The Platform for African-European partnership for Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) in collaboration with The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) has organised a five-day facilitators' Inception Workshop of the PAEPARD Project. The main objective of this workshop is to familiarise participants with their potential role as facilitators of "agricultural innovation partnerships" established with the support of the PAEPARD project.
The workshop is daily documented by one of the participants (Nawsheen Hosenally from Mauritius)
Day 1 – Monday 28th November 2011: Introduction to PAEPARDThe theme for the first day of the workshop was “Introduction to PAEPARD”.
The 8 sub-workshops were on the following topics:
1. How to identify relevant partners within a multi-stakeholder partnership?
2. How to balance/manage power imbalances within a consortium?
4. How can we manage stakeholders in a team? Divide roles and overcome mistrust
5. How can we keep ourselves relevant and in demand by the partnership?
6. How do we harmonise our work methods when we are driven by different ideologies?
7. How can we maintain neutrality in our facilitation?
Day 2: Tuesday 29th November 2011: Facilitation of ARD Partnerships
The theme for Day 2 was "Facilitation of ARD Partnerships" and the aim was that all participants know about the role of a facilitator in a multi-stakeholder partnership.
Day 3 - Wednesday 30th November 2011: Facilitation Tools
The first session of Day 3 was a role-play by Janet Achora and Monica Kapiriri Namumbya (both from Uganda), whereby Monica had to approach Janet (consortium) as the Agricultural Innovation Facilitator by PAEPARD.
This session discussed the differences between Moderation, Coordination, Facilitation and Leadership.There were 3 boards in front, on each one there was a question, written on a card of different colours:
Green Card: Achieve the task (Common objectives)
Blue Card: Manage the team and avoid conflict
Pink Card: Promote learning by partners
The last exercise for the day was about Research Questions. Each country pair had to work together on their respective concept notes and had to generate 5 research questions and 3 sub-questions for each of the selected concept notes of the Second round of the PAEPARD call ARD proposals
Day 4 - Thursday 1st December 2011: Designing a partnership facilitation process
The objective was for participants to have an idea about how an inception workshop was organised by PAEPARD in the past and the points to keep in mind while planning and implementing the workshop. There are 4 steps which are involved for a concept note to become a formal proposal and the example given was from the PAEPARD First Call:
- Original proposal to PAEPARD
- Concept Note (Draft) drafted as a result of the PAEPARD Inception Workshop
- Complete Concept Note
- Draft Proposal Write-shop to generate formal proposal (submission)
Each country pair was asked to design a timeline of 3 months on the type of activities they will organise with respect to their respective consortium and also the specific output/milestone achieved for each proposed activity.
Mrs. Habiba Hassan Wassef of Egypt, talks about how Africans should be aware of their Intellectual Property Rights before sharing their views with Europeans.
To understand about how ARD can be financed, a document from ICRA, which contained key concepts on how to finance ARD were given to the participants, who were asked to read the document. Then there was a brainstorming session to find the possible finance sources at National Level, Sub-Regional Level (Africa) and International Level.
Presentation by ASARECA
To get a better idea of how ARD are financed in Africa, there was a presentation by Mr. Joseph Methu from ASARECA. He explained about how ASARECA does the coordination work regarding financing of ARD in the East Africa Region.
Statements from World Bank
IMPLEMENTING AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION FUNDS: Lessons from Competitive Research and Matching Grant Projects.. From that Report, different statements were taken and presented to the participants.
- Statement 1: The more a call is competitive – and selective, the less facilitators will be asked to play an intermediation role, as the investment will have less chances to lead to a return.
- Statement 2: Competitive grants strengthen the strongest actors and do not reduce the disparities between the strong and the weak.
- Statement 3: Mainly the growing rhetoric’s among the agricultural research and development partners to become more accountable to the beneficiary and other stakeholders has necessitated the need for partnerships and new funding schemes
- Statement 4: Only organizations which have a minimum budget , a critical mass of staff and a research and innovation management capacity can compete in competitive grants
The last session for Day 4 was about the proposal formulation. Participants were given a document on points to be taken into consideration while doing a proposal formulation.