Profile: Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development
Questions: Refilwe Mashigo
Responses: Joël Sor
PAEPARD has been running for nearly a decade. What kinds of activities has the project been involved in in this time?
Since its launch in 2007, the Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) has been involved in a range of activities. These can be categorised under the following broad headings:
- Incubating partnerships between Africa and Europe in Agricultural Research for Development (ARD);
- Building the capacity of African partners to be able to develop concept notes and competitive ARD proposals in a multi-stakeholder partnership;
- Sharing information relating to ARD and funding opportunities;
- Knowledge co-creation and learning along a so-called Users’ Led Process; and,
- Advocating for greater coherence between donors with the MDGs/SDGs.
Our very active website (http://paepard.org) and blog (http://paepard.blogspot.co.za/) contain all the details of our activities in these areas.
What role does the private sector specifically play in achieving the objectives of the project?
PAEPARD’s very philosophy is to give a prominent leadership role to non-research stakeholders—ie farmer organisations and industry—and the private sector therefore plays a crucial advisory and implementing role for PAEPARD. In addition, PAEPARD actively encourages SMEs to work with farmer representative groups and universities or research institutes to focus their work and develop their businesses. We know that this type of engagement will ultimately lead to increased sustainability of research in both Africa and Europe.
With PAEPARD’s 19 consortium partners and a number of associate partners across Africa and Europe, how important is communication to the project’s performance?
Communication is the ‘glue’ that binds PAEPARD together. A Communication Strategy has been elaborated over the years and this has two components—an internal and an external component. The internal component has developed a communication tool using Web 2.0 technology that makes information and knowledge sharing among partners easy. The external component is composed of our widely followed blog as well as more classic media to disseminate information and lessons learned during the project.
What can we expect from the project going forward?
There are three major outputs that stakeholders can anticipate going forward: First, a large number of project proposals supported by PAEPARD will be submitted to numerous funding calls in 2016, which will hopefully result in a number of new ARD initiatives. Second, we are preparing lessons learned from multi-stakeholder ARD partnerships, and these lessons will be shared very soon with the global ARD community, including donors. Third, we also hope to see a number of technological and institutional innovations scaled out in the coming months.
*This interview was first published in the June 2016 CAAST-Net Plus Magazine.
[Image credit: P. Sewade/PAEPARD]
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