gcard_logo_21_5 FinalThe ICT-KM Program is supporting the GCARD process, starting with the e-consultations that should contribute a great deal in enhancing the development value of research.

Organized by GFAR, the Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development (GCARD) is more than just a Conference – it’s a multi-year process of learning and continuous updating of the global agricultural research for development (AR4D) system. The aim is to create new ways of working together to enhance the development value of research. GCARD will be an open and inclusive process for consultation and change, which will aim to reshape agricultural research and innovation, improve resources for research, and increase its development impact.
The GCARD 2010 will result in an action plan and framework to improve agricultural research and innovation globally.

Through CIAT’s Simone Staiger-Rivas, the ICT-KM Program provides the coordination of the e-consultation process as well as support in their facilitation.

Get involved by subscribing to the regional e-consultations of your choice, following the GCARD blog or tweets.

Listen to an interview of Nancy White with Simone Staiger on the GCARD process

More about the e-consultations

Advertisements

Photo credit: Harry Nesbitt/2000 IRRI (Creative Commons)

Photo credit:H.Nesbitt/2000 IRRI (Creative Commons)

In 2008, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) launched a Change Initiative to identify how best to adapt to anticipated global changes and challenges.

The reforms will help to strengthen the CGIAR by establishing a results-oriented research agenda .

As part of this process, the CGIAR, in consultation with its partners, is presently seeking feedback on what can be done, through research and innovations, to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and enhance ecosystem resilience.

The Chair of the CGIAR Strategy Committee now invites all frontline researchers (including those in universities, national agricultural research and extension systems, farmer organizations, private sector and NGOs) to take part in a survey developed to identify agricultural research opportunities, offering large scale development impact.

The survey is available online until August 20, 2009.

At the conclusion of the survey process, the CGIAR Strategy Committee will synthesize and make the overall results available as part of its reporting.

Donate 30 minutes of your time to help shape the future of international agricultural research for development!

The latest newsletter of GFAR features an article about the ICT-KM Program’s Knowledge Sharing in Research project and its Pilot Projects. See links and article below.

See: GFAR Newsletter

See: article on KSinR project and Pilots

The CGIAR: learning how to improve its research effectiveness and impact through knowledge sharing

The CGIAR Centres and Programs together with their many partners, are creating a wealth of knowledge that is aimed at helping to increase productivity within agriculture and improve livelihoods of people, primarily in developing countries. While all players are doing much to ensure that this knowledge is widely shared and applied, certain obstacles to the uptake, use and impact of this wealth of knowledge continue to exist. One of the missing elements between knowledge generation and the application of such knowledge is knowledge sharing. Knowledge sharing involves learning from stakeholders what knowledge gaps exist and what is needed to close these gaps; increasing collaboration and interaction of all actors throughout knowledge generation processes; and finding more effective ways of delivering knowledge in a manner appropriate to the particular target groups whose decision-making and actions we seek to influence and support. This requires better understanding and support of new knowledge systems, knowledge sharing approaches, and innovation mechanisms.
To address this, the CGIAR through its system-wide program on Information Communication Technology and Knowledge Management (ICT-KM) initiated a two-year project starting in 2007 entitled ‘Improving the effectiveness of the CGIAR through knowledge sharing’ with a major component focused on Knowledge Sharing in Research (KSinR). The goal of the KSinR Project is to help improve the effectiveness and impact of CGIAR research through providing options and lessons around good practices of knowledge sharing in research.
KSinR’s main learning vehicle is six on-going CGIAR research projects which are using knowledge sharing approaches integrated into various stages of the research process, representing a new way of doing research aimed at greater impact. This includes the use of a multi-stakeholder framework for conducting research as being tried by IWMI through its use of the Learning Alliance approach in the ‘Wastewater , Agriculture and Sanitation for Poverty alleviation’ (WASPA) project aimed at improving coordination amongst stakeholders and getting research into use. This project is also developing a process mentoring method to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the Learning Alliance approach. The ICARDA Farmers’ Conference project is providing lessons on mechanisms for sharing knowledge with and learning from farmers to help with better design and carrying out of plant breeding research. The CIFOR Pilot is exploring better ways to share research priority assessment methodologies and the experiences around using them, as this is an important tool in figuring out those areas and types of research which can provide the greatest impact. The IWMI Wastewater project is testing various dissemination methods to improve uptake and use of research results.
This includes use of radio programs, training videos, contribution to curricula, and flip charts with printed messages and visuals to get across good practices in using wastewater.
Similarly the IRRI-lead Pilot is also exploring innovative dissemination methods through the development of the Laos Rice Knowledge Bank (LRKB) as a mechanism to make research accessible for extension agents to use with farmers.
Information packets based on research identified by a variety of stakeholders are being developed in appropriate formats to be included in the LRKB. The WorldFish Centre Pilot Project is also trying out participatory monitoring and evaluation, as well as impact assessment methodologies with the aim of learning together with stakeholders throughout the research process, and gaining their perspective on progress and impact.
Synthesis of the results across KSinR and all of its Pilot Projects and other activities will be documented in a variety of media including the KS website (www.ks-cgiar.org), the KSinR blog, and through the development of practical how-to documents to be made widely available and presented at upcoming CGIAR and other fora.

