By Maren Radeny, Tabitha Muchaba and James Kinyangi
In order to understand the regional research needs and priorities and to develop strategic partnership for the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) research at national and regional scales, CCAFS East Africa Program has been actively engaging partners at national and regional levels.
As part of the engagement process, three national consultative workshops on priorities for agricultural adaptation and mitigation research were held in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda in 2011.
At the regional level, two workshops were held: a farmer consultation workshop in partnership with Eastern Africa Farmers Federation (EAFF) that discussed the linkages between climate change and agriculture, farmer participation in research priority setting, scaling up knowledge generation and dissemination, and enhancing resiliency and adaptive capacity; and a workshop on improving regional climate information and food system coordination in order to consult key stakeholders from the region on regional agricultural and food security contingency planning processes, current and potential use of climate-related information, and means of improving planning and coordination in East Africa. Furthermore, the program held several national consultative meetings with key decision makers to promote policy dialogue in Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda. Also, a series of focus group discussions were held with local community service organizations, NGOs and representatives of local governments at the CCAFS sites, to create awareness of opportunities through CCAFS for partnerships that respond to climate related risks.
A major outome of the consultative meetings is a synthesis of the regional research needs and priorities, including opportunities for pilot participatory research activities at CCAFS sites in East Africa ( Research needs and priorities in East Africa).
In order to respond to the need to develop projects that address the challenges and gaps synthesized from the research needs, CCAFS East Africa convened a regional science workshop. The aim of the workshop was to build networks among CGIAR and national level scientists to develop thematic research activities that support climate risk management, adaptation and mitigation options in East Africa. The workshop, which was held from June 26-28 in Arusha, Tanzania, brought together more than 50 participants from national, regional and international organizations working in agricultural research and extension, food security, early warning systems, development practitioners in East Africa.
At the end of the workshop, four thematic research groups were formed. The research groups will be collaborating and working at the CCAFS sites in East Africa. The research areas developed integrate climate risk management, adaptation, mitigation and linking knowledge to action. These include:
In terms of the next steps, the working groups will refine the concept notes developed during the workshop. The project concepts will be evaluated taking into account potential for synergy across and within CCAFS research themes, regionality in terms of outputs and implementation, direct contribution to livelihoods, feasibility and innovativeness. Workshop participants identified champions to lead the working groups and to coordinate inputs from the participating institutions, including their roles and responsibilities. The workshop created an opportunity for building long-term research partnerships, especially between scientists from CGIAR and National Agricultural Research and Extension Systems (NARES).
This blog post was written by Maren Radeny, Science Officer East Africa, James Kinyangi, Regional Program Leader East Africa and Tabitha Muchaba, CCAFS East Africa. To get more updates on our research work in East Africa, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @Cgiarclimate.
CCAFS Coordinating Unit - University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, Rolighedsvej 21, DK-1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark, phone +45 35331046; Email ccafs [at] cgiar [dot] org, EAN 5790000279012
Lead Center - International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)