This project focuses on promoting cross-sectorial collaboration and networking, building capacity, and initiating change. Conducting these leadership trainings is expected to enhance leadership and facilitation skills relevant in farmer research networks, self-awareness, and communication capacities. Since the training includes all types of members including scientists, farmers, development agents, women, and men; it is expected to develop a shared vision to move the West Africa Community of Practice and farmer research network efforts forward. This project will enhance the soft skills among the team members participating in CCRP-funded projects. This is increasingly important and challenging as CCRP moves toward deeper participatory approaches, including the development of farmer research networks. Acquiring these skills together through the CCL training should be an effective way to build shared understanding and collaborative potential.
To achieve CCRP’s desired impact regarding agroecological intensification (AEI) of smallholder farming systems in West Africa, leaders with unique skills are needed to advance AEI. Farmer research networks (FRNs) are an approach under development within CCRP, aiming at linking problem-solving research with action that can provide a context-specific evidence base for AEI, facilitate positive changes for farmers at scale and meet requirements of mutuality, reciprocity, beneficiary ownership and local agency. The key components of the leadership development training that CCL proposes to conduct include: promoting cross-sectorial collaboration and networking, building capacity, and initiating change. Conducting these leadership trainings is expected to enhance leadership and facilitation skills, self-awareness and communication capacities of 144 members of the WAf CoP, through a “Training of trainer“ (ToT) approach. Since the training will include all types of members (scientists, farmers, development agents, women and men) from CCRP-funded projects in West Africa, it is expected to develop the necessary management and leadership skills to advance CoP and FRN efforts in the WAf CoP.