Innovation and systematic change towards achieving impact at scale

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Leveraging resources through partnerships: Streng-thening existing partnerships (e.g. in the areas of partner relationships, modes of delivery and models of input/output markets) will ensure  sustained delivery. Up to 2016, $122.42 million is leveraged on by N2Africa. This strategy will be pursued in the coming years to achieve impact at scale. The focus for 2017 will be to document processes for achieving the results: ‘Identifying what is working well that can be replicated and what is not working well that needs to be corrected or avoided’ within the partnerships.

Expanding partners and area of coverage: The outlook for 2017 will be to examine partners’ capacity to expand area of coverage and strategize to achieve the final targets. Dissemination approaches, such as use of ICT platforms as adopted by new partners (e.g GALA, SILT, Farm Radio International in Tanzania, M’Omulimisa in Uganda) will be explored further and adopted in other countries. This will enable the project to meet its set targets for 2017 and beyond.

Stimulating private sector participation for input delivery: The biggest challenge at the beginning of the project which needed to be resolved has been infrastructure, enabling environment to allow private sector participation, capacity of last mile delivery. In 2017, key interventions, such as registration of inoculants, input demand quantification (e.g. by BRiTEN in Tanzania), integration of inputs in government input subsidy programs (e.g. Anchor Borrowers Program in Nigeria) and private sector participation in product distribution will be pursued to address issues pertaining to last mile delivery.

Linking farmer groups to access output markets: The focus for 2017 will be to integrate specific interventions, such as building organizational capacity of farmer groups to meet market requirements and addressing country specific output market issues (e.g. policy implications, market requirements, and organizational capacity of farmer groups and modes of aggregation). Furthermore, it will be prudent to focus attention on output market specific partners to ensure market identification, requirements, and negotiations for farmer groups within partnerships.

Program management and systematic learning loops: The focus for 2017 will be on reviewing the Monitoring, Learning and Evaluation ML&E) strategies of specific partners based on feedback generated in 2016. The developed online analysis tool (e.g. Shiny) will be finalized for both agronomy and ML&E data and made available for use by all stakeholders in 2017. Furthermore, a range of studies will be designed and implemented, using quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the impact of N2Africa and maximize our learning. Finally, national policy opportunities will be used to provide recommendations to governments about best-fit legume technologies, how to increase production and productivity of various legumes and how to stimulate farmers’ uptake and use of relevant technologies.

Theresa Ampadu-Boakye, IITA Kenya and Minke Stadler, Wageningen University & Research