Semi-Annual Report Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy Research, Capacity, and Influence (PRCI) August 1 2020DOWNLOAD
August 3, 2020
Summary of workplan progress
The PRCI consortium led by MSU achieved success during the period in two major ways: (1) by putting in place the processes it laid out in its winning proposal to put local research centers in the lead, within a consultative partnerhsip approach, in defining their capacity development needs and research and outreach priorities, and (2) by adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic through (a) new work to guide the programmatic response to the pandemic and (b) quickly and effectively moving to a 100% online approach to activities that were to have major in-person components. Key highlights for this reporting period include:
- Timely selection of African CPLs and holding of Internal Lab Launch Consultation per agreed procedure. The MSU-led consortium put great thought into the processes it would use to ensure that local partners played a leading role, within a consultative partnership model, in defining their capacity needs and their research priorities. The selection of CPLs and the structure of the ILLC were key components of these processes, as they set the tone for the way in which US-based consortium members would relate to our local counterparts. By remaining committed to the designed processes, PRCI was able to set this tone.
- Successful launching of the Core Center research program. PRCI remained committed to its "semi-competitive" process for selection of research topics per priorities defined by our local partners, formation of joint research teams to constitute the Core Center research agenda and launching of collaborative research. Teams are now actively working on their topics.
- Launching of the STAAARS+ program nearly on time and moving it entirely to an online platform. This was a major challenge, as the original program anticipated one full month of in-person engagement on the Cornell campus early in the research process. Learning from this
experience and adapting as needed once COVID-related travel disruptions end is a major challenge for PRCI.
- Unanticipated, major, and successful assistance to ReNAPRI to carry out its 5-year strategic planning exercise entirely online. See C.2.1 below for more detail.
- Movement of the PICA process 100% online. This posed perhaps the biggest challenges for PRCI, given the nature of the process that emphasizes intensive interaction. Yet the duration of the disruptions from the crisis made this adjustment necessary. See next section for brief discussion of challenges in this regard going forward.
- Launching and effectively running the Core Center technical training program 100% online. This involved effectively eliciting center researchers' assessment of their technical training needs remotely and designing and launching a 100% online technical training program featuring extensive interaction among researchers around the training topics.