Improving R4D at IITA


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The Techno-policy model of agricultural development,IITA’s traditional role,The case of Sub-Saharah Africa,Current Strengths and weaknesses of IITA’s R4D Approach,Improving R4D at IITA,Cassava Food Systems

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Improving R4D at IITA

  1. 1. Improving R4D at IITA Dr Dave Watson 20th September, 2007 Ibadan, Nigeria.
  2. 2. The Techno-policy model of agricultural development Linear model of science-technology-development Reductionist:  Superior technology = adoption  More profitable = adoption  Improved management practices = adoption Enabling environment (research, development, policy, private sector, creditors, knowledge systems etc.):  Corporatist policy communities  Carrot (financial incentives)  Stick (mandatory requirements) Well-defined and reasonably predictable impact pathways
  3. 3. What was deficient about this model? Nothing!!!!!!!!! – aside from significant environmental, food safety and animal welfare externalities etc. Incredibly successful in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand Successful in much of S. America and Asia
  4. 4. IITA’s traditional role  A Linear Vision of Science: The traditional CGIAR paradigm (based on Ekboir, 2001) Formal research in established Development & Farmers CGIAR institutions (IITA) SSA? extension agencies Basic Strategic Appliedresearch research research Technology development AdoptionKnowledge flow
  5. 5. What happened to the Green Revolution in SSA? Key differences  Complex heterogeneous development contexts:  One size didn‟t fit all  Disabling policy and institutional environment:  Variable NAREs (some strong/some very weak)  Agricultural taxes (outputs and inputs)  Under investment in rural infrastructure  Limited private sector involvement/development  Limited access to credit and poor credit worthiness  Bio-physical:  Soil fertility, soil erosion, soil structure  Low and erratic rainfall  Diverse range of pests and diseases
  6. 6. The case of SSA Outcomes:  Many „superior‟ CGIAR technologies and practices remained on-the-shelf  Many „superior‟ CGIAR technologies were promoted but abandoned Did SSA simply lack long-term financial and political support for agricultural development?
  7. 7. Structural Problems Linear approaches to agricultural development were not easily transferable to SSA: 1. Inherently „superior technologies/practices‟ …….  Do not spontaneously diffuse  Are not automatically adopted  Do not always lead to predictable agricultural/livelihood impacts 2. Individuals/small groups do not have the power to determine a development/impact pathway
  8. 8. Changing rules of engagement Changing donor relations  Demands for positive and quantifiable livelihood impacts Changing roles of traditional actors  CGIAR Centres moved down-stream  New actors entered (INGOs and LNGOs)
  9. 9. Impact and Accountability NAREs + Positive Formal research in INGOs and Farmers changes in CGIAR institutions (IITA) LNGOs etc. livelihoods Basic Strategic Applied Technologyresearch research research development Adoption ImpactKnowledge flow
  10. 10. Non-linear approaches to science and development Growing acknowledgement of:  Complex problems with complex solutions  Many potential solutions for heterogeneous contexts  The need for multi-stakeholder partnerships  Innovation systems Recognition that:  Success was highly dependent on performance of CGIAR partners and the suitability of new technologies to local contexts
  11. 11. Non-linear Vision of ScienceResearchers Farmers & Positive & NAREs + INGOs in IITA communities negative changes and LNGOs etc. in livelihoodsGreater focus on Innovation systems that develop, or fail to Impactapplied research develop, solutions to identified contextand knowledge specific problems ?brokeringKnowledge flow Answers Questions
  12. 12. Why the need for R4D? What is R4D?  Research focused on providing solutions for identified development needs  R4D is:  Demand (opposed to supply) driven  Responsive to changing needs/contexts  It evolves/adapts (new partners and approaches)  Judged by outcomes and not products
