IFAD Livestock CoP
The issues IFAD would like to explore and find appropriate solutions for are:
1) IFAD Thematic Group on Livestock Farming Systems and Rangelands (LFSR TG)
- How can we stimulate interest, improve knowledge sharing and interaction within IFAD colleagues on issues related to pro-poor livestock development especially those who are part of the Thematic Group on Livestock?
2)Community of Practice for Pro-poor Livestock Development (CoP-PPLD)
- How can we strengthen partnerships with Local Communities Organizations/Farmers Associations and facilitate their inclusion in the CoP-PPLD?
- How can we establish with them sustainable knowledge exchange mechanisms and which are the appropriate tools/channels to enable these mechanisms?
The TG on Livestock is an internal sharing network of IFAD staff that wants to share knowledge and finds ways to place livestock activities higher in the IFAD agenda contributing thus to optimize the potential of livestock development as an instrument for poverty reduction.
The CoP-PPLD is a global partnership of practitioners, researchers and other actors involved in livestock development that want to exchange experiences, manage relevant knowledge, and support learning across countries and institutions as an instrument to achieve better results. Its launching and pilot phase has been facilitated by IFAD.
The method used for this session was rotating Peer Assist.
The activity generated rich discussions and provided valuable creative solutions which have been taken into consideration to define the forthcoming initiatives of the Livestock Thematic Group and of the CoP-PPLD.
The following recommendations emerged, amongst others:
Peer Assist – 1 IFAD Thematic Group on Livestock
- Promoting visibility through rewarding systems;
- Enhancing the sharing of good practices and innovative approaches to stimulate interest and participation;
- Breaking the TG into small groups and promoting ad hoc learning/sharing sessions;
- Involving senior management in support of its major initiatives.
Peer Assist – 2 Community of Practice for Pro-poor Livestock Development
- Involving local connectors (NGOs and other CoP members) to facilitate the identification of new partners on the ground and work closely with them to assess appropriate channels for communication and interaction;
- Starting with pilot experiences in easy countries and with a good/strong connector;
- Providing incentives to participate (visibility, awards, reworking sharing by crediting phones etc.) and motivate them showing examples of how knowledge transfer benefits people;
- Taking farmers to local knowledge source;
- Identifying appropriate tools for areas that are note web based. At this purpose, successful examples have been showed as good starting point (i.e. ICARDA Mobile devices for KS and story telling etc.)
After Action Review on using the method
What worked well:
- the method is interesting and excellent for addressing specific problems which require concrete solutions.
- the rotating peer assist format allows for treating complex issues in a manner that suits with their complexity. it also allows for linkages to be made between answers to two related questions.
- in general, people liked the method and thought the experience of it was interesting and useful.
- the method allows for freedom to question assumptions and so can be very useful for fostering learning and sharing within teams and groups.
What to improve:
- the process should be more clear and it might be a good idea to design and use a template to guide all participants through it.
- in each case, problems should be very very well defined and sufficient time should be spent defining them. it may be useful to design a series of questions helping to elaborate any given problem.
- having both peer assists in the same room created for a somewhat noisy and distracting environment: need to use separate rooms, especially when assister groups are larger.
- it was felt the assister groups were too large: use less assisters per assister group.
- need to have a culture within which to experiment with this and other methods: enable such a culture in order to be able to do such learning experiments.