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Including Smallholders in Agricultural Research for Development

Final Report Summary - INSARD (Including Smallholders in Agricultural Research for Development)

Executive Summary:
INSARD (INcluding Smallholders in Agricultural Research for Development) is an EU-funded project that is working towards making it easier for civil-society organisations (CSOs) – both non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and farmer organisations (FOs) – to be actively involved in influencing agricultural research systems in Africa.

Involving CSOs in agricultural research for development (ARD) helps scientists to understand the needs of small-scale farmers. Such organisations are important for shaping ARD because, to have a positive impact on small-scale farmers, the research needs to involve them at all stages: in determining needs, identifying problems and opportunities, designing and testing new possibilities, sharing results, and assessing the way the research is done and the results shared. Incorporating small-scale farmers into ARD in this way will help to better serve their needs and to discover and spread innovations that farmers have been involved in developing.

Some CSOs are already involved in ARD in different parts of Africa, but they know little about what each other is doing. Their efforts to influence the wider research agenda are not well coordinated. We tried to help improve this situation by working on the following four project objectives:

Objective 1: Designing a structure/mechanism for coordination and communication between European and African CSOs (FOs and NGOs) involved in influencing policies and practices around ARD

Objective 2: Agreeing on CSO research priorities and the strategy to communicate these to other stakeholders, bringing them to the international agenda

Objective 3: Actively lobbying and advocating for smallholder involvement in ARD to key African and European research organisations and donors

Objective 4: Ensuring that the consortium operates in a smooth, effective and efficient manner and that the project deliverables are produced within the time schedule and with the available budget.

INSARD was implemented by a consortium and included a partnership between:
• ESAFF (Eastern and Southern Africa Small-Scale Farmers’ Forum)
• ETC Foundation
• GRET, Professionals for fair development
• PELUM (Participatory Ecological Land Use Management) Association Regional Desk
• Practical Action (which withdrew from INSARD in July 2012)
• REPAOC (Réseau des Plates-formes nationales d’ONG d’Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre)

Project Context and Objectives:
ARD is currently facing major challenges. Over 70% of the world’s poor and hungry live in rural settings and depend directly on agriculture, with 2.1 billion of them living on less than 2 USD per day (IAASTD 2008). The natural resources on which agriculture depends (land, water, genetic resources) are threatened by conflicts, poverty, population pressure and climate change, particularly in the more marginal areas.

Almost 2.5 billion out of 3 billion rural people in the developing world still engage in agricultural production (Hazell 2007, WDR 2008), of which 1.5 billion produce on approximately 400 million small (less than 2 ha) and very small (less than 1 ha) farms. The number of larger, mechanised, market-oriented farms in developing countries amounts to only 20 million. Despite recurrent predictions that small farms will soon disappear, they prove to be remarkably resilient and the total area of arable land occupied by small farms continues to grow (van der Ploeg 2008). Most small-scale producers live in relative poverty and their livelihoods are frequently threatened.

Many governments in developing countries have, over recent decades, reduced their support for agricultural development and agricultural research and have largely neglected small-scale farmers . Many bilateral donors have stopped funding ARD programmes or focus mainly on larger-scale and export-oriented agriculture. In addition, only 6% of the ARD investments worldwide were spent in 80 mostly low-income countries (IAASTD 2008).

This comes at a time when the whole organisation and approach of ARD is being revised and challenged in order to increase its effectiveness. There is an increasingly urgent call to replace or complement research approaches in which research organisations specialised in generating new knowledge/technologies operate in relative isolation from small-scale farmers’ realities, their knowledge and their socio-economic and cultural contexts and dynamics (Pretty 1998).

To meet the above challenges and, given the complexity of smallholder livelihoods (IAASTD 2008), an innovation systems perspective on ARD is needed (IAS 2006) in which land-users and their organisations are not mere recipients of new knowledge but also potential sources and/or partners in its generation. This will have implications for ARD systems, staff, mindset, tools and methods. The IAASTD call for a reorientation in ARD is finding positive responses in key organisations such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the CGIAR Consortium. Both are adopting a discourse for an ARD that is more field oriented and better focused on small-scale food production.

Civil society organisation (CSO) involvement in ARD fora and policy development

There is generally wide agreement that, in the current process of reorienting and strategising ARD and reforming ARD institutions, the input and involvement of civil society organisations (CSOs) – encompassing NGOs, FOs and community-based organisations (CBOs) – will be critically important. CSOs are generally close to small-scale farmers’ realities and can thus identify, formulate and present smallholders’ key interests and concerns. They have a long history of working on the ground in rural development and are a rich source of information on locally effective development practices. Many farmers, with or without support organisations, are involved in informal research and experimentation, providing a rich source of inspiration and starting point for a meaningful partnership with formal research programmes.

Serious efforts have been made in recent years to involve CSOs, from the South and from the North, in ARD policy and programme development and, to a certain extent, in ARD implementation. The Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) and the regional and sub-regional fora linked to it include formal space for CSO participation. Unfortunately, the usefulness and effectiveness of the present form of CSO consultation and involvement have been limited. There are fundamental flaws related to organisation and coordination of the CSO involvement, their selection and representation, capacities, and coordination and communication. Farmers, for one, are frequently considered as a large homogenous group to be represented by a single FO (or NGO), without any clear communication of the fact that knowledge and information needs vary widely according to socio-economic and agro-ecological circumstances. NGOs, in addition, are often requested to come up with a consensus standpoint, without being supported to go through a thorough consultation and consensus-building process.

There is also a basic lack of mutual understanding between small-scale farmers and agricultural researchers. Due to the pressing need to alleviate poverty in the short term, farmers’ representatives may present research issues as a list of demands which the scientists find difficult to convert into a research agenda. For their part, research institutes have done little to build understanding amongst communities of small-scale farmers about what agricultural research can and cannot deliver. The question is hence to know whether some NGOs can have a function to help translating the problems and demands raised by smallholders into questions for the researchers, and whether these NGOs can support researchers in communicating with farmers so as to effectively support greater innovation at farmer level.

Of particular interest is the need for strategies to structure and organise the representation of European and African NGOs around ARD. NGOs and FOs participating in various fora often find it difficult to be able to speak on behalf of others. In many cases, it is assumed that FOs can be represented by NGOs, rather than allowing FOs to present their positions independently. FOs that do participate in policy events often represent the larger (international) market-oriented farmers. At the same time, Southern FOs and NGOs often lack visibility and resources to actively participate in these mostly North-dominated debates.

