Brokering and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships in ARD: from assumptions to reality

  • 28th November 2016
  • by secretary
Brokering and facilitating multi-stakeholder partnerships in ARD: from assumptions to reality
François Stepman
Edited by Susanna Cartmell-Thorp, WRENmedia
November 2016. Published by the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa – FARA, Accra, Ghana
20 pages

link for download forthcoming

The Platform for African European Partnership on Agricultural Research for Development (PAEPARD) supports research collaboration between a wide range of organizations in Africa and Europe.

This paper highlights lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia,
which illustrate various impacts of brokerage. The preliminary conclusions and recommendations
may appear obvious at first sight, but will be useful for informing the implementation of brokerage
activities until PAEPARD activities come to an end in December 2017.

Initially set up in 2007, PAEPARD was formed to question why agricultural research partnerships
were often not balanced, and why competitive funding applications with African partners were also
often unsuccessful. At the start of PAEPARD phase II (end of 2009), African and European partners
– who, previously, only had a limited experience of working together – found themselves in a new
platform funded by the European Commission Directorate General for International Cooperation
and Development (DevCo). Partially in response to some donor disillusionment with regard to the
low impact achieved by some international research institutions funded in previous decades, this
new ‘forced cooperation’ of researchers, private sector, farmer organizations and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) was developed to test an alternative approach to agricultural research for
development (ARD).

Consequently, PAEPARD’s key objective has been to move from the previous largely supply-driven approach in ARD towards a demand-driven approach to nurture partnerships and increase the quantity and quality of joint proposals.

Since 2010, PAEPARD II has been working to:

  • facilitate partnerships between farmer organizations, civil society groups, research institutes and
  • higher education institutes, private companies and policy networks;
  • support these partnerships through capacity strengthening and provide access to information on
  • funding opportunities;
  • help partners prepare competitive research proposals to address real needs at farm level; and
  • advocate for increased support for demand-led, multi-actor agricultural research.

To facilitate demand-driven ARD partnership initiatives, PAEPARD actors (individuals and
institutions) have undertaken a diversity of brokerage roles and activities.

Facilitating innovation in agricultural research for development: Brokerage as the vital link
Policy brief March 2016. 8 pages

PAEPARD has undertaken a diversity of brokerage activities in support of demand-driven research. This brief highlighted lessons learned from the development of PAEPARD-supported consortia, and provides insights for policy and decision-makers to
build and develop users-led demand-driven multistakeholder partnerships in agricultural research for
development (ARD).