The Challenge Program on Water and Food of the CGIAR is trying to do something different.
In their words “through the paradigm of water productivity – developing ways to produce more food within limited water availability – it offers a new approach to natural resources management research within the CGIAR. The CPWF works together with institutions, NGOs and community groups in partnerships which seek meaningful impact for the people who use the new innovations developed by scientific research”
And they do this through tackling key (river) basin development challenges in 6 basins: Andes, Ganges, Limpopo, Mekong, Nile and the Volta Rivers. Each BDC Program is made up of 4-5 interlinked projects led by a coordination project and basin leader, which is the new innovation they are spearheading.
And this week- 17-21 January 2011- the CPWF will hold a series of meetings in Vientiane, Laos with one of the main components of the agenda focused on these six river basins and their coordination and change activities.
Attending the meeting will be the Basin Leaders, key members of the Change and Coordination Project from each Basin, the CPWF Management Team, CPWF Topic Working Group Leaders, and CPWF Knowledge Management team members.
Additionally staff from the CGIAR ILAC Initiative will be in attendance to help with the theory and practice of ‘decentralized experimentation with centralized learning’- a new concept being explored within the CPWF and its basins’ programs.
And the CGIAR ICT-KM program will also be part of the workshop- through my attendance at the workshop to provide support on social reporting, ‘making ag knowledge travel’ using social media, knowledge sharing in research and more.
Coordination and change projects-what does this mean?
The CPWF points out that:
An innovative feature of CPWF research program is its focus not only on carrying out cutting edge research but also on ensuring that the research carried out has meaning and use for development related purposes at different levels. We understand innovation as both a social and technical process driven by people engaging in experiential learning cycles, the cumulative effect of which is the emergence and evolution of new ideas, institutions and technologies. We see innovation as fundamentally complex, adaptive, non-linear and open ended. Thus, research cannot be carried out in isolation but users and interests groups need to be involved from the outset. (CPWF website)
The CPWF is making use of some key principles and methods in the Basin Coordination projects to achieve these aims:
- integrated and participatory research
- strategic planning and decision-making across scales to support efficiency and effectiveness of outputs and outcomes delivery; and
- a partnership approach to research design, implementation and uptake of outputs that involves key stakeholders, and builds capacity.
Be part of the meeting
This all sounds very interesting- right? But you’re probably thinking that, as usual, you’ll never hear anything about it or get any access to any of the interesting discussions, ideas and knowledge generated in the meeting.
Well, this won’t be the case this time. During this meeting I, together with others at the meeting, will be doing some social reporting. This will involve:
- Providing short statements and updates from sessions through Yammer and Twitter- look for accounts such as @waterandfood and @ictkm, and tweets with the hastag #cpwf
- Publishing short pieces on workshop results, participant reflections and links to more information through various blogs, including the ICT-KM blog, the CPWF Nile Basin Development Challenge blog and others.
- Sharing photos, video clips and presentations
So coordinate and change your schedule to check out what’s happening this week!
Photo credit: Uploaded by TALUDA on May 10, 2008 at http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1003262