Programme 1: Knowledge Management

Asia-Pacific agri-food systems are increasingly dependent on the use of knowledge to strengthen innovation processes, such as technology generation, adaptation, and application. Stronger processes for collecting, analysing, organizing, accessing, using and sharing scientific information for knowledge creation, problem solving and decision making are required. Combined with partnership and networking, capacity development and advocacy, knowledge management can better facilitate engagement and collaboration that contribute to improved scaling up and out of successful agricultural practices, enhanced agricultural investment, and a higher level of trust among stakeholders.

APAARI strives to use improved knowledge management as an overarching programme to strengthen agri-food research and innovation systems and is well positioned to do so. Through collective actions, APAARI has a critical role in informing its partners and other stakeholders about the strategic investments, policies and programmes that can develop the regional knowledge base as an essential foundation for sustainable transformation of agriculture and agri-food systems. APAARI intends to enhance knowledge management through the following strategies:

1. Agri-food systems made more knowledge intensive to effectively contribute to sustainable agricultural development

  • Promote processes for knowledge sharing, learning and collaboration between primary stakeholders
  • Promote tools for enhanced knowledge sharing, learning and collaboration

2. AFRIS strengthened through more effective knowledge management

  • Enhance knowledge sharing and engagement to enable faster technology, innovation and policy development
  • Develop skills and capacity of stakeholders in knowledge management
  • Improve scientific data management to make it available for analysis and knowledge creation

APAARI members and partners will implement these strategies, for example, by coordinating and facilitating face-to-face and online interactions; facilitating participation and engagement of primary stakeholders in regional and global events; sharing information and knowledge for faster scaling up and out of successful innovations; improving communication tools, such as website and social media; linking with knowledge tools of members and partners; training and mentoring of primary stakeholders in improving data collection, analysis and evaluation, and using knowledge tools; supporting projects that improve data collection for research, compilation, management, analysis, evaluation and application, e.g. Agricultural Science and Technology Indicators (ASTI) Project; and disseminating data and analysis.

Programme 2: Partnership and networking

The transformation of agri-food systems and the realization of SDGs cannot be achieved by APAARI alone. Multiple organizations from private, public and civil sectors need to be linked at local, national, sub-regional, regional and global levels to bring about large-scale change. APAARI is well positioned to connect national bodies to each other, regional and global fora, fostering partnerships and networking through face-to-face interactions and online communities. APAARI intends to contribute to partnership and networking through the following strategies:

1. Innovative and strategic partnerships and networking strengthened

Facilitate technical cooperation in key thematic areas

  • Develop public-private-community partnerships to improve efficiency of adaptation and application
    of agricultural technologies and innovations
  • Facilitate networking and collaboration between national, sub-regional, regional and global- level organizations within AFS
  • Facilitate networking and collaboration between AFS and regional and global multi- sector development partners to collectively work towards development outcomes
  • Scope and map primary stakeholders to enable
  • better targeting and stronger engagement in collective action in terms of sharing of benefits, efforts and resources

APAARI members and partners will implement these strategies, for example, through initiating and implement strategic partnerships in technical areas; bringing public, private and community sectors to expert consultations and policy dialogue; facilitating engagement between public, private and community stakeholders, as well as with regional and global partners; promoting partnership with regional and global initiatives; encouraging stakeholders to engage in existing regional and global multi-sector networks; and assessing the contribution of current and potential stakeholders to the collective action.

Programme 3: Capacity development

Capacity is the ability of the individual or group to perform their responsibilities. It depends on the capabilities of the people, as well as on the overall size of the task, the resources needed to perform them, and the framework within which they are discharged. For effective and timely development outcomes,
the transformation of agri-food systems in the Asia-Pacific region needs to be built on scientific advances, improved and validated technologies and adoption at scale. This can only be achieved by developing and strengthening capacity at three levels: individual, organizational and institutional. This and other key concepts and principles are set out in the Common Framework on Capacity Development for Agricultural Innovation Systems (CDAIS) developed and endorsed by the partners of the Tropical Agriculture Platform (TAP), APAARI included.

