The uptake of research evidence in the policy-making process has become the front burner of global discourse on approaches and strategies for development. It is therefore not surprising that international development agencies and other research funders, are placing increasing emphasis on the need to communicate research evidence to policy makers.
This has resulted in a flurry of activities aimed at supporting knowledge management and communication of research evidence to policymakers. For example, a study commissioned by UNESCO in Tanzania in 2002 assessed the research–policy linkages of science-related ministries and their research organizations, with the objective to understand mechanisms for interacting with policymakers, and users of research outputs. In the agricultural sector in Ghana, the USAID Agriculture Policy Support Project is being implemented with the purpose of increasing the capacity of the Government of Ghana (GOG), the private sector, and Civil Society Organizations to contrivance evidence-based policy formation, research, and advocacy implementation, and rigorous monitoring and evaluation of agricultural programs, implemented under the Medium-term Agriculture Sector Investment Plan (METASIP).
While efforts are being made to devise mechanisms for bridging research policy gap, it is important to note that policymaking is inherently a political process. Hence, many factors jostle with evidence to take center stage in policy formation, at an individual level and organizational level. For example, time constraints will affect the mechanisms available to mobilize.
On May 27th, 2022, the Ghana KM4AgD Implementation Joint Team in collaboration with the CSIR-Institute for Scientific and Technological Information (CSIR-INSTI) and Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA ), partnering with The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), held knowledge talks with leaders and CEREMONY FOR THE DONATION OF AUDIO-VISUAL EQUIPMENT in the CSIR-INSTI conference room towards strengthening Capacities, outreach and Knowledge Management for Agricultural Development (KM4AgD) Agenda in Ghana.
Through TAAT Africa initiative, the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), procured audiovisual equipment with smartphones for strengthening capacity for technology, Knowledge Management for Agricultural Development Agenda delivery, and outreach in countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Senegal, Rwanda, Mali, DR Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zambia. This equipment comprises five Samsung Galaxy A5l smartphones, one hand-held projector (DCS 1000) with accessories (solar panel, Bluetooth speaker, keyboard, power bank, tripod stand and a projector screen).
During the opening remarks for the ceremony, Dr. Seth Manteaw (Ph.D.) Director, of CSIR – INSTI Ghana noted, “There is no doubt that Internet penetration will continue to grow among farm communities. What is perhaps more important for EAS providers, funders, researchers and universities is to provide enterprise mechanisms using the Internet that maximize all technology use. Essentially, the Internet remains the cornerstone because it can connect the more educated participants in EAS throughout the world so that these participants do a better job working with farmers. Moreover, Benjamin Abugri , Lead specialist for Knowledge Management , Learning and Communication at FARA also stated that “The researchers and policymakers are coming up with a variety of solutions to help farmers to manage risks but the outreach and promotion of these solutions need a well-structured and effective medium. In this context, agricultural extension services play a very crucial role in bridging these gaps, through effective capacity building and awareness creation as highlighted in the #KM4AgD agenda. The KM4AgD agenda emphasizes the need to curb Fake News and ensure Quality information standards in empowering stakeholders to take informed action.
“Digital extension methods have received renewed attention with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on our empirical research, videos and podcasts used to deliver information and advice to farmers are key in the effort to make agriculture attractive to the youth and create more jobs. We at the extension directorate of MOFA, are most appreciative of the toolbox equipment, which presents an interactive process in which information, knowledge and skills, relevant for development are exchanged between farmers, extension/advisory services are disseminate” Mr. Paul Siameh, Director extension directorate of MOFA, noted.
It is worth recognizing the Ghana KM4AgD’s team resilience in assisting farmers and other stakeholders, to manage these risks through KM4AgD Agenda tools box need closer collaboration with the Monitoring and Evaluation officers at MoFA, Mr. Patrick Twumasi mentioned. For example, extension services can effectively disseminate information about climate change, and promote technologies that can help farmers to mitigate various on-farm and off-farm risks. With the above background, KM4AgD Ghana champions call for institutionalizing and mainstreaming a learning framework to improve sectoral learning.
All the participants from these institutions are committed to KM4AgD agenda, in educating and training using this AUDIO-VISUAL EQUIPMENT for sustainable and relevant knowledge dissemination practices, in the field of duty. They recognize the support by the African Development Bank through the TAAT programme.
Please find the Accra Declaration on the KM4AgD Agenda for Africa published at this link: https://lnkd.in/gR9BjBuy