The INSARD project looked into these concerns, and piloted a transparent system for good-quality CSO input into developing joint research outlines in the three host countries, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. The project mapped major ARD stakeholders, developed a strategy for CSO communication and coordination, developed a policy-influencing strategy and organised and participated in various fora, all with the overall aim of fostering ARD with informed participation of a broad range of European and African CSOs in formulating and implementing ARD policies.


The objectives of the INSARD project were:

Objective 1: Designing a structure/mechanism for coordination and communication between European and African CSOs (FOs and NGOs) involved in influencing policies and practices around ARD (Work Package (WP) 1)

Objective 2: Agreeing on CSO research priorities and the strategy to communicate these to other stakeholders, bringing them to the international agenda (WP2)

Objective 3: Actively lobbying and advocating for smallholder involvement in ARD to key African and European research organisations and donors (WP3)

Objective 4: Ensuring that the consortium operates in a smooth, effective and efficient manner and that the project deliverables are produced within the time schedule and with the available budget (WP4)

WP1 referred to designing a system for coordination and communication towards coordinating CSOs’ inputs into the ARD agenda and included tasks such as: 1) formalisation of linkages with existing initiatives such as PAEPARD, 2) studying the present CSO coordination and communication mechanisms, and 3) developing a joint document to enhance CSO communication and coordination (CSO communication and coordination strategy).

WP2 supported CSOs to play a brokerage role in bringing farmers’ own research priorities to the attention of research institutes by facilitating the development of joint research outlines. The project piloted this brokerage process and communicated insight to the national and international arena and was in this way closely linked with WP 3.

WP3 focused on policy dialogue and on developing and implementing a policy-influencing strategy. The project identified key messages directed to different target groups to enhance informed participation of CSOs in ARD in order to better reflect and address smallholders’ research priorities and their own efforts in innovation.

WP4 referred to effective coordination and communication between the project consortium partners to ensure good project management. A project management team, consisting of one person actively involved in project implementation from each consortium member organisation, made the key strategic decisions and was involved in planning, monitoring and reporting. This WP also ensured effective administrative and financial management of the project.
Project Results:
The main S&T results are described for the first three Work Packages below; WP 4 refers to project management and, therefore, the outcomes of the other WPs were an indirect outcome of the good performance of WP4.

WP 1: Designing and agreeing on a system for coordination and communication between EU and African CSOs

The main S&T results under WP1 included the following:
1) Document on mapping EU and sub-Saharan African CSO engagement in ARD and resource-allocation processes, December 2011 (D1.1)
2) A strategy for developing CSO communication and coordination mechanisms for ARD, March 2013 (Deliverable 1.2 and Milestone 2)
3) Case study on partnership between CSOs and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA), April 2012 (additional)
4) Facilitation of the CSO Group on Agricultural Research for Development (CSO-GARD) e-list (part of Task 1.1)

Mapping EU and sub-Saharan African CSO engagement in ARD and resource allocation processes

The mapping study was conducted to: (a) identify challenges and opportunities for achieving greater participation of CSOs in the prioritisation, formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of ARD; and (b) make recommendations for increasing CSO involvement in ARD agenda setting, implementation and resource-allocation processes.

The study identified about 90 sub-Saharan African (SSA) and 50 European CSOs involved in four main kinds of activities related to ARD: policy research, policy influence, capacity building, and field-based or field-oriented research. It also identified some of the partners with whom each CSO works and the domains of ARD they are involved in. This information will help the CSOs connect with one another. For example, those involved in field-based research on specific types of crop production can share information from time to time, while those doing policy research can link with CSOs focused on influencing ARD policy within sub-regions and beyond.

Two kinds of ARD agenda-setting mechanisms were identified for Africa: (a) policy frameworks and (b) regional and international fora. Altogether, five international fora were identified: the Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR), the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and its associated Committee on World Food Security (CFS), the Global Partnership of International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) and the Platform for African-European Partnership in Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD), which was the only forum specific to the EU and SSA. In the EU, the regional agenda-setting forum is the European Forum for Agricultural Research and Development (EFARD), while in SSA there are one regional and three sub-regional fora: Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA); West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (WECARD/CORAF); Association for Strengthening of Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA); and Centre for the Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa (CCARDESA). The study suggests how each of these international, regional and sub-regional ARD agenda-setting fora could be approached to increase CSO involvement.

The main resource-allocation mechanisms that CSOs can influence include the EU, the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development (GDPRD), European Initiative for ARD (EIARD) and the SSA governments. Nearly 40 donors of ARD in SSA were identified, most of them northern governments and foundations, and with different approaches to ARD. Most of the donors do not have internal mechanisms for CSO participation but tend to involve them during programme and strategy reviews and planning. Certain policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) have an indirect bearing on ARD and agricultural support in SSA and the extent to which CSOs may be included. Under the African Union, SSA governments committed themselves to setting aside 10% of national budgets to agriculture and, under Pillar 4 of the Comprehensive Africa Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP); they committed themselves to increasing support for ARD. The study also identified four kinds of ARD funding trends among 30 countries of SSA: the funding of one third of the countries is declining, while that of another third is increasing. In an equal number of countries of the remaining third, funding was either fluctuating or steady. Economic performance of individual countries, relative priority level of ARD, and overall donor funding levels and relationships were the major determinants of ARD funding levels. The mapping identified several challenges to CSOs involved in ARD; these may be summarised as follows:

ARD agenda setting
- Inadequate mechanisms to generate the required data and to speak in one voice or to get their different voices heard
- Competing interests among the CSOs at multiple levels
- Poor separation and coordination of duties within, between and among NGOs and FOs
- CSO actors and other ARD stakeholders have difficulties in understanding one another because of different “languages” and ways of making sense of the world
- CSOs are bypassed and often not taken seriously when they attend relevant platforms
- Poor participation of CSOs in National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS) linked to low densities of CSOs involved in ARD, which then compromises participation at sub-regional forum and FARA levels

ARD-related policy influence
- Excessive use of the confrontation approach
- Perceived and actual lack of capacity to generate evidence to back up data positions
- Inadequate time and resources to pursue policy matters to their logical end because of the short-term funding cycles
- Limited capacity to mobilise other CSOs and collaborate due to narrow focus or self-centredness
- Lack of legitimacy to speak on behalf of others (this is especially true for some NGOs who try to speak on behalf of farmers)
- Poor separation of duties between and among CSOs (e.g. NGOs and FOs)

ARD policy and field-based research
- Limited domain knowledge
- Low prioritisation of research among CSOs
- Fear of consequences of not producing new knowledge or innovation following years of investment (cannot afford this luxury)
- Lack of dedicated funds that cover long duration of certain kinds of research
- Inadequate connections and history of working with other ARD stakeholders
- Poor linkages between CSOs engaged in ARD and CSOs engaged in policy influence

ARD resource-allocation processes
- CSOs largely do not have the space to engage with donors
- Not knowing about donor and government mechanisms even where they exist or not having the capacity to analyse and engage with the structures and processes
- CSOs’ lack of capacity and interest to do joint research with other CSOs and influence the donors’ resource allocation
- Competing interests among CSOs
- Shifting donor interests or clashes between donor interests and priorities of CSOs.

