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Facilitating capacity development for agricultural innovation

Capacity Development (CD) for agricultural innovation systems (AIS): Policy recommendations and CD indicators advocated by e-conference and international symposium

The Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) organized an e-conference (19 April – 13 May 2016) and an international symposium (21 June 2016) on “Innovation systems for food security and nutrition: understanding the capacities needed”. Both events focused on developing capacities for food security and nutrition sensitive Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS).

These are the key recommendations for donors, policy makers and development agencies emerged:

• Pay attention to rural households as key actors of food security and nutrition- sensitive AIS.

• Increase and sustain the level of assistance and national investments devoted to capacity development (CD) for AIS interventions.

• Achieve better coherence and coordination at country level between CD for AIS interventions from different organizations.

• Design and implement CD for AIS initiatives with national and local stakeholders in an integrated manner, considering all dimensions of CD (individual, organizational and enabling environment), and functional capacities.

• Ensure flexibility of CD interventions so that they are responsive to evolving needs of actors in the AIS.

• Promote an enabling environment conductive to innovation.

• Create the space and incentives for the actors in the system to interact, collaborate and learn together to bring about the changes needed.

The events focused also on how to maintain capacities after the ends of a project, stressing out the importance of continuity in the management team. In addition, indicators to monitor CD interventions in food security and nutrition sensitive AIS have been proposed. In particular, these indicators refer to inputs, outcomes and impacts of the CD interventions.

The e-conference and the symposium were supported by the United States in the framework of the USA-Brazil agreement to promote, via TAP, the implementation of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. As pointed out in the symposium Report, strong consensus has been reached for the engagement of local stakeholders starting from the design phase in order to increase the success and sustainability of projects.

A brief summary of the two initiatives is provided in the Communication Sheet "Innovation system for food security and nutrition: capacity needs and policy recommendations".

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