Abstract: ISDC Symposium at TropAg Conference

Nompumelelo Obokoh, Fetien Abay Abera, Magali Garcia, Holger Meinke, Christine Negra, Allison Grove Smith

The Independent Science for Development Council (ISDC) is a standing panel of impartial, world-class scientific experts providing rigorous, independent advice to the CGIAR System Council and stakeholders. Building on earlier work, ISDC embarked on a literature review and expert consultations (N = 13) to examine existing inclusive innovation systems; validated strategies for navigating trade-offs, advancing inclusivity through partnerships, and fostering mindset and behavioral shifts through institutional changes; and mechanisms for measuring the practice and impact of inclusive innovation. As CGIAR implements its new Engagement Framework for Partnerships and Advocacy, internal and external research leaders must be more complexity-aware and integrated within wider development and systems change agendas. For One CGIAR partners, this includes balanced emphasis on partners across agricultural communities, multi-scale value chains, and public-private R&D networks. The review and consultations identified the following five key partnership strategies. 

  1. Analyze functioning of network-based partnerships including knowledge creation and exchange, institutional collaboration, and capacity for local differentiation
  2. Assess operations of public-private partnerships including their influence on innovation systems
  3. Invest in higher-quality partnerships including effective facilitation, dedicated support, linkage to broader development efforts, and performance assessment
  4. Increase duration and scope of partnerships to increase the likelihood of innovations scaling beyond a niche level
  5. Steer partnership strategies informed by more robust assessment of their functions and performance 

Although the literature review and consultation outcomes provided broad recommendations for inclusive partnerships, what is missing and how can these recommendations be strengthened for research for development organizations similar to CGIAR?