The Collaborative Crop Research Program (CCRP) funds participatory, collaborative research on agroecological intensification, bringing smallholder farmers, researchers, development professionals, and others together to create technology to improve nutrition, livelihoods, and productivity for farming communities in Africa and South America.
Taking a place-based approach, the CCRP provides grants to local and national grantees participating in communities of practice in the following four regions: Andes, Eastern Africa, Southern Africa, and West Africa. Members of the communities of practice bring deep knowledge of the regions in which they work and collaborate among themselves and with other stakeholders on solutions to poverty and food insecurity. CCRP regional teams provide direct support to help communities of practice strengthen their capacity, foster innovation, and explore pathways to take technologies and processes to scale.
Communities of Practice
Central to the CCRP’s place-based approach is the formation of four regional communities of practice (CoPs) in Africa and South America, where hunger and poverty levels are among the highest in the world. Grantees within these communities work together to strengthen institutional capacity to generate knowledge and spark innovation in agriculture research and development. The CoP model emphasizes networking, learning, and collective action. A number of CCRP activities help promote vibrant communities of practice:
- Grantmaking strategy driven by regional needs and opportunities
- Annual grantee meetings
- Training and technical assistance, both grantee-led and initiated by the regional team
- Peer learning and teaching around integrated monitoring, evaluation, and planning (IMEP); research methods; common interest topics, etc.
- Peer review for publication support
Each CoP is supported by a regional team consisting of a regional representative, a liaison scientist, a monitoring and evaluation specialist, and a research methods specialist. The regional team's activities include support for grantmaking processes and support for funded project teams. Each regional team develops a regional analysis, strategy, and plan to inform regional grantmaking. The regional representative and liaison scientist work with potential grantees to support development of proposals. The regional team builds relationships with project teams and helps project members and other stakeholders connect to each other to foster learning and inspiration. The regional team conducts site visits and provides feedback to project teams on annual reports and project meetings. Research methods support is provided in a range of formats, including meetings with individual teams, workshops, and online forums. Similarly, integrated monitoring, evaluation, and planning support is provided through individual consultants and workshops.