The study led to the following eight recommendations:
1. NGOs in SSA should enhance their capacity to conduct policy and field-based research by building their domain knowledge
2. NGOs and FOs in SSA should establish robust mechanisms and approaches for relating productively with one another and with other stakeholders in agricultural research for the development of ecological and family farming
3. EU NGOs involved in ARD should lobby for the creation of increased spaces for the SSA NGOs to influence EU and international agenda-setting and resource-allocation processes
4. SSA CSOs should mobilise their energies, resources and capacities and strategically take part in ARD governance structures at all levels
5. SSA and EU CSOs in ARD should participate in the Civil Society Mechanism (CSM) of the CFS to ensure inclusion and support of ecologically oriented ARD at UN level
6. CSOs already in agenda-setting and other decision-making structures should lobby and create space for more rooted CSO involvement in ARD
7. SSA CSOs should demand space in resource-allocation mechanisms that have a bearing on ARD
8. INSARD should lobby for the development and funding of national platforms for ecologically oriented ARD.

Strategy for developing CSO communication and coordination mechanisms for ARD

This strategy paper outlines the possible mechanisms for improving current CSO communication about and contribution to ARD in Africa. The paper provides a short overview of past and current experiences of CSO engagement in ARD and some of the main challenges. It highlights the importance of improved communication and coordination among CSOs to make it possible for ARD to become more meaningful to and relevant for small-scale farmers, also those farming in marginal areas. The paper then provides suggestions as to how coordination mechanisms could be developed and current ones improved to ensure a greater voice of African smallholder farmers in investments in and the orientation of ARD in Africa.

Serious efforts have been made in recent years to involve CSOs, from the South and from the North, in ARD policy and programme development and, to a certain extent, in ARD implementation: the GFAR and the regional and sub-regional fora linked to it include formal space for CSO participation. Unfortunately, the usefulness and effectiveness of the present form of CSO consultation and engagement have been limited. There are fundamental flaws related to the organisation and coordination of CSOs’ involvement, their selection and representation, and communication with and among them. This has, at times, led to frustration and misunderstanding between agricultural researchers, CSOs and smallholder farmers. There are differing views on the causes of the problems, leading to different recommendations and policy prescriptions.

Some of the major issues within the African ARD context can be grouped under four main areas:
(a) Attitudes towards smallholder farming: some researchers regard smallholder farmers in the more remote, risk-prone and fragile ecosystems as “unviable” in the long term. Attitudes towards these farmers often remain dismissive, with little recognition of their needs, knowledge and innovations. This has an impact on ARD, as some farmers are seen as “more equal” than others.
(b) Capacities for engagement: Many CSOs working on agriculture are more concerned with development than research and only a few have programmes that focus on ARD. They often have limited knowledge of research processes and cannot articulate farmers’ problems as researchable questions and, therefore, struggle to design research projects. Furthermore, CSOs do not coordinate their responses or organise themselves sufficiently to convey common messages from farmers, making it difficult for researchers to identify an unambiguous “farmers’ voice”. Moreover, when CSOs do get involved in ARD policy issues, they are often unable to provide the evidence to back their views that appears credible to researchers. From the CSO point of view, there is a feeling that their views are not taken seriously and they are usually bypassed in meetings: research issues raised by CSOs have been ignored or downplayed. The lack of mutual understanding between CSOs and researchers points to a capacity need on both sides.
(c) Representation and accountability; Smallholder farmers are a diverse group with differing concerns; they also overlap with wider communities of rural populations and poor consumers (urban and rural) – all of which have legitimate interests in the future of agriculture and therefore of ARD. Current representation in ARD processes by a handful of CSOs or farmers is simply not sufficient to allow for real influence and equitable engagement. Farmers are often treated as one homogenous group, with CSOs expected to articulate one “farmers’ voice”. The needs of marginalised farmers in remote, fragile ecosystems are obviously very different from those of small-scale farmers in “high-potential” areas close to urban centres. With no clear mechanisms for selecting individual farmers or CSOs to attend ARD-related meetings, it is not obvious whose interests they are representing.
(d) Resources required facilitating engagement in ARD processes: For meaningful engagement and ensuring some level of legitimacy, CSOs require resources in order to mobilise, coordinate with each other, consult with their wider constituencies and prepare for ARD-related meetings. They need also to provide feedback afterwards. Without this, most are limited to merely attending the meetings, but with no preparation, follow-up or long-term engagement. This limits their legitimacy and their effectiveness.

CSO engagement at the national level

At the workshop held in Nairobi to discuss the outcome of the mapping exercise, the participants agreed that CSO engagement in ARD should start at the national rather than the international level. National platforms related to ARD consisting of NARS, national extension services, FOs, NGOs and the private sector should give opportunities for CSO representation, transparency, accountability and feedback.

Success factors for national platforms were identified as:
• Diversity of stakeholders: not just NGOs and FOs but also NARS, line ministries responsible for ARD, national extension services, agricultural universities, private sector, multilateral institutions with an interest in ARD (i.e. FAO), international agricultural research institutions including CGIAR institutions and CGIAR Research Program (CRP) actors in the country, consumer organisations concerned about quality and origin of food, and key donors interested in ARD.
• The national multi-stakeholder platforms should jointly develop and agree on Terms of Reference outlining its vision, mission, key principles and mechanisms for sharing and consultations.
• Members of such multi-stakeholder ARD platforms should not be seen as “representatives” but rather as “focal points” that consult and reach out to their specific constituencies.
• It is important that the ARD platform recognises and gives space to a diversity of voices and possibly the agenda of different agricultural systems. The ARD priorities defined should be demand-driven whereby space, recognition and support are given to the less organised stakeholder groups such as the marginal farmers;
• The national platform should be open to anyone to join. A smaller core group, consisting of 3–5 people, might be given the operational responsibility.
• Members from NGOs and FOs ought to have their institutional ARD positions informing ARD dialogues in the platform, developed through consultative processes with different categories of stakeholders including smallholder producers, consumer organisations and others, especially at the grassroots level. CSOs should commit themselves to putting mechanisms in place for consultation and feedback within their respective networks;
• The national government has to provide an enabling environment for such a national ARD platform by committing key staff to attend the ARD platform meetings on a regular basis, provide and share relevant information and ensure space, time and resources for wider stakeholder consultations below the national level.
• Linkages should be established between national ARD platforms and national-level policymaking regarding investments in agricultural research and rural development,
• A multi-stakeholder platform at national level would provide both an opportunity to influence decision-making on agricultural research funding priorities and provide an entry point for many CSOs to gain timely and good-quality information on funding opportunities; and
• Capacity building of NGOs and FOs to enhance their knowledge and understanding of decision-making processes in ARD and agricultural innovation systems is critical for effective representation in the different ARD fora.

