Good practice in Agriculture Research for Development partnership

International agricultural research organisations recognise that partnership is key to their impact ambitions and contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals. The Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 “Global Goals” to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity. It is less clear, however, what types of partnership strategies and practices research organisations should adopt, how they should map onto the emerging architecture of multi-stakeholder partnerships tackling the Sustainable Development Goals, and what their role and comparative advantage is in these arrangements going forward?

To progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), CSIRO and other international agricultural research organisations have identified the need to work more closely with partnership, platforms and networks that will be required to tackle global scale challenges. This almost certainly means finding a way to engage effectively with a range of global multi-stakeholder partnerships.

We have developed a framework (ISPC 2015) to explore good practice in multi-stakeholder partnerships in the context of addressing global development challenges. Our framework examines good practice in multi-stakeholder partnerships in two distinct domains with contrasting practice traditions and impact aspirations:

  • Agricultural Research for Development approaches. Multi-stakeholder partnerships practice is informed by historical views on how impact takes place: solving isolatable technical problems and transferring results, farmer empowerment, and, more recently, innovation systems. Aspirations are towards strategic partnerships that contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals and the systemic change impact pathways that these imply.
  • Global multi-stakeholder partnerships approaches. Multi-stakeholder partnerships practice is informed by a tradition of action rather than research. Many of the global multi-stakeholder partnerships are virtual organisations of relatively recent origin. These have either been conceived as interventions with systemic change impact pathways, or have evolved into this position through trial and error. Global multi-stakeholder partnerships are seen as key intervention strategies to progress the Sustainable Development Goals.

This works assists the CGIAR to identify effective practices and strategies in the rapidly evolving context of stakeholders and global development initiatives.

Contact Andy Hall for more information.