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Undoubtedly 2014 was a great year for DAPA (Decision and Policy Analysis research area of CIAT) if we consider the culmination of successful projects and the start of new projects, as well as the establishment of new institutional partnerships, greater recognition, growth and impact in our focus areas. A main achievement of DAPA in 2014 was the successful realization of one of its most ambitious projects: the agreement between CIAT and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Colombia (MADR). The CIAT-MADR agreement was accompanied by an event where farmers, researchers and decision makers met to discuss the achievements and challenges of Colombian agriculture in the context of climate change. During this event the continuation and the second phase of the CIAT-MADR agreement was announced.
Another outstanding achievement of 2014 was the strong involvement of DAPA in the Twentieth Conference of the Parties (COP 20) held in Lima, Peru, where our researchers participated in workshops and forum events, and presented the results of our research in climate change. Additionally, we are very proud that the Big Data – 2014 Climate Challenge Award was granted to our Big Data group by the United Nations. That said, we cannot overlook another goal achieved on the list of DAPA, namely the adoption of the Law of Compensation Mechanisms for Ecosystem Services in Peru. DAPA provided technical support in the formulation of this law after several years of joint work with the Ministry of Environment of Peru. Further strengthening links with the government of Peru, last year our Terra-i tool was adopted in this country as an early warning system for land cover and change in land use. This tool will contribute to adequate decision making in the context of land conversion. It is worth mentioning that these are just some of the achievements of DAPA in 2014, as there are many more.
In terms of publications, 2014 was the year with the highest number of publications ever. In 2010, almost 50 publications were generated. From there, year after year the number of publications increased until we produced a total of 94 publications in 2014! Of these 94 publications, 48 articles were published in peer-reviewed journals, the largest number of journal articles in the history of DAPA. These 48 articles included in referenced journals such as Nature, PLoS ONE and PNAS reflect the growth of the scientific quality of DAPA and the impact we are creating. Furthermore, in recent years the percentage of open access articles has increased considerably, from 31% in 2010 to 63% in 2014, ever more aligning with the open access policy of CIAT and CGIAR by facilitating the access of the scientific and academic community to our methodologies and research findings.
Within the total of publications in 2014, six book chapters on topics such as climate change and agriculture, ethnobotany, ecosystem services and conservation practices were published. Additionally, six master theses and one doctoral thesis were produced, covering topics such as gender analysis and its dynamics in climate change, risk management strategies of small-scale farmers, market analysis for small farmers, and assessment of crops suitability and adaptation measures to climate change. The theses include study areas such as Ecuador, African countries, and Colombia. In the same vein, nine policy briefs were generated, touching on topics such as the analysis of vulnerability to climate change in the Andean region, policy analysis of supply chains in Colombia, as well as a study on the changing composition of the global diet, among others. In addition, 30 reports and summaries of project results were published on topics such as agriculture and climate change in Central America, low emissions development strategies in Colombia, climate smart agriculture in different countries of Latin America, and version 2.0 of Link methodology, just to give some examples of the documents published by our researchers in 2014.
The results of 2014 demonstrate the growth and the great scientific capacity of our researchers and research areas, qualities that we aim to maintain and develop even further in 2015. If you wish to consult our publications, you can access the complete list at the following link: DAPA Publications.