High level of participation: The regional e-consultations in numbers

Numbers don’t mean necessary quality, but statistics are good to have!  Here is a quick overview of all the regional e-consultations with some impressing figures. In total we are more than 1,000 people around the globe to contribute (or about to contribute) with our thoughts on agricultural research for development in almost 400 messages.

West Asia and North Africa: 120 participants and more than 50 who actively discuss complex research issues like climate change, water usages, potential use of ICTs for development and GIS/remote sensing technologies in more than 90 messages. A comprehensive summary of the first week discussions has been shared and published on the blog.

Asia Pacific: More than 140 participants are currently subscribed and the contributions reflect a very high level of criticism on the low performance of agricultural researchers to provide solutions for the poor farmers. More than 100 messages have been shared. A summary is available on the blog.

Central Asia and Caucasus: With 78 participants and over 60 messages, this bilingual discussion touches now the issues raised in the regional review, the difficult situation in Russia with high levels of centralization is mentioned instantly.

Europe: 90 participants with a slow first week. The team is currently preparing the questions for phase two based on the regional review which will hopefully boost the contributions. A first summary has been shared within the group and on the blog.

Sub-Saharan Africa: The consultation started this week with 300 participants, and is in the introduction mode with already 40 messages shared with already some good experiences in effective partnerships, capacity building or gender work amongst many others.

Latin America and the Caribbean: This regional e-consultation starts next week with a record subscription of 400!

The participant’s composition of the regional consultations for WANA, CAC, AP, and EU is as follows:

  • AR4D = 59%;
  • Civil Society = 22%,
  • Government + Donors = 13%;
  • Non identified =6%

We are sharing the consultation worldwide through this blog which has received more than 2,500 visits in 3 weeks for 15 blog posts. On Twitter and in two weeks, we shared 115 tweets (mostly quotes from participants) for 42 followers in 2 weeks.

These are important and encouraging elements of the GCARD process.

One thought on “High level of participation: The regional e-consultations in numbers

  1. I have followed the debates on both the Asia Pacific and SSA forums with great interest. A common theme seems to be that both sponsors and agricultural scientists have failed to identify and address the needs of resource-poor farmers in both parts of the world. As an Agricultural Scientist I largely agree. For much of the past few years we have allowed agriculture to become the cinderella science and `agricultural scientists’ to retreat to the laboratory or computer screen where life is simpler!. This is not all our fault as our careers are largely driven by sponsors who in turn wish to see quick technological fixes rather than painstaking and often multidimensional activities on complex problems. The result is that we now work in subject silos with little understanding of the whole picture or even our adjacent disciplines. Most of my recent research has been on underutilised crops and one in particular, bambara groundnut (Jugo beans) a nutritious African legume. Our objective has been to demonstrate how integrated research from genomics to marketing can identify opportunities for improvement and utilisation of a whole range of species neglected by scientists and their sponsors. I am now based at the University of Nottingham’s Malaysia Campus and we have recently been selected as Principal Partner to co-host the Crops for the Future initiative led by Dr Hannah Jaenicke. This is a fantastic opportunity to link communities and their crops from different agroecological regions of the world and to apply good practice and experience across species and continents. Dr Monty Jones requested ideas of how we can make real progress. I believe one way forward is to develop a global alliance of communities and researchers working on those crops that have largely been ignored by scientists and sponsors. This allows us to develop new approaches to research and capacity building on under-researched crops which is so much more difficult for major crops with their established structures. Our Malaysia campus allied with Crops for the Future is ready to embark on this initiative!

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