Notes on a Meeting of Some Members of the Task Force. Nairobi 11 February, 2013.

Present: Silvia Silvestri, Iddo Dror, Stuart Worsley, Peter Thorne

  • We agreed that the logistical planning process would be handled by the group in Addis who have all the experience from the previous APM in 2011. PT will meet with them during the week of 18 February to start the ball rolling.
  • We need to clarify who will be attending from ILRI’s various locations. Clearly all IRS will be expected to participate. The view of this meeting was that NRS with a professional focus on implementation (researchers, communications specialists, any others?) should also be invited.
  • We discussed the need for a “core theme”. In the new environment of CRPs and associated donor imperatives, a focus on the research output to development outcome transition and the partnerships that would be necessary to address this was suggested. The group saw this as an important step in defining what a successfully implemented ILRI strategy might look like in 2022.
  • We also felt that the meeting could make some useful initial progress in taking the strategy towards implementation.
  • ILRI is not tasked with generating development outcomes at scale but does need to provide evidence that its research outputs can generate these. Are we currently fit for purpose in this respect? Those present also felt that it was an area in which ILRI’s capacity might need to be strengthened.
  • What are the main researchable areas that will help ILRI to garner evidence of its contribution to the research output -> development outcome transition? Role of ICTs? Role in “proper” capacity development? Innovative communication practices? Partnership formation? We agreed that addressing these issues in the large group that would participate in the APM would need imaginative facilitation using approaches such Open Spaces.
  • If this is the way that we are heading then we agreed a need to include the perspectives of development practitioners. Suitable external participants would need to be identified. What do they really want from us? To what extent are we able to give it? Who are the intermediaries and brokers?
  • The possibility was raised of blocking some time (e.g. half a day) for Capacity Development / Training / Learning activities, run as multiple, parallel sessions and acting as “teasers” for what will be offered in future on this front
  • “Scientific paradigms are changing from reductionist to evolutionary” (S. Worsley, 2013). Discuss!

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