Thursday, 24 March 2011

European PAEPARD multi-stakeholders consultations

The workshop was officially opened  by Dr. Giovani Totino
the Director General of Istituto Agronomico Per l’Oltremare (IAO). 
He said that the workshop will help to make progress in building up African-European partnerships 
on agricultural research and innovation for the attainment of MDGs. 

07-08 March 2011. Istituto Agronomico Per l’Oltremare (IAO), Florence. The main objective of the multi-stakeholders consultation (MSC) was an exchange between non-research stakeholders and research stakeholders, in order to explore the possibilities for inclusive and balanced ARD partnership establishment.

The 5 principal questions which were discussed during the MSC were:

What is the role of non-research (farmer’s organizations, private sector and NGOs) and research stakeholders in the reorientation of ARD towards more demand-driven approach for African family farmers?
What does it imply for researchers and for research?
How to establish inclusive and balanced partnerships in ARD?
What are the most promising federating themes suggested by the internal stakeholder consultations and around which ARD collaboration of research and non-research stakeholders from Africa and Europe could be envisaged?
What are the needs of each stakeholder category in order to establish inclusive and balanced partnerships in ARD and what role can PAEPARD play to support establishment of such partnerships?

To answer these questions, specific objectives were:
- Based on internal consultations, prospective case studies and experiences of participants, review
o the roles that non-research stakeholders can play and how it can be articulated with the roles of research stakeholders
o elements of success/failure of inclusive and balanced partnerships
- Based on these elements, define
o appropriate ways of establishing ARD partnerships between the two continents
o the capacities that need to be strengthened collectively (joint learning, “social learning”) and individually for each stakeholder category
o common expectations for the PAEPARD project (in terms of capacity strengthening, advocacy,…)

The meeting was held ahead of the African MSC and it was important that lessons from this meeting could also be made available to facilitate the planning of the African MSC. The meeting brought together participants from European stakeholder groups as well as African counterparts participating in the project.

Participants have been subdivided in 3 groups. Each group discussed each of the 3 proposed topics:

Topic 1 – Processes and mechanisms of balanced partnerships 
What are the key factors of success/failure of such partnerships?
What are the roles of farmers’ organizations, private sector, NGOs and research organizations in such partnerships, and how are these roles articulated?
What are the implications of working in such partnerships for researchers and research?
How to establish Europe-Africa inclusive and balanced partnerships in ARD? 
What are the processes, mechanisms and good practices to promote? What are the constraints met by the different stakeholders?
What should PAEPARD do (or do differently) to promote the establishment of such partnerships?

Topic 2 – Promising federating themes for partnership establishment
How and by whom should “federating themes” be defined to promote the establishment of such ARD partnerships? [Such partnerships are established around “federating themes”, i.e. themes or “innovation challenges” that the partners cannot resolve alone and that bring them together.]
What are, in your view, promising “federating themes” around which the participation of different stakeholders from Europe and Africa could be mobilized and that have high priority and potential for improving the conditions of African family farming?
What should PAEPARD do (or do differently) to identify such federating themes and promote the establishment of Europe-Africa partnerships around such themes?
Topic 3 – Collective and individual stakeholder groups’ needs in terms of information, capacity strengthening and advocacy
What information does each stakeholder group need to enable it to establish or join such ARD partnerships and how should this information be provided? What should PAEPARD do (or do differently) to provide this information?

What capacities need to be strengthened to enable different stakeholders to establish and effectively collaborate in such ARD partnerships? How should capacities for “social learning”, knowledge sharing, co-innovation be strengthened? What should PAEPARD do (or do differently) to support this capacity strengthening?
How and where do different stakeholder groups advocate for inclusive and balanced Europe-Africa multi-stakeholder ARD partnerships? How could PAEPARD support this advocacy?