Assessing Agricultural Innovation Systems for Action at Country Level

Since 2017, in line with COAG’s recommendation, the Research and Extension Unit engaged in the development of a participatory AIS assessment framework including a customizable toolbox for countries with a totally new capacity development perspective. The assessment framework is meant for actors of the national agricultural innovation systems, i.e. research, extension and advisory services, innovation support service providers and universities, policy and decision makers, or development organizations, with a mandate or willingness to catalyze system innovation processes and to identify entry points for developing capacities to innovate in a a sector, a value chain, a territory or at country level. The expected outputs and outcomes of the assessment are: a) to inform and provide evidence-based practical guidance to policy and decision makers to identify concrete actions and investments geared towards strengthening of the AIS, and simultaneously b) to enhance capacities of relevant actors to effectively engage in these actions. Considering high level of complexity and diversity of agricultural innovation systems and CD needs, the assessment implementers need to be guided to collect and analyze quantitative and qualitative data and information to generate evidence for assisting decision-making and advocacy in their specific context. To meet these objectives, a preliminary assessment framework was developed to be tested and enriched by pilot countries. This document provides the key concepts, the foundations of analytical and operational assessment frameworks and guiding principles for country assessment teams in piloting countries. It contributes to FAO’s Strategic Objective 2 - Increase and improve provision of goods and services from agriculture, forestry and fisheries in a sustainable manner.

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