Virtual Roundtable Series

Kenya: Transforming agricultural research funding towards sustainability 

The issue
Agricultural research has a major role to play to develop sustainable agricultural practices and policies toward achieving greater sustainability, equity, and resilience. The importance of agricultural research has been emphasized in Kenya’s 10-year Agricultural Sector Growth and Transformation Strategy (ASTGS) as one of the core flagships for the sector. However, agricultural research still suffers from underinvestment.

Additionally, agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa is currently dominated by highly specialized research, which produces isolated solutions. Inversely, holistic and transdisciplinary approaches that systematically approach multiples challenges of today’s food systems – such as climate change, rural poverty, demographic pressure or natural resource degradation – are not receiving a commensurate share of research funding. In order to contribute to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and realize progress towards the Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development, more integrated research approaches are needed. For instance, agroecological approaches are now gaining momentum and support by an increasingly wide range of experts within the scientific community, international organizations and governments as a means to reach the SDGs.

Objective of the virtual roundtable series

The virtual roundtable series aims to provide a platform to discuss pathways for transforming agricultural research funding towards more sustainability, in line with agroecological principles.

Specific objectives:

              – Present the findings of a special report on funding flows to agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa

               Develop action plans for Kenya and the region to strengthen integrated agricultural research for development.

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Approach

The virtual roundtable is organized as a series of interactive sessions, and aims to provide substantial inputs on the status of funding flows to agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa and how they shape food and farming pathways. The factors driving research agenda setting and funding allocation will also be discussed. It will be based on the main findings of a recent study (Money Flows report), which builds on a set of case studies analyzing the funding flows of major institutions. The study analyzes investments into agriculture research in quantitative terms, and also sheds light on the political economy behind these investments in order to identify openings – or opportunity for change – for the emergence of new agendas in line with the SDGs. Participants will be able to further contribute their own experience and perspectives. Interactive discussions between participants will focus on the steps to follow to overcome the current deadlocks that prevent the transformation of food systems to sustainability and to promote greater investments in research on agroecological and similar sustainable practices.

Roundtable structure

The virtual roundtables will take place virtually in a series of three short (2 hour) sessions, which take place between November 2020 and January 2021.

Session 1: Definition: Discussing the status of funding flows to agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa and factors driving research agenda setting and funding allocation (Output: Summary of deadlocks/windows of opportunity)

Session 2: Ideation: Developing ideas to overcome the current deadlocks and to use windows of opportunity for greater investments in research on agroecological and similar sustainable practices (Output: Draft recommendations specific for East Africa)

Session 3: Recommendation: Discussing draft recommendations and identifying concrete actions to further their application in policy and practice (Output: Final recommendations and action plan specific for East Africa)

Date and time:

  • 1st Session: 19 November, 2020 (14.30-16.30 EAT)
  • 2nd Session: 10 December, 2020 (14.30-16.30 EAT)
  • 3rd Session: 14 January, 2021 (14.30-16.30 EAT)

Platform:

Facilitated Zoom meeting

Participants:

up to 50 participants from Kenya and East African region

  • official authorities
  • public and private donor community
  • agricultural research for development community: leaders of research institutions, civil society organizations

Organizers:

Registration

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Programme

  • Session 1: Definition
  • Session 2: Ideation
  • Session 3: Recommendation

Definition: Discussing the status of funding flows to agricultural research in sub-Saharan Africa and factors driving research agenda setting and funding allocatio

