Integrating Tools for Assessing National Agricultural Innovation Systems

Integrating Tools for Assessing National Agricultural Innovation Systems

8th – 9th October 2012. Orientation Workshop for National AIS Focal Persons. FARA assesses the functionality of national agricultural innovation systems (NAIS) in selected countries in sub-Sahara Africa. This is to enable identification of priority areas, mechanisms and actionable recommendations for support and interventions by FARA, regional and global partners, and national actors toward strengthening specific aspects of the NAIS.

The workshop at FARA was an initial engagement with national focal persons on the methodology and conduct of the national agricultural innovation systems (NAIS) assessment exercise. It will also involve integrating the tools for assessing the national agricultural innovation systems (NAIS)  with FARA’s e-Capacities facility, as a platform for survey data management. The focal persons will in turn train enumerators drawn from targeted organizations of the national agricultural innovation systems (NAIS)  on specific methodological and reporting guidelines.

The pilot countries were selected on a sub-regional basis as well as the stage of CAADP country processes. Strengthened NAIS are an imperative for effective implementation of the CAADP country investment plans and stimulating agriculture-led development of African countries.

Country focal persons from the pilot countries of Kenya, Rwanda, Madagascar, Uganda, Burkina Faso, Benin, Gambia, Ghana, Senegal, Botswana, Lesotho, Zambia, and Malawi; representatives of the three SROs, ANAFE and RUFORUM; and local Ghanaian pilot organizations for beta-testing of the e-Capacities facility attended the workshop.

The methodology for the NAIS exercise, modalities for data collection and reporting, and the e-Capacities facility were discussed on the first day of the workshop. On the second day, the participants visited University of Ghana’s Faculty of Agriculture, the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to witness onsite installation and demonstration of the e-Capacities platform.

The workshop served as a training of trainers forum, whereby the focal persons were required to train respective country enumerators upon their return home on how to undertake the NAIS exercise.

Background on the e-Capacities facility:
In keeping with its continental oversight and observatory roles, FARA has developed an electronic capacities (e-Capacities) mapping facility that will integrate the features of an online marketplace and a knowledge hub. The facility will:

  • enable remote and real-time update of organizational capacity status 
  • overlay the supply and demand sides of organizational capacity in order to identify gaps and surpluses track career progression of targeted scientists and professionals

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