CSO engagement at the regional level (Africa and Europe)

At the regional level, the sub-regional fora ASARECA and CORAF do have space for CSO representation, but there is no coordination mechanism between the sub-regional and national levels. Further, it is important to explore how the sub-regional fora can better integrate smallholder farmers’ issues, as the current farmer “representatives” in the governing bodies are not generally involved in “research” and do not always represent the ARD interests and needs of smallholder farmers. Therefore, national and sub-regional networks of NGOs concerned with ARD in both Africa and Europe need to be created or strengthened, and mechanisms for consultation and feedback created.

Success factors at sub-regional and regional level are:
• Strong linkages with feedback mechanisms to national-level processes. Government and CSO focal points should share and provide feedback to their respective constituency, both the national ARD platform and/or the wider CSO network that may have a regional base;
• Representation by CSOs at sub-regional and regional level should not be individual but network-based. CSOs chosen as focal points/representatives should be part of a network and/or able to show that they can mobilise inputs from others;
• More seats should be provided at sub-regional and regional level to provide for the diversity among the CSOs. In order to cater for smallholder interests, a seat for smallholder-oriented CSOs (with high potential to deal with smallholder interests) should be provided in the African sub-regional fora, FARA and CRP Advisory Committees.

CSO engagement at the global level

The current GFAR Steering Committee (SC) includes two CSO seats: one for FOs and one for NGOs. The process of selecting the NGO person currently sitting in the SC was transparent to the CSO-GARD, as this e-based group proposed the person who holds the seat and continues to be the main communication and consultation mechanism for this person. An overall review of current governance mechanisms for GFAR started in 2012 and will be concluded in 2013. The considerable growth in ARD funding coming from private foundations raises questions about opportunities for CSOs to hold such private foundations to account for resource allocation and priority setting. Although opportunities for CSOs to exert influence on decision-making by national governments and EU-funded ARD (e.g. in the CGIAR) may be limited, at least there are entry points through democratically elected political representatives and their obligations to downward accountability, e.g. in national and regional parliaments. Such entry points for CSO influence are fully lacking in the case of private foundations.

Case study on the partnership between CSOs and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)

The case study on the partnership between CSOs and ASARECA was not a deliverable but was deemed necessary as a follow-up study on the mapping exercise and looked at resource-allocation issues and potentials and blockages in the ARD system. The study was commissioned by PAEPARD through Collectif Stratégies Alimentaires (CSA) for INSARD. ASARECA is a sub-regional, not-for-profit association of the NARS of 11 countries: Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. With the mission “To enhance regional collective action in agricultural research for development, extension and agricultural training and education to promote economic growth, fight poverty, eradicate hunger and enhance sustainable use of resources in Eastern and Central Africa”, ASARECA serves as a forum for promoting regional agricultural research and strengthening relations between the NARS in Eastern and Central Africa with each other and with the CGIAR.

The case study aimed to identify the lessons learnt from the various partnerships with CSOs that could be used by FOs and NGOs in influencing resource allocation and therefore the research agenda of ASARECA and indeed that of other African sub-regional agricultural research institutions and in fostering collaboration between African and European CSOs involved in ARD.

The study revealed that the participation of CSOs in research adds value to ARD but also noted that there are various challenges that need to be addressed by the various stakeholders in ARD if the ultimate users of the research (farmers) are to benefit from the research.

The study showed that CSOs can influence ASARECA’s resource allocation and research agenda through participation and effective representation in ASARECA’s General Assembly, Board of Directors and Business Committee, and in the various planning processes. The study concluded that CSO participation in research projects leads to: (a) increased impact, (b) research interventions that meet the needs of the end users and (c) acquisition of skills in technology development and dissemination and in proposal development. It also leads to increased technology uptake, increased visibility and resource mobilisation, increased ability to find solutions to agricultural development challenges and increased food and income security for smallholder farmers.

The study further concluded that, through their participation in scientific research, CSOs are empowered and are therefore in a better position to influence policies and frameworks that favour smallholder farmers.

Facilitation of the CSO-GARD e-group

The CSO-GARD (CSO Group on Agricultural Research and Development) is facilitated by ETC staff directly involved in INSARD. The CSO-GARD is an important communication mechanism for CSOs engaged in ARD globally. The initial members of this group were those persons from CSOs who came together at the first GCARD in March 2010 in Montpellier, France. This e-group is open to all members of civil society who want to create conditions that allow smallholder FOs and NGOs to engage constructively with international researchers and research institutions. It aims to create a space for a broad spectrum of CSOs to exchange information and views around issues and examples of farmer-led, pro-poor and ecologically oriented ARD and to build solidarity to exert influence on the foci and approaches in international ARD. After GCARD2 (Second Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development), the e-list manager in ETC set up a sub-platform specifically on CSOs in governance of ARD.

The number of people in the CSO-GARD list continued to expand during the INSARD project, primarily as a result of efforts of ETC–INSARD staff to inform additional CSOs about the existence and purpose of the e-group. ETC–INSARD staff uses the CSO-GARD as the main channel for communication for consulting and reaching out to a larger number of CSOs interested and engaged in ARD. It made efforts to further strengthen linkages, especially with Eastern European CSOs and potential French-, Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking members. By the end of December 2013, CSO-GARD comprised 210 persons, including 91 from NGOs and FOs in Europe. More support would be needed in terms of linkage building, translation and capacity building before it could evolve into a truly global CSO mechanism for ARD.

In 2012, ETC–INSARD sought additional funds to support the development and consolidation of a stronger European base within the global CSO-GARD and to create an e-group exclusively for European CSOs concerned with ARD. GFAR, through EFARD, had agreed to provide some resources for this in 2013; however, because it was fund-constrained on account of the high costs of GCARD2, GFAR could not provide the financial support initially proposed. Such a European CSO-GARD would help in improving the legitimacy of CSO representation in EFARD, as most of its Steering Committee (SC) members have been self-appointed in the sense that they were individuals and organisations with interest and resources to commit to their participation in EFARD. The NGO people involved in EFARD have neither a clear constituency nor a feedback mechanism at European level. INSARD, with support from other EFARD SC members, lobbied to include European FO representatives in the EFARD SC. Initial steps were made by convincing AgriCord, a network of agri-agencies supporting farmer organisations, to join EFARD; follow-up efforts will have to be continued in 2014. Nevertheless, the CSO-GARD did provide an opportunity for INSARD to link up and consult with a broader base of European-based NGOs and FOs interested in ARD in Africa.

