Strengthening functional capacities in agricultural innovation systems.

Strengthening functional capacities in agricultural innovation systems.

13-14 May 2019, Gembloux, Belgium. Strengthening functional capacities in agricultural innovation systems.

Some 128 people from more than 40 countries gathered for almost a week of final reflection on what had been achieved and learned from a major EU-funded project, and share recommendations with representatives from development partners from around the



The EU-funded Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS, was initiated in 2015.

Partners shared their experiences and knowledge from this project to a broader audience. CDAIS also invited those from other initiatives working on similar themes related to capacity strengthening in agricultural innovation, to communicate their experiences and knowledge. The aim, was to share and shape a path for action on how to strengthen functional capacities, and develop recommendations on to most effectively drive innovation processes in agriculture.


  • Share documented and scientific anal/ysis of the relevance and applicability of the CDAIS Common Framework
  • Shape ideas and visions on how to mainstream the strengthening of functional capacities in the development agenda at national and global levels.

The CDAIS team including partners and beneficiaries from the eight pilot countries (Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Laos and Rwanda) presented their experiences and the knowledge gained through the strengthening of their capacities to innovate during the past 3-4 years. The discussions included:

  • Improved practices or innovations that have resulted from strengthened capacities, or that have failed because of a lack of adequate functional capacities.
  • Concepts based on analyses on how agricultural innovations can benefit (or not) from strengthened functional capacities.
  • Policies or investments that support or block agricultural innovation because of a limited knowledge of the benefits from improved functional capacities.

Common Framework onCapacity Development forAgricultural Innovation Systems  (87 pp.)
Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CD for AIS) enables joint learning and co-creation and new uses of knowledge for social change and enhances the interactions between actors. It is also about creating an enabling environment for such interaction, learning and innovation, based not only on conducive formal law and regulations, but also on informal values, attitudes and behaviours. It aims at changing people’s behaviour and developing of more sustainable practices that bring about societal transformation.

CDAIS Stories of Change – FULL BOOK

Agrinatura and FAO. 2018. Building Competence and Confidence in Agricultural Innovation Systems. Stories of Change. Pasiecznik N, ed. Agrinatura, Paris, and FAO, Rome. 196 pp.

Building on CDAIS training experience, this manual has been developed to support the activities of the CDAIS project.This manual is a resource for the training of National Innovation Facilitators (NIFs) across all 8 countries. The objective of the training is to strengthen the NIFs’ facilitation skills and their ability to carry out Capacity Needs Assessments (CNAs) in agricultural innovation niche partnerships.

The implementing partners of CDAIS developed a serie of factsheets outlining tools and approaches to promote capacity development projects for agricultural innovation systems (AIS) that has just been released. Each factsheet includes an introduction on each of the five stages of the CDAIS cycle used and implemented by the CDAIS project.

Scaling in ARD processes  – a Thematic Brief about “Scaling” from PAEPARD

Three main types of interdependent scaling can be differentiated : 

Scaling-out or horizontal scaling: This represents the replication or rolling out of a successful solution or model to new clients or beneficiaries or to new geographies. The objective here is to increase significantly the number of those benefitting.

Scaling-up or vertical scaling: Significant scale can frequently only be achieved by addressing the
enabling environment on the institutional level of a system. This includes not only changing the way in which the organizations and institutions function and the working relations within them; it also involves policies, regulations, laws and resource allocation to enable the performance, expansion and sustainability of the innovation.

Scaling deep or cultural scaling: Riddell and Moore (2013) proposed another interrelated level of scaling, that of changing the “hearts and minds” of people, the organization, system or community (e.g., in terms of narrative, values, beliefs and identities).

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