Power, partnership and participation: Nile Basin Development Challenge in summary

ILRI has made great strides since the 1980s, when the organization was first led by Dr Hank Fitzhugh, who previously had been my supervisor at Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development. At that time, improvements were driven from the top with really very little involvement with local producers – an approach that was common in agricultural research and development activities.

About the same time (and a few years later, in Kenya) I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Robert Chambers, Dr. Gordon Conway and other colleagues who came to the Sudan on consultation. I was then field manager of an agroforestry and natural resource management project which was wholly  driven by a technology package approach, having initially developed the project, which was managed by Winrock International.

Now, ILRI (as well as other members of the CG system) are far more inclusive – a topic I do want to revisit in the near future. Over the past decade I have received a couple of year-long grants from ILRI to support and better understand our work in the livestock and natural resource management sectors here in Burundi, a topic also to be revisited.

Here are a few quotes from the referenced ILRI piece.

Key messages – one integrated ‘paradigm shift’

In late 2013, the NBDC team identified eight key messages emerging from the project that will help tackle poverty and degradation of natural resources as ‘business NOT as usual’. These were: …

ILRI Clippings

Practical training to farmers about forage management at Kolugelan, Jeldu (Photo credit: ILRI / Aberra Adie) Farmers getting trained on forage management at Kolugelan, Jeldu (Photo credit: ILRI / Aberra Adie)

The Nile Basin Development Challenge (NBDC) was one of six challenges comprising the CGIAR Challenge Program on Water and Food (CPWF).

In the second phase of the program (2010-2013), research in the Nile basin (mainly Ethiopia) focused on sustainable land and water management to “enable poor small holder farmers to sustainably and equitably improve their food security, livelihoods and incomes while conserving the natural resource base”.

The NBDC was led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI).

The complexity of land and water management in Ethiopia meant that the NBDC adopted a landscape approach “based on the recognition that people living in complex agro-ecosystems have multiple objectives and priorities.” Further a participatory learning-oriented systems approach was used to identify, test and scale up interventions.

Key messages – one integrated ‘paradigm shift’

In late 2013, the NBDC…

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About dianabuja

With a group of BaTwa (pygmy) women potters, with whom we've worked to enhance production and sales of their wonderful pots - fantastic for cooking and serving. To see the 2 blogs on this work enter 'batwa pots' into the search engine located just above this picture. Blog entries throughout this site are about Africa, as well as about the Middle East and life in general - reflecting over 35 years of work and research in Africa and the Middle East – Come and join me!
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