A four-day retreat by the Africa RISING program coordination team concluded on 5 June with the submission of a proposal to USAID for funding the second phase of the program. The retreat was held in Washington DC at International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) headquarters and attended by Africa RISING Program’s chief scientists from IITA and International Livestock Research Institute, a Science Advisory Group representative, and colleagues from the IFPRI monitoring and evaluation team.
“During the retreat we were able share insights from the recently carried out regions’ project reviews, do a SWOT analysis and, based on this, decide on priorities for focus until end of phase 1 in September 2016. We also brainstormed on a common vision for the future of Africa RISING and a new, more effective management structure. Eventually, we came up with a roadmap of preparatory steps towards the phase 2 proposal. A significant milestone will be a Program Strategy workshop in October 2015. Also of significance is that we had an opportunity to make a presentation at USAID Headquarters about what Africa RISING is, what it has achieved so far, and how it will continue to deliver on the Feed the Future goals for Africa. This presentation was followed by a session during which USAID program leaders asked questions, e.g., on how Africa RISING can be of support to other USAID projects,” noted Dr Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon, Coordinator Africa RISING West Africa and East/Southern Africa Projects.
Phase 1 of the Africa RISING program is expected to end after five years in September 2016. The program design has been focused on achieving the goal of “providing pathways out of hunger and poverty through sustainably intensified farming systems.” Through the collaborative efforts of research partners involved in the project, various farm-scale level agricultural technologies have been developed to meet this goal. Research-for-Development (R4D) platforms have also been established as a means of ensuring demand-driven research and the involvement of communities and local authorities. It is therefore anticipated that the second phase of the program will be focused on scaling out the “best-bet” technologies generated from the research work in phase 1.
IITA leads two of the three Africa RISING projects in West Africa (in Mali and Ghana) and East/Southern Africa (in Tanzania and Malawi). ILRI leads the Africa RISING project in the Ethiopian highlands.