Program coordination team meeting #6

10 November 2014
Venue: Ngurdoto Mountain Lodge, Arusha,Tanzania

PCT page


Ken D - IITA
Peter T - ILRI
Boni M - ILRI
Wubalem D - ILRI
Carlo A - IFPRI
Irmgard H-Z - IITA
Peter B - ILRI
Jerry G - USAID

Ken Intro - reminder of the TOR of the PCT

  • Overall action points
  • USAID Update
  • Africa RISING Project update
    • Eastern and southern Africa and West Africa
      • Research update
      • Staff update
      • Work plans and priorities
    • The Ethiopian highlands
      • Research update
      • Staff update
      • Work plans and priorities
  • M & E update
  • Communication update
  • Scientific Advisory Committee
  • Learning Event
  • Next PCT meeting ,Date

Overall action points

Finalise the regional logframes
WA Project document with logframe prepared but needs revision (IHZ). Ethiopia in preparation.

Once we have them; review annually. Use them into the annual/multi-annual planning cycles; use them to inform scientists. Good basis for any next phase proposals, any external evaluations (eg - the march 2015 external evaluation).

Need to make sure that this and other key documents are easy to access/listed thru website.
ESA - done
WA - in progress (target: end Dec)
ET - in progress (target: end Dec)
Update online events lists
See events list. Send updates to Simret

indicators meeting in san jose (11-13 Feb)
26 jan - feb 6; csisa site tours
SI program area meeting (USAID-CIMMYT) India, BD. (Jerry)
external evaluation of the program - target JUNE 2015 (jerry action)
the HT march event - Ibadan
Learning and M&E events - same as this year (roughly)

?late sep 2015 or later? - AR - 'scientific symposium' program event (not the regular review and planning) - link to preparing next phase. Combine with 'learning' and M&E events?

usual review and planning meetings

do we need something program wide engaging farmers??

2nd phase planning
usaid external review
regular review and planning
science symposium
learning and M&E events
csisa / san jose / HT event
project external review ESA
project external review ET
program 'reviews' stocktake

is there a way that training activities can include people from other countries, sometimes?

Science Advisory Group
Second meeting to be held on 14 November 2014 following a field trip to Babati research sites (on 12th), Tanzania (IHZ)

1. maybe we better change the rules so SAG members go economy and get an honorarium (instead of the reverse at present). PT to follow up.

2. Make sure that each SAG meeting has closed and joint components.
First meeting 17-18 July
Gender strategy
We already decided to use HT gender strategy for AR
Ethiopia has person and implementation plan
WA and ESA going to have a person (march 2015) ... then a plan; maybe desirable to share approach and learning

SI framework and indicators
-We need few specific indicators for research projects , indicators that we could measure in the short project time
We needs to be focused
-Before USAID commission an external evaluators

ESA and WA came up with suggestions for sustainability indicators to kick off discussion of appropriateness, measurability, etc. Discussion included MSU, USAID, and WU but did not yield agreement.

Powerpoint summary available for further diuscussion

AAAS Symposium (San Jose, CA, February 2015; Peter Thorne, Cheryl Palm, Sieg Snapp, Gordon Conway?). Possibility of an add on meeting (c. 15 - 20 participants to come up with a core list of indicators for cross project application). We submit candidates beforehand.

Added, and two separate session on Monday10/11 and Friday 14/11 (IHZ)

San Jose session and working group the main vehicle to take this agenda forward - leading to a draft framework in March/April 2015 ...

Project and program reviews
It was suggested to have internally-commissioned project evaluations Before the USAID-commissioned external program evaluation (planned June 2015)

WA project evaluation took place September to October 2014. Ch. Okali was part of the review team. ToR were discussed with PCT and SAG.

ESA project evaluation is planned for February-March 2015.

Ethiopia project evaluation: Early 2015 (March?) For discussion.

after the project reviews are done, we would organize an internal stocktake/prep phase across the program

Action Jerry: try and get the external evaluation set for June 2015.

Action: Peter and Irmgard to decide dates of external reviews and team compositions. Desirable is some program-wide cross-over. Consider having a SAG member in each review team.

