Is it reasonable to expect that the focus on working to transform specific value chains in specific places will generate measurable local impact AND facilitate subsequent scaling out regionally AND generate technologies and research findings that will benefit international development efforts more widely?
Please comment: What strategies could we use to ensure the lessons from the selected value chains in the selected countries benefit more producers and consumers more widely?
Share your comments below:
Return to the List of Questions for week 1
Yes, it is reasonable and possible to transform specific value chains in some places and in a short term generate sufficient noticeable local impact that would encourage scaling-up and out regionally. Demonstration projects could effectively transfer lessons learned for the benefit of other producers and consumers very readily.
Identify suitable partners to be in charge of documentation and dissemination of new technologies in working areas
Stratergies to be used for wider multiplication of research results should include but not restricted to the following;
a)improved research-extension linkage for better dissemination of technologies
b)extensive use of farmer field schools
c)agricultural technological shows and related activities
d)integration of local and opinion community leaders,reseachers and stakeholders for dissemination of results
e) the role of women during technology dissemination should be improved
f) consideration of cross-cutting issues that can affect smooth dissemination of research findings
Yes, generation of local impact and its scaling out to other locations with in the region is expected provided the target farmers and conditions are carefully selected. Socio-economic conditions, cultural norms, organization set up and enabling environment are generally different and often constrain the transformation of technologies resulted in dis-similar conditions.
Selecting target locations with divergent conditions for project implementation would help wide application of the findings internationally.
By encouraging producers and consumers to share common experiences and learn from each other. Furthermore much information must be sent to the specific value chains and ther is need for close collaboration for information sharing to ensure maximum impact.
MEGAPROJECT SHOULD HAVE A STRONG COMPONENT WITH RELEVANT ACTIVITIES FOR THE INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE OF EXPERTISE(SCIENTISTS AND TECHNICIANS) TO DISSEMINATE TIMELY INFORMATION, KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCES, AND TECHNOLOGY FROM THE SELECTED COUNTRIES.
Strong consolidated communication efforts, tailored to the needs of the different partners, are needed to achieve this. Donors need simple non-technical answers with basic cost-benefit models, the private sector is looking for trustworthy detailed analysis, small-scale farmers are only convinced when they can see improved production or e.g. benefit of farmer groups.
The breadth of impact depends on the scaling-out potential and hence the definition of intervention variables or bottlenecks. The broader, the better the scaling out, yet there is a trade off between breadth of intervention (variables) and effectiveness of individual measures on specific chains. However, approaches to tackle water supply issues might be better to sclae out later than tackling a specific local fish disease (just to give an example)
Perhaps over 2-3 decades.
Working to transform specific value chains in specific places will generate measurable local impact if proper characterization of existing value chain is made at the beginning of the work. Measurable improvements on the value chain can be used to show how those improvements will benefit the food value chain in other places. Visits to research places and meeting with research partners and other actors at local level and international level will help to extend the results to other producers and consumers
Sometimes the results of research are not largely communicated to the public.This depends upon the literacy of the population.Messages can be vehicled by radios when the population is illiterate. I think also that it is important to organize workshops at different levels for the extensionists as they have a key role in the transmission of messages.The modern tools of communication can be widely used depending of the audience targeted.
Distill the principles behind the lessons.
Some of the suggested strategies can be:
Strategy-1 Capturing the positive voice of stakeholders
Consultative designing of interventions more particularly prior agreement on indicators and use of tools for impact assessment etc. is always helpful when we are planning to eventually market or scale up any idea. Empower and involve partners.
Strategy -2 Participatory Documentation
Focus should be made on documenting solid evidences. Number of beneficiaries / visuals / Policy respoense etc. is important for disseminating a successful intervention to a wide audience.
Strategy-3 People to people interaction
Help farmer leaders interact with their counter parts.
Strategy-4 Empowerment of ‘Champions’ or ‘bridging leaders’.
Create / nourish / empower ‘champions’ within the consortium institutions for each of the country level interventions.
Fee access to information and application of Information technology.
Syntheisis of experiences from other countries/continents may be of use
Involvemnt of research , extension and farmers ( and local leadership)from the the onset of programs
It is possible that work on a specific value chain in a specific location might indeed produce positive gains with respect to the goals set out (NB: a value chain approach or what was called a ‘cluster’approach was used for several non-livestock agriculture-based sectors some years ago…bread was one, as I remember -it might be interesting for you to see what kinds of spillovers took place). In general, however, I refer you back to my comments on Q1 which discuss the difficulties in scaling.
A good strategy is ‘learning from doing’. Apparently, this strategy is not sufficiently applied in (livestock) development projects. CGIAR Centers may play an important role in this field.