PROLINNOVA at the GFAR conference in Dakar

At the Second Triennial Conference of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) on 22–24 May 2003 in Dakar, Senegal, Prolinnova was presented both as a poster (also now on this website) and as a PowerPoint paper by Monica Kapiriri during the session on “Rural Knowledge Systems and Innovation Processes”. Monica was formerly with Environmental Alert in Uganda and is now with the Aga Khan Foundation based in Tanzania and is the spokesperson for NGOs in the GFAR Steering Committee. Already when she was a member of the NGO Committee (NGOC) of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) in 2000–2002, she was involved in developing the concept for Prolinnova. Environmental Alert is now the NGO in Uganda that is facilitating the multi-stakeholder process of designing a Prolinnova programme in that country.

Various NGO persons and organisations associated with Prolinnova were in Dakar, including Fred Kafeero (Environmental Alert, Uganda), Ejigu Jonfa (FARM-Africa, Ethiopia), Ed Sabio (IIRR, Philippines, elected as the alternate NGO spokesperson in the GFAR Steering Committee), Anil Subedi (LI-BIRD, Nepal), Candice Raymond (ENDA, Senegal), Cecile Broutin (GRET, Senegal) and Bert Lof (InterSard / ETC Ecoculture, Netherlands). Mohamed Majzoub (ITDG-Sudan) and Malex Alebikiya (ACDEP, Ghana) had also intended to join us but, unfortunately, visa and travel problems prevented their coming to Dakar. We were very pleased that so many NGO proponents of participatory and ecological research for rural development managed to come together to Dakar.

After Monica’s presentation on Prolinnova, Bert Lof and Cecile Broutin made a joint presentation on InterDev/InterSard. These are web-based systems for sharing information on good practices and local innovations in sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. InterDev currently focuses on Central and West Africa and the Indian Ocean, while InterSard focuses on South and Southeast Asia. As they expand, they will offer electronic platforms for widely sharing information and lessons coming out of Prolinnova activities in the different countries. For more information about these database initiatives, see their websites ( and

During the Rural Knowledge Systems session, Mark Holderness from CABI presented a discussion framework for building an international “Global Knowledge Partnership”. He stressed the need to link up with existing initiatives and to value their diversity as a stimulus for mutual learning. He mentioned several such initiatives: the Farmer Futures Programme of CABI, the Rural Innovation Institute at CIAT (International Institute for Tropical Agriculture), the Facilitating Knowledge Systems Interaction Programme at ISNAR (International Service for National Agricultural Research), Prolinnova, InterDev, InterSard and related activities by ENDA and others.

All the presentations made in this and in the other sessions in the GFAR conference can be found on the GFAR website (

As follow-up to the discussions in Dakar, an electronic conference has been proposed to explore institutional interests and potential contributions in developing a Global Knowledge Partnership Programme (GKPP) as a platform for global learning about rural knowledge and innovation systems, with the aim of improving their efficacy and enhancing the contribution of formal science to them. This is similar to what we are trying to build up at country level and then internationally through the Prolinnova programme, but the GKPP wants to start already at global level. Anyone who is interested in taking part in the electronic conference on the proposed GKPP should contact Oliver Oliveros at the GFAR Secretariat ( or

Please click here (PDF file; size : 308 KB) to view/download Prolinnova poster.

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