SEARCA spearheads forum-workshop on innovation platforms

  • 30 May 2016

Dr. Iddo Dror, head of capacity development at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), explains to participants a case exercise on facilitating innovation platforms.

LOS BAÑOS, LAGUNA, Philippines – Twenty-five Southeast Asians leading or engaged in research and development, extension services, and knowledge management participated in a forum-workshop that aimed to enable them to assess how innovation platforms (IP), rural advisory services (RAS), and knowledge management (KM) provide pathways towards inclusive and sustainable agricultural and rural development (ISARD).

Dubbed “Innovation Platforms, Rural Advisory Services, and Knowledge Management towards Inclusive and Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development (ISARD)” the forum-workshop took place at the SEARCA headquarters from 17 to 19 May 2016.

In his welcome message during the opening program of the forum-workshop, SEARCA Director Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. said that the Center organized the learning event in recognition of its efforts to become a leading enabler and champion of ISARD in Southeast Asia, which is the hallmark of SEARCA’s 10thFive-Year Plan from 2014 to 2019.

“Under this current plan, SEARCA aims to contribute not just to refining models and approaches that redound to relevant policies and programs in agricultural and rural development, but more specifically, to tangible outcomes toward food and nutrition security in selected ISARD pilot sites through research and development, capacity building, and knowledge management,” Dr. Saguiguit noted.

The forum-workshop also aimed for the participants to be able to strategically integrate IP, improve RAS and KM in their R&D programs and projects in agricultural and rural development, and draw up the next steps for capacity-building, pilot-testing/practice learning, and networking to advance ISARD in Southeast Asia via IP, RAS, and KM.

Seven of the participants came from two of SEARCA’s ISARD pilot project sites from Mindoro and Leyte, Philippines. The ISARD project capitalizes on strong links with institutional partners in academe, government, civil society, and the private sector. They will showcase need-based and integrated interventions including productivity-enhancing and environment-friendly technologies and practices and other critical elements of people-centered development. Besides the Philippines, the other participants in the forum-workshop came from Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Timor Leste, and Vietnam.

SEARCA organized the forum-workshop in collaboration with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Asia Pacific Islands Network on Rural Advisory Services (APIRAS) under the Global Forum on Rural Advisory Services (GFRAS) based in Switzerland.

Resource persons of the forum-workshop included Dr. Iddo Dror, Head of Capacity Development of ILRI; Dr. Virginia R. Cardenas, Dean, College of Public Affairs and Development, University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), and APIRAS Coordinator; Mr. Bernie S. Justimbaste, Agricultural Innovation Systems Consultant, SEARCA-OECD Project; Mr. Jaime A. Manalo IV, Senior Science Research Specialist, Philippine Rice Research Institute; and Mr. Winifredo B. Dagli, Assistant Professor, College of Development Communication, UPLB. (Nova A. Ramos)