Putting concepts into practice: factsheets on stages and tools in support of Capacity Development (CD) for Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) process
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.
Discover the 5 factsheets!
Stage 1: Galvanizing commitment
Galvanizing the commitment of agricultural innovation systems (AIS) actors through learning, participation and reflection is a prerequisite for capacity development (CD) initiatives. This phase ensures both a common understanding of the process of CD for AIS as well as to create ownership and high-level support by those that head and lead representative bodies of actors within the system.
Stage 2: Visioning
The visioning process brings together representatives of actor groups within the agricultural innovation systems (AIS) to build on their common understanding of AIS and the need for a coordinated approach. The process involves a wide spectrum of interested parties including ministries, legislative bodies and representatives of the private sector plus development partners and civil society.
Stage 3: Capacity Needs Assessment
Capacity needs assessment is at the core of the cycle of the TAP Common Framework and it is fundamental to strengthening the agricultural innovation systems (AIS). The Assessment aims to ascertain the level of technical and functional capacity, and in particular the capacity to adapt and respond in the various dimensions. The capacity needs assessment will provide an analysis across the sector to inform the setting of priorities and development of strategic capacity development (CD) interventions.
Stage 4: Capacity Development Strategy
The design of capacity development interventions is a crucial phase in the capacity development (CD) for agricultural innovation systems (AIS) cycle of the TAP Common Framework. Intervention planning follows from and builds on the visioning exercises and needs assessments carried out beforehand. Options for CD interventions will depend on the country context, ongoing programmes and funding opportunities. Prioritization should also include identification of activities that can take off immediately.
Stage 5: Implementation
Implementation is the final stage of the capacity development (CD) for agricultural innovation systems (AIS) cycle of the TAP Common Framework. The Cycle consists of five stages:1.Galvanizing Commitment, 2.Visioning, 3.Capacity Needs Assessment, 4.CD Strategy Development and 5.Implementation. The implementation phase builds on the previous realization of a CD strategy, including an action plan, based on the results of a capacity needs assessment. Those individuals or organizations who assume responsibility for a certain activity will be in charge of implementing the plan.
The CD for AIS Cycle aims to stimulate learning and interaction among the three dimensions of CD (enabling environment; organizations; individuals) to develop an effective AIS that is capable of adapting and responding to new and emerging challenges.
In addition, tools and methodologies to be used in each of the five stages of the CD for AIS cycle have been developed.
Discover the CDAIS tools and methodologies!
The action planning tool, which is the means by which an action plan is designed, is deployed as part of the learning processes. The collective examination of a given issue during the planning phase enables participants to reach consensus on what the issue entails, and helps them clarify their respective capacities and roles
The timeline tool is generally put to use when stakeholders embark upon the self-assessment phase of their innovation partnership. Stakeholders are asked to recall moments they feel were significant for the partnership, from its beginning to the present and to reflect upon how the partnership has evolved since it began.
Capacity-focused Problem Tree
The capacity-focused problem tree pinpoints a core capacity issue, along with its causes and effects. It helps clarify the precise capacity-development objectives that the intervention aims to achieve. The focus should be on functional capacity, but room should be left to acknowledge technical capacity issues too.
Social Network Analysis
Social Network Analysis is a practical and useful tool that looks at the linkages present in an innovation network and monitors their development over time. It maps the relationships between the stakeholders in the network and highlights the changes between them.
This tool enables participants to become cognisant of the functional capacities discovered through the capacity scoring questionnaire, and test the limits of these capacities through simulations or role-playing (e.g. problem-solving, collaboration, information sharing, and engagement). The simulation game leads to an intuitive understanding of innovation capacities and of the importance of the enabling environment, helping participants to learn about the significance of these capacities.
This tool is a simple tool to map out the current status of the AIS, and to discover where the actors want to go. The rich picture tool can be used both to describe the current situation and to illustrate future plans. A rich picture opens up discussions and helps participants reach a broad and collective understanding of the situation.
Scoring Innovation Capacities
This tool was designed to assess innovation capacities, identify strengths and weaknesses and monitor capacity changes over time. The scoring tool makes it clear which functional capacities are going to be needed to promote, lead or successfully participate in innovation processes. The tool evaluates capacities on the basis of 21 indicators (each of which is graded on a scale from 0 (low capacity) to 3 (high capacity), and build on the key innovation capacities identified in the capacity needs assessment.
The scoping study explores the nature and dynamics of the agricultural innovation system in order to disclose past and ongoing investments and mechanisms relating to AIS in the country. In particular, the study looks into the various initiatives and projects that support capacity development processes.
These tools describe key concepts, methods and include step-by-step guidelines for trainers and facilitators who are conducting inclusive Capacity Needs Assessments (CNAs) in agricultural innovation niche partnerships.
Some of these tools and methodologies are further explained in the Trainer’s Manual “Facilitating Capacity Needs Assessment” which represents a full training package used to train national innovation facilitators (NIFs) on how to do capacity needs assessments at innovation partnership level in the CDAIS countries