WorldFish is hosting its first collaborative inter-CGIAR Research Program (CRP) natural resource management (NRM) impact assessment workshop at its Penang, Malaysia, HQ on 14 and 15 February 2012.
The workshop is the first step towards a defining the assessment measures that will be used to successfully measure the impact of natural resource management across the CRPs.
Debbie Templeton from the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) attending the workshop echoed these sentiments. “The CRPs encourage a strong collaborative culture".
The participants share a vision that increased effort to continue advances in impact assessment is required. This is "to show credible evidence of the benefits of agricultural research, and to provide valuable lessons which can feedback into the research agenda. Collaborative effort will strengthen this endeavor”, says Templeton.
“The workshop emerged from the realization that CGIAR Research Programs, particularly those that are focusing more explicitly on natural resource management, are all facing a common challenge – to demonstrate the development outcomes and impacts we’re having as a result of our work”, says Boru Douthwaite of the AAS CRP.
"We all realize we’re facing the same challenge at the same time, so we see emerging collaboration across CRPs, and across centers that we wouldn’t have seen 2 or 3 years ago. We do face a common set of challenges, that as a group we’re interested to work on together, and a commitment to do that”.
Representatives from four CRPs that include natural resource management in their scope joined the workshop: Forest and Trees; Land, Water and Environment; Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS); and Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS).
The focus on collaboration reflects fundamental shifts in how new CRPs are managed, with priority given to collaboration and outcome assessment.
“The main goal is to think collectively; there are common ideas running through the CGIAR system. It is to create momentum so that we end up having a group of active people across the CRPs and Center’s that will push forward the idea to have proper design of programs and projects so that we can properly assess our outcomes and our impacts," says Robert Nasi, Leader of the CRP on Forests and Trees.
The workshops aim to help get better answers to three key CRP questions:
• Is what we’re doing working?
• Are we having any effect or outcomes?
• How can we get better at what we do?
Challenges explored include
• the challenge of demonstrating impact when working in partnership in complex environments;
• the difficulty of claiming attribution.
The workshops will also illustrate how linking research to innovation processes in a collaborative way helps reach development outcomes, and forms a foundation for inter-CRP collaborations to determine impact assessments.
WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.
CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.
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