April 30, 2021

Summary of Workplan Progress

During this reporting period, PRCI consolidated its new programming mix initially developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, held a consortium-wide learning event to assess successes and challenges, and identified and began pursuing key objectives for the remainder of the program. Key highlights for this reporting period include:

  1. ReNAPRI conference and PRCI learning session: ReNAPRI held its annual conference as planned, though entirely as a remote event. Entitled “The Great Reset: Embedding Resilience into African Agriculture”, the conference focused on rebuilding resilient value chains post-COVID, on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, and on setting the agenda for the Abuja II summit focused on soil health and farming productivity. PRCI held a successful learning event linked th the conference featuring CPL successes with policy influence. The fuller set of aspects included in PRCI’s original Annual Lab Consultation (ALC) design should be possible to implement in 2021 as both events will take a hybrid approach, with hopefully substantial in-person participation complemented by remote participation.
  2. Consortium-wide learning event: Following the ReNAPRI conference, the Lab held a consortium-wide learning even on December 18 to review the first year, identify what worked, what did not, and what needed to be done differently, and establish over-arching emphases for the second year. Key emphases moving forward were sustainability (to be pursued through a training-of-trainers approach in all aspects of the Lab’s work), leveraging of PRCI training materials for broader impact, and peer-to-peer learning at several levels. Progress was made in concrete actions to promote each of these emphases, with more detail to be reported in the annual report. The session also reviewed approaches to context monitoring, which is key to adequately understanding the impact of PRCI activities. The approach to this monitoring was finalized near the end of this reporting period. See Annex A for the agenda and a summary of workshop outcomes.
  3. Major expansion of ReNAPRI’s policy footprint: This is seen in two ways. First, ReNAPRI was named one of three institutional leads for the upcoming Abuja II summit, and its research will feed directly into that summit. Second, it will lead the preparation of AGRA’s 2021 African Agricultural Status Report focused on value chain resilience and its presentation at the annual AGRF in September, 2021.
  4. Covid survey: PRCI implemented the first round of the COVID-19 survey (for which it had received a buy-in) and neared completion of an analytical paper from that round. As the period ended, the second round was heading to the field. During the remainder of this year, PRCI will focus on local engagement in producing policy briefs and engaging local policy makers in “building back better” from the COVID shock.
  5. Mozambique buy-in: PRCI received a $175,000 buy-in from the Mozambique mission, engaged with a local analyst to produce a joint analysis to guide mission programming, and presented the work to the mission on March 31. Lab leadership is currently in discussions with the mission about follow-on funding.
    4 PRCI Semi-Annual Report
  6. Continued technical training: PRCI continued to develop its ambitious technical training agenda, with new modules for the Core Center program and follow-on to the Trade Flow Analysis training in Asia.
  7. Completion of the full PICA process with one CPL: CPEEL in partnership with DAERD completed its institutional planning process, formed a new unit (PiLAF) that will carry forward the center’s engagement in food policy, and held its first major stakeholder engagement events in the planning of its research and outreach strategy, which will initially focus on the poultry sector. As this report is being written, we are nearing completion with EPRC and ISRA-BAME.
  8. Launching of R2P: PRCI launched its Research-to-Policy program in December. This has had important effects for centers and in spurring links between ReNAPRI and CPLs. For Cohort 2, the program will start at the very beginning and should ensure fuller integration of a policy strategy into each effort.
  9. Nearing completion of Cohort 1 research: The Lab neared completion of its first cohort research program, with papers shared with all teams on March 26 in preparation for peer review sessions a month later.
  10. Expansion of Asia work: The Lab greatly expanded its work in Asia during this period. Following the trade flow analysis training that ended in September of last year (prior to this reporting period), the lab began work planning, contracting, and research activities with centers in Cambodia, Laos, Sri Lanka, and Nepal. The Lab engaged with IIDS and the KISAN II project in Nepal to support a policy training workshop that will lead into a policy priority setting workshop early in the next reporting period.
  11. ReNAPRI expansion and engagement with CPLs: ISSER signed ReNAPRI Articles of Association on 15th October 2020 and is now a full member of the ReNAPRI network. CPLs participated in a ReNAPRI continental study of COVID-19 response and its impacts, and several sessions were held with CPLs and ReNAPRI that we expect will lead to joint activities in training, and potentially, research.
  12. Personnel changes: John Medendorp took a new position with Purdue university but will remain engaged with PRCI through the ReNAPRI conference in November. John Bonnell joined the PICA team and will continue working with Cait Goddard.


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