TAPedia: enhancing knowledge exchange in support of Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems

TAPipedia is a TAP information system presenting success stories, socioeconomic impact reports, lessons learnt, activities, information, guidelines on good practices, training capacity and opportunities related to Capacity Development in Agricultural Innovation Systems for tropical agriculture.

“The Declaration of the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting held in Paris, France in June 2011 stated ‘We welcome the ongoing work by FAO and interested G20 members to develop a platform for Capacity Building in tropical agriculture in developing countries’” (TROPICAL AGRICULTURE PLATFORM. Transforming agricultural capacities through partnerships).

“ TAP, housed in FAO … also offers a global information system – TAPipedia – for innovation outputs, success stories, socioeconomic impacts, lessons learned, and analyses of impacts, which will use virtual collaboration tools and media to promote information on innovative approaches in agricultural research and extension” (G20 Development Working Group Food Security and Nutrition).


TAPipedia online platform has been designed within the context of Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP,  launched in 2012) in the frame of the Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) project. This latter is jointly implemented by the European Alliance on Agricultural knowledge for Development Agrinatura-EEIG and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) with the financial assistance of the European Union.

The CDAIS project works with national governments and a range of actors in the agricultural sector in Angola, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Laos, Mali and Rwanda.

The TAPipedia website is hosted by Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR), managed by the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP) Secretariat hosted by FAO and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Objectives

TAPipedia is an information sharing system that aims to facilitate capacity development (CD) in agricultural innovation in the tropics. To that end, TAPipedia should:

  • enhance knowledge exchange at global, regional and country level in support of CP for agricultural innovation systems (AIS);
  • allow TAP partners and other stakeholders to share their own applied and context specific CD for AIS resources and to discover such knowledge from different sources, partners and regions;
  • assist TAP members to present, explain and promote the Common Framework (included in the  TAP Action Plan) on CD for AIS, so that it may be more easily tested, improved, adopted and implemented by stakeholders.

The overall objective of TAPipedia is to become a global information system for good CD practices, innovation outputs, success stories and lesson learned in connection to AIS.

Towards More Sustainable And Efficient Agricultural Innovation Systems

Innovation in agriculture needs an AIS perspective as agriculture increasingly involves complex interactions of environmental and socio-economic factors with stakeholders (individuals, organizations and enterprises) at multiple levels.

Shaped through the lens of AIS perspective, - that comprises four main components:

1.      knowledge and education

2.      business and enterprise

 

3.      bridging institutions

4.      the enabling environment

the TAP Common Framework (introduced in the dedicated TAPipedia section) proposes a practical approach to CD for agricultural innovation.

In particular, the Common Framework aims to consolidate the different approaches to CD for AIS and to harmonize the diversity of related existing strategies. Such harmonization would promote optimal use of the resources of different donors and technical cooperation agencies on needs assessment, monitoring, and evaluation that assists in improving the coordination of interventions on AIS.

Policies, informal institutions and practices will enable this Framework to be successfully implemented and sustained. Such an Enabling Environment should be interconnected to and concurrent with other two dimensions of CD: Individuals and Organizations in order to co-create new knowledge. Individuals and organizations, that can act as effective agents of change, can be extension services, private consulting firms, university departments, capacity building organizations or NGOs.

All cross sections used in the Framework  provide a ToolKit (i.e. a number of concepts, principles, methodologies and tools) to better understand the architecture of AIS, to assess CD needs and to plan, implement, monitor and evaluate five main stages in the proposed CD cycle:

(Source: TAP Common Framework on CD for AIS- Capacity Development cycle)

By emphasizing the crucial role of Facilitation, Reflection, Learning & Documentation as well as Monitoring & Evaluation of (4+1) key Capacities:

(1) to Navigate Complexity, (2) to Collaborate, (3) to Reflect and Learn, (4) to Engage in Strategic and Political Processes, (5) to Adapt and Respond in order to Realize the Potential of Innovation 

the Common Framework will lead to:

  • more efficient and sustainable AIS;
  • increased farmers’ income;
  • improved food security.

Approved by TAP Partners in January 2016, the Common Framework is now being validated in 8 pilot countries in Africa, Asia and Central America

Adopting TAP’s Common Framework will foster better coherence and greater impact of Capacity Development for agricultural innovation systems in tropical countries.

