How do you share innovative solutions?

In recent years, the importance of scaling up innovations for smallholder agricultural development and rural poverty reduction has been recognized as crucial in coping with emerging global challenges. This has motivated a renewed interest in local knowledge and in the development and testing of new learning tools to effectively trigger dissemination and scaling up of innovations.

It is in this context that the concept of learning from the know-how of others inspired PROCASUR to design "learning routes" and other knowledge management and capacity-building approaches and tools, with the objective of valuing local knowledge and facilitating the development of platforms in which experiences and innovations can be exchanged. This methodology has proved effective in providing peer-to-peer training and technical assistance, and in addressing the needs of vulnerable groups.

During IFAD’s Learning Days, a session was held on tools and approaches for sharing innovative solutions. Each regional division shared their experiences with a wide variety of innovations and knowledge management approaches. These included the following testimonies from IFAD country teams and technical experts:

Asia and the Pacific

- Project-to-project learning as a key for better portfolio performance by Nicolas Syed (CPO Bangladesh), Soulivanh Pattivong (CPO Laos), Aryal Bashu (CPO Nepal) and Tung Nguyen Thanh (CPO Vietnam)
- Innovation of extension services through the contraction of outstanding farmers/local champions as service providers in Cambodia by Sakphouseth Meng (CPO Cambodia)
- Good tested tools for knowledge management and policy engagement in the Philippines by Yolando Arban (CPO Philippines)

Latin America and the Caribbean

- Public Policy Dialogue for local champion inclusion as services providers for technical assistance and innovation systems: experiences from Peru by Laure Martin (Programme Analyst LAC, Andean Region)
- Learning Territories as associative tool for local knowledge management and technical assistance markets by local champions: experiences from Colombia by Laure Martin (Programme Analyst LAC, Andean Region)
- Supporting economic and social inclusion of rural youth in IFAD operations: the experience from El Salvador by Glayson Ferrari Dos Santos (CPM El Salvador)
- Local Knowledge Management in IFAD projects in Semi-arid Areas: experiences from Brazil by Leonardo Bichara Rocha (CPO Brazil)

East and Southern Africa

- Effective partnerships and activities to Secure Land Rights by Harold Liversage (Lead Technical Specialist – Land Tenure, PTA) and Sabine Pallas (Programme Officer, ILC)
- Building KM skills of IFAD supported projects in Uganda by Ann Turinayo (former Uganda Knowledge Management Officer)

Near East, North, West and Central Africa

- The South-South Cooperation and Scaling Up of innovations from ESA countries to Sudan by Ahmed Subahi (CPO Sudan) and Mia Madsen (ICO Sudan)
- Building the capacities of Farmers Organizations through the Learning Route methodology by Roberto Longo (Senior Technical Specialist - Farmers’ Organisations, PTA)
- The demand for Knowledge Sharing and documentation of good practices in WCA by Lucia Di Troia (ICO Senegal) and Steven Jonckheere (KM Officer, WCA)
- Strengthening the capacities of governments and civil society to scale up nutrition. The Scaling Up Nutrition Movement in Senegal by Giulia Pedone (Programme Officer, PROCASUR)

At the end of the session, participants were informed on future opportunities. The new grant project of IFAD and PROCASUR was officially launched. The new initiative will last three years and involve three regional divisions (LAC, ESA and WCA) and PTA. A strong emphasis will be put on sharing experiences between the different regions. This session was just the beginning of what promises to be a very interesting new journey.