Students and development operators, NGOs, and farmers’ organizations engaged in a December 2021 workshop at which students discussed research themes with partners wishing to offer internships. Students work with supervisors within the internship structure and consult with program professors about their topics/research projects.
Preparation includes the Agrinovia internship’s ethical guidelines. It is not a question of going into the field to extort data from farmers, projects, NGOs, and decentralized state structures, the perspective being that of purely academic appropriation; rather, of learning how to inscribe a research project in a learning process of proximity with producers and other stakeholders. Here, behavioral skills are often more important than intellectual knowledge on which students often pride themselves.
Agrinovia students must be aware that they still have a lot to learn from the field and the actors with whom they work. Interns must assume the Agrinovia vision of promoting local dynamics and initiatives, with those who carry them out becoming learning companions. Explicit contracts can be signed between the structures, Agrinovia , students, and their theses supervisors. Projects, NGOs, or other structures unable travel to take part in internship preparation can send documents indicating concerns they would like to see students address within the internship framework.
At the end of the process, thesis directors/supervisors must produce a discharge for the program coordination authorizing students to submit their theses for defense.
Produce research that is useful to communities to improve resilience in the face of difficulties that make them vulnerable
Put local actors in direct contact with universities and junior and senior researchers
Co-build a culture of dialogue between different actors, especially women, around the difficulties encountered by communities in rural areas,
Outputs and Outcomes:
Innovative ways of addressing problems proposed; stakeholders provided with useful research syntheses for solving problems facing communities in rural areas
Student research results made visible through availability to public and private university libraries as well as development operators, NGOs, and associations active in the field
Interactions between Agrinovia and West Africa CoP contributing to capacity strengthening of farmer-centered research, local innovation, and agroecological transitions