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Reflections on Capacity Strengthening and Training — past, present and future

Reflections on Capacity Strengthening and Training — past, present and future



Presentation by Ponniah Anandajayasekeram to the ILRI Annual Program Meeting (APM), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16 April 2010

Presentation by Ponniah Anandajayasekeram to the ILRI Annual Program Meeting (APM), Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 16 April 2010



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    Reflections on Capacity Strengthening and Training — past, present and future Reflections on Capacity Strengthening and Training — past, present and future Presentation Transcript

    • P. Anandajayasekeram Annual Planning Meeting (APM) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 16 April 2010
    • 2010 1971 1982
    • 1 2 3 6 7 4 8 9 10 11 12 5 My Journey to Addis
    • My Journey Through CGIAR
      • A shift in the research paradigm
      • Some aspects have shifted along a continuum
        • Focused with long-term commitment Broader agenda with greater uncertainty
        • Global public good Regional/national public goods with potential for scaling up
        • Best Practice Best Fit
        • NARIs AIS
      • Some aspects have come full circle
        • Impact Collaboration
        • Publish or Perish Competition
      • Other observations:
        • Loss of autonomy of individual centers
        • More players in the system, growing interdependency
        • Image as a “trusted partner” has eroded, at times viewed as competitor
    • Human Capital One of the Prime Movers
      • A critical constraint to development – New generation of change agents
      • As a development input must always be present but context specific
      • Viewed as a system – Focus at all levels
      • CGIAR is a very small player
    • Clientele Private Sector CBO NGO Public Sector AET Systems (Universities, Schools, Colleges and non-formal education organizations) The AET System A sub-system of rural development system
      • Individuals, Groups, Organizations
    • Current Status of Agricultural Research and Training Capacity
      • Erosion of staff
      • Skewed age distribution
      • Weak linkages – Tertiary education and R&D Institutes
      • Poor organization and management of existing capacity
      • Lack of systematic reinforcement
    • Constraints of the AET System
      • Distorted enrollment pattern
      • Isolated and fragmented AET institutes
      • Obsolete and disassociated curricula from the economy
      • Crisis in staffing
      • Inadequate teaching facilities and out dated teaching methods
      • Others
        • Quality
        • Unsustainable expansion and pattern of expenditure
        • Higher unemployment and lack of relevance of curriculum
    • Training in CGIAR –Evolution
      • Started in 1962 at IRRI
      • Evolved from RF Experience in Mexico
        • Initial focus on Food Crops
        • Research alone is not enough
        • Skilled manpower is vital
      • Simple Strategy
        • Identify Crops and Livestock affecting Livelihood
        • Critical Mass of Scientists
        • Identify constraints
        • device ways to overcome constraints
        • Provide ample funds
        • International Public Goods
        • Research based
    • CGIAR - Trends in CS
      • Decentralization
      • Informal and Short Training
      • 25% of trainees are from SSA
      • % of degree training
      • % of women trained
      • Thematic areas covered expanded
      • Significant impact
    • Issues of Concern CGIAR CS Activities
      • Major reliance on project funds
      • Incomplete and incompatible records (investment, volume, type)
      • Absence of systematic need analysis
      • Weak quality assurance
      • Unclear fit between training and poverty
      • Reduced capacity to collect, adapt, translate and disseminate existing training materials.
      • Very little collaboration among CG centers in CS
    • Collaboration and Partnership in CS
      • Is not a choice but a must. But the reality is
      • Voluntary groups of individuals
      • Priority accorded is not the same
        • Level of commitment by Senior management
        • Structure, modalities of operation and resource allocation
      • Lack of clear strategies and priorities
      • Agenda dictated by what each center is doing
      • “ Reactive” rather than “Pro-active ”
    • Change Process Experience from the region
      • Largely externally driven
      • Tension between structure and content
        • Content dictates structure
        • Structure dictates content
      • New boxes but try to fit in the existing faces
      • Repackaging existing projects / activities
      • End result
        • same faces with new title
        • same agenda in a different format
      • Business as usual same results
    • CS Platform
      • Contribute to:
      • Enhanced participation of national scientists in global innovation system
      • Effective participation of NARS in Mega Programs
      • Development and use of new ICT and knowledge management tools
      • Greater engagement of Universities
    • Some Suggestions
      • Mega programs with explicit CS Components
        • Context specific training needs assessment
        • Activities, resources, outputs, outcomes and indicators
      • Coaching and mentoring
      • Contribution to CS in staff performance assessment
      • Sustainability consideration – building capacity of partner institute
    • Some Suggestions (cont)
      • Common capacity needs and soft skills coordinated by the platform
      • Open and competitive Fellowship Program
      • Mechanism-record keeping, M&E, feed back, quality assurance, best practices
      • Providing input for bilateral and multilateral donor programs
      • Enhance co-ordination and linkages
      Walk the Talk – Learning institutes
    • Where is ILRI - CS
      • Has a Unique “Niche”
      • A Strong Foundation in Place
        • A strategy in place
        • A Training Policy and Procedure manual
        • Completed two sets of training needs
        • assessments
        • Active engagement in recent consultative
        • processes
        • Working on a Need based M&E system
      • But need innovative and strategic partnerships
    • Grateful to Africa
      • Giving me the opportunity to learn and serve
      • A comfortable home for my family
      • For treating me as part of the “family”
      • “ We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit.”
      • “ We must learn to love change. It is the only thing that is certain.”
    • Thank You