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Home > Catalyzing African Innovation through Engagement Platforms

On July 16, the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food hosted an event at the Africa Agriculture Science Week in Accra, Ghana. The workshop, entitled ‘Engagement platforms for food and water security: opportunities to harness innovation to improve livelihoods and resilience in Africa’, showcased lessons from successful engagement platforms in CPWF’s three African basins: the Volta, Nile and Limpopo.

Limpopo engagement platformCPWF has identified different types of engagement platforms as a critical element of research for development. Such platforms provide opportunities for ensuring that research is timely and relevant and eventually, for scaling-out targeted innovations. These platforms provide an opportunity for multi-stakeholder dialogue and engagement around issues of particular interest to farmers, communities, researchers, decision-makers and private sector actors, among others.

Engagement platforms have proved critical to the success of improving productivity and resilience of rain fed livelihood systems in the Limpopo, Nile and Volta Basins. Farmers have increased water use efficiency in mixed crop-livestock systems by using innovation platforms to strengthen their position in livestock value chains. National- and basin-level engagements have led to high level contribution to site and technology selection to align research with national and basin priorities.

Information about the event:

Engagement Platforms agenda 7 Lessons
Engagement Platforms Event Agenda Seven lessons learned to catalyze African innovation through engagement platforms


Presentations from the Event

Engagement Platforms for Food and Water Security: Lessons Learned

 More presentations from AASW on the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food Slideshare:

  • Ten Years of Research for Development through Engagement with the Rural Poor
  • The CGIAR Research Program on Water, Land and Ecosystems

Coverage of the Event

Empower local experts to inform agricultural policy in Africa: short filmed interview of FANRPAN’s Lindiwe Majele Sibanda

ILRI sits down with Dr. Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, chief executive officer and chief of mission of the Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN), to talk about how innovation platforms are informing inform policy changes of the agricultural sector in South Africa.  FANRPAN is a CPWF partner in the Limpopo River basin. Learn more about our work there.


Nile BDC shares lessons on innovation platforms at Africa Agricultural Science Week

CPWF’s Nile basin sent five representatives, including two local innovation platform (IP) members to AASW. Learn more about the lessons they shared at the event and watch a video that discusses how innovation platforms are improving food security in Ethiopia.

Learning is Engagement

Understanding how we learn can help researchers bridge the gap between outputs and outcomes. Engagement platforms are one promising strategy for enhancing that understanding.

Additional CPWF resources on engagement platforms: