Impact pathways in RTB
A multi-disciplinary group of the CGIAR Research Program on Roots, Tubers, and Bananas (RTB), met in December of 2012 to discuss and plan the inclusion of gender, capacity building and knowledge sharing into RTB’s Impact Pathways. Throughout the five day workshop participants, which included key CGIAR Consortium members such as Anne-Marie Izac, Chief Science Officer and Piers Bocock, Director of Knowledge Management and Communications, participated in discussions relating to gender, capacity building, and knowledge sharing as they relate to the four RTB centers (CIP, CIAT, Bioversity and IITA) as well as the Consortium. Furthermore, the group discussed ways to firmly embed these necessary facets into the CRP’s framework when researching the potential of roots, tubers and bananas for food security and nutrition around the globe.
The objectives of the workshop, facilitated by the CIAT Capacity team, were to review and discuss the program’s current product portfolio, and select a few flagship products (from their 200+ products) and identify pathways, which integrate gender, capacity building (CB) and knowledge sharing (KS) strategies and make use of available opportunities. The transversal approach used in the workshop took impact pathways into consideration; that is, the ways in which the program will contribute to development outcomes and eventually impact through the production and dissemination of key research outputs. Considering these pathways allowed participants to derive a few “quick win” strategies to develop during 2013, and to identify the relevant partners, next users and outcomes. Furthermore, ideas were discussed for gender strategic research and capacity building opportunities as well as needs that should be pursued during the year, including possible locations, resources, outcomes and partners. Other topics such as the future organization of RTB and KS communications being based around the pillars of a web portal, internal communications strategies, and knowledge resource centers, all formed part of the valuable dialogue between RTBs communication experts and the scientists who ultimately validate the usefulness of these tools and resources.
This workshop lasted only five days, clearly not enough to fully develop impact pathways, and much remains to be done in reorganizing and prioritizing the few products that will be the focus of RTB research during 2013. However, this year it is clear that time and energy will be invested in finding the best ways to mainstream gender into the RTB research agenda, as well as focusing on capacity building and the knowledge sharing needs for the impact pathways of these prioritized flagship products’. The CIAT Capacity team looks forward to the continuation of this crucial and interesting line of work with all RTB team members.