WP 2: Agreeing on CSO research priorities and the strategy to communicate these to other stakeholders, bringing them to the international agenda

This Work Package brought together farmers, researchers, CSOs and NGOs to develop joint research outlines based on farmers’ own research priorities. The main S&T results under WP2 were the following:
• National-level platforms of CSOs in ARD
• Methodological note on the brokerage process
• Scoping studies
• Joint research outlines.

National-level platforms of CSOs in ARD

INSARD partners built up national-level platforms in the countries of Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia for identifying research themes and facilitating the brokerage process for the development of joint research outlines. In all three countries, INSARD worked closely with existing CSO platforms to the extent possible, so as to avoid setting up parallel structures, to optimise use of existing resources and to ensure a level of sustainability beyond INSARD. In close consultation with national stakeholders, including FOs and NGOs, thematic topics for the brokerage process were identified: land tenure in Senegal, local seed systems in Tanzania and soil fertility in Zambia.

INSARD took the approach of building up national-level platforms of CSOs in ARD and making brokerage an initial focus of the CSO platforms. The reasons for focusing on national-level platforms as a starting point were twofold. First of all, it allows the different stakeholders to work on concrete issues relevant for the specific farming and policy context within a given country and responding to the needs of smallholders in that country. Secondly, it provides an option to link and engage with national agricultural systems, which are key to ensuring changes in ARD at national level and eventually at regional and global level. Smallholder farmers and researchers were brought together through these CSO platforms and were able to translate key issues for smallholders into researchable issues.

Methodological note on the brokerage process

INSARD prepared a methodological note to guide the brokerage process. This methodological note provides an overview of the key principles and clear subsequent steps in facilitating the preparation of joint research outlines. The proposed steps in the brokerage process include:
1. Identify the different concerns of farmers linked with the topic;
2. Translate the concerns/ problems into “concrete questions”;
3. Identify/ prioritise which of these concrete questions are “within the reach of the farmer and researcher groups involved in the process”, taking into account context and type of organisations involved;
4. Formulate the development objective from the point of view of farmers;
5. Diagnose the causes and consequences of the situation, leading to the detailed description of “problem and solution trees”;
6. Assess the state of the art of existing research activities that could contribute to answer one or more of the questions/ constraints identified, and share their methods, scope and preliminary results;
7. Identify new/additional research that some researchers from the group could undertake and that could answer some of the questions identified;
8. Match and set priorities, distinguishing those for “development” and those for “research”;
9. Formalise the research and development projects by reformulating objectives, expected results (both from development and research perspective) and specific research questions to be studied;
10. Share responsibilities and activities, and discuss methods to be used for each activity;
11. Finalise the research outline, including project duration and rough estimated budget.

The methodological note also stressed the need for integrating a set of principles in the dialogue with researchers, farmers and CSO, and gave some indications on the profile of a qualified broker needed to conduct this process. Since such staff was not readily available in all partner organisations, some steps were taken to identify and integrate such staff. African partner organisations also benefited from some “on the job training” through support missions organised by GRET and ETC at crucial stages of the process.

Scoping studies

Scoping studies were conducted to gain insights and to further explore the existing situation related to the identified themes; land tenure in Senegal, local seed systems in Tanzania and soil fertility in Zambia. The following scoping studies were conducted:
• Scoping study for ARD in Senegal: Land tenure and its consequences for agriculture development models
• Seeds and agriculture research processes in Tanzania: The case of small-scale farmers’ participation in setting the research agenda
• Scoping study in ARD: a case on soil fertility management in Zambia, a background paper for brokering demand-driven research in Zambia.
These studies identify and map the major research stakeholders and describe the themes. The studies were instrumental in facilitating the brokerage process for preparing the joint research outlines.

Joint research outlines

Joint research outlines were prepared following the steps as described in the methodological note through a series of multi-stakeholder platform meetings, field visits and working group meetings. During these meetings and visits, researchers and farmers were considered as equal partners; as one of the farmers remarked in a brokerage meeting: “Do research with farmers, not for farmers”.

The research outlines with the following titles are the concrete results of the brokerage process:

• Securing family farms in the context of increasing private investments (agriculture, mining, tourism and real estate) in Senegal
• Land, pastoralism and pastoral mobility in Senegal: securing pastoral areas and resources
• Land governance in Senegal: promoting a participatory approach, building local sustainable alternative land-tenure security of family farms and vulnerable groups

• Identification, evaluation and characterization of local/indigenous maize seeds in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania

• Soil fertility improvement through processed animal manure application in Zambia”
• Involving small scale farmers in marketing models that can effectively guarantee improved incomes for their produce

The fact that in some countries it was decided to produce more than one research outline stems from the high level of interest and participation from a large panel of organisations of CSOs and FOs in the initial stage of the scoping study and launching of the brokerage process. In order to avoid “discouraging” interested organisations or having to select some of them somehow arbitrarily, it was decided to increase the brokerage process activities (meetings, workshops) although it represented an additional effort both in terms of staff time and budget to the partners.

Unfortunately, given time constraint, most of the research outlines were finalised in the last months of the project. It is crucial that the consortium, with the support of EU, finds ways and means to present the results of these efforts to potential donors and interested organisations, in order to give some of them a chance of coming off the ground.

Apart from delivering joint research outlines, the brokerage process provided African actors in formal ARD with a real mechanism through which to design research outlines addressing farmers’ research priorities. The brokerage process gave a more genuine voice to smallholders to influence the research agenda and set research priorities that support their own efforts and address their needs.

WP 3: Actively lobbying and advocating for smallholder involvement in ARD to key African and European research organisations and donors

The major S&T results for WP 3 were:
1. Policy-influencing strategy for the INSARD project
2. PowerPoint presentations for putting the above policy strategy into practice
3. Other PowerPoint presentations delivered at a variety of meetings
4. Linkages and networks

Policy-influencing strategy for the INSARD project

INSARD’s policy objective was to influence the agricultural research agenda (themes and approaches) and resource-allocation processes and actors to include smallholders’ participation, needs and interests. This was designed to be done through engaging in constructive policy dialogue with key African and European research organisations and donors involved in ARD. The INSARD project sought to be a catalyst: it focused on positive messages based around successful models of farmer-driven research agendas in seeking to persuade and influence others to continue to push for pro-smallholder changes in ARD policy and practice.

