Agricultural research and development (Ag R+D) processes are often managed in a top-down manner that is not always sensitive to the needs and means of smallholder farmers and their local social, ecological, and economic contexts. To respond to this diagnosis, CCRP supports research in agroecological intensification (AEI). The CCRP further supports change within the agriculture research and development system through technical assistance and capacity building, with the aim of contributing to an enabling environment for AEI. While the majority of CCRP-funded researchers and development practitioners are beginning to internalize the meaning, implications, and significance of AEI, they need help with skills to influence others: researchers, policy-makers, development colleagues, and farming communities.This project focuses on building leadership skills in current and future leaders within CCRP-funded projects in the Southern Africa and East & Horn of Africa Communities of Practice. The project is managed by PICO-Eastern Africa (PICO stands for “Institute for People, Innovation and Change in Organizations”). Through a series of workshops, learning networks, and mentoring relationships as well as individual coaching, the leadership capacity of 20-30 promising individuals will be strengthened.
The overall goal of this project is to create a new cadre of AEI-focused professionals with a strong network and key leadership and management concepts, tools and approaches that are relevant to their work and context and necessary to provide the ‘leadership for change’ for the needed paradigm shift in relation to AEI.Specific outcomes include:A cadre of ‘leadership-aware’, facilitative, self-motivated next-generation Ag R+D professionals (in both biophysical and social sciences as well as development professionals) with proactive leadership skills and drive to make positive change in their work situations focused on AEI. We estimate that 20 such individuals will come out of this project.At least five senior researchers and development practitioners each in E/HAf and SAf who will have been mentored will leave the project with commitment and enhanced skills to mentor more young professionals in the future.Improved leadership of existing CCRP-funded projects, as well as improved leadership of teams and institutions when individuals who will have come through this project (mentees and mentors) attain leadership positions.A number of current institutional leaders come out in support of ‘leadership for change’ as a result of the influence of the project and strengthen/champion the change process needed for enhanced Ag R+D performance in these institutions and regions.