened, in close interaction with case-study development. In WP4, lessons will be shared and discussed within existing national innovation platforms across Africa and with European/international institutions. WP5 will compile and share the project outputs and deliver them in formats suitable for a range of audiences, from academia to policymakers.
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