Linking research to inclusive development for food security - Facing rural innovation challenges, 15 May - 2 June 2017, the Netherlands


"This course has given me many concrete tools that help me in my daily work.
I have learned to see farmers as stakeholders rather than just as beneficiaries.
And I have learned to design extension systems that link research with innovation.
All this improves the sustainability of the activities I am involved in."

Markos Wondie, Coordinator of the Community-Based Integrated Natural Resource Management Project CBINReMP), Ethiopia Bureau of Agriculture
(ICRA 2015 alumnus).

Researchers must make their work relevant for the inclusive development of involved communities. Agricultural professionals, farmers and their organizations need up to date information on how to most effectively improve food security.

This course introduces you to new approaches and tools for designing and managing participation in rural innovation that help to resolve both problems and find complementary solutions. It enables you to create and support effective partnerships, collaboration and dynamic stakeholder networks to co-create new knowledge for better agri-business deals and higher farmer income.

Why choose this course?

  • The course, with participants from all over the world, provides a unique enriching learning context in which professional networks can grow and lifetime friendships are built.
  • The course is challenging, varied and hands-on, including trainer-assisted group sessions, role plays, and field visits to research and development projects in the Netherlands.
  • Training is tailored to participants’ needs and builds on their experiences, ensuring that the relevance can be applied most effectively in other situations.
  • Class sizes are kept small, between 12 and 20 participants, to enhance trainee interactions and opportunities for exchange.
  • Participants work on tablet computers, which pay be purchased at a highly reduced price at the end of the course.
  • All course participants benefit from post-course support and an active alumni network.

Course structure

Week 1: Innovation as a change process and a multi-stakeholder approach to rural innovation.
Main topics: systems thinking and complexity, linking research to development, facilitation and negotiation in multi-stakeholder processes.

Week 2: Case studies. Use of field trips to help unpack complex multi-stakeholder processes, by engaging with different stakeholders involved in competing claims on rural space.

Week 3: Developing the capacity to innovate in rural development, using action research and development projects that benefit farmers and small and medium sized agribusinesses.
Main topics: ICT in agricultural innovation, networking and partnership development, business approach to development, incorporating new knowledge in your own work (action plan).

Target audience

The course is specially designed for professionals involved in facilitating and coaching rural innovation. Candidates should be proficient in English, have at least five years professional experience, preferably in rural innovation and facilitation of learning, and have approval of their institution to participate.

Deadline for self-funding participants has been extended till 3 April 2017.

Applicants who arrange their own financial support for participation face less competition and have a bigger chance of getting selected. The chance of being awarded a fellowship is generally slim as there are many applicants for the fellowship funds. We advise you to look for funds from your own organisation or from other sources. Some suggestions are here.


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