The strategy identified potential policy-influencing objectives for five stakeholder groups:

European ARD donors and policymakers
- Ensuring that the importance of a smallholder-driven research agenda is fully recognised within the new EU funding policies;
- Recognising the diversity of smallholder farmers and the need to ensure that EU funding recipients have mechanisms in place to promote and widen the involvement of CSOs who work with all types of smallholder farmers in ARD;
- Allocating resources to allow for effective CSO engagement in ARD, including preparation, coordination and feedback on ARD issues, support for national platforms on ARD with strong CSO representation and support for more smallholder-led research and development.

International and regional research organisations
- Recognising the diversity of smallholder farming and widening the number and types of CSOs so that more smallholder farmers are represented in ARD (the CSM approach provides a model of this), i.e. making the system more democratic and more accountable;
- Providing resources to support mechanisms for CSOs to learn more about research processes, and to convene meetings before and provide feedback afterwards to their constituents;
- Providing resources for researchers to learn more about smallholder farmers’ innovations and priorities and to engage in joint research processes.

Sub-regional fora
- Recognising the need to ensure their research is responsive to smallholder needs and that smallholder priorities should influence agenda setting, not just be confined to project-level field work;
- Reviewing representation on advisory boards and inviting greater involvement of CSOs working with all types of smallholder farmers;
- Increasing strategic linkages, support and feedback to national-level platforms, as well as channelling national research issues (identified together with smallholder farmers) up to regional bodies.

National-level policymakers and research organisations
- An essential first step: raising awareness of ARD and its impact on future agricultural systems in order to persuade national-level organisations (including government ministries) to increase their interest in engaging with ARD;
- Raising awareness of the need to involve smallholder farmers in ARD in order to achieve the most effective outcomes in terms of innovation, scaling up of adaptive capacity and achieving long-term food security;
- Lobbying for a national platform with strong CSO presence interacting with researchers and other stakeholders to influence national-level ARD priorities.

CSOs – including NGOs and FOs
- Raising awareness of the potential benefits of ARD for smallholder farmers if the ARD agenda were responsive to their needs;
- Encouraging CSOs to increase their knowledge and understanding of formal research processes in order to engage more effectively with researchers;
- Urging CSOs to collaborate with each other and to come together with researchers and policymakers to participate in national-level fora on ARD agenda.

For those NGOs who already work closely with farmers and research institutes on field-level projects, the key policy-influencing objective would be:
- Persuading these practice-oriented NGOs of the need to use their knowledge for greater impact, and engage with long-term ARD agenda setting, in addition to their local field work;
- Collaborating with other practice- and policy-oriented NGOs and participating with researchers and policymakers in national-level fora on ARD.

For all CSOs, but for FOs especially, an additional policy-influencing objective would focus on representation:
- Promoting better representation of and accountability to smallholder farmers from diverse backgrounds and ecosystems, so that their research needs and their own innovations are recognised in the research agenda.

The strategy furthermore describes the stakeholder engagement plans for further policy dialogue.

PowerPoint presentations for putting the above policy strategy into practice

The INSARD project prepared three PowerPoint presentations to be used in policy dialogue to convey the policy messages as identified in the strategy. These PowerPoint presentations target different stakeholder groups: CSOs, farmer organisations and researchers.

Other PowerPoint presentations delivered at a variety of meetings

INSARD partners took part in a number of national and international meetings, workshops, conferences and briefings. In some of these, INSARD partners gave PowerPoint Presentations while, in other meetings, there was an opportunity to say a few words about INSARD and its aim. This helped to increase well-informed participation of CSOs in ARD in order to better address smallholders’ research priorities.

The most important presentations delivered by INSARD partners and consolidated in one report (Deliverable 3.4) include:
• “Learning together about how innovation happens in smallholder farming in Africa” presented by ETC during the EC lunchtime conference on “Research Serving Development” on 26 November 2013 in Brussels; during this meeting the INSARD project and messages were presented together with those of another EU-funded project in which ETC is involved: JOLISAA (Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture)
• “Linking farmer innovation with formal research” presented by ETC Foundation during the international workshop on the Innovation System of Demand-Driven Agricultural Research: Bridging the Implementation Gap, held on 19–22 November 2013 in Feldafing, Germany (see above); see
• “CSO involvement in governance of the CGIAR/GFAR: a historical review” presented by GRET during the PAEPARD– INSARD meeting in Brussels in May 2012
• “Tracking ARD investment and civil society organisation (CSO) involvement” presented by ETC Foundation during a GFAR meeting in Berlin in January 2012 (see )
• “Study on partnership between Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (ASARECA)” presented by Mary Jo Kakinda, who conducted the study and was the former Secretary General of PELUM RD prior to Faustin Vuningoma. The presentation was given during the “NGO and FO Participation in Agricultural Research for Development: 3rd European CSO Consultation”, organised by PAEPARD on 2 May 2012 in Brussels
• “European Forum on Agricultural Research for Development (EFARD): involvement of CSOs”, presented by ETC Foundation during the same meeting as above
• “Direct investment in farmer-led research”, presented by ETC Foundation during GCARD2, 29 October–1 November 2012, Punta Del Este, Uruguay.

For GCARD2, INSARD also prepared a paper called “Mind the gaps”. This paper, also translated into French, explores the underlying reasons why the inclusion of farmers, particularly resource-poor farmers, in foresight (and in ARD processes generally) has so far been limited. Three differing sets of assumptions about the major cause(s) of the lack of inclusion of farmers in ARD were identified. Each leads to an emphasis on a different, sometimes conflicting type of solution. Some established players in ARD see the problem as essentially one of lack of capacity (skills and resources) within CSOs. Another view, often held by policy-oriented CSOs, is that the problem is primarily one of lack of democracy. Smallholder farmers are a diverse group with differing concerns; they also overlap with wider communities of rural populations and poor consumers (urban and rural) – all of which have legitimate interests in the future of agriculture and therefore of ARD. Current representation in ARD processes by a handful of CSOs or farmers is not sufficient to allow for real influence and equitable engagement. More fundamentally, a third, alternative world view starts with food producers at the core, and the recognition that smallholder producers provide food for about 70% of the global population. Therefore the key question is not: “What role could smallholder farmers pay in meeting future needs in food & nutrition security…” but rather “What role can research play in supporting and enabling smallholder farmers/producers to continue to provide nutritious food to a growing population into the future?” The problem is perceived as a lack of accountability and awareness of researchers towards farmers, rural people and poor consumers. Rather than farmers and CSOs building their capacity to speak the language of researchers, the research organisations have a responsibility to consult and account for their work in ways that make sense for farmers.