Time Topic Format and speaker
8.00 – 8.30
Registration & Coffee
8.30 – 8.45
Welcoming Words
By Michelle Grant, Moderator
8.45 – 9.00
Key Note
By Dr. Hans R. Herren, President Biovision Foundation, IPES Food Panel Member
9.00 – 9.20
Towards sustainable food systems
By Dr. Emile Frison, IPES Food
9.20 – 9.40
What is agroecological research?
By Dr. Rachel Bezner Kerr, Cornell University
9.40 – 10.00
Q&A Session
Interactive session
10.00 – 10.30
Coffee Break
10.30 – 11.00
Political economy anaylsis of research investments
By Dr. Imogen Bellwood-Howard, IDS
11.00 – 11.30
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
11.30 – 12.15
Break out group 1: What are drivers, barriers and opportunities to conduct, fund and support agroecological research?
Group discussion
12.15 – 12.30
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
12.30 – 13.45
Lunch
13.45 – 14.35
Funding flows for 3 case Studies (Kenya, Switzerland, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
By Dr. Matthias Geck, Biovision Foundation; Sinan Hatik, George Washington University; Dr. Charles Odhong, Biovision Foundation
14.35 – 15.05
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
15.05 – 15.35
Presentation of synthesis and the recommendations
By Stefanie Pondini; Dr. Charlotte Pavageau, Biovision Foundation
15.35 – 16.00
Coffee Break
16.00 – 17.00
Break out group 2: Pathways to transformation: What, who and when?
Group discussion
17.00 – 17.20
Open Mic: Other elements/ideas to be considered
Interactive session
17.20 – 17.30
Wrap-up and Next Steps

Ideation: Developing ideas to overcome the current deadlocks and to use windows of opportunity for greater investments in research on agroecological and similar sustainable practices (Output: Draft recommendations specific for East Africa)

Recommendation: Discussing draft recommendations and identifying concrete actions to further their application in policy and practice (Output: Final recommendations and action plan specific for East Africa)

Time Topic Format and speaker
8.00 – 8.30
Registration & Coffee
8.30 – 8.45
Welcoming Words
By Michelle Grant, Moderator
8.45 – 9.00
Key Note
By Dr. Hans R. Herren, President Biovision Foundation, IPES Food Panel Member
9.00 – 9.20
Towards sustainable food systems
By Dr. Emile Frison, IPES Food
9.20 – 9.40
What is agroecological research?
By Dr. Rachel Bezner Kerr, Cornell University
9.40 – 10.00
Q&A Session
Interactive session
10.00 – 10.30
Coffee Break
10.30 – 11.00
Political economy anaylsis of research investments
By Dr. Imogen Bellwood-Howard, IDS
11.00 – 11.30
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
11.30 – 12.15
Break out group 1: What are drivers, barriers and opportunities to conduct, fund and support agroecological research?
Group discussion
12.15 – 12.30
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
12.30 – 13.45
Lunch
13.45 – 14.35
Funding flows for 3 case Studies (Kenya, Switzerland, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
By Dr. Matthias Geck, Biovision Foundation; Sinan Hatik, George Washington University; Dr. Charles Odhong, Biovision Foundation
14.35 – 15.05
Discussion / Q&A
Interactive session
15.05 – 15.35
Presentation of synthesis and the recommendations
By Stefanie Pondini; Dr. Charlotte Pavageau, Biovision Foundation
15.35 – 16.00
Coffee Break
16.00 – 17.00
Break out group 2: Pathways to transformation: What, who and when?
Group discussion
17.00 – 17.20
Open Mic: Other elements/ideas to be considered
Interactive session
17.20 – 17.30
Wrap-up and Next Steps

Speakers

Hans R. Herren 

Biovision Foundation, IPES-FOOD

Hans R. Herren 

Biovision Foundation, IPES-FOOD

Hans R. Herren 

Biovision Foundation, IPES-FOOD

Ressource corner

Contact

Biovision

Nancy Rapando 

Policy Advisor, Nairobi       

rapandonancy3@gmail.com     

 

Dr. Michael Brander

Policy Advisor 

m.brander@biovision.ch

 

Dr. Charlotte Pavageau

Programme Manager

c.pavageau@biovision.ch 

KALRO

Contact Person (TBD)  

Social Media

@FutureForAll #agroecology #foodsystems #agresearch