TAPipedia: unlocking ToolKit for Capacity Development 

 The TAPipedia’s contributions comprise sharing of agriculture innovation trajectories, information, knowledge and experiences on activities to increase synergies between actors, easier access to public goods on sustainable agricultural practices, creation and/or strengthening of communities of practice and networks in key Thematic Areas:

Advocacy & Policy Advice (9)

Innovation Systems (145)

Learning and Facilitation (88)

Capacity Development (354)

Knowledge Management (12)

Monitoring & Evaluation (11)

Networks & Organizations (5)

Impact Assessment (22)

and access to information and databases on existing technologies including for practitioners at rural level.

The concept of the TAPipedia is based on the premise that content arises in part from contributions from TAPipedia Network Members:

Agrinatura

ASSOCIATIONS

Asia - Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions

APAARI ASSOCIATIONS

Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation

EMBRAPA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS

Centre for Agriculture and Biosciences International

CABI INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FAO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa

FARA REGIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Global Forum on Agricultural Research

GFAR GLOBAL FORUMS

International Centre for development oriented Research in Agriculture

ICRA AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH ORGANIZATIONS

Natural Resources Institute, University of Greenwich

NRI RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

The United States Agency for International Development

USAID GOVERNMENTAL OR INTER-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS

TAPipedia includes repositories of TAP network members into which content and information could be uploaded by users. Though TAPipedia is centrally coordinated and maintained, its content management is decentralized, with an architecture and design that encourages use. Particularly, the content offered through the TAPipedia includes a wide range of resources comprising:

New learning resources will be collaboratively designed and offered on key subject areas where gaps have been identified. Co-ordination across existing tools is imperative in order to ensure that value is added to existing systems and duplication is avoided. There are also knowledge sharing and management facilities and tools, and Web 2.0 technologies are used to foster interaction between users with tools such as e-forums.

CD for AIS resources in the TAPipedia Discovery Space on CD for AIS can be added (after registration) and discovered according to different resource types: 

Agricultural Practices & Technologies (2)

Briefs & Policy Documents (2)

Books & Dissertations (58)

Fellowships & Scholarships (0)

Flyers & Brochures (18)

Good Cd Practices (0)

Journal Articles & Working Papers (118)

Lessons learned (3)

Presentations & Posters (4)

Projects (0)

Reports & Proceedings (136)

Training & Learning materials (2)

Besides, TAPipedia users can discover resources by entering Keywords and/or Advanced Search  menu:

The TAPipedia’s design is based on the outputs of the initial survey in terms of: (1) a definition of the audience for, and users of and contributors to, the TAPipedia; (2) an analysis of user requirements and information needs; (3) an inventory of existing information resources compiled through the needs assessment in target countries and at the global level; and (4) a review of existing systems (e.g. ASTI: Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators)   and systems under development that are relevant.

The monitoring and quality control of content contributions is critical, given that resources would be coming from a wide variety of users/sources, and automated quality management tools should be developed as part of the TAPipedia.

Become a member of TAPipedia Network

Partners from G20 and other countries are encouraged to contribute to, and benefit from, the services of TAPipedia. The TAP Secretariat welcomes the active participation of:

  • Agricultural research, education and extension institutions
  • Private sector, civil society and farmers’ organizations
  • Key international agencies and regional fora
  • Development banks and donor agencies

Individuals involved in promoting agricultural innovation are also welcome to become a member of the TAPipedia Network.

***

Last but not least.

On 21 June 2016, following up to the e-conference on "Innovation systems for food security and nutrition: understanding the capacities needed",

(see: (1) Background document for the e-conference, FAO; (2) summaries of the e-conference available per week: First week, Second week, Third week, Fourth week)

the TAP Secretariat organized a half-day SYMPOSIUM to discuss capacity development for improving human nutrition and health.

The event was live streamed in three languages (English, French and Spanish).The link will be active until almost 1 year after the Symposium.

Sources:

Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems website

Find out more:

Capacity Development For Agricultural Innovation Systems. Conceptual Design of TAPipedia (Agro-Know, 2015)

Charter for the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP, 2013)

Related contents:

Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems (RAAIS). A ToolKit for integrated analysis of complex agricultural problems and innovation capacity in agrifood systems (IITA and Wageningen University, 2015)

Related contens on AIMS:

Designing TAPipedia: an information sharing platform for Capacity Development on Agricultural Innovation Systems in the Tropics (registered webinar)

The Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP)

Total resources on AGORA swells to 28,000


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