Linkages and networks

The strengthening of linkages and networks has been a very important component of INSARD to increase well-informed participation of CSOs in ARD in order to better address smallholders’ research priorities. The outcomes of these linkages and networks may be less tangible in terms of S&T results. As already mentioned under WP1, ETC staff directly involved in INSARD facilitates the CSO-GARD, which is an important communication mechanism for CSOs engaged in ARD globally. INSARD partners furthermore strengthened linkages with EFARD by attending a number of meetings over the course of the project. During the last meeting in August 2013, it was decided to have a working group on family farming and innovation to come up with a concept paper for EFARD. The INSARD coordinator leads this Working Group. Other organisations with which INSARD has established and maintained partnerships are: GFAR; FARA; PAEPARD; Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA); Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Network (FANRPAN); SADC Food Agriculture and Natural Resources (FANR) Directorate; Network for Peasant and Producer Organisations in West Africa (ROPPA), Federation of NGOs in Senegal (FONGS); Action pour le Humaine Développement Intégré au Sénégal (ADHIS), Institute Sénégalais de Reserches Agricoles (ISRA); Council of NGOs for the Support of Development (CONGAD); Initiative Prospective Agricole et Rurale (IPAR) in Senegal; and the Agriculture Consultative Forum (ACF) in Zambia.

Close interactions and exchange also exist with the international PROLINNOVA network. PROLINNOVA is an NGO-initiated multi-stakeholder network to PROmote Local INNOVAtion in ecologically oriented agriculture and natural resource management. The focus is on recognising the dynamics of indigenous knowledge and enhancing capacities of farmers to adjust to change – to develop their own site-appropriate systems and institutions of resource management so as to gain food security, sustain their livelihoods and safeguard the environment. The essence of sustainability lies in the capacity to adapt. The network builds on and scales up farmer-led approaches to development. Experiences and linkages developed within the international PROLINNOVA network in bringing farmers’ research priorities into the conventional research agenda and getting farmers, researchers and extension workers to collaborate on joint research proved to be valuable to INSARD.

Potential Impact:

As a result of this project, it is expected that ARD will better respond to the needs of African smallholder farmers across a wider range of socio-economic and agro-ecological circumstance. This will be achieved through the establishment of more effective linkages between European and African ARD stakeholders (donors, governments, research organisations, NGOs) and target networks of smallholder farmers who are currently outside ARD processes. INSARD has made progress in this direction by fostering communication mechanisms for heterogeneous smallholder farmer and NGO networks within ARD institutions, which has led to initial improved mutual understanding and cooperation between smallholder farmer representatives, development practitioners and agricultural research, especially in the three African partner countries.

The intended impact of designing joint research outlines through facilitating a brokerage process was to provide European and African actors in formal ARD with a real mechanism through which to design and deliver research with demonstrable poverty impacts. The brokerage process gave a more genuine voice to smallholders to influence the research agenda and to set research priorities that support their own efforts and address their needs. Different professionals in NGO/FOs, research institutes and government agencies often claim to know the interests and aspirations of the African small-scale farmer and often clash over what these interests are – which is not surprising given the heterogeneity of smallholders. INSARD provided a more systematic approach of bringing the direct presence of small-scale farmers into these research discussions. However, this process of bringing smallholders and researchers together and facilitating the development of joint research outlines is not straightforward, as mutual historic misgivings need to be overcome. The brokerage process and policy influence that took place under this project could lead to a range of new initiatives and dialogues, as existing research findings were communicated and new research initiatives were formulated with scientists and farmers who agreed to engage in joint experimentation.

In the longer term, the impact of the new collaborations fostered between civil society networks and European or European-funded ARD actors will generate a growing body of knowledge on adaptation of agricultural practices in a variety of ago-ecological niches. The adaptive capacities of African rural communities will be enhanced with relevant agricultural knowledge and information derived from research and with better understanding by researchers of the situations and initiatives of smallholders. Researchers will be able to evaluate processes of adaptation, contributing knowledge to both African and European farming practices.

A generalised impact of the project will be to raise the profile of ARD within general NGO/CSO networks, where the role of ARD was poorly understood and rarely discussed. This project made a contribution to raising the level of civil society engagement in Europe and Africa in ARD with a view to monitoring how European research resources are deployed and to what extent they are reducing poverty as a Millennium Development Goal.

Furthermore, practical examples and methodologies have been tested for brokering active research partnerships, which have led to concrete research outlines on some key problems identified by CSOs, including smallholder farmers, in Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia. These could lead to actual joint research activities in the field, if financial support for implementation is secured.

Main dissemination activities and exploitation of results

INSARD partners made use of existing opportunities at major workshops, seminars and conferences to spread and disseminate project results and insights. In this respect, in cooperation with CTA, INSARD organised the 34th Brussels Development Briefing on “Farmer-driven research to improve food and nutrition security” on 14 November 2013. The briefing raised awareness on the key challenges and opportunities in involving farmers in ARD – and involving formal scientists in farmers’ own research and development. It brought several examples of promising approaches in stimulating and supporting farmer-driven research, including Local Innovation Support Funds (LISFs), Farmer Field Schools (FFSs), Participatory Technology/ Innovation Development (PTD/PID), multi-stakeholder platforms for joint learning, and community-driven agro-ecological research and development based on local social, economic and cultural values. Special attention was given to the role of farmer organisations in ARD. Furthermore, INSARD participated in the international workshop on “The innovation system of demand-driven agricultural research: bridging the implementation gap”, held on 19–22 November 2013 in Feldafing, Germany. The planned output of the workshop was a CGIAR–GIZ “roadmap” to bridge the gap between research and development so as to jointly address common goals of reducing poverty. However, during the workshop concepts of innovation processes, and how these differed from “technology transfer”, were discussed. In the end, the workshop led to the development of eight key organising principles to strengthen innovation to guide investments in ARD. These eight principles are very much in line with the approaches and perceptions of INSARD. A member of the INSARD team was a member of the editorial committee for the “Feldafing Principles” and has now been invited to finalise the principles after feedback from the workshop participants.

