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Core team


Aurélie Toillier | Service Area 1 Leader

Aurélie is a senior scientist at CIRAD. Her research focuses on capacities to innovate in local communities and agricultural systems. She explores learning processes and collective action at different levels (individuals, organisations, networks), with a specific attention to managerial challenges in open innovation settings. She leads the Service Area 1 of the DeSIRA-LIFT facility. 

Organisation: CIRAD

Keywords: capacity to innovate; innovation facilities; agricultural innovation system.


Margarida Lima de Faria | Service Area 1 Co-Leader

Margarida is a senior researcher at ISA (Institute of Agronomy of the University of Lisbon, Portugal). In the last 25 years she has taken part in several interdisciplinary projects, some of which funded by the EU, focusing on livelihoods sustainability as related to the adoption of climate-resilient crops, sustainable management of forests (deforestation and forest degradation), natural parks’ social and environmental impact assessment, agroecological zoning (in Tanzania, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Guinea-Bissau and Angola). She was one of the social analysts of VCA4D project (coffee in Angola and lime and mango in Guinea-Bissau). She has also taken part in the project CDAIS – Capacity Development for Agriculture Innovation Systems (in Angola).

Organisation: ISA – Instituto Superior de Agronomía

Keywords: Socio-economy; livelihoods sustainability; social analysis of value chain actors.


Ricardo Ramírez

Ricardo has a passion for design and the implementation of utilisation-focused and developmental evaluation; capacity development, and multi-stakeholder and collaborative approaches for natural resource management. Since 2009 he has co-directed DECI, a capacity building project that mentors IDRC-funded researchers in evaluation and communication globally. He previously worked with NGOs, FAO-Rome, ILEIA, and the University of Guelph, Canada, where he is based.

Keywords: Evaluation; capacity development; communication.


Syndhia Mathé

Senior economist specialised in the assessment of Agricultural Innovation Systems (AIS). She currently works at CIRAD and is hosted as a visiting scientist by the Science & Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI) in Accra, Ghana. She has strong experience with strengthening AIS in order to support the development of more inclusive and responsible food and agricultural systems in countries in the Global South.

Keywords: Agricultural innovation system; innovation support service; quality of services.

Marlene Roefs

Marlene is a Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) expert at Wageningen University and Research. She is strongly motivated to support responsible and well-informed food system transformation and passionate about co-creating actionable knowledge. Marlene is specialised in research, project management, and PM&E in the development and agri-food sector, especially in South(ern) Africa where she lived and worked for over 15 years. She co-founded the South African Evaluation Association and leads the M&E cluster in Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation.

Keywords: monitoring and evaluation, agri-food systems, knowledge co-creation.


Renaud Guillonnet

Renaud has a 30-year background in managing development projects in Africa, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific. He has worked extensively with the private sector and policy makers on value chains and innovation and has a keen interest and experience in rural-urban connections and food systems. He was part of the CDAIS project where he supported country teams in implementing their MEL. He has been taking part in research for impact, competitiveness, and sustainability for which he piloted several working groups and communities of practice.

Keywords: Innovation; food systems; MEL.

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Chloé Lecomte

Chloé has more than 12 years of experience in the private and public sector, in agriculture, energy, waste management, health, industrial production, with always the same mindset: create social, economic and environmental values by opening the innovation process with a multi-stakeholder approach.

Keywords: Innovation ; Cocreation ; Participation ; Open design.

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Priscila Henríquez

Priscila has a passion for strengthening capacities for innovation that transform the lives of smallholder farmers, especially women and the youth. She has 20+ years of international experience developing, managing and evaluating agricultural research and development programs. She has worked for several international organizations as agriculture researcher, research manager, and network coordinator. She is a collaborative leader known for her ability to analyze the context, develop appropriate responses, and implement creative strategies.

Keywords: Agricultural innovation systems; capacity development; networking.

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Ola Dolinska

Ola is a social scientist working in inter- and transdisciplinary settings. For over a decade she has been designing and facilitating participatory processes, in both research and development projects on natural resources management and innovation development in agriculture. Interested in the question of effectively mobilising different kinds of knowledge to respond to sustainability challenges, she is exploring different methods and tools, including serious games. 

Keywords: Innovation support; knowledge co-production; serious games.

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Bernard Triomphe

Bernard is a senior researcher at CIRAD, as part of the “Innovation and Development” team. Bernard has worked extensively on innovation processes or systems in Africa and Latin America, applying a systemic and action-research / participatory approach, with particular emphasis on family farming, sustainable agriculture and agroecology. He has developed collaborations with diverse actors including farmers’ organizations, advisory services, public research centers, universities, private sector, governments, NGOs, and international organizations.

Keywords: participatory approaches; system thinking; agroecology.

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Manon Koningstein

Manon has over 10 years of experience working in the Communications for Development sector working with large international (research) organisations, NGOs and government agencies. Her key focus is on (research on) climate change, food security, agriculture and gender inclusion. Her aim is to create engaging communication products for a wide array of audiences through the use of, for example, storytelling, (participatory) videos and photography, graphic design, and other digital products. She is based in Spain.

Keywords: C4D; graphic design; video; photography; participatory.


Myriam Perez

Myriam is an enthusiastic and highly motivated professional with a robust background in curriculum design, mentoring programs, and scientific communication. She has acquired her expertise offering services such as event organization, workshop facilitation, and communication strategies for non-expert audiences for different research and higher education international institutions in the field of aAgriculture. Additionally, her current role at ICRA involves supporting diverse research teams globally, emphasizing their cross-cultural communication skills and their dedication to fostering effective communication within research communities. 

Keywords: Inspiring impactful communication.


Joaquin Navas

Joaquin supports the group coaching on Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning for Agricultural Innovation. He is a Colombian-Canadian independent consultant based in Montreal who brings more than 12 years of relevant experience in program evaluation. He specializes in Utilization-Focused Evaluation (U-FE) as a tool for Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) in the context of international cooperation programs. Since 2012, he has worked as a U-FE mentor of the DECI initiative to help organizations strengthen their evaluative and learning capacities. Most of these organizations are engaged in applied research in complex contexts that require innovative approaches to evaluation and organizational learning. Joaquin holds an M.Sc. degree in Capacity Development from the University of Guelph (Canada) and is fluent in English, French and Spanish. 

Keywords: Utilization-Focused Evaluation (U-FE), Capacity Development. 


Bert Lof

Bert is an expert in agroecology transition who is in charge of producing one of the learning reviews. Bert is based in the Netherlands, his main expertise is sustainable agriculture, agroecology, food and nutrition security and climate-smart agriculture. Bert has also worked as research coordinator for ILEIA (Institute for Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture, well known for the LEISA bulletin) focussing on participatory multi-stakeholder research on agroecology. 

Keywords: sustainable agriculture, agroecology, food and nutrition security and climate-smart agriculture.


Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation 

P.O. Box 88, 6700 AB Wageningen
the Netherlands


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