Training of CDAIS’ country project managers: Concrete tools for dealing with stakeholders

“I have the theoretical knowledge of facilitating multi-stakeholder processes. But this course made it all concrete and practical,“ says Nasreen Sultana at the end of the three week long course Linking research to inclusive development for food security – Facing rural innovation challenges. As country manager in Bangladesh, Nasreen is in charge of the national implementation of the EU funded project on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS).

Together with six other project managers from CDAIS pilot countries (http://cdais.net/pilots-countries/),  and other research and development managers from Africa, Asia and Central America, she took part in the three week long course organized by ICRA (http://www.icra-edu.org/), which is one of CDAIS’ implementing organizations.

Gilbert Kayitare, CDAIS project manager in Rwanda, believes that the course will ensure an effective implementation of the CDAIS project: “This course has given me new facilitation and management skills that I can apply in work activities of managing the project.”

CDAIS is a global partnership that aims to strengthen the capacity of countries and key stakeholders to innovate in the context of complex agricultural systems, in order to improve rural livelihoods. This training strengthens skills in managing the innovation process through better facilitation of partnerships.

Julio Catalan Ramirez from Guatemala appreciated the opportunity to learn together with other CDAIS project managers from seven out of the eight pilot countries: “we all came from different disciplines and cultures, but after three weeks together, we now share an understanding of the innovation systems and how to tackle complexity and diversity”.

Edgardo Navarro Enriquez from Honduras, highlights the field trips in the Netherlands as a unique opportunity to see innovation in action. Especially the Roundel chicken farm (http://www.rondeel.org/uk/), that focuses on animal welfare, made an impact on him. “This is a very concrete example of different stakeholders working together – this farm is only possible because of the good collaboration between innovative farmers, research and the bank.”

For Zacharie Segda from Burkina Faso, ICRA’s approach to the courses (http://www.icra-edu.org/courses) were crucial: “It was really interactive because we learned from each other as participants and from our own experiences.” Oudong Keopipheth from Laos is equally enthusiastic about the course: “It enhanced our understanding of the complexity of the innovation process especially taking into account the diversity of actors involved“.

Josina Amado Jacinto of Angola underlines that she has learned how to deal with different stakeholders and handle conflicts: “This is something that definitely will help us in managing CDAIS but also broader in both our work and personal life.”

June 2016