Contact person:
Nadia Manning-Thomas, KSinR Project Leader, n.manning@cgiar.org
IWMI Nile Basin and East Africa office, ILRI Campus, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The new GFAR website is officially online!

Visit www.egfar.org to discover how easy it is to be a part of shaping the future of agricultural research for development. gfar-new-website

The web space features the new look of GFAR, while building on its role as a Global Forum for all those who care about the future of agriculture.

As a member of “e-GFAR”, you will be able to participate in Forum debates, post news items and also submit reports, papers and other information regarding ARD on the open site.

Also remember not to miss out in taking advantage of GFAR’s extensive document repository, which features over 1,000 publications from GFAR and it’s Regional Fora dealing with important areas of focus such as both new and learned methods of research, innovation, regional research priorities and more.

This week I read in the GFAR e-news about a new initiative by Ashoka. It is a program built on the idea of social innovation where everyone has the opportunity to influence change by sharing their ideas with the world through Ashoka’s use of “collaborative competitions”.

Submissions for ideas are accepted until May 13th. Read more at Changemakers-cultivating innovations

Few would deny that in the 21st Century, biotechnology and materials science have replaced plant breeding and soil science as the frontier areas of agricultural research. What is not really clear is how the application of computers and new ICTs are becoming centre stage in transforming agricultural science, research and technology generation.

High capacity computing power and use of ICTs in bioinformatics and managing massive databases have already demonstrated their effectiveness in generating new, more relevant and useful crop varieties in very short periods of time and at less cost. This will be critical in meeting the challenges of climate change. Modelling and simulation of crop performances, economic impacts and effects of weather and climate, use of geographical information systems and knowledge based systems are making vast contributions to making agriculture at various levels precise, predictable and proficient and more risk-averse. Embedded sensors, networks and ICTs are making farming less arduous and economical.

During the Science Forum 2009, a workshop will be organized to provide a venue to discuss how to exploit the potential of computing and ICTs in agricultural science, research and technology generation especially in the context of technologically less developed countries and for the benefit of millions of resource poor farmers and producers. The workshop will seek to identify the global priorities in research in use of ICT in agricultural science and technology generation and needs for technologically less developed countries to make full use of ICTs in harnessing agriculture science for their development and progress.

A call for proposal for posters to be presented during the Science Forum has been launched. The posters aim to present how Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) are enabling agricultural science to be a social endeavor by communities rather something done in laboratories by professional scientists.

The Global Forum for Agricultural Research (GFAR) recently released its newsletter. Please find attached the February 2009 Issue of the GFAR Newsletter. The web edition will be available soon at  http://www.egfar.org/egfar/website/new/newsletters

The Knowledge Sharing in Research project was featured in this newsletter in an article entitled: “The CGIAR: learning how to improve its research effectiveness and impact through knowledge sharing”ksinr-in-gfar-newsletter