Project portfolio of DeSIRA Pillar 1
The intervention logic of the DeSIRA Initiative is based on the promotion of science and innovation within an agricultural innovation system (AIS) perspective as a major pivot point for shifting agri-food systems towards greater resilience and more sustainability and in turn, for addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Under the DeSIRA Initiative, several innovation domains and geographic areas were targeted by the European Commission such as agroecological intensification, the water-energy-food-forest nexus, water management in rice farming systems in fragile and coastal States in Africa, and prevention and risk management.
A total project portfolio of 69 projects across the three continents in various countries was selected to run Pillar 1 of the DeSIRA Initiative. Most of them started between 2018 and 2020 for 3- to 5-year periods.
Challenges faced by R&I projects to manage for impact
According to the lessons learnt from previous interventions in support of science and innovation, AIS strengthening, and agri-food system transformation, DeSIRA-LIFT identified five major challenges faced by research and innovation (R&I) projects that possibly hamper their capacities to both prove and improve their impacts:
Based on the challenges faced by R&I Projects, DeSIRA-LIFT selected a set of five core capacities of project implementers considered to be enablers of projects’ outcomes and impact. They are:
These five core capacities will be enhanced and monitored by DeSIRA-LIFT with a view to providing a better understanding on how to design, run, and support AIS-oriented interventions. This will constitute the individual learning agenda of DeSIRA-LIFT.
Projects work differently in different contexts and through different change mechanisms. Therefore, projects cannot be simply replicated from one context to another and expected to achieve the same outcomes automatically. Theory-based understanding about “what works for whom, in what context, and how’” is, however, transferable. In this perspective, this service area is aimed at conducting transversal learning reviews of project impact pathways, capacity development processes, and drawing lessons from “what worked for whom, in what circumstances, and how?”. These transversal learning reviews will explore, on the one hand, the ways developmental evaluation and MEL systems helped project implementers to refine their intervention strategies, and on the other hand, the ways projects yielded impact and contributed to AIS strengthening in different contexts. The benefit of this learning agenda is the comparative perspective across projects and countries, with regard to project strategies and impact pathways, in order to generate middle-range theories on the strengthening of climate-oriented innovations systems. Our learning agenda will be co-developed with voluntary DeSIRA project teams and their partners.
Learning topics on the action conducted by country-led DeSIRA projects
Learning topics on the action conducted by DeSIRA-LIFT SA1
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