Undertake an internal examining/self-reflection of our program-wide activities (comms, M&E, governance, coordination, framework ...). Make a plan at the PCT of Feb 2015. Retreat after April?

New fund allocation
IITA received notification for fiscal year October 2014-September 2015 (IHZ)

CONGRATS / spend spend spend

Data management and sharing
Carlo 'just' shared latest version. To be discussed on Wednesday.
For now, use the ILRI CKAN platform.Data sharing policy needs to be discussed. Need to make binding for researchers on the ground; also for partners.

we need to comply with usaid (and cgiar) guidelines
issue about partner data
need to work through the access and sharing permissions and workflows, within AR, to the world.
distinguish between metadata and actual data

Action: discuss and review second draft, here, more widely.
Action: Each center to investigate their project contracts and policies for compliance with OA requirements of CGIAR and USAID ...
Action: have each center's legal office check our AR draft guidelines

USAID Update

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Notes for PCT review
Possible links with BMGF
Jerry in contact with various Gates staff to explore potential activities.

SI program identified as high priority for joint activities
discussing links with CRP HT/DFID
Ground up maybe more feasible than top down

Funding for scaling up
Various opportunities via missions that we are exploring on a continuing basis.
TZ project a great example / need to work more on other countries, eg Ghana (need to work with/thru eg IFDC maybe)
Need to find ways to frame and present specific deliverables ...
maybe potential with the Australians ... simlesa/simleza ...
All the involved country usaid missions, except maybe ghana, good contacts
Innovation platforms important with local partners

SI Innovation Laboratory
KSU selected - Vara Prasad (

ESA Update

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Notes for PCT review
2013 -2014 workplan and budget
implementation completed

2014-2016 workplans and budget
Workplans and budget are with Steering Committee for approval

Technical report to USAID
Report for the period April to September 2014 is with Steering Committee for revision and suggestions. Will be submitted to USAID before end of November.

Project document
Will be prepared before review in February (IHZ)

IP establishment
R4D platforms in several locations

New partnerships
USAID Africa Bureau has provided US$ 350k to IITA for contracting MSU to carry out a desk study with Zambian national partners to provide the scientific evidence base for the links between field and farm level SI interventions and climate change mitigation and biodiversity conservation. This is a 12-months project until March 2015. Follow up on-ground research is expected after evaluation of the study report. Project is implemented, inception workshops held. System Dynamics Model developed and introduced to partners during a workshop for feedback. Currently revised.

Concept note to the USAID mission in Tanzania is under preparation for scaling technologies for rice, maize, beans, vegetables, soil fertility (fertilizer), strengthening seed systems, post harvest handling (4.5-5m for 3 years).

Project approved ($2,000,000 for year 1), inception workshop and first management team meeting held end of October. Two staff positions advertised. Workplans currently finalized (IHZ)

WA Update

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Notes for PCT review
Scientist visits to other countries
Did not take place due to lengthy preparation of new workplan; Visit of Mali scientists to Ghana planned for August has to be postponed

Visit of Mali scientists to Ghana cancelled. People felt exhausted after the project review. Now crops are mostly harvested.(IHZ)

Project document
under preparation, will be ready for the project evaluation
Prepared but needs revision - end of December 2014

2013-2014 Workplan implementation
ongoing (IHZ)

Technical report to USAID
Currently under preparation for submission to Steering Committee. Will be sent to USAID before end of November (IHZ)

IP establishment
Several R4D platforms set up / being set up

External review
Took place during September and October, included field visits in Ghana and Mali and interviews with all relevant project staff and USAID missions,
Draft report received.

Ethiopia Update

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Notes for PCT review
Value chain studies
Complete. Some reports available. Others currently being finalised.

Meher season action research
c. 30 research protocols implemented across all sites after participant selection meetings.

Other initiatives
Fertilizer project initial concept note approved, finalising proposal with mission (Ethiopia mission, led by ILRI)

Follow up with BMGF?

Good initial meetings with GAIN around nutrition (dairy and household nutrition; biofortification)

Technical reports

October 2013 - March 2014 report

April-Sept 2014 report
In preparation

IP establishment
Training of local facilitators in IP maintenance and comms tools; IPs established at different levels

IPs as potential locus for 'research on scaling'?

