Con motivo de la puesta en marcha de la Era Net ARD II (Investigación Agrícola para el Desarrollo II – Dimensión del Área de Investigación Europea), que pretende dar continuidad a las actividades transnacionales conjuntas iniciadas durante la primera fase del proyecto ARD (www.era-ard.org).
El Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agaria y Alimentaria (INIA) (España), es gestor de algunas actividades conjuntas dentro de esta red. En la convocatoria pasada ha financiado varios proyectos ambientados en el Desarrollo Rural.
Para conseguir uno de los objetivos de esta red, España (INIA ) quiere contar con la experiencia y opiniones de los investigadores Españoles y de Iberoamérica, invitándoles a presentar sus ideas para el fortalecimiento de las capacidades en la investigación agrícola para el desarrollo.
Con este fin, adjuntamos el cuestionario en formato DOC (apartado documentos), para que si es posible nos sea remitido a las siguientes direcciones de correo electrónico:
Sus observaciones, servirán para establecer cuales son las prioridades estratégicas y las herramientas institucionales que sirvan de apoyo al proyecto ARD II.
Questionnaire on capacity strengthening needs in ARD
Societies develop thanks to stable and autonomous scientific communities. Custodians of knowledge and know-how, scientific communities generate and transfer expertise to decision makers and socio-economic actors. In this regard, any mechanism that develops the scientific capacities of countries in the South is a key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
To meet these objectives, the European agricultural research community is counting on researchers to share their experiences, so that we may seize this opportunity to gather opinions. For this reason, we are inviting you to present your ideas for strengthening research capacity. Your observations will be used to inform the strategic priorities and institutional tools to support research in ARD. The Agricultural Research for Development-ERA-NET Program launched by the European Commission under the 7th FPRD aims to coordinate EU action in this matter.
We have identified four areas critical to the future of scientific research in ARD.
Funding and technology transfers are not enough. Every country needs to have a sufficient number of well paid researchers and high-level managers whose work is recognized at fair value. We need to determine how to achieve this critical mass of researchers and decision makers.
Pooling resources and knowledge
European and global level initiatives offer prospects for continuation and expansion. Teams must learn to pool resources and knowledge to make joint submissions to calls for proposals (especially those launched by major multilaterals like the EU or World Bank), in order to diversify and increase funding sources and achieve autonomy.
Leveraging research findings for socio-economic benefits
To mobilize additional funding while leveraging research findings, it is necessary to involve from the beginning actors in the economic and social research process. There appears to be many missed opportunities.
The awareness of governments and civil society
Researchers must mobilize society and its leaders if they want their research to have long term impacts. It is critical that universities adopt a genuine research strategy. Without the institutionalization of relationships with universities, in the form of framework agreements, then efforts to structure the ARD research sector will be incomplete. Making this happen calls for large scale advocacy.
We aim to identify the most effective way to invest development aid earmarked for research. The presence of highly qualified human resources enables development; we must convince donors and decision makers of this. This request must come from you, research professionals from the South, with a list of priorities.
This objective breaks down into two points:
1) Best practices guidelines will be defined based on your contributions, and disseminated widely to donors.
2) Recommendations will be formulated to improve management of development aid by universities in the South.
The questions in italics are indications of the scope of the questions.
1. Individuals: How can we improve scholarship programs, create more graduate schools, organize career assessments?
• What types of scholarships are most effective, from a financial standpoint and in terms of return on investment for the country? Local scholarships, "sandwich" grants, fellowships abroad, etc.
• What is the best way to train individuals to develop projects, gain familiarity with procedures and the terms of reference in order to successfully respond to international calls for proposals?
• What can be done to incentivize faculty members to organize and participate actively in research projects?
• How can we improve the quality of teaching and assessment?
2.1 Results assessment and networks. What partnerships need to be set up or strengthened? How can we ensure continuity of teams? How can teams become more competitive internationally?
• What have capacity building programs achieved in terms of team building? What can be improved?
• What are the success factors for developing effective networks that foster balanced partnerships?
• What must be done to help teams from the South submit proposals independently (i.e., with no outside assistance) to international funding sources?
2.2 Openness to society and private sector. How can research findings be used for greater socio-economic benefit?
• What must be done to disseminate technological discoveries?
• What can be done to involve socio-economic actors in research they need?
• How can we ensure that research reflects needs?
3.1 Institutional capacity building. What linkages must be (re)established between academia and research? What must be done to manage "brain drain"? How should universities' performance be assessed?
• What can be done to strengthen joint training initiatives at the national, regional or international level within the context of university reforms (introduction of professional degrees, Master’s and Ph.D. programs)?
• What can be done to ensure calls for proposals issued by international donors correspond to the government policies or directives of southern countries and university policies on research - development?
• How can we set up graduate schools between universities in the same country or region, to avoid redundant research activities and to build a critical mass of researchers?
3.2. Society and Politics: How can we encourage politicians to invest more in research and higher education and recognize these sectors as pillars of development?
What scientific guidelines and strategies can be adopted to increase the visibility and influence of research institutions?
• What can be done to encourage the private sector to invest in public research or develop partnerships with universities?
• There is a strong demand for donor aid to be better coordinated, but coordinating mechanisms are almost never implemented. Is it possible that donor coordination strategies defined by southern governments and universities would be more effective?