Other major events, in which INSARD partners participated to disseminate INSARD’s messages of increasing well-informed participation of CSOs in ARD to better address smallholders’ research priorities, include the following events:
• EC lunchtime conference on “Research Serving Development” on 26 November in Brussels, where the INSARD project and messages were presented together with those of another EU-funded project in which ETC is involved: JOLISAA (Joint Learning in Innovation Systems in African Agriculture)
• Family farming: a dialogue towards more sustainable and resilient farming in Europe and the world in Brussels, 29 November 2013
• EFARD meetings (August 2013, June 2012 and October 2012)
• International meeting on social and transformational learning held on 27-29 September 2013 in Subiaco near Rome, Italy
• La Via Campesina’s Africa Seed Campaign meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe held 12–14 November 2013; in this meeting, ESAFF made a contribution on how it was working through the INSARD project to bring together small-scale farmers, researchers and the government to collaborate more in setting development and research priorities
• A meeting with members of parliament in Tanzania – organised by the Tanzania Alliance for Biodiversity (TABIO) – where ESAFF made a contribution on the need to support local farmers and local innovations, including local seeds for food security and sovereignty; this meeting was held on 8 November 2013 in Dodoma, central Tanzania
• FANRPAN High-level Food Security Partners meeting, held in Pretoria, South Africa on 30 May 2013; the slogan of the meeting was “NO Agriculture, No Deal”. PELUM participated in this meeting and demonstrated the importance of research in agriculture and the way it has been neglected globally in terms of investment. PELUM proposed a slogan of “NO Agriculture Research, No Food”. It was admitted and emphasised that changes are needed to include farmers in ARD.
• Pre conference meeting and third Conference on Climate Change and Development in Africa (CCDA-III) held in Addis on 19-23 October 2013; PELUM attended both meetings and made a presentation during the pre-conference meeting, organised by PACJA in collaboration with Robinson Foundation, on the role of research in agriculture and the importance of involving smallholder farmers in ARD who are most challenged when mitigating and adapting to climate change effects. The issue of research was given due consideration and resurfaced in major discussions at the conference.
• Meeting on the role of higher institutions (universities) in agriculture research organised by the South African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) in collaboration with the University of Zambia held on 5 September 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia; PELUM attended this meeting in which it was concluded that not enough was being done to involve smallholder farmers in research and that indigenous knowledge is not recognised in the curriculum of high institutions. Farmers present at the meeting indicated that they were fatigued by student researchers who came for information and never shared results. They claimed to feel used rather than involved. It was also recognised that the research agenda is donor driven in most cases.
• Meeting on “public awareness on biotechnology and bio safety” held on 15 December 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia and organised by the Cotton Development Trust of Zambia; PELUM attended this meeting and protested together with other members of bio safety alliance on the way research was conducted because it was done with little or no consultations with smallholder farmers. It was discussed that high breed seeds yield almost 30% of their optimal capacity in local farmers’ fields. There are other issues to research than introducing and promoting GMOs. It was resolved that farmers need to be consulted before validating the report.
• REPAOC participated in the 8th edition of the International Workshop on "La sécurisation des droits fonciers pastoraux, un levier pour renforcer la résilience des systèmes d'élevage" organised within the regional network « Bélital marobé » held from 28 to 30 December 2013 in Namarel (Sénégal) and brought insights from INSARD to the floor.

• A meeting organised by GFAR on “Investments in ARD” in January 2012, Berlin, where ETC made a PPT presentation on “Tracking ARD investment and civil society organisation (CSO) involvement” (
• Presentation of the mapping study and opportunities to link it to the communication and information management database, PAEPARD, 31 January – 2 February 2012, in Montpellier
• Practical Action organised a meeting for UK NGOs on Agricultural Research for Development, Birmingham, February 2012
• On behalf of INSARD, ETC was invited and participated in the Informal Stakeholder Consultation on improving the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation with African Agricultural Knowledge Organisations (March 2012, Brussels)
• Participation and presentation at the Conference on Africa-Europe Partnerships for Global Challenges, Second CAAST-Net1 stakeholders' conference on Africa-Europe Science and Technology Cooperation, 24–25 April 2012, Dakar, Senegal
• ETC made a PPT presentation on the evolvement of EFARD and CSO engagement over the years during the PAEPARD–INSARD meeting, Brussels, May 2012 (
• GRET made a PPT presentation on the history of CSO engagement in CGIAR and GFAR during the PAEPARD–INSARD meeting, Brussels, May 2012 (
• Presentation of the ASARECA case study during the PAEPARD–INSARD meeting on NGO and FO participation on ARD, Brussels, 2 May 2012 (
• PELUM RD in close collaboration with APRODEV (Association of World Council of Church-related Development Organisations in Europe) developed a joint publication entitled “Agriculture Research in Africa: Why CAADP should follow IAASTD” May 2012 (
• ETC participated in the GCARD2 conference (29 October–1 November 2012) in Uruguay and contributed actively in mobilising CSOs present at the conference to bring their issues forward
• On behalf of INSARD, ETC provided input to a paper on partnership for brokerage presented at a parallel meeting by EFARD at the GCARD2 conference in Uruguay
• ETC made a presentation on “Direct investment in farmer-led research” in the session on Public-Private-Civil Mechanisms for New Investments at the GCARD2 conference in Uruguay
• ETC, in close collaboration with former Practical Action staff (Hilary Warburton), prepared an input to GCARD2 conference entitled “Mind the gaps”, which was a response to the GCARD Foresight paper on partnerships; this input was posted as a blog on the GCARD2 website, shared through the CSO-GARD e-list and posted on other websites such as that of PAEPARD and the Global Donor Platform for Rural Development
• GRET organised an international seminar “The way forward for agro-ecology” on behalf of the French NGO network Coordination Sud. More than 100 people attended with panellists and speakers from Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia. A French translation of the INSARD paper Mind the Gaps was presented and discussed briefly and contributed to informing European and southern CSOs on gaps in existing ARD policies.

Furthermore, the documents INSARD prepared such as the policy statement Mind the Gaps, the Document on mapping EU-Sub-Saharan Africa ARD: CSO engagement and resource allocation processes and the Case study on the partnership between CSOs and the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) were also widely circulated to relevant networks and stakeholders by email and posted on the INSARD website.

INSARD also prepared a banner that highlights the statement of a Zambian farmer, “Do research with farmers, not for farmers”, during a brokerage workshop in Zambia. This statement clearly illustrates the message INSARD wants to convey. The banner was shown during the Brussels Development Briefing on “Farmer-driven research to improve food and nutrition security” in November 2013 and the international workshop on “The innovation system of demand-driven agricultural research: bridging the implementation gap” in November 2013 in Feldafing, Germany.

List of Websites:
The address of the project website is: The website is hosted by REPAOC and was updated on a regular basis. The website contains all major project outputs in both French and English.