Planning meeting
Early December 2014. Major focus on Meher season activities leading into an initial broad plan for scaling

M&E Update

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Notes for PCT review
AR data management protocol
Finalize data management plan by November (for PCT meeting)

PMMT training in all countries/sites
PMMT 2.0 and associated FTF indicators' aggregation (deadline met: October 31)
PMMT update
2nd draft done
Prepared for discussion


AR baseline surveys (Implementation)
Data sharing

Data cleaning and documentation for Malawi, Tanzania, Mali, Ghana, and Ethiopia

Follow up with Zambia and Wageningen team (for SIMLEZA data access); with Thom Jayne (MSU)
(for RALS data access)

Data cleaning done
Draft reports ongoing

Ongoing, analysis in 2015

Wageningen team
FAO: Memorandum of Understanding signed
Vital Signs
VS shared documentation on indicators, data use policy, shapefiles for TZ and Ghana
  • Chief scientist to review VS agricultural intensification thread and select key indicators
  • IFPRI aligned AR control sites with Vital Signs sites in northern Ghana
  • But access to VS's household-level data can become a problem

Biosight/IAMM (water, land, ecosystem integration)

Done, data on 278 plots


Talks b/n IFPRI Finance and IITA/IWMI for WA and ESA M&E coordinators (positions)
SRA/Data Manager position advertised, applications being received
ESA position offered to candidate;
WA canceled for lack of funds

Annual M&E meeting preparation and organization in Arusha

Paper on targeting and expected impact in Malawi submitted to ICAE and CSAE; abstract accepted for Humidtropics conference, paper in preparation

Comms Update

Enter MAJOR ongoing/planned and completed tasks
Notes for PCT review
WA poster
under preparation

Wiki usage guidelines
Not yet started
ELB: What is this? Clarify and I'm happy to help. The wiki structure and content have been majorly overhauled over the turn of the year
Briefs preparation and publication
5 briefs have been prepared and shared for the different diagnostic approached used in the ETH highlands . another 5 brief on the research highlights are being finalized

Program framework
Version 1 published
Suggest regular review and update as part of each annual learning event (living document)
ELB: This is supposed to be addressed early this year again but is not strictly a 'Comms' item
IITA comms person for ARISING
Full time person now based in Ibadan

Virtual comms catchups
there needs to be a discussion among the comms people during the learning event - it has been difficult to get most of the people for the monthly catch up
Half-yearly comms metrics/stats

Need regular stories from all regions. ELB: However for 2013 very balanced inputs from all regions (granted, thanks to the 3 posts about Ghana, otherwise WA would be lagging behind): 8 from ESA, 10 from Ethiopia, 10 from West Africa, 10 from program level.
Wiki gardening/management
(ELB) Major update done on the wiki over the turn of the year. Data management and M&E pages have to follow (ELB in touch with M&E team about this shortly) and regional project pages need to be updated by respective comms officer with regional management's help.
Documents to CGSPACE
regularly updated
IITA to join cgspace training late october (tbc)
Use of yammer for internal updating
Needs wider promotion and buy-in. (ELB) This would be a useful topic to discuss properly in a PCT at some stage - we need a good platform to share information on a regular basis, it's not a 'nice to have' it's a 'non-negotiable' for a program which has to show strong integration across components, teams and regions...
Photo sharing on flickr
regularly updated
Simret to follow with Catherine and Katy - to inform partners to send four-five pictures with captions
Presentations shared on slideshare
regularly updated

ARISING calendar updating
regularly updated

Website revision
the website now has a new look , still open for comments

wiki revision
we have revised the wiki
See above
photo reports
this is a new format we use for the ETH project where reports of field trips are reported as photo reports (PPTs)- so far 4 has been prepared and shared through slide share - other projects could also adopt this format

short video
a short video is under preparation for ETH on the changes being brought by our project -will be shared once this is final

poster preparation
a poster on IP is prepared for ETH

Photojournalist work Ethiopia
the photojournalist has started the work and completed the his first trip in Tigray region

Learning Event 2014
organized in Tanzania , September

Next learning event
Virtual , discuss date and time