APAARI is well positioned to contribute to the strengthening of capacity by working with its members, partners and other stakeholders to collectively identify and improve individuals, institutions and organizations in the areas where capacity is lacking. APAARI has the ability to create opportunities for connecting organizations to each other through learning, to collectively overcome regional challenges. APAARI intends to contribute to capacity building through the following strategies:

1.  Institutional arrangements for effective delivery of outcomes from agri-food research and innovation systems strengthened

  • Strengthen institutional capacity for the development of agri-food research and innovation system
  • Strengthen databases
on human capacity to enhance sharing of talent pool in the region

2. Organizational capacity for good governance, effective management and delivery of research and innovations enhanced

  • Improve capacity of leaders and research managers in monitoring, evaluation and impact pathway analysis
  • Develop and use improved skills and competency in managerial and organizational roles
  • Develop basic skills and competency of researchers in small, island and mountainous countries, and new/emerging organizations
  • Address organizational capacity development needs in knowledge management, partnership and networking and advocacy

3. Technical competency developed

  • Build capacity of researchers and policy makers in technical areas
  • Improve collaboration in areas requiring regional cooperation

APAARI members and partners will implement these strategies, for example, by conducting meetings, workshops, expert consultations and policy dialogues; using online and face-to-face interactions to create a culture of discussion and communication amongst members, partners and other stakeholders; encouraging and sharing of resources – knowledge, human, technical and financial – to strengthen institutional arrangements, efficiency and effectiveness; creating opportunities for training, scholarships, and exchange programmes; facilitating the sharing of experiences and expertise among primary stakeholders; developing and sharing guidelines; coordinating training; and facilitating participation of disadvantaged stakeholders in training programmes and post-training mentoring.

Programme 4: Advocacy

Economic growth originating from agriculture has been shown to be 2-4 times more effective at reducing poverty than growth originating from other sectors according to the World Development Report 2018 of the World Bank. Despite this trend, in the regions where hunger and poverty are the most widespread today, there are declining or stagnant levels of investment in agriculture. FAO’s estimates from 2013 indicate that an additional investment of USD 83 billion annually will be required globally to close the gap between what low- and middle-income countries have invested each year over the last decade and what is needed by 2050. In other words, investment needs to rise by more than 50 per cent. As such, increasing investment and improving understanding on the crucial role of agri-food research and innovation in development requires advocacy.

APAARI can play a role in advocating for investment in agricultural research. However, advocacy in the agricultural sector cannot be left to a single organization or individuals within it. Advocacy requires collective actions at a regional level. APAARI is well positioned to lead this coordinated action through the following strategies:

  1. Understanding of the role of agri-food research and innovations in agri-food systems and socioeconomic development improved
    • Increase political recognition of the role of agri-food research and innovation as a major driver of socioeonomic development
    • Improve the voice and engagement of disadvantaged stakeholders involved in AFS
    • Strengthen capacity for advocacy
    • Engage social and broadcast media to strengthen advocacy efforts
  2. Investment in agri-food research and innovations improved for development of agri-food systems
    • Enhance understanding of agri-food stakeholders and policy makers on the need, scope and return of improved investment
    • Assess the status, trend and priority for investment, and use the data and information for policies and strategies to attract investment and improve decision making
    • Develop advocacy tools and on-going dialogue on promoting investment
    • Assess and develop skills and capacities for mobilizing investment
    • Assess and adopt innovative funding and partnership mechanisms

APAARI members and partners will implement these strategies, for example, through systematic monitoring of the contribution of agri-food research and innovation to socioeconomic development; providing opportunities for knowledge sharing and learning; improving the representation of disadvantaged stakeholders in regional events; facilitating documentation and dissemination of experiences; developing an advocacy toolkit; using social media to promote activities; sensitizing agri-food stakeholders and policy makers on the need, scope and return of improved investment; assessing and using investment data for improved advocacy efforts; developing guidelines; and documenting and sharing experiences with innovative funding and partnership mechanisms.