An inception workshop was held on March 10, 2016 at IFPRI for four studies funded under SIAC activity 3.3 (under-evaluated areas of CGIAR research): (1) alternate wetting and drying, Philippines; (2) agroforestry, Kenya; (3) brachiaria grass, Colombia; and (4) forest co-management, Guinea (more information on the project page and the events page). The methodological challenge underlying all these studies is that the interventions (under assessment) have been ‘out there’ for a while or have been adopted at a large-scale. As is the norm with SPIA inception workshops, this was structured to provide detailed feedback on each of the studies, and also convey to the proponents the kind of information SPIA is looking for (thematically). Without going into the details of each study, below are some of the more interesting issues/suggestions that came up and is relevant to IAs of such research areas.
alternate wetting and drying
Following a competitive call for expressions of interest in November 2015, SPIA conducted an expert workshop on how best to approach documentation of adoption of selected Natural Resource Management (NRM) practices linked to CGIAR research outputs (16-17 December, 2015). The NRM practices and countries of interest had been identified as high priority in a previous SPIA exercise of reviewing and rating claims made in annual reports and other relevant literature regarding the scale of uptake of CGIAR-derived NRM research outcomes.
Traditionally, SPIA would have reviewed EOIs and requested full proposals from a sub-set of proponents. However, considering (1) the unique challenges in defining what constitutes adoption of a specific NRM practice, (2) that existing surveys may already have relevant/useful data or upcoming survey rounds (planned) may offer opportunities to collect additional data, and (3) the typology of proponents anticipated to express interest (academic researchers, private sector entities, CGIAR Centers, remote sensing experts etc.) – SPIA took an innovative approach: all EOI proponents were invited to a workshop wherein collaborations were fostered through a combination of presentation-led discussions and group work.8Mar 2016