2020 brought back the ISDC’s Science Forum through two events in October and November. The Science Forum is a series of events initiated by the then Independent Science and Partnership Council (ISPC) in 2009 under its remit of mobilizing science for development through international dialogue on critical issues in agricultural research. ISDC is renewing its commitment to these science dialogues with a focus on innovation with symposiums from 2022 to 2024.

The first event in October is a virtual side event at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Science and Innovation Forum 2022 that will discuss institutional innovation while the second event will take place in tandem with the 17th Meeting of the System Council at TropAg in Brisbane Australia and focus on inclusive innovation in international development.

Additional materials will be added to this page including enduring materials after the events. Read below for more details including agendas. Please note that the symposium during TropAg will not have a virtual option but will be recorded for viewing after.

ISDC Side Event at FAO Science and Innovation Forum 2022: QoR4D to Strengthen Institutional Innovation

Date: 13 October 2022
Place: virtual

Background: Accelerating transformation of food, land, and water systems under climate crisis requires institutional innovations. The Quality of Research for Development (QoR4D) framework facilitates CGIAR System-wide agreement on what constitutes “quality” for problem-oriented research designed to have impact. Experience demonstrated that R4D criteria should extend beyond conventional research output or impact metrics (e.g., peer-reviewed publications and their citations) and should include relevance, scientific credibility, legitimacy (which includes local acceptance), and effectiveness. QoR4D was co-designed using a consultative process and involving representatives from entities across CGIAR leading or assessing research quality.

The virtual Side Event “QoR4D to Strengthen Institutional Innovation” at FAO Science and Innovation Forum 2022 will explore how QoR4D can strengthen different levels of institutional innovations as it supports good governance in CGIAR and AR4D organizations.


Introduction: Strengthening Institutional Innovation
Nompumelelo Obokoh, ISDC Vice Chair and CEO, South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), South Africa

Evaluating Quality of Research - Why, How, Who and When
Jillian Lenne, Consultant in AR4D engaged with IAES on Evaluating Quality of Science in the CGIAR, UK

QoR4D Framework & Application
Andrew Ash, ISDC Member and Adjunct Professor, School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia

From Quality Research to Impact – the Innovation Challenge
Holger Meinke, ISDC Chair and Adjunct Research Professor for Global Food Sustainability, University of Tasmania, Australia

Panel Discussion with Speakers
Moderated by Side Event Chair Nompumelelo Obokoh

Discussion opening
Marc Schut, Strategic Advisor and Senior Innovation and Scaling Scientist, CGIAR and Wageningen University & Research, Rwanda


ISDC Symposium at TropAg Conference: Building Inclusive Innovation in International Development

Date: 1 November 2022 
Place: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, Brisbane, Australia
Time: 13:00 - 15:00

The United Nations Food Systems Summit Scientific Group articulated the need to accelerate the promotion of inclusive innovation. Innovation is an important driver of economic growth and social wellbeing. What is required is a paradigm change. Namely, to move from instrumental inclusion designed to address excluded groups’ barriers to adoption, and toward transformational inclusion in processes of co-innovation.

Inclusiveness pertains not only to excluded actors in agrifood systems, such as poorer farmers cultivating more marginal lands, female and younger farmers, and entrepreneurs. The term also refers to domain expertise, breeds and crops, and research that may lie outside of mainstream attention yet hold strong promise to boost sustainable food and nutrition.

The ISDC Symposium “Building Inclusive Innovation in International Development” at TropAg Conference will explore inclusive innovation as it relates to governance in research organizations, the local needs and lessons learned from farmers, the social responsibility in cocreation, and how inclusivity can aid sustainable agrifood systems.


Session Introduction
Holger Meinke (Australia), ISDC Chair and Adjunct Research Professor for Global Food Sustainability, University of Tasmania

Inclusivity in Innovation Processes
Simon Fielke (Australia), Research Scientist, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

View from the Field: Co-innovation with Small-scale Farmers
Bruno Condori Ali (Bolivia), Visiting Research Scientist, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Co-Creating Sustainability: Innovation in Sustainable Agrifood Systems
Alyssa Jade McDonald-Baertl (Germany), CGIAR Board Member

Effectiveness of Inclusive Partnerships for International Development Innovation in Areas with Limited Resources
Melinda R.S. Moata (Indonesia), Senior Lecturer, Kupang State Agricultural Polytechnic, Indonesia

Inclusive Partnerships for One CGIAR
Nompumelelo Obokoh (South Africa), ISDC Vice Chair and CEO, South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP), South Africa

Panel discussion with speakers (time permitting)
Moderated by Session Chair Holger Meinke

Stay tuned, further information about Science Forum events in 2023-2024 to come soon