PRCI's second Global Gathering offers space for collaborative reflection, planning for future

PRCI held the second Global Gathering this March in Washington, DC, bringing together collaborators to reflect on initiatives and prepare for future impact

Washington, DC – The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security, Policy Research, Capacity and Influence (PRCI) hosted a Global Gathering from March 6-8, 2024, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. The event, the second of its kind, brought together leaders from five centers and a continent-wide network of agricultural policy research centers in Africa; nine centers across South- and Southeast Asia; and officials from USAID and several development partners. 

The Gathering’s overarching goal was to share learnings about the implementation of programs to promote locally led strengthening of sustainable institutional capacity for conducting food security research that impacts policy. The event, hosted in a hybrid format, involved 70 in-person and 53 remote attendees over three days of sessions.

Building on the first Gathering, held in Accra, Ghana in April of 2023, the 2024 event featured the discussion of several assessment studies on components of PRCI’s program. This year’s iteration also included a wider range of USAID staff across panels, discussions and breakout groups, which centered around developing guidance on programmatic design and implementation.

The opening session featured a program recognition and overview from PRCI, USAID and MSU collaborators, including Ann Vaughan, Deputy Assistant Administrator with REFES/USAID, who recognized the development of PRCI.

"Very excitedly, we're gathered here to celebrate five years of this great Feed the Future activity of the Food Security Innovation Lab for Policy Research, Capacity and Influence,” noted Vaughan. “I'm really proud that USAID and our bureau have examples such as PRCI where we can work together across a wide range of partners to explore how to support important USAID principles, especially localization and locally led development, and how to strengthen the importance of evidence for policy impact."

Titus Awokuse, Associate Dean for International Studies and Programs with MSU, also addressed attendees during the opening session, reflecting on PRCI’s success so far while hinting at the potential of what’s to come of the ongoing work and collaborative partnerships.

"PRCI has been very successful, from my perspective,” commented Awokuse. “That doesn't mean that there are no challenges … but from my perspective … PRCI has been very successful, with excellent outcomes and potential for even larger impact in the future, depending on what we do here and what happens beyond that."

Day one of the gathering featured presentations on partner accomplishments and internal program assessments, before transitioning to moderated panels and group sessions discussing initial takeaways. Day two took a closer look at the structure of PRCI and the results of the Lab’s research initiatives. The final day of the gathering stepped back to consider future program design, concluding with a high-level panel on how USAID and its partners can stay on course for localization and local capacity-strengthening for strong policy research and engagement. The panel high-level included leaders of the local centers, USAID staff heavily engaged in the agency’s localization and local capacity development initiatives, and MSU and IFPRI as key development partners of USAID.  Engaged public discussion of issues across these groups was a highlight of the event.  

In the closing session of the Global Gathering, Amy Davies, Director of the Office of Policy, Analysis and Engagement at USAID - Bureau for Resilience and Food Security, commended PRCI partners for being agents for policy reform and recognized the value of global connections, before considering the true impact of the ongoing work.

“I want to step back to the very big picture now and just say the past few years have seen numerous compounding shocks with profound impacts to global food systems and food security,” reflected Davies. “We're currently experiencing another El Niño, with the potential for La Niña later this year. There are continuing conflicts that are impacting food flows. and weaker currencies are stretching food affordability for the poorest. Such challenges often produce major reactions. I really want to emphasize the following point: our complementary development work, to address these challenges and strengthen food systems, will not have maximum impact if locally-led evidence-based policy responses are not enacted. I'll reiterate my point that your work absolutely matters.”

PRCI Director and AFRE Professor David Tschirley said “We are so grateful to the work that everyone involved in PRCI has done over the past years, and to be able to bring everyone together again to cast a critical — but also celebratory — eye on what we’ve done. The lessons we take away will heavily inform all our collaborations going forward. It has been an inspiration to work with this group and we look forward to many years of fruitful collaborations.”

MSU and its partners left the gathering inspired, with important insights on next steps, and motivated to move this work forward over the coming years. 


Further engage with Global Gathering resources and PRCI initiatives through the links below.





Day One

  • Bonnell-PICA                                        PRESENTATION       PAPER
  • Babu-Asia                                              PRESENTATION       PAPER
  • Kapuya-ANAPRI                                    PRESENTATION       
  • Maredia-Learning Agenda                    PRESENTATION       PAPER

Day Two

  • Bryan-Gender                                         PRESENTATION      PAPER
  • Theriault-TechTraining                           PRESENTATION    
  • Babu-Asia                                               PRESENTATION      
  • Schreiber-STAAARS+                             PRESENTATION             
  • FatouFaye-STAARS+                              PRESENTATION      
  • Thurlow-ClimateRsch                             PRESENTATION             
  • Reardon-ClimateRsch                            PRESENTATION      
  • Boughton&Attavanich-ClimateRsch      PRESENTATION      
  • Wineman-Shocks                                   PRESENTATION      PAPER      FULL REPORT
            Country briefs 
  • Makiwa-Shocks                                       PRESENTATION       
  • Kirimi-Nutrition                                       PRESENTATION       PAPER
  • Wineman-Nutrition                                 PRESENTATION       
  • FatouFaye-Nutrition                               PRESENTATION       
  • Napasintuwong-AsiaRsch                      PRESENTATION       
  • Viengsavang-AsiaRsch                           PRESENTATION       
  • Amarasinge-AsiaRsch                            PRESENTATION       


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