IWMI’s newsletter ‘Water Figures’ Issue 3 2008 released this month has an article in it on the work of the KSinR Project and its Pilot Projects“Improving the Impact of research through Knowledge Sharing” by Nadia Manning-Thomas.

Garbage trap put in at head of derivation canal going to farmers' fields through Learning Alliance in IWMI WASPA project

The article begins with a look at some of the activities being undertaken by IWMI researchers:

Garbage trap put in at head of derivation canal going to farmers

Alexandra Clemett, Samyuktha Varma and K. Jinapala, from the ‘Wastewater, Agriculture and Sanitation for Poverty Alleviation’ (WASPA) project, are all seated in a room with community members, farmers, Municipal
Council members, NGOs and other organizations talking about putting a garbage trap on a diversion canal that leads to the rice paddies of a group of farmers outside of Kurunegala town, Sri Lanka.

Phillip Amoah- IWMI researcher- discusses good wastewater use practices with farmers and caterers at a WorldCafe-style meeting organised by the IWMI Wastewater KSinR Pilot Project in Ghana

Meanwhile, in Accra, Ghana, researchers from IWMI – Tonya Schuetz, Pay Drechsel and Phillip Amoah -together with local partners at the University for Development Studies, Gordana Kranjac-Berisavljevic,

Phillip Amoah- IWMI researcher- discusses good wastewater use practices with farmers and caterers at a WorldCafe-style meeting organised by the IWMI Wastewater KSinR Pilot Project in Ghana

the University of Science and Technology and Abubakar Bakang, are organizing a World Café with local
farmers, extension agents and caterers, talking about good practices for using wastewater in urban agriculture.

The article then goes on to ask: “These are all IWMI researchers – but what are they doing?”- since it seems quite different from usual research activities.

The article explains that “They are all carrying out research projects within the IWMI portfolio but are at the same time using some innovative knowledge sharing approaches with stakeholders and partners.

..and now comes an even bigger question- “But WHY?

According to the article: “Despite the wealth of knowledge generated by research projects throughout the CGIAR, there continues to be a gap between knowledge generated and the application of such knowledge for the improvement of food production and livelihoods, particularly in developing countries. The key challenge is to make research relevant to people and issues on the ground, to build capacity of others to tackle these
issues, and to find appropriate ways to deliver research results to those stakeholders who can make use of this knowledge
.”

The article then goes on to further describe the work of the six Pilot Projects of the Knowledge Sharing in Research Project which are all trying out knowledge sharing-oriented approaches in various stages of their research projects in order to :

  • improve the relevance of the research chosen
  • enhance the planning of the research through taking into account local knowledge, needs and priorities
  • involve stakeholders directly in research activities
  • disseminate research-generated knowledge in ways that are meaningful and accessible to various target groups
  • promote wider learning throughout the research process through more participatory forms of M&E
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