Capacity Development, Knowledge Management & Research
Case Review Capacity building Capacity development is leaving people with competence, confidence & commitment. Two-way flow: building capacity of researchers; stand back, be a facilitator. Long-term steady & patient commitment needed– 20 years time frame. Donors need to know this. Scaling up requires institutionalization of approaches in national policy/processes. Science and policy work independently; whose job is it to cross-over? What is the process to fix this?
Capacity building contd... Different levels of capacity development: Communities; Decision makers at various levels; Generators of knowledge (researchers) on how knowledge can be moved. Researchers defining & engaging end user groups and working jointly towards useful information products to support priority decisions. Need to strengthen capacity in use of information. Information/capacity priorities should be developed within a broad development framework e.g. soil fertility improvement may depend on roads. Short-term economic gains often determine land user priorities. Research has to recognize that. E.g. farmers dump agroforestry spp and only keep Eucalypts.
Capacity development contd.. Indigenous knowledge alone not sufficient. Needs to be scientifically verified. Progress often comes from cross-fertilization of knowledge (indigenous*science; across scientific fields). Build on whats there; participatory local level engagement; long-term commitment; cross- fertilization of ideas.
How to get these principles embedded into district/national policy & practice? Aim capacity strengthening at district and national planners. Targeted exposure training/experience exchange; field visits. Decision makers cannot take up what they do not know. Institutional capacity strengthening more than individuals. [Missing cadre of extension providers who are from land user communities]. Working with parliamentarians has been successful.
How to embed contd.. Have to expose people to knowledge & ideas Role of NARS? Joint implementation with CG centres successful. But NARS need to be much better resourced to get wider impacts. Communication strategies for tackling higher level decision makers could help. Both NARS and CG. Need specialized communication units to develop actionable messages. Could NARS & CG partner on this? Same applies to strengthening capacity in education system to get next generation on board new concepts. Ministry-led Government remains a block; lack of whole system thinking/coordination.
Knowledge management Converting information to knowledge products a bottleneck; companies spending 60% of resources on knowledge management. Not putting existing information to good use. Limits to using existing knowledge is lack of standardized approaches to data collection, use of study designs, reporting; standards and guidelines on data collection & reporting to allow meta-analysis across studies.
Climate change Climate change may help to drive us to do the things we should have been doing anyway. Build resilient landscapes = adaptive capacity. Scaling up good practice can bring mitigation benefits given the large areas involved.
Summing up No single part of the picture will be sufficient in itself. Sustained long-term commitment. Strategic interventions: – Knowledge products – information synthesis – Standards, guidelines for gathering data on intervention impacts & meta-analysis – Communication strategies: Exposure training/experience exchange/cross-fertilization Actionable messages targeted to specific audiences; esp high level decision makers. Also educational institutes. Media needs to be sustained – work through big agencies (UN, WWF).