  13. 13. Current Strengths of IITA’s R4D Approach Widely endorsed:  FAO, World Bank, CGIAR, EPMR and many donors Crop improvement and plant protection in mandate crops using “conventional” breeding and biotechnology tools  Yield potential  P&D resistance  Drought tolerance  Nutritional quality High value crops Agro-food systems/value chain approaches Value-addition (processing and marketing etc)
  14. 14. Current Weaknesses of R4D Approach at IITA Neglect of many traditional partners (NARs) Biased towards development and the expense of research Lack of key expertise in key areas Focus on output markets at the expense of input markets Natural resource management (particularly soil fertility management and soil degradation) Analysis, synthesis and documentation of lessons learned from both past and present research activities Too many bases to cover
  15. 15. Improving R4D at IITA (1) Geographical  Current focus on SSA is sensible:  Diversity of crops (current & potential)  Heterogeneity of development contexts  Heterogeneity of food and livelihood systems  Occurrence of poverty  Focus of donor investment  Africa wide focus for germplasm health and transfer  Most populous countries?  Greatest impact (numbers)  Neglect some of the poorest communities
  16. 16. Improving R4D at IITA (2) What should IITA focus on?  Key food systems/value-chains & improvements in subsistence-based livelihoods  Systematic assessment (actual & latent opportunities)  Proactive – rather than reactive – interventions  Scaling-up successful pilot interventions  Outcome Mapping and Case Studies  Planning, re-adjustment and institutional learning (internal)  Best practices and principles (external)
  17. 17. Improving R4D at IITA (3) Why focus on food system/value-chain activities?  Development  Greatest potential to unlock market-based opportunities  Productivity & competitiveness of poor producers  Value-addition  Marketing  Potential spill over into local economy  Research  Learning important lessons from pilot and up-scaling activities  Sustainable natural resource management
  18. 18. Improving R4D at IITA (4) Why focus on subsistence-based livelihoods?  Development  Increased food security (quantity and quality)  Improved natural resource management  Research  Learning important lessons  Better understanding and characterisation of:  Complex livelihood systems  Vulnerability, poverty and food insecurity  Sustainable natural resource management
  19. 19. Improving R4D at IITA (5) With whom?  Strong multi-stakeholder partnerships with:  ARIs – knowledge brokering  The private sector:  Knowledge brokering (corporate)  Critical investments for sustainability (corporate and SMEs)  Value-chain expertise (corporate - including monitoring & evaluation)  Key in exit strategy (corporate and SMEs)  INGOs, LNGOs, CBOs, producer, processor and retail groups – extension and PTD  NAREs – R&D, extension and PTD  Donors – (bi-directional alignment of IITA and donors‟ priorities)  Policy-makers (bi-directional alignment of IITA and decision- makers‟ priorities)
  20. 20. Improving R4D at IITA (6) How to work with internal colleagues & partners?  Action-research mode  Innovative Partnerships (new partners and new ways)  Learning Alliances (creating and brokering knowledge for innovation)  Systems-based approaches  Food & farming systems analysis (holistic-integrated-dynamic)  Value-chain analysis  Simultaneous (multi-partner and multi-node) interventions  Innovation Systems  Actor Network Theory (ANT)  Understanding interactions and outcomes
  21. 21. Cassava Food SystemsInterventions: An example What does IITA aim to achieve?
  22. 22. Policy Market-based Consumption advocacy Processed cassava Fresh cassava Donor Increased Value- Improved advocacy income for addition cassava commercial through processing cassava processing & Private processors marketing Sector Increased Increased Partners productivity, Food income for Security NARES commercial competitiveness, cassava profitability and Partners stability of producers ETC. cassava Subsistence Cassava production cassavaIITA Breeding producers & the Agronomy displaced Biotechnology Sustainable NRM
  23. 23. Conclusions “Work with whoever it takes to get the job done!” What can be done and with whom?  Strategic focus!!  Opportunistic? How best to do it?  Action research (food or livelihood systems framework)  Experiment, learn, reflect and refine  Communicate lessons (good and bad)  Communicate principles and best practices
  24. 24. Thank You