Africa RISING PCT meeting #22b (ad hoc)

15 May 2017
Skype (virtual meeting)

Participants:
Peter Thorne (PT)
Irmgard Hoeschle-Zeledon (IHZ)
Carlo Azzarri (CA)
Jerry Glover (JG) - chair
Ewen Le Borgne (ELB)


PCT page
PCT follow-up action points

Agenda
  1. Sustainable Intensification assessment framework
  2. Preparations of CoP leaders for the SAG/PCT meeting
  3. AOB



Conversation

Sustainable intensification assessment framework

Summary: The recent training that Jerry attended about it is rather basic. Do Mark and Phil need to expand their work while their contract runs (until August)? What are the needs about this framework in each project/region? How to operationalise this framework over the next 3-6 months e.g. get it online, get it used by other programs (CRPs) and institutions, how to ensure a minimum set of indicators are used consistently across all project teams? This will be discussed in Arusha on 21 June in the evening.

Conversation:
Jerry was in a training last week. The training focused very much on methods, methodologies (e.g. how to collect data on gender) and there's a wonderful manual etc. but they are done with giving instructions. This is about helping teams develop indicators etc. Phil & Mark's contract expires in August. They may not have a whole lot more to offer to teams. How do others here feel about this? Do you need engagement with them before their time is up? And it would be great to get a sense about to what extent the framework is used and to what extent the indicators are applicable to the entire framework?

  • PT: There's also an issue of operationalising this. PT to get in touch with ??? Robert Ayman?? Possible to use that to gather data for implementing this.
  • Rural household management... modular survey instrument that Mark v Wijk and James have used to collect basic household characterization data. It's a standardized, repeatable tool. Cheryl and Sieg pushed back on this. KSU is interested in that framework.
  • CLiP project in Burundi will make sense of this tool. BvL interested in applying it in all 3 projects. Then we (Imrgard, Carlo, Mateete, Asamoah) can collectively see how it's working.
  • Great if James can be involved in this but not in a driving seat.
  • JG: that could happen over the next 12 months, not 3-6 months. Hoping to get this tool to work for tradeoff analysis etc. KSU trying to get this tool more user-friendly and more standardized. There is a role for Africa RISING.
  • PT: Some of the visualization tools that KSU are using could also be used.
  • JG: There is no better communication tool for the US missions than this SI assessment framework. It would be good if there were common indicators across AR - though projects would not be limited by just those - perhaps having 2-3 / domain that can be measured across all projects. PT and IHZ, and CA are key in figuring this out.
  • PT: Chief scientists also need to be involved in this.
  • IHZ: Next opportunity to discuss this will be in Arusha. An evening or so. e.g. 21 evening. Asamoah will be only on 22 June.
  • JG: USAID folks are interested in graphs/radar charts introducing how systems work is helping etc. Getting at consensus-driven indicators would be really useful. The training in Senegal was not very advanced. There were lots of questions about how to develop radar diagrams, how to use spreadsheets, the process of identifying tradeoffs and appropriate indicators (lots of people were looking at state factors such as precipitations etc.). The complexity comes in with choosing indicators in such a way that you get an accurate picture. JG encouraging them to not go back to the most common indicators etc.
  • IHZ: It'd be good to see this manual.
  • JG: I'll try and share a draft with you all. There will be work with a designer etc. Getting to use such an SI assessment framework is about having the right indicators, nothing more complicated than that.
  • CA: the devil is in the details and collecting that data.
  • PT: The interpretation is where the complexity comes in.
  • JG: Perhaps we need to go down to research team levels.
  • PT: We can select indicators but if they do it themselves, will we be collecting data around common indicators? That's something on discussion for 21 June.
  • JG: Maybe if we get teams to work on the selection of indicators some of the latter will naturally emerge for each domain... To work with these guys on that approach you need to know which indicators you'll be using.
  • IHZ: In ESA and WA indicators have been selected by the teams. We need to ask on which basis they seleted specific indicators.
  • JG: I have some questions for Carlo too. Can the SI assessment framework can be connected with GIS?
  • CA: Yes. This new process would bring together a set of indicators etc.We are doing analysis with Yang and the first round in Zambia (soon in Malawi) for crop-modelling and hopefully we'll connect this with recommendation domains. It depends again on which indicators have been picked by each team.
  • JG: A similar system can be used across different countries.
  • CA: Yes definitely. e.g. food security. Then we would have a starting point. Jo has developed a data source etc. We are not starting from scratch. We need to know the countries asap.
  • JG: I'm now, in our strategy etc. putting that we've developed a methodology that we'll be able to use in a more constrained environment and better target populations, better understand potential impact and trade-offs etc. It goes down to the question of doing systems research vs. individual technologies. Can we move to impact more quickly? We may not have the luxury of longer term research any more but we can see how the tools are working out etc. All sub-awardees of the SIIL are implementing this SI assessment framework and others (horticulture/livestock ILs) are using this quite widely.
  • IHZ: At a maize CRP meeting in January measuring SI was also discussed and it was found there was no framework available. I informed the CRP Director about our SI indicator framework. He wanted to communicate this to Bruno Gerard, leader ofF Flagship 4. He did not come back to me.
  • JG: Bruno is a member of the SI indicator framework steering committee.
  • JG: the goal is to have the online tool up and running by December 2017 which should help standardize. It's unclear who will put the tool online.

ACTIONS:
  • JG to share draft training manual for the SI assessment framework with PCT meeting.
  • IHZ and PT to get back to research teams to understand which indicators they have chosen and why.
  • PCT team to discuss the next 3-6 months implementation of this SI assessment framework.

Preparations for CoP champions

Summary: Ewen will get back to all the champions to remind them to prepare their overview. Irmgard will contact Haroon about the 'position paper' on reach, adoption, use, impact etc. Jonathan will be assisting with the CoP session when all groups are working in parallel, to ensure they have a productive time together.

Conversation:
Remind all CoP champions to come up with a status report indicating: What's happened so far, who's involved and what are they planning over the next months, what their budget looks like.
JO to be involved in the COP parallel session at the PCT-SAG meeting.
ELB to double-check and share who has confirmed attendance.
Get back to Jeroen and Luls about written update also. There is no reason they are not supported, over time, if their CoP is not successfully engaging members.

ACTION:
IHZ to contact Haroon on the adoption, use, impact etc.
ELB to chase everyone about their preparations...

AOB and looking back at action points

Conversation: the action points have been revised.

Our next